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Steps In Cutting Mortises

Examine Fig. 208, which, for convenience, gives six successive steps in making the mortise. The marks a, b designate the limits, or the length, of the mortise. The chisel (C) is not started at the marking line (A), but at least an eighth of an inch from it. The first cut, as at B, gives a starting point for the next cut or placement of the chisel. When the second cut (B) has thus been made, the chisel should be turned around, as in dotted line d, position C, thereby making a finish cut down to the bottom of the mortise, line e, so that when the fourth cut has been made along line f, we are ready for the fifth cut, position C; then the sixth cut, position D, which leaves the mortise as shown at E. Then turn the chisel to the position shown at F, and cut down the last end of the mortise square, as shown in G, and clean out the mortise well before making the finishing cuts on the marking lines (a, b). The particular reason for cleaning out the mortise before making the finish cuts is, that the corners of the mortise are used as fulcrums for the chisels, and the eighth of an inch stock still remaining protects the corners.

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