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Hello,

I am new to woodworking. I have a table saw and a tenoning jig. I need to make mortises but I do not have a drill press. I do have a router table and a plunge router. Can I make a mortise without a jig or do I need to build one. I need to make a mortise 3/4" wide and 1 1/2 " deep. This is for the trestle on my new work bench. Thank you for your help. Tom
 

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Tom, You can make your mortise with a hand drill and a chisel, quick and easy. Cut a piece of 1 x 3" a couple inches long and use it as a guide for keeping your bit vertical and straight. Drill a series of holes and then clean out the mortise with a sharp chisel. This is the easiest way for what you are doing.
You can also use a template and guide bushing or a template and flush trim bit if you predrill a hole and remove the bulk of the material. If you want to try one of these methods respond for directions.
 

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Thank you for the help

I went out and bought a drill press today and I will drill and then chisel out my mortice. Is this the ideal way to do them. I intend on doing much more woodworking and this seems to be a popular joint. What do you think is the most accurate and easy way to make this joint.

Thanks,
Tom
 

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One of the methods I've been reading about alot and seems rather simple, and that is to use a upcutting spiral bit, your plunge router, and the router's edge guide. Put an extra spacer block on the edge guide side, which offers more surface area for the router to rest on. This is supposed to generate some of the smoothest inside faces for a mortise. Caution is given though to not to try and remove too much waste in a single pass (1/2" deep?).

The only thing I noted was that you get rounded corners, and they can either be chiseled square, or use a rasp or wood file to round the corners of the tenon.

Take this advice with a grain of salt, I haven't actually tried it yet (heck, I'm still building my router table *laughs* My first serious woodworking project), but I've been reading alot of woodworking books, and they seem to be consistant on the method they recommend.

Also, because you want a 3/4" wide mortise, it'll mean adjusting the edge guide afterward to make the mortise wider. A spiral bit is only 1/2" in diameter.

edit: You can screw stop blocks to the top of the spacer that run perpendicular to the work piece so you don't have to worry about messing up the mortise length.
 

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I have cut mortises using the router table and also by making a simple jig out of 1/4" MDF.
A 3/4" cutter would need a hole drilled to depth first so the cutter gets a good start.
Set the table fence so the bit is in the desired position in the wood and plunge the wood to depth and move along the fence.
Make sure you mark the table or fence so you know where to hold the wood when starting and where to pull it up when the mortice is the correct length.
You could then clamp the mating pieces to a sled to cut the tenons on the router table or make them on the table saw, depending on your preference.
You could square up the mortices with a chisel or leave them round and cut the corners of the tenons to suit.
There are a great many ways of doing the same things so use the method you get on with the best.
I prefer to make a jig from MDF to cut mortices because I can then use the jig again as many times as needed for repeat jobs to all be the same.
I made a jig for making the tenons on the table saw which has a movable stop to set the tenon to whatever length needed for the job.
I find jig making to my own designs a very enjoyable way which has the benefit of allowing you to make as many identical pieces as you want for repeat orders.
 

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Tom, Mortise and tenon joints have been around for a very long time. They are a great choice but not the only choice. If you look in the Gallery section of the forum you will see a small shaker table I built. I have done a few of these for friends to use as telephone or plant stands. The first one I cut the mortise and tenons on a router table. It was a learning experience. The second table I drilled and chiseled the mortises, I made the tenons using a tenoning jig on my tablesaw. It also came out fine. The last two tables I built using pocket hole joinery, and any future versions of this table will be done that way. Pocket hole joinery makes for very fast construction, same clean look, and the joint (Assembled with glue and screws) is actually stronger than a mortise and tenon.(A claim made by Krieg Tool) Another option is the floating tenon design. You cut a mortise in both pieces of wood and use a tenon to connect them. One version of this you can do using a drill bit and you can buy or create your own tenons using a specialty router bit. Through dowel construction is another option. It also lends itself to a more decorative look. Don't lock yourself into a single way of constructing joints.
 

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I am going to attempt to make carriage doors for my garage. This will be the first time for me doing a project of this type. I have seen what is called the beadLOCK joint which uses the double mortise and tenon. Would this be a strong joint or should I use the more traditional joint?
 

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If this will be your 1st. time I would stick with the taditional joint :)

The double mortise and tenon can be tricky it's for furniture parts the norm...not for a carriage doors , it takes two mortise slots right next to each other with just a small space in the center and they must be dead on or the part will not fit without the hammer to drive them home...and a bit of glue to repair the split joint :(

You may want to stick with the rail & stile type for hvy.entry doors...2 beads one teton type...

I should NOTE ****they make a machine to put in the double mortise and tenon joints but it's not cheap :( 800.oo dollars.... or so...

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&cat=1,43000,46523&p=46523
==============

Add structural integrity to delicate furniture parts
 

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I agree with Bj on that one. Definitely would go with stick and cope on doors like that. On furniture.. I am with Mike... can't beat the simplicity and strength of pocket hole joinery. Since it is now made available to the everyday guy thanks to Kreg... we can now all discover what furniture factory's figured out sometime ago. Some will say that the pocket hole joinery isn't fine furniture... to that I say... ok Fine :) I look at it this way... lot's of people get down on our freind Norm A cause he uses brads and screws on a lot of projects. If my furniture would look like that I wouldn't care if he used glue and toothpicks! BTW.... Norm likes to use his little pocket hole jig as well!

Have fun!

Corey
 

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thdewitt said:
I went out and bought a drill press today and I will drill and then chisel out my mortice. Is this the ideal way to do them. I intend on doing much more woodworking and this seems to be a popular joint. What do you think is the most accurate and easy way to make this joint.

Thanks,
Tom
Tom,

That's the way I made my 1st mortises...

Just make sure the drill is square to the table and you're OFF to the races!

Yep, draw your mortices with a pencil where you want them... line Like pieces together... like legs, etc. make the same marks at the same time to promote unifomity (all legs will be the same! ... at least Vertically!).

Drill a hole at each end... then in between... I also like to use a forsner bit.

Take it slow... cut a little, back out & blow out, cut a little, back out, etc.

Take your time... don't rush it...

Using the chisel, for the rest will be a lot easier... if it's SHARP... real sharp.

Layout your tenons basically the same way... Like parts at the same time, if you can.

When done with all of your layouts, arrange the parts to the way they will go together to be sure that everything is going to line-up without a huge boo-boo anywhere.
 
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