What's the simplest way to make mortises with a router? I've got 24 holes
that need to be cut on 2" legs for my current project. I've found several
commercial jigs for sale but they're pretty pricey. For a few buck more I
could buy a dedicated mortising machine. It's is on my list, but not at the
Any pointers to homemade jigs/plans that you've used and work well?
Ok, although you could save some money if you used Google.
I built a rig that not only mortises, but tenons, dovetails, and about
any other kind of joinery you might want. It took a couple of months of
part-time effort, but seems to work passably well. I have a few photos
at the link below. Drawings were posted to
news:alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking before I actually started
building - and may still be available in one of the archives.
mortices by hand can be a pain because the router gets tippy. On a
router table, it's easy - just set the fence, and use stop blocks to
control the length of the cut.. You will also have to chisel the
corners square, or use rounded tenons. (you could even cut the tenons
a little shorter, but it's not a good idea.)
handheld, you can set up a jig to support the router, and clamp stop
blocks to it. take light passes! 1/4 inch
you might also want to look at this
I always preferred a plunger with extra support over the table for
router mortises, due to the "fun" of lowering the work onto a spinning bit.
I've done lots both ways and never got comfy with the table.
it's not too bad if you take light passes... I have a Milwaukee 2 1/4
fixed base in the table.. I can actually raise the bit up into the
work while the router is on.... not fun to do for a lot of work though!
Not cheap: http://patwarner.com/mortiser.html
But not dependent on section of work to function.
Work holding, size of mortice and complete control of router accounted
Another couple of pennies worth: Scroll down to router mortising jigs and
check out the second one. It worked well for both mortises in legs and
aprons for loose tenon joinery.
For just straight up mortises in face grain, it's hard to beat a good edge
guide on your router, with maybe a longer auxiliary fence attached.
Caveat: you must cut in the proper direction so the bit will hold the fence
to the stock.
That's where I was headed but I don't have a flat edge on my router to use
as a guide. I'd need to build one of those too. I do have a piece of
plexiglass sitting in the corner I could use for a base and just leave a
square edge on it...
If you put two legs together in a vise, you can use a router edge guide to
space your mortise on the second leg while letting your router and edge
guide ride on the near leg. After you put mortise in one leg, swap the legs
and mortise the second one. You will have to mark the ends of your mortise
with a pencil or striking knife. Kelly Mehler demonstrates this method. No
jigs are required.
I use the mortising fixture that Jeff Miller features in his book on making
chairs. It uses the same principle, but uses a fixture instead of a second
For just a few? Plunger with an edge guide, some way
to clamp the board vertically to the edge of your work
bench. The router might snipe on your first few tries,
but if you're not cutting through mortises, you'll never
I've made several. two flat hardwood boards form an L to place your
stock, then a third flat on top of the L to provide a pad to run your
router (gusset this one). stops for the upper and lower end of your
mortise, (can be adjustable) and an edge piece to run the router
against. Bump stop to locate your stock, and clamp the lower end of
the stock/jig to a table.
Maybe not so clear, but, think about it, should be intuitive.
I have a mortiser, find this to be quicker and more accurate, just
make sure you rotate your stock properly if the mortises are not
centered and your putting two mortises per leg.
You're right, that's as simple as it gets. Seems like it would
work well for what I'm trying to do though. It might be a
little more stable if the guides were longer, maybe even a
couple of sets for different material.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.