Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#8358 - 09/11/00 07:53 PM Trad Mortice

Hi folks, I live in England, where (embarrassingly) advice on the skills of framing is pretty thin on the ground. Have started to replace an old shed with a small barn using traditional framing joints, and so far have been cutting mortices with a flat chisel, and even with finishing off with a customised chisel with its end bent upwards slightly, it only seems possible to get a depth of half the length of the slot..., dear doctor, is this normal?? I have noticed references to 'automated' morticers, both hand powered and mechanical, but really want to know if anyone here can tell me about pre mechanical methods and knacks to get down that all-important extra half inch ???
Many thanks, Richard T.
PS: I notice that you seem to use round, turned pegs in the I right? All the English framed buildings I've ever seen have sqaure 'uns...

#8359 - 09/12/00 05:47 AM Re: Trad Mortice
milton Offline


Registered: 02/06/99
Posts: 78
Loc: Jackson,NH,USA
I am assuming that you also opened the mortise with an auger of some kind but have failed to mention it. This operation should deal with the depth of the joint. There are certainly many out there who can help you find a muscle driven machine.
Regarding round pegs: many folks use them but the sawn or riven octagonal is also popular. Is the square peg truly square or just the part you can see?
Back to you.

#8360 - 09/13/00 06:36 PM Re: Trad Mortice

Thanks for that swift response; must say that after going through all the pictures of people at work on mortices around this site,and failing to see any evidence of augering, I came to the conclusion that it may be regarded as a 'modern techneque', and therefore didn't dare suggest it.... thought that maybe ancient augers were such hard work (have seen pictures of poor people bent double over the V.hard task of getting a peg hole through) that a sqare sided hole may have been easier with the chisel...
As you can probably tell, I'm very keen to do this project I have started in as traditional way as possible,(ignoring the hewing with a chainsaw in some places!) but I guess it would be a site easier to go down first with a bit...trouble then is I've been cutting all mortices 1 inch wide, and don't have a 1 inch bit...not allowed to buy imperial sized anything over here any more...would have to get metric...(as I said before, it's sooo embarrassing!) Enough of my moaning.
Yes, I think that the English pegs really are mostly square, as when they emerge out of the other side of the hole, they are at best hexagonal, suggesting that they were knocked through so tight that they got their four corners squashed on the way through...that's certainly what has happened with the joints I have square-pegged so far myself.
Again, thanks for your help R.T.


Moderator:  mdfinc 
Newest Members
mike_wood, Airspoon, paulf, Willlisak, Alecson
4755 Registered Users