I'm attempting to build (and learn at the same time) a craftsman / arts and crafts style coffee table. It's a smaller project to learn on, before I start taking on more complex projects. I've made some good progress so far, building everything out of oak. The legs are built out of quarter sawn oak planks, using a lock-miter router bit to get them to all have the correct face looking outwards.
I've hit a couple of major snags, and the project has stalled for quite a while, but I'd like to get back into it. The snags are with the hole in the cross rail through which the shelf on the bottom of the table passes through (see second image), and the holes in the legs into which the cross rail passes through. I've attached my sketchup drawings for reference, the first is the picture of the whole table, and the second is of the specific areas where I'm stalled.
The specific issue that I'm having is how to make the holes in the wood, and have them come out square. Unfortunately, I don't have access to a dedicated mortising machine (and I'm not sure that would be the answer anyway). I do have a drill press with a mortising attachment, which worked really well for some of the other (smaller) holes that I had to make.
I started the hole on one cross rail with the drill press and the mortising bit, but it didn't come out square (if you can imaging drilling a small square hole, moving the piece down a bit, drilling the next hole, and repeating until the dimensions of the hole are complete, that's what I did). The edges are all very jagged, and I'm having a very difficult time getting them smooth.
How does one usually make these sorts of holes? I'm hesitant to keep going and screw up more parts of the table.