How to Build a Mission-style Utility Stand

Cut Tenons in the Rails Step 1

Rip and trim all rails (B, C, E, F) to length. Install a dado set in the table saw. Adjust the blades and spacers to cut 1/2-inch-long tenons to fit the mortise. (The length of the tenons is 1/16 inch shorter than the depth of the mortise.)

Step 2

Use some scrap wood to test the cut of the dado set. Cut the tenon's outside shoulders (the wider ones) first. Check its fit in the mortise. Make any necessary adjustments to the dado blades and fence. When the saw settings are correct, cut the outside shoulders on all rails.

Step 3

Check the setup for cutting the thin part of the tenons' shoulder with a test cut on the scrap wood used in Step 2. Cut one of the rails, then check the tenon's fit in one of the mortises. If it fits, complete the tenon cuts on the rest of the rails. Miter-cut the ends of the tenons.

Step 4

Attach two legs to a side top rail (B) and side bottom rail (C) with glue and clamp. Check for square. Repeat assembly with two more legs and side rails. When glue dries, add the front top rails (E) and front bottom rails (F) to joined assemblies. Glue, clamp, check for square.

Cutting tenons with a handsaw: Step 1

To cut tenons with a backsaw, first mark the cuts on the end of the piece (remember the length is 1/8 inch shorter than the depth of the mortise). Clamp the part in a bench vise and saw two of the shoulders.

Cutting tenons with a handsaw: Step 2

Turn the piece and reclamp it. Saw the remaining two shoulders of the tenon. Clean up the cuts with a sharp wood chisel.

Continued on page 4:  Add the Spindles


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