Suggestions for joinery needed

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Forum topic by josiahsday posted 06-11-2018 09:29 AM 651 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 761 days

06-11-2018 09:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: joinery live edge furniture mortise and tenon joining

I am making a live-edge coffee table and I have the top and legs cut out which are represented by the red portion of the image below. I need to run a spanner which would be the green portion of the image and I plan on doing a through mortise and tenon and securing it with a tusk tenon. The problem that I am running into is that the legs are splayed out at a 22 degree angle and I am having trouble figuring out how I would make the mortise follow that exact angle? I’m sure there is a very simple way to do this but I am stumped on it for some reason.
I would be incredibly grateful for any help or suggestions! If I need to provide any more detail I will be happy to do so.

7 replies so far

View jmos's profile


917 posts in 3145 days

#1 posted 06-11-2018 12:04 PM

How were you planning on cutting the mortise?

Probably the most straight forward way is to chopping by hand; hog out most of the waste at the drill press, then use a couple of angled blocks to guide your chisel to the the angle you need.

The easiest thing would be to use a mortising machine with a tilting head; but I’m guessing if you had one you wouldn’t be asking.

Welcome to LumberJocks.

-- John

View oldnovice's profile


7563 posts in 4143 days

#2 posted 06-11-2018 06:24 PM

Make a “sled” to hold the material to be mortised at the angle required and use it on a mortiser or drill press.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Steve's profile


2082 posts in 1358 days

#3 posted 06-11-2018 06:42 PM

could a drill press table be tilted in order to achieve the proper angle?

View Lazyman's profile (online now)


5436 posts in 2163 days

#4 posted 06-13-2018 01:25 AM

An angled mortise (never successfully completed one myself) is one of the tougher things to do by hand. Drilling on an angle by tilting the DP table or using a wedge to achieve the angle is one approach. Another option is to cut the leg in half (or start with 2 boards) and cut angled slots on the edge of the board either on your table/band saw or by hand and then (re-) join the halves of the legs. This may be the easiest approach but the size and design of the legs may make that impractical and the joint may be noticeable, if that matters.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View jmos's profile


917 posts in 3145 days

#5 posted 06-13-2018 12:06 PM

I wouldn’t worry about drilling at an angle. When you lay the board flat, you’re trying to cut a parallelogram. Use a drill press to clear out the waste of the rectangular portion, leaving the triangles. Don’t try to cut too close to the lines, you’ll clean those up with chisels.

Then cut a block on the table saw to the angle you need. Make the block so that the angled face is long enough to give you a decent guide surface, but short enough your chisel will make it to the bottom of the mortise without the handle hitting the block. Also make the block long enough so that you can put it against the end of the mortise and clamp it into place. Then just use the block to guide you chisel as you excavate the waste from the angled portion.

I would try to work the long edges of the mortise from both faces toward the center, but I would only work ‘down hill’ when cutting the angles. Too tricky to try to undercut accurately.

You can use a right angle block as well to help with cleaning up the long edges of the mortise if you like. Helps keep a nice straight edge.

-- John

View Robert's profile


3748 posts in 2256 days

#6 posted 06-13-2018 03:24 PM

To start out, make sure all your wood is PERFECTLY square and of uniform thickness.

Start by cutting a 22° angle on one end of a piece of wood the exact same dims as the stretcher (what you’re calling a spanner).

Clamp and scribe the inside of the mortise and transfer those lines around to the outside (this is why everything has to PERFECTLY square).

Hog out the bulk of the waste with a forstner bit from both sides. You can make a 22° sled which you can use on your drill press table.

Use that same piece of wood you used to scribe the mortise as a guide block for paring out the mortise.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View AxkMan's profile


65 posts in 902 days

#7 posted 06-16-2018 01:47 AM

To get the mortise you can glue up 4 boards in total. Put a bevel on the mortise part and then glue them up. That would get the highest precision for you.

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