Using a Mortise Chisel Using a Mortise Chisel

What You'll Need
Mortise chisels
Marker (pencil or chalk)
Work gloves

A mortise chisel is used in woodworking to cut mortise joints, which are strong joints used in furniture. This particular type of chisel is an important tool in woodworking, so if you want to start this hobby, mastering the use of a mortise chisel is very important.

Mortise chisels have long, square and stout blades, that can make both shallow and deep cuts. Using a mortise chisel requires skill and practice. Here is a guide to using a mortise chisel properly, for your DIY furniture projects.

Step 1 Create an Outline on the Area

Using a marker, create an outline on the area of the furniture where you want to create the mortise. Trace the pattern that you made on the wood. This is important, so that you can precisely cut the wood and commit fewer mistakes while you trim the furniture using the chisel.

Step 2 Trace the Outline You Have Made Using the Mortise Chisel

Once you have drawn the outline, trace it with the chisel. Place the blade on the waste side of the wood, or the outside part of the wood that you need to eliminate. The flat side of the mortise chisel should be facing the opening of the waste side. This is important, so that when you set the tennon into the mortise later, it will perfectly fit. Tap the butt of the mortise chisel lightly, using a mallet.

Step 3 Drive the Mallet on the Handle of Mortise Chisel

As soon as you have traced the entire pattern with the mortise chisel, drive the mallet on the butt of the handle of the chisel, hard enough so that you can make the cuts along the line in the furniture. Apply enough force to the mallet to break up the pattern, but do not use more force than necessary. If you do, you will end up breaking the entire piece of furniture. Continue until the entire pattern is cut out.

Step 4 Make the Edges Smoother

Once you have removed the part that you want to eliminate, the resulting edges of the mortise will be sharp. To smooth out the sharp portion of the edges, put the mortise chisel in line with the edge of the material that you want to further remove. Tap the handle lightly with the mallet, to set up for an blow with more force. To create smoother cuts along the edges of the furniture, make sure that you make overlapping cuts on the edges. Continue this process until you have removed all of the jagged edges on the mortise.



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