Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Garden Gate Project - Part 2 - Stiles and thru-mortises

The timber (American white oak) was jointed and thicknessed to 70mm thick x 100mmm wide x 980 long (2.3/4" x 4" x  38.1/2").
I had to do some remedial repairs to one of the stiles as when I cut it to 100mm strong I found a flaw. It was inside the wood and wasn't apparent from the outside.
Maybe the timber had been either dried too quickly or taken from too close to the core of the tree (the annular rings on that piece look around 14" diameter)? or both. So I thought I would just rip some more off with the table saw a little at a time (1/8" bites). 5/8" off the width and a pile of sawdust later I managed to get to "almost" good stock again. I glued one of the 2" wide x 3" thick pieces that I took off one of the other pieces back on with some epoxy. After it had setup overnight I cut the piece back to width again.
I also thicknessed and jointed the top rail and middle rail but still had them long.

Next I set to work marking out the mortises. Then using a chain drilling technique I drilled the through holes at the drill press.
Chain drilling is drilling a series of holes close
together and then removing
waste between the holes and therefore
creating a pocket.

Using the Forstner bit to remove the remaining
waste web between holes.
I started out doing it with a Forstner bit but soon changed to a spade bit as the Forstner doesn't clear as well. Spades are not quite as accurate but as long as you drill square and between the lines it is ok. I then reverted back to the Forstner to remove the waste between holes.

Then it was finished off by chiselling out the waste. I was careful to produce a neat rectangular entry mortise either side, to a depth of about 6mm (1/4"), so I had something for the bearing of a pattern following router to clean up to depth.

My longest bit is about 60mm long x 19mm diameter so wouldn't go all the way through. I could have used solely chisels to clean up the mortise but it's a long way to keep a chisel square.

The results using this hybrid approach worked really well and I cut all 6 through mortises in both stiles.

The next thing was to cut a slot in either stile to receive the tongues from the sides of the T&G boards I have yet to make. I cut these 10mm wide x 15mm deep (3/8" x 5/8") using multiple 3mm (1/8") cuts and the drop on technique.
This slot needs squaring off.
The results are a mirrored pair of stiles.

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