Bottom Edge Of Rail

1 Begin by laying out the mortises. Draw a diagonal line across the leg's end to determine each mortise's maximum depth. The joint will be stronger if the mortises don't meet.

Lay out the mortise's haunch and lower end. It's a good practice to position the lower end above the rail's bottom edge.This way, the rail will fully hide the mortise.

3Rout a shallow groove to begin making the mortise. Use a stop block to control the groove's length and a rounded board, clamped to the table, to hold the leg tight against the fence.

4Chop the mortise using a mortising machine. The groove helps to guide the chisel. Use stops or the layout lines you made above to position the chisel at the mortise's ends.

Lay Out A Mortise

A good rule of thumb: always begin by making the mortises. It's a lot easier to fine-tune a tenon to fit a mortise than the other way around.

Mill stock for the legs and rails. Cut the legs to exact length, but leave the rails extra-long.

Determine the depths of the mortises (Photo 1). Draw a line from corner to corner on top of one leg. Draw a partial tenon on the end of one rail, to indicate its position and thickness. Continue these lines across the leg to locate the mortises. Draw the bottoms of the mortises, leaving some solid wood between them.

A good rule of thumb: always begin by making the mortises.

Lay out the mortise (Photo 2). In most cases, the haunch should be at least 1/2-in. down from the top of the leg. Shortening this distance could weaken the joint, depending on how easy the wood is to split and the amount of stress on the joint. Use a marking gauge for the most precise and foolproof method to draw these layout lines.

Mark the lower end of the mortise on the leg. Begin by marking the rail's width. Start the mortise 1/8 in. or so above this line.

Make the Mortises

Mortising is a two-step operation. First, you'll use a router table to create a shallow groove to accommodate the tenon's haunch (Photo 3). Later on, you'll deepen part of the groove using a mortising machine.

Set up the router table with a straight bit that matches the desired thickness of your tenons. Raise the bit to the depth of the haunch. There are no hard and fast rules here, but generally the haunch's depth is the same as its width. Clamp a stop block to limit the length of the cut, which should extend the full length of the mortise.

For the best results, always push the leg into the bit from the right-hand side of the router table-that is, from right to left. The bit's rotation helps

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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