I'm making 1/2 inch deep and 3/8 inch wide mortises on
my router table. I set a block and use guidelines for the
length. I push the wood straight down on the bit and slide
the wood forward until the mortise is made. I sort of
looked around on the web for examples of others using this
method and found none. Is this a no-no for some reason?
It can be a bit tricky to do it that way, but many people do.
I prefer using a plunge router and an edge guide. Clamp the part in a vise,
set the edge guide so the mortise ends up in the right position and then
carefully make the cut. Make sure you are moving the router so that the bit
rotation pulls the edge guide toward your part rather than away from it.
Actually, what you are doing is a quite common method. Where it gets dicey
is on deep mortises close to end of the stock.
A plunge router, either equipped with an edge guide, or a with a router jig,
is ideal for this task and may be more accurate in many situations.
For a look at a couple of ideas go to:
... and scroll down to "Router Mortising Jigs".
No problem. Although, 1/2" might be a lot to hog out with a 3/8" bit in
one pass. Two passes might be in order.
One more thing, I highly recommend an up-cut spiral bit for this job. Make
sure the bit is in the collet tight because they have a tendency to creep
out of the collet (through the wood) if not tight.
High risk, blind cutting on the router table. Smart to be skeptical.
Work can jetison unexpeditly.
In my view, one of the most frequent reasons for loss of work piece
There's nothing really wrong with it so long as you're careful. Make
sure your hands never get close to the bit, even if it is buried in
wood and make sure the workpiece isn't going to come back at you and
you should be fine.
Depending on the size of the piece though, using a hand-held plunge
router is probably easier and more exact.
It will work, but a mortising jig would be a good bit safer.
Mortising jigs come in "many" different flavors but here is
a "dead simple" method for basic mortising.
or even this fairly simple one:
That's the exact jig I use. Easy to build and simple to use.
I've done lots of router table mortising by lowering the work onto the
spinning bit, and I find Tage's jig to be far safer. The table works,
but definitely has a higher pucker factor.
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