1. I wonder if Paul referenced off the wrong face with the mortising gauge? It seemed to me that the face mark was on the side nearest the camera around 17 minutes in?

  2. Not to be pedantic, but only accurate, botulism is a neroutoxic disease caused by the release of toxins from the spors of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. The spors are completely resistant to most cleaning agents and even caustic/corrosive substances.

    1. Dan,
      Tough question.
      My first board was 1 inch thick so I used the 3/8.
      The next three were 3/4 inch thick and I had the same debate as you.
      I finally decided on 5/16 🙂
      I guess it comes down to what you want to wind up with for the mortise wall thickness.
      Either would work.

  3. The wood plays a part in this too. Generally we accept 1 part tenon to two parts mortise walls, but most tenons stop after 1″ on generally joinery and furniture making. Timber framing is a little larger but not massively. 1 1/2″ to 2″ is pretty typical.

  4. Hi Paul,

    Another great video – thanks. A quick question: when you plane the 2nd tenon cheek across the grain, are you not worried about the opposite edge splitting/breaking out? It did not look like you were stopping the plane before reaching the other edge. I feel like if I did that it would split out the opposite side. I’m sure I am misunderstanding something though! Thanks!

    1. I think every surface is different and I can tell when grain will or will not tear by experience I cannot give to you. Some time the surfaces are slightly uneven in height and so it may appear that I am hitting the grain when I am not or it may be that I have my plane slewed at a slight angle as I meet the opposite. All I can suggest is feel after how the grain responds, if it feels easy without too much resistance you can usually make through passes.

  5. Paul,

    you talk about “moving the knife-wall”; (about 17;50) clearly you want it to stay where it is because that’s where your measurement is, but what do you mean by that?

    Does it move down or sideways, Any why does it do that?

    In a way related to moving a knife-wall or scribe line, I’ve noticed with some of my mortises that when leavering out the waste I’ve rounded over the edge of the mortise hole because I’ve levered against the edge of the mortise and squashed it down leaving a gap when the tenon is inserted. How do you lever out the waste without damaging the wall of the mortise?


    1. Oh ok, I think you go on to explain it little more later in the vid.

      you say the bevel drives the chisel into the wall. why does it do that way round? Why doesn’t the bevel drive the waste away seeing the broad flat back side of the chisel is registered against the knife wall which in turn has the lengh of the fully board behind it.

      1. Paul puts his hand between the chisel and the mortise hole ends to prevent it from being damaged. If you have to lever too hard, maybe you need to take smaller chunks at once. As a remedy if you already compressed the wood, have a look at Paul’s video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvKfeuX2EfQ

        From what I understand, the bevel drives the chisel against the sidewall, if the amount of wood on the bevel’s side is too large. It has to do with physical forces, but I wouldn’t know how to explain it technically correctly, so I made a drawing about how I think it works:


        Maybe this helps a bit.

        1. Thanks for that.
          just watching the video. what he does at about 15 minutes in is what keeps happening to me – luckily I’m learning these lessons building my bench at them moment which is going to be more functional than anything, and having seen the vid I’ll give it a try when I actually build some furniture for indoors. 😉 can’t wait.

          Thanks for the picture too.

  6. Hi folks,

    I’ve just finished this project and have one pertinent point to raise;

    When i was using the router plane (home made, maybe the problem) the wood I was using pulled the router blade down into the wood and made it a touch lower, low enough to make the tenon too small to fit tightly into the mortice (but only by a touch, see my pics on the forum).

    I hope this info is useful to someone else 🙂

  7. A number of years ago they made all the restaurants get rid of all the wood countertops. The one near us bleached it every night. Sad to see them go. Then they discovered less bacteria on the wood than on plastic or metal. Too late, all the wood was gone. (Illinois)

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