Woodworking: Practicing mortise and tenons on a project

Posted By on June 1, 2023

Part for cornhole boards

The previous “refined” Cornhole game project for my granddaughters worked out so well that I decided to make a modified set for Taylor’s birthday in June this year. Thankfully I started it early Folding leg glue-upsince I’m modifying the project just a little bit to work on mortise and tenon jointery … and have been busy outside (now I’m under time constraints).Practice mortise and tenon

A couple of years ago on different woodworking project, the handcut mortise tenon joints for an oak Bitty Baby doll crib project were impressively strong, but I really haven’t mastered them using a square-chisel mortiser and router table with a coping sled (was going to make one) for the tenons. After getting the hang of it on a few practice pieces (photo right), the repetitive process was much quicker and accurate; I can see why they are preferred in furniture construction. So far, so good as the lightweight folding leg glue-up is curing overnight.

The mortising part is relatively straightforward as once the depth stop is set, the center drill is lined up in the center punch location and each “square hole” is relatively easy to repeat. There is some bottom cleanup for each mortise with a 1/4” chisel, but the clear pine was easy to cut. Same for the router table cut tenons … a little clean up using a utility knife made quick work of them (photo). I am wondering if the clean up would have been less with a spiral router bit rather than straight?

Front of rough cornhole boards Tenon cleanup Cornhole boards backside

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