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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello cruel world,

I'm trying hard to find a Porter Cable 521 owners manual, as well as any other truly useful info I can get on these jigs. I'm not having any success on these vintage machines, (two or more moving parts makes it a machine). If anyone could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated!

(the attached image is for reference, it's not my jig)

Thanks all,
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This is a router tool for sure. NOBODY who has looked at this yet has has or knows where I can get a set of instructions? Wow, tough crowd!
 

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This is a router tool for sure. NOBODY who has looked at this yet has has or knows where I can get a set of instructions? Wow, tough crowd!
nobuddy has one..
 

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I have never seen or used one before. Is this a mortising jig? At one time Porter Cable made all kinds of different tools and tool kits that had various jigs pertaining to that particular tool.

HErb

P.S> I just read it is a Stair mortising jig,missed that first time through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In an older thread, it lists a book called, "Stair Layout" by author Stanley Badzinski Jr, the 1971 printing. The ISBN 9780826907004 is what you're looking for, if you're looking for the same book as me.

I just purchased the book online, and I'll post a quick review of the contents I'M looking for, the instructions for the 521 jig. If it has the info, I'll comment here regarding my thoughts on the info and the book as a whole.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here are a couple of photos of my two jigs.
 

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Here are a couple of photos of my two jigs.
You have 2 jigs?
They are made so you can set up one and flip/flop it to the other stringer to get an identical cut.

Box stairs were generally made in the millwork shop rather than on the job. The on-site carpenters rarely set that type of stair,installers brought from the millwork outfit and came out to the job and put them in. Carpenters usually did conventional stair jacks with treads and risers cut on the job site. In the 45 years I was a carpenter,I only helped set a couple of sets,never built one.

Herb
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
You have 2 jigs?
They are made so you can set up one and flip/flop it to the other stringer to get an identical cut.

Box stairs were generally made in the millwork shop rather than on the job. The on-site carpenters rarely set that type of stair,installers brought from the millwork outfit and came out to the job and put them in. Carpenters usually did conventional stair jacks with treads and risers cut on the job site. In the 45 years I was a carpenter,I only helped set a couple of sets,never built one.

Herb
Haha, I know that Herb, the guy I bought them from had 2 and wouldn't sell me just one. He was older, retired and didn't want to mess around. Either buy two and get it over with, or move along. So I bought 2! In the 39 years I've been a carpenter I've built probably 10 housed sets, always with a plywood, or worse a scrap wood template, (those had to be re-made for the opposite side), and I want to step up my game, this late in the game.
 

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Haha, I know that Herb, the guy I bought them from had 2 and wouldn't sell me just one. He was older, retired and didn't want to mess around. Either buy two and get it over with, or move along. So I bought 2! In the 39 years I've been a carpenter I've built probably 10 housed sets, always with a plywood, or worse a scrap wood template, (those had to be re-made for the opposite side), and I want to step up my game, this late in the game.
That great, now you have spare parts,or sell one and have a free one. Building box stairs might be a good way to pick up a few bucks too,while having fun doing it. Once a guy did a couple with the jig, it would turn into fun. I was always the guy they picked on the job to build the stairs and cut the rafters.

Herb
 

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Jack have you figured out yet how to set for the angle on the run? If I was going to mortise the treads and risers in I think a plywood jig would be easy enough but I’d probably need to set the angle first with a square and a set of rafter/stair buttons.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Jack have you figured out yet how to set for the angle on the run? If I was going to mortise the treads and risers in I think a plywood jig would be easy enough but I’d probably need to set the angle first with a square and a set of rafter/stair buttons.
Hey Chuck, everything still starts with a rafter square and some stair gauges. Just like any other set of steps. This unit is machined without any bumps or dips to transfer to the steps, (unlike many plywood templates). I have a Porter cable 3hp router, I'll need a specific collar and a 7° dovetail bit. This forces a really tight fit against the stair tread when the shim is driven in from the back.
 

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There are no pins sticking out to keep it registered correctly against the edge? I don’t know how it would maintain the correct angle without something like that unless you do all the marking with a sqare first and then just clamp it down on the layout lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There are no pins sticking out to keep it registered correctly against the edge? I don’t know how it would maintain the correct angle without something like that unless you do all the marking with a sqare first and then just clamp it down on the layout lines.
Chuck, if you will re-examine the photo, you will see two "bars" at the top, which are adjustable, and a crank on the bottom like a clamp crank, (which it is), these 3 pieces are used to locate and lock the angle and position. Hope this helps you visualize how that aspect works.
 

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There are no pins sticking out to keep it registered correctly against the edge? I don’t know how it would maintain the correct angle without something like that unless you do all the marking with a sqare first and then just clamp it down on the layout lines.
from what I can gather, you layout the first step with a square and stair gauge. Then set the jig to match, then you go into production mode. I like the Dovetail part that really makes a sturdy set of stairs.,and it eliminates the skirt boards too.
Herb
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey Herb, I've used both oak and fir. Most likely it wasn't old growth. Everything here is, (mostly), fast grown to cut. Although a lot of our wood does comes from Canada. I'm in upstate NY, where are you?
 
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