Mortising machine

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by MrRon posted 02-17-2019 05:48 PM 585 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrRon's profile


5623 posts in 3693 days

02-17-2019 05:48 PM

I have a HF mortising machine that I bought several years ago and haven’t used much. I put it to work yesterday cutting 1/2” mortises in common pine for legs for a tool stand I’m building. Before cutting, I sharpened the bit and chisel with a diamond hone. They were both sharp. The mortises went well, but they were pretty ragged, requiring a clean up with hand chisels. As a result,the mortises vary in width by a few thousands. I now want to cut the tenons, but I want to cut them all the same thickness. That means some joints will be tight and others may be loose. What would you suggest I do to make sure the structure is sturdy? Will glue alone make the loose joint secure, or should I “tailor” each tenon to each mortise? I’m thinking to make all the tenons slightly oversize and custom fit each joint, by sanding and filing. The stand I am building is for a scroll saw I just bought.

8 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8704 posts in 3026 days

#1 posted 02-17-2019 06:38 PM

I would custom fit each tenon to their respective mortise.

View LesB's profile


2151 posts in 3892 days

#2 posted 02-17-2019 06:45 PM

If the joints are only very slightly loose you could use polyurethane glue which expands as it cures and will fill small gaps. Putting the glue on the tenon and Spritzing water in the mortise of the joint will speed up the curing process. Be sure to clamp the joint because the expanding glue can also force the joint apart if it is not clamped.
That said, the expanded glue is not as strong as a tight joint but for the stand you are building it should work fine.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Andre's profile


2693 posts in 2255 days

#3 posted 02-17-2019 07:49 PM

I would custom fit each tenon to their respective mortise.

- waho6o9

I cut them all to the biggest size on the table saw then fit each one to mate with a 60 1/2 LN Rabbet plane!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View bondogaposis's profile


5489 posts in 2800 days

#4 posted 02-17-2019 08:00 PM

Cut the tenons oversize, then sneak up on the fit of each one using a shoulder plane.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View ScottKaye's profile


768 posts in 2402 days

#5 posted 02-17-2019 09:13 PM

And if the mortises end up over sized as compared to the tenon, glue some thin veneer to the cheeks of the tenon and try again. Preferably your off cuts from the tenon cheeks.

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View MrRon's profile


5623 posts in 3693 days

#6 posted 02-18-2019 09:16 PM

Thank you all. You have confirmed what I thought would be the best solution and custom fit each tenon.

View Andybb's profile


1938 posts in 1053 days

#7 posted 02-18-2019 09:28 PM

Yes. Custom fit by either shaving or shimming. (Should be obvious but make sure to glue both sides of the shim.) My preference would be to shave a fatty than shim a skinny one.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View moke's profile


1402 posts in 3226 days

#8 posted 02-18-2019 09:35 PM

Like Bondo, I have always cut the slightly oversize and snuck up on them with a shoulder plane. I have a friend that if he got them slightly oversize, shimmed them with playing cards…..I have eaten at the table he did that to, and it is rock solid…..(I was trying to give him grief while wiggling it)

-- Mike

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics