I just took several Ibuprofen. Apparently the combination of staring down at a chisel and pounding out 26 mortises was more than my neck could take. I almost wimped out too. At mortise #12 I took a long look at the tablesaw and thought seriously about cutting a groove down the middle of the whole board and then gluing in filler pieces when I put the slats in.
But practice makes perfect. And since I am dedicated to learning hand-tool woodworking skills I kept at it. The upside is that I not only learned out to make square holes I also learned out to do them quickly. The mortises I cut on the posts took about an hour each. Admittedly, the mortises on the posts were a long longer but by the time I finished the last hole on these I was cutting them in about five minutes.
Only 16 more mortises to go and I can start assembling some parts. And once the Ibuprofen kicks in I’m sure I’ll look forward to it.