Making Mortises

There's no great secret to cutting the stopped mortises ' used in this project. Since the dawn of the 20th century, advances in power tools have made the process a whole lot easier. The original Arts & Crafts builders would have bored out most of the mortise with a bit and brace, then finished the cuts with finely sharpened chisels. Now there is a new generation of easy-to-use mortising machines. When I counted the number of mortises in each chair and multiplied by four, I decided my shop could finally afford one of these timesaving machines. Perhaps there is a new mortising machine in your future.

11 Front and Back Arched Rails (2)

TxWx L

3/4" x 3" x 18 V

12 Front and Back Seat Rails (2)

3/4" x VA" x 18V

13 Side Seat Rails (2)

3/4" x 1 'A" x 185 a"

14 Tenon Screws (20)

#6 x 5/8"

15 Tenon Screw Pegs (20)

3/8" x 3/8" x 1/2"

16 Seat Support Cleats (4)

3/4" x 3/4" x 15V

17 Plywood Seat (1)

3/4" x 17'x 17%"

18 Cleat Screws (12)

#6 x 1 %"

19 Back Bottom Rail (1)

3/4" x 2" x 18V

Figure 1: Mortise and tenon joinery is the key to this chair's durability. Different mortise locations create right and left chair parts. Some of the tenons are mitered to meet inside the uprights.

Handle adjustment

Fence adjustment

Hold-down

Fence

Mortise chisel

Base

Drilling square holes is a snap with a mortising machine. Here's how it works: an auger-like drill bit is housed inside of a square hollow chisel. Available in many standard sizes — and able to form mortises in hard and soft wood — these machines are true time savers.

of the leg mortises. These mortise locations (see Figure 1) create right and left chair pieces. Now is the time to make the pyramid details on the top of the legs. See the sidebar on page 35 to learn the proper technique.

The backrest of the chair is comprised of two rails (pieces 3 and 4) and five vertical slats (pieces 5 and 6). The rails are joined to the back legs with mortise and tenon joinery, just as the slats are joined to the rails. Cut these pieces to size. Form mortises and tenons as required, following the Pinup Shop Drawings.

Building the First Subassembly

With the backrest rails and slats milled, there's only one detail to address before you can complete your first, subassembly. Following the profile shown on the Pinup Shop Drawings, lay out the angular cut on the top edge of the backrest top rail, then trim it to shape on your band saw. Belt sand the saw marks until they are gone, then give the rails and slats a thorough sanding to 180 grit.

Dry fit the slat tenons in the rail mortises and, when everything fits perfectly, glue and clamp them together (see Figure 2, page 36). Make sure the subassembly is perfectly flat and square when you tighten the clamps, then set the backrest aside to dry.

The Four Arched Rails

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of this chair is forming the side subassemblies. Each of these is composed of an arched top rail (pieces 7), a flat bottom rail (pieces 8) and five slats (pieces 9 and 10).

After cutting these parts, along with the final two arched rails

Mechanically: 1$ It Time To Make The Move?

Depth adjustable

\ I By pull handle

Handle adjustment

Drilling square holes is a snap with a mortising machine. Here's how it works: an auger-like drill bit is housed inside of a square hollow chisel. Available in many standard sizes — and able to form mortises in hard and soft wood — these machines are true time savers.

Fence adjustment

Hold-down

Fence

Mortise chisel

A lever locks the fence on this model in place, A hex nut secures the U-shaped hold-down. The key advantage of a mortising machine over a mortise attachment on your drill press is the longer stroke of the machine, allowing for deeper one-step mortises.

Base

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