Greene and Greene inspired raised dog tray #4: Mortises and dry fit of base

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Blog entry by Eric_S posted 02-19-2012 12:48 AM 11430 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Updated sketch using SketchUp Part 4 of Greene and Greene inspired raised dog tray series Part 5: Top and breadboard ends »

Today I was able to route and square all the mortises for the haunched tenons.

To start, I laid out the legs with the best faces facing outward and numbered them so I know which way each leg should face and where the mortises would go.

I then measured in so that the apron was 3/8” from each outside edge of the leg and scored them.

I then lightly went over each scratch mark with a pencil to make the lines easier to see.

The mortises are going to be 3/8” wide by 3 1/2” by 1” deep. However, the first 1 1/4” is only 1/4” deep for the haunched tenons.

I grabbed my mortise jig that I made for the nightstands a while ago. I’m so glad I made this, it made making these a breeze (minus one error on my part you’ll see later).

So with my jig, I placed the leg underneath the jig, added 1/2” extra to the depth of the router cuts to account for the mortise jig table, and placed the adjustable stop blocks.

I also placed a stop block below the jig so that I could crank these mortises out quickly by setting each legs start point in relation to the jig.

However, after my my first leg, I realized I forgot to clamp down the leg itself. This is the result. Luckilly the mess up will be on the inside of the table and no one will see it.

After that mess up, I grabbed a few toggle clamps and fitted the jig with them and continued to make the other legs. You may be wondering why there is a wedge in there. Well the jig wasn’t perfectly square anymore so I used the wedge to make the leg rest flat under the table so the mortises were at 90 degrees to the leg.

I routed the mortises in increments of 1/4” using my plunge depth locks on the Dewalt router(love it). After the first pass bringing it to 1/4” deep, I used a line I marked to know how far I can go to the left to continue the deeper cuts. This allowed me to have two stop blocks for the two depths without having to lay one down after the first pass.

Then I just squared up the mortises using my 3/8” Sorby mortise chisel.

Now for the dry fit to make sure the height I originally measured against my dog, actually was correct and that the base came together square. I placed his dog bowl directly over the base and put a treat in it to see how easy it was for him to get to it. The table will add another 1” in height, but after watching him I’m sure it will be fine.

Tomorrow, I’m going to route a few grooves on the inside of the aprons to accept buttons that will hold the top and allow for it to expand and contract. I’ll also be making the table top and breadboard ends. If time allows I’ll work on the plugs but I doubt I’ll get there. Stay tuned….

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

6 comments so far

View AaronK's profile


1512 posts in 4515 days

#1 posted 02-19-2012 12:57 AM

it’s great how the jigs that seem to make one project take forever when you have to make them then (seemingly ad hoc) make other projects go so smoothly and quickly :-)

anyway, it looks good. your dog certainly seems to like it already.

View Rob_n_Wood's profile


109 posts in 4400 days

#2 posted 02-19-2012 04:42 AM

Things are looking good And it is always good to know the end user
will be happy

-- "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson

View a1Jim's profile


118161 posts in 4628 days

#3 posted 02-19-2012 04:59 AM

View gul's profile


400 posts in 4013 days

#4 posted 02-19-2012 06:41 AM

nice work and the user seems to like it !

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3855 days

#5 posted 02-19-2012 12:29 PM

mighty nice haunched mortise n tenons. I know the pup gotta luv this design

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View lew's profile


13331 posts in 4806 days

#6 posted 02-19-2012 10:43 PM

Glad you did’t have to shorten the dog’s legs!! ;^)

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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