Mortise jig - Router Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Default Mortise jig

Hello everyone, this is my first post. I am a newbie woodworker and obviously excited about this new way to while away hours of time. My first project (kitchen small rolling island) will involve mortise/tenon joins for the key structural pieces. I plan to use my recently-acquired Freud plunge router to form the mortises. My question is - is it a best practice to make a simple mortise jig, or just dive in and give it a try? There seem to be many jig plans out there and I just need something simple (I think). Thanks in advance, and looking forward to participating in this forum. Gary.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-19-2012, 04:53 PM
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Definitely make a jig and test it. In my view, there are no easy comprehensive jigs.
Woodworking is jig making first, woodworking second.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 03:13 AM
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Welcome to the forum, Gary.

I agree with Quillman. Some type of jig give the best results for mortise and tenon joints.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Pat, yes that makes sense. I will keep that quote posted in my shop about jig making and woodworking.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thank James, I see you are a fellow Aussie.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by MadAussie View Post
Thank James, I see you are a fellow Aussie.
Gary, In your profile, change your country from United States to Australia.....

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 07:33 AM
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Gary speaking from experience a mortise and tenon using a router is very time consuming and in most cases not required on cabinets. A pocket hole jig will make the joints so quickly that you will wonder what to do with all your spare time. A face frame can be made in 10 minutes verses an hour or more. The sides can be screwed to the face frame in 5 minutes. If you need any encouragement visit the Kreg web site. Of course there are other pocket hole jigs but they make a very good jig.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 08:13 AM
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Hi Gary - there are plenty of ways to join wood, mortise & tenon just being one, and of course w/ its many variations from hand chopping to a drill press (and chopping) w/ a tenoning jig for the table saw, morticing machines, or to dedicated jigs whether made or puchased.

Basically if you plan to use M&T joinery, then try to find one or several methods and learn then well. For me, I've finally settle into using the Mortise Pal - cuts mortises in both mating pieces using a plunge router (I use a spiral bit) and then accepts a loose tenon (which can be made yourself or purchased from them) - takes just a few trial runs and understanding registering your bit & router edge to the jig. Just made 2 cherry tables for a porch renovation and routed nearly a 100 holes - good luck in your choice(s). Dave
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks James, actually I've lived in Cleveland for the last 25 years and so am an ex-pat. Planning to migrate home next year if all goes well.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 11:19 AM
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My first mortises were made with only a plunge router, spiral bit and a simple edge guide. One thing that helpes was clamping a couple of of the legs I was mortising together to the bench for added support for the router base (you do not want the router to tip at all). Make sure that you only route in the direction that "pulls" the edge guide tight to the piece and take multiple passes of only ~1/4" at a time until you get to your desired depth. As someone stated earlier, using a router to make mortises can take a while, but they come out great.

Then you just have to decide if you want to square the mortise or round the the tennon. Personally, I think it is easier to round the tennon.

Good luck.
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