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Butcher Block Kitchen Prep Station

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Step 6: Cutting the Mortises in the Aprons & Stretchers

Picture of Cutting the Mortises in the Aprons & Stretchers
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The joinery for this project is ½” loose tenons. This requires mortises in the legs and aprons. You will need a ½” router bit that has a cutting depth of at least 1”. I used a spiral solid carbide router bit.

Mark the positions of the mortises in the aprons and stretchers. The mortises are ½” wide and 1” deep. The mortises are centered in the thickness.

The top and bottom mortise shoulders on the aprons are a 3/8” and ½” on the stretchers. The shoulder size is dependent on the width of the piece.

The bit size and cutting depth will create a lot of torque, so the stock will need to be adequately secured to the bed of the horizontal router. Setup the horizontal router with hold-downs that will center each piece on the router bed. I used a number of toggle clamps to secure the work pieces.

Align the router bit sideways movement according to the mortises layout. Center the  router bit in the thickness of the pieces.

With the stock secured route the mortises in each of the stretchers.

Change the position of the hold-downs to accommodate the aprons and repeat the setup process.

Route the mortises for the aprons.
 
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