My fist mortise and tenon

So I don’t mind admitting that I’ve become frustrated with the top Im building for the work bench. My decision to make one large flat surface by joining my two panels has left me stuck. I’ve been trying to smooth out two sides to glue up and have been failing miserably. So I decided to take a break and try out another skill – making mortise and tenon joints.

I bought a Veritas marking gauge I’ve been hankering to try and beating on some wood with a chisel seemed like a good way to let out some frustration. I watched a few videos of folks doing it and was surprised that the edges of the mortise aren’t cut. AKA – you just mark it out with the gauge, and then cut chunks out with the chisel…

You can see what I mean by the cut line in the mortise hole. All in all – I found it to be easier than expected. I very quickly was able to make it more than half way trough and then come at it from the other side…

Then with some clean up it turned out OK…

I then tackled the tenon – which was sort of a mess. I thought for sure that would be the easier operation but I don’t yet have sharp saws so the cutting was imperfect and I was way out of line with my marks. I wasn’t really taking my time like I should…

Then since I didn’t really have a plan and I was working quickly I totally screwed up marking the tenon with the gauge so it was too narrow and my attempts to trim things down went south. I finally got things close and pounded it down but knew it was too tight almost instantly. I kept going and broke the board…

Im not upset at all though. I knew I was rushing it. Taking time I could see how this joint could be done quite easily. Im excited to try it again once I have sharp saws 🙂

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