Home > Cherry Coffee Table > Through Mortises by hand and Machine

Through Mortises by hand and Machine

The mortiser is now accurate and producing straight mortise walls. That means its time to get out the chisel and mallet. I know of no mor e accurate way to cut a mortise than to do it by hand. The plans for this coffee table are to have through mortises for the shelf and side boards. I love the look of the through tenon and would not miss the chance to add them to a piece of furniture. Here’s an example from a previous project.

My plan for these tenons is to cut a shallow mortise on the face of the legs and then finish it by using the hollow chisel mortiser connecting through from the back. This gives me the advantage of a very accurate mortise where is shows and the speed of the machine where it doesn’t.

Layout is critical especially since all of the mortises I cut are connected to all of the other table components. If I make a cut incorrectly is will cause the table to finish twisted at best or not fit together and require recutting or remaking the parts.

The marking age that I typically use for this is from Veritas and I have come to trust its simplicity. I have use some of my older mortise gauges with little problem but i like using the Veritas gauge and circular cutters. Also I’m not paid for the tools I’m showing. I just find they work so I share them.

With all of the mortises laid out and the mortises on the show faces cut out by hand I turn the legs over and use the mortiser to remove the rest of the material. Some careful chisel work and the mortises arecut efficiently and accurately.

Categories: Cherry Coffee Table
  1. Joe
    August 14, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    Curious about how you will do the technique. After you start by hand on both sides, when you mortise by machine, will you stay a bit off the line then pare down by hand? I ask because when I’ve used a machine, I sometimes can see very slight discrepancies from each mortise by machine (probably due to mortiser not being perfectly parallel with the wood).

  2. Joe
    August 14, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Ah, I reread the post. You do the front showface by hand then hog out the rest from the backside non-show face by machine. So even if not perfectly parallel, it won’t be seen.

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