Each stile needs a mortise at the top and bottom to accommodate a rail tenon; you also have to cut three more mortises in each of the side stiles for the median rail tenons. You can use a power tool such as a hollow chisel mortiser (page 90) to make the cut, or chisel them out by hand, as shown above. Referring to the anatomy illustration on page 88, outline the mortises on the edges of the stiles, then clamp one of the glued-up stiles to a work surface. Starting at one end of the outline, hold a mortise chisel square to the edge of the stile and strike it with a wooden mallet. Use a chisel the same width as the mortise and be sure the beveled side of the blade is facing the waste. Make another cut lA inch from the first (above, left). Continue until you reach the other end of the outline, then lever out the waste to a depth of about Ve inch (above, right). Repeat to cut the remaining mortises, then smooth the bottom of the mortises with a lock-mortise chisel.
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