I am gluing up the legs of a workbench. I'll be laminating the legs together using 3 planks and the lumber is all the same dimension. My question is do I glue up the middle plank with the gap for the mortise already in place or do I glue it all up then knock the mortise out afterwards?

  • No reason not to take advantage of the construction method you're using and leave a gap instead of having to chisel a mortise. Some workbench plans (e.g. those made entirely from ply) make a point of this advantage. If you won't be reinforcing with pegs/drawboring etc. do ensure a good tight fit if using PVA to glue — the tenon should ideally need to be tapped home with a hammer or mallet. – Graphus Jul 17 '19 at 6:52

All things equal I would leave the gap it is usually easer than cutting out the mortise even with a mortising machine, you may have to adjust the tenon to fit.

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