Bookcase with mortise-tenon joinery

Help!! Anyone out there who can help me interpret this?? I want to make a 50" x 31" x 12 3/4" bookcase as outlined in an article in June 1999 Fine Woodworking (issue #136). My problem is as follows: Both the bottom and top are mortised into the sides. Two mortises at the top/left side: two at the top/right side, etc. The author describes making a template out of 1/2" MDF to use in cutting the mortises in the sides. He says to first cut mortises in the template with a 3/4" straight bit on the router table, using a fence w/stops. Question: Does one just lower the MDF down onto the 3/4" bit? - seems awfully dangerous to me, but again, I'm basically ignorant about any advanced techniques on the router.
Hope I've described this sufficiently. Can anyone offer any tips?? Thanks in advance, Roy Hickman Kerrville, Texas
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Do you have to do it on a table? Could you use a plunge router?
Or, you could drill a hole first, and set the hole over the bit.
-JBB
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I have done this but it did not make me happy and I would be very wary of doing it again. IMHO that is what a plunge mechanism and a side fence are for.
Peter
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wrote:

Just realised that I made one of those a while ago. I cut my case mortices by hand (and chisel), but I did rout the ones for the tusks. For the central blind mortices, I used a #71 hand router.

I'd do this, but I'd screw some false handles onto the template (2' of plywood strip) first, so I could handle it from a safe distance.
So long as it's firmly against the table fence, to absorb the reaction force of the cutter, then it's OK. It's not the nicest job to do, bt then it's only a template. -- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Have to agree with you, would not lower anything down on a "hot" cutter in router table. Would set up stops (and maybe screw down) on MDF and plunge rout the openings with the hand router. http://www.patwarner.com (Routers) **********************************************************************

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Roy:
I've seen woodworkers mark the table with tape. Mark the wood/template... with tape. Then lower the wood to the tool after its been turned on. I had some of the same concerns as you. I tried it and it worked just fine for me. No kickback, jumping or anything like that. I don't own a plunge router yet so.... I used the table technique, with good results.
Good Luck.
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