my stance on mortising

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    I recently changed my perspective on mortising. I love using Paul’s technique, but I had trouble achieving a perfectly perpendicular mortise when mortising from a side view. mortising from the end view

    Even a few degrees off makes a big difference when assembling a large frame. When I had some junk on my workbench that I was too lazy to move I stood at the end of my table and started chopping a mortise. I found that I could see the angle of my mortise very easily and accurately when looking along the length of the workpiece rather than chopping from a side view. Does anyone else do this? I plan on continuing it because my eyes can see the angle of my mortise so much better.


    I had the exact same experience.

    All of my first mortise holes were angled. It was very frustrating particularly on a through mortise.

    It’s really funny because I found out that standing behind it works better for me almost the same way you did.

    I had used a clamp to hold the workpiece in place and the clamp was in my way. Rather than move the clamp I repositioned my body and it was like a light went off. I thought wow this is a good perspective. I have chopped most of my mortise holes that way every since. I feel sure after chopping 1000’s of mortise holes we will probably be able to chop them standing on our heads.

    Not sure when that would be beneficial though. 🙂


    Me too. I prefer to chop mortises sighting down the work, although maybe from the side when doing the ends.

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