Off center mortises

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Forum topic by JCantin posted 01-30-2015 05:40 PM 1146 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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179 posts in 3651 days

01-30-2015 05:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise big green egg

I’m building a bbq cart for my Big Green Egg. Legs will be 4×4 and rails/aprons 2×4 – cedar.

1. I’m planning to mortise in the rails but have them flush with the outside face of the legs. Will that be as structurally sound as setting the rails back closer to the middle of the legs?
2. Should I go a full 2” on the mortise depth in the 4×4s?
3. Finally, any advantage to a double mortise (2 mortises 1” long x 1/2” wide) vs a single 2-1/2” long x 1/2” wide? I know the double would be trickier…

Planning to use router and jig for all the mortises.

Look forward to your thoughts.

2 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3887 days

#1 posted 01-30-2015 05:46 PM

One mortise 1.5” deep should be sufficient. You can do
two if you want to for experience. A 2” mortise may exceed
the depth capacity of your upcut bit.

The important thing is the shoulder is well fitted and there’s
sufficient glue area. A real shallow mortise can let you
down, but that would be less than 1/2” deep.

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1454 days

#2 posted 01-30-2015 06:40 PM

Are you offsetting the tenon to center it? Moving the mortise toward the face of the apron will not weaken the mortise (to a point.)

Cutting the double tenon is not that much harder than the single, but I don’t think you need to do it on this project, especially if you are moving the apron to sit flush with legs, there won’t be a lot of meat left for a mortise wall. I recommend a single M&T and offset the tenon to the center of the leg as far as you can.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

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