Been looking around the web (DAGS) looking for a morticing jig to build.
Seen ones from very simple to very elaborate. Before I build one thought I
would see what everyone thought really worked. have 6 chairs to build with
aprox 20 mortices per chair. thanks
My favorite is a few chunks of MDF/scrap hardwood, clamped tightly and
carefully, then screwed together while still clamped. Especially on
repeated parts - this gives the exact same results on each piece, every
You may have to make a few, but it costs next to nothing, and each
mortise is just like the last. (So make sure the first is right!)
When you're done, toss it in the woodstove as kindling!
Ok, so here's my dilemma. Do you use a 3/4" or so template collar in the
jig you suggested (concerned about chip removal with upspirling 1/2" bit) or
do you mount this to your router base. You see there are 2 very different
approaches to this fairly simple task (100's of variations of those) and i
can't get my head wrapped around one or the other! thanks
The version I've settled in with is simply a plywood (or lexan) platform
with two sliding parallel fences carriage bolted to the bottom of a
plunge base. Simple and cheap to make, and a no-brainer to use. I align
the tool with the center of the proposed mortise with a pointed
"centering bit", then install the actual mortising bit. I start and
stop the slide manually at marks on the stock, which are transferred
from a story stick to each part.
My tenons are table sawn with a dado blade and crosscut sled, and hand
tuned with a shoulder plane, so the manual stop method is good enough
for me. I round the corners of the tenon with a rasp or bench chisel.
Each part gets one edge aligned to marks from the story stick, and the
tenon is tuned to fit properly and lettered to match at glue-up time.
I've also routed mortises on my router table and with a gutter-shaped
jig, and like this one the best. Two edge guides will work, as well.
Two come to mine:
ShopNotes #90 has a VERY simple one.
Here is my personal favorite that I built:
Woodsmith 06/03 issue:
The first one is DEAD simple but doesn't have flexibility of the
second one. The second one has the ability to create oversize
mortises very easily. I still like the first quite well.
Both jigs work well, so it really depends on what you prefer.
I built that one and it works just fine. Was I making another one, I'd
use transparent plastic rather than opaque plywood for the baseplate,
just to give a better view of what you are doing.
Thanks pat, looked through your site and thank you. I would say that yours
is on the high end ($300) and a piece of plywood with a 3/4" slot cut in it
for the collar template is on the other. Thanks to all, I've seen some
really good "in betweens" and will probably adapt alot of them to what i
finally design. thanks
Take your plywood and tack on parallel pieces of straight stock at the
proper interval for your chosen collar. Cut a bunch of spacers for the
interval between mortises (less twice the collar offset) and a spacer to set
the mortise width (plus twice the collar offset). Tack in the interval
pieces, then plunge the plywood to make your template, attach to the fence
which you clamp to the stock to be mortised.
Did 52 slats (104 mortises) with one similar on the crib project, and it
If you get it, watch the Router Workshop on PBS a few times. They show
basic jig techniques quite often.
IME, for chair leg mortises, there is probably nothing more simple, fast and
effective than a steady hand and a good edge guide. This seems to be David
J. Marks' preferred method.
Are you doing loose tenon joinery?
Ahhh, I found out the hard way that with the edge guide on the left of the
work piece (and nothing on the right) the bit can "pull" into the left hand
side of the mortice ( when a push of the router is needed to "clean up" the
fartherset edge) hope that makes sense. Simular to climbs cuts ect that have
to do with the rotation of the bit.
Which is why you can put _two_ edge guides on the same rails, or if you
don't have two guides, spend 30 minutes cobbling together the wooden
base with two rails. <G>
Shallower cuts can also go a long way toward curing torque issues.
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