Mortise and tenon: Attempt #2

Now that I had taken care of the front vise in place and a working small tenon saw, I decided to make another go at a mortise and tenon.

Although this turned out to be a very workable joint, I made three incredibly stupid mistakes:

  • I didn’t measure the mortise properly. This mortise was supposed to start 1/2″ from the end, not 3/4″. Though I just trimmed the tenon on one side to compensate… doh!
  • I didn’t cut the tenon on the end of the board that I had marked.
  • I accidentally cut the cheeks of the tenon with a crosscut saw instead of a ripsaw. This affected speed, accuracy, and finish. Let’s try to avoid doing that again.

In spite of this, there is quite a lot of good news:

  • Other than the length, the mortise turned out perfectly, with a clean bottom and straight sides.
  • My newly-sharpened tenon saw worked astonishing well for cutting the shoulders.
  • Hooray for the front vise.
  • I did this one in half the time as my first one.
  • The fit is good.
  • It was really fun to make.

I’m going to practice another one of these soon, but I believe that the next thing I need to do is make a mallet. Banging on chisels with a block of birch is bogus.

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