No blood was spilled at June’s meeting when we witnessed the great mortise and tenon shoot out at the OK coral.Mike Swart, using his trusty power tools, table saw and bench top hollow chisel mortiser, took on Larry Simmons armed only with a chisel, saw, and mallet proceeded to run a race to see who could make mortise and tenon joint the fastest. Since Mike could not bring his table saw in we watched a video of him making the tenons in his shop. Mike uses the tenoning jig insuring perpendicular cuts. He uses a ¼” bar to set the jig. Set the blade height at 1” and then clamp the wood to the jig. Then he uses his mitre jig to finish cutting off the waste.
He then made the mortise hole with his hollow chisel mortiser live. Mike marks tenons at desired location of mortise. Adjust fence to distance from machine rear to center mortise in stock. Then tighten hold down. Adjust depth stop, a clamp that stops downward motion. He does both mortise ends first, then moves over about ½ to ¾ of the hole spacing to clean out the center. About eight minutes. Power tools require setup time but setup can stay for all of that joints.
Larry then chiseled a mortise hole using a 1/4″ mortise chisel. Since time was running out he cheated and did not make the hole the same depth a Mike. He start with chisel upright with the bevel toward the center of the mortise and slightly in from the ends of the joint. He will make several chops. Then he levers out waste. He works down in 7/8“ increments before flattening out the bottom of the mortise. He uses a simple jig to hold the mortising chisel upright, and his jig also positions the chisel ¼“ from the side of the work. His first chisel insertion is 1/8” in from the end. He will make about four chops equally spaced and lever out each piece as he goes. As he approaches the opposite side he turns the chisel around and works back in the other direction. As most of the material is removed he will go straight down on the line, being careful not to blow out the end of the mortise on the end.
He also cheated by making the tenon 3 different ways. First he showed sawing the tenon, both cheeks and shoulders. Then he showed splitting it with a chisel, which is driving a chisel from the end, along edge grain down to the shoulder cuts. The cuts could be cleaned up with a shoulder plane or with a router plane. and then by paring the cheeks with a chisel. Paring was the fastest; after the shoulders were sawed to the correct depth it took about two minutes per side to cut down the cheeks with a chisel.
There were 9 people who brought thing for the show and tell. Besides the ones pictured below, John S. passed around some pictures of a wooden dome he made for the doctors house, and Andy DiLorenzo showed some slides of the air filtration system he made for his shop from an old AC blower. Larry told about the portable workbench with retractable wheels he made for the program.
All photos by Andy DiLorenzo