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Modern Nightstand / Bedside Table With Cable Management System & Wireless Charging

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Step 3: Cutting Mortises on Horizontal Leg Pieces

Alright guys, this is the fun part. This was my first time cutting bridle joints, and I can assure you, it's a lot easier than it looks! I started out by cutting the mortises on the horizontal pieces first. It's always easier to cut the mortises first, and then cut the tenons to fit later, versus trying to fit a mortise to a tenon. Anyway, here's how I did it.

The easiest way to lay these out is by clamping the pieces together and then striking lines where the horizontal and vertical pieces meet. This helps me to determine the height/depth of the mortise. Next, I used a ruler to layout the thickness of the mortise, which is 1/3 the thickness of the leg piece. Since the legs are all angled, the best way to cut these mortises is using a tenoning jig such as the one I used in the video. When I made the tenoning jig, I had in mind that I'll be using it for something like this, that's why the support piece can be adjustable to hold any piece -45deg to 45 deg from vertical. I've got a video on the build of this jig linked above.

The most important thing is to make sure the mortise is cut dead center of the leg piece, so once glued up, the vertical piece and the horizontal pieces will be flush. This is actually a lot easier than you'd think! The trick to making sure the cut is centered on the piece is using a dado set slightly thinner than the width of the dado to be cut and then line up the tip of the blade with only one side of the layout lines. After making the first pass, just flip the piece over to make a second pass. This will ensure the mortise is dead center of the piece!

After you've cut the mortises into all the horizontal leg pieces, let's move on to cutting the tenons in the next step!