In May, we gathered at the shop of Chris Church of Wenatchee. On the agenda was how to cut mortise and tenons, both by hand and with power tools. Autumn Doucet led the demonstrations by showing how to chop a mortise with English mortise chisels, also known to some as “pig stickers.”
Since chopping a well-fitted mortise by hand with English mortising chisels is fast and uncomplicated, the demonstration didn’t take long. For those interested in the process, here is a good video by Peter Follansbee.
Next, Chris Church showed us how he used to make mortise and tenons using a table full of jigs, then he sauntered right over to his Stanfield horizontal mortiser, made exclusively by Tom Dolese at Terra Firma Design in Bellevue. This is the mortiser he used to cut all of the joinery – angled and straight – on ten dining room chairs. Once he set all of the stops and adjustments, the execution was smooth, accurate and quick. These mortisers run about $2000, but Chris purchased his used for around $800.
Chris also explained how he makes his loose tenons.
And what’s a meeting without a few glamour shots?