With the lumber processed and the leg blanks glued up and dimensioned, it was time to turn to joinery, specifically the sixteen mortises for upper and lower stretchers.
When I first shifted to hand tools, I used a hybrid method for cutting mortises, which is an easy way to keep the mortise walls vertical and it is faster, at least for me. Variants of it have been around since at least 1945. The method is to drill out the mortise on the drill press and then use chisels to finish it. If you trap the leg between two fences, only the top and bottom of the mortises need be marked:
The overlapped holes drilled to depth with a forstner bit the same width as the mortise provide a precise guide for the chisel work. I have been reluctant to use my regular bench chisels for this chopping, so I use these Lee Valley chisels with butyrate handles and they hold up fine:
I made the tenons in the usual way, using knife walls, a tenon saw, a router plane and a spokeshave to chamfer the ends of the tenons. I've learned the hard way to make the tenons very tight the first time they go in the mortise because they tend to loosen up when they have been in and out a few times. There's little danger of splitting these legs. I have also found that if you make them "too tight" at first, it gives you the chance to make minute adjustments in the walls of the mortise if necessary for both shoulders to close tightly. I think this is not the way you are supposed to do it, but it works for me. The advantage over using a shoulder plane is that it give you a chance to align the stretcher properly.
I would like to get to the point that I can chop out mortises quickly entirely by hand. My reservation has been not being sure I could keep the walls perfectly vertical. Paul Sellers has added a simple, shop-made guide to his method for using a bench chisel to chop mortises. You put the side of the chisel against the guide while chopping and then also use it to pare the wall of the mortise when you are done. It seems to me that a mortise chisel is inherently more stable than a bench chisel for chopping mortises, so, if you are going to use the latter, a guide seems necessary. I am going to give it a try.