portable handheld mortising jig "build blog" #7: finalizing front fence and start on clamping system

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Blog entry by hobby1 posted 10-22-2013 05:08 PM 1432 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: starting the front fence system Part 7 of portable handheld mortising jig "build blog" series Part 8: begining to machine the stop blocks with procedural steps to make one part »

A couple hours more in the last couple of evenings,

Here is where I left off at after the last machining session, I was able to get some slots machined for and adjustable depth positioning fence, this allows me to adjust the depth of where to cut the mortise in the edge of a board, for example, set it 3/8” off of center to put a mortise in the edge of a 3/4” thick board ect…

Now, I’m now finishing up the details on this project, so I drew up a punch list, to start this process.

I was going to put it on top, so it can be held like a biscuit joiner, for edge mortises, however, given the material I have on hand to work with, I had to use a 1/4” thick material for the front fence, and with the depth positioning fence fastened on top, with the weight of the router, allows it to have some bend away from the edge of a board to be mortised, this can be easily remedied, by machining a small angle alignment on the depth position fence to make up for this bending in the front fence, but I decided it woulod work better if my boards were held in a vise, (my workmate) on edge, and set this jig on top, however, if I put the depth positioning fence on the bottom, I could make a clamping system to keep everything nice and tight while work is being done on the board.

So first I need to estasblish all reference points to make marks on the jig, to be used as depth fence positioning guide lines.

guide lines marked for 3/8”, 1/2” and 3/4” off of center.

Now I need to make some reliefe spots to be able to better see the pencil marks on the edge of a board, so I’ll machine down these areas here

the process involved

and mark out the center line for reference for lining up a board for a mortise.

Now I started the clamping system, the top block was drilled and tapped for a 3/8 -16 all thread I had in the bin,

the process in making the clamping jaw,
here is some scrap to work with,

here is my drawing of the dimensions at the lower right corner

first I need to machine a spigot, that will fit into a corresponding hole in the moveable clamp jaw.

it will go in like this

now I need to make the allthread fit into this swivel joint,

so I first machine off this much of the threads

Now to make it swivel in the vice jaw pad, I need to machine a slot to allow a setscreew to fit into
in this location marked off,

here is the process

check for fit, not enough yet,

now it fits nicely

now to bore a hole in the swivel block to acept this all thread shank.

now to mark off the location to drill and tap for the setscrew in this swivel joint block.

and the process

now bore a hole in the vice jaw paf to accept this swivel joint block,

to keep this permanently affixed, I used super glue.

now a dryfit to see how it all works together.

Next I want to work on handles for the jig, and a “x” axis lock pin, for drilling dowel holes
as well as a plunge piston, like a plunge router has.

Then some final tweaking and things…

Have fun in the shop.

3 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3329 days

#1 posted 10-22-2013 06:22 PM

To say that I am impressed would be an understatement. Very well thought out and done. The clamping mechanism was the big mystery for me and now I can see that part solved. I don’t know if you have noticed, but there are usually small pins on biscuit machines to keep the work from slipping during the cut. I wonder if you will need that feature too. From my experience, the wood can slip around pretty easy. Of course, there is no clamp with a biscuit joiner as on yours, so probably not a problem.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1832 posts in 1964 days

#2 posted 10-22-2013 06:44 PM

Again, very informative and a really great build. This is going to be really cool to see when you are done. Amazing job

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2292 days

#3 posted 10-24-2013 12:33 AM

Mike, Kaleb,
thankyou for the complements,

I’ll probably put some sort of a gripping surface on the clamp jaw, maybe even glue sandpaper onto the bottom fence too, I’ll have to experiment with that when its ready, to be tested.
If that doesn’t work real well, than I’ll machine some small points and insert them on the front fence as you mentioned mike.

Kaleb, I’m glad your enjoying the build, I’ll take a video of it, when I get it completed.

I just started making the “Y” axis stop block, (about 2 hours of machining to get tight tolerances) I think as of right now, it will have a simple commercial cabinet door bullet catch, installed, on it to latch the router sub base assembly, while repositioning the jig for the next mortise cut.
This way I may not have to make a plunge piston, to keep the router away from the work while repositioning the jig.

I Still want to make some handles, and a new design idea for my “X” axis stops, so I can adjust the width of the mortise, as well as I need to make a “Y” axis depth stop, to adjust the deepness of the mortise cut.

Now I’m doing the finer machining of parts, where dimensions need to be close tolerances to have proper sliding fits, of parts.

Have fun in the shop guys…

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