Okay, by now you’ve heard it a few times, I really like the Mortise Pal jig. This time around I paired it with the Milescraft Turnlock system which a allows you to attach bushings and other things to the router base very fast and without screws. In fact, once I get caught up on the blogs I plan to write a review of this system. Suffice it to say for now that I really like the concept and it is much easier on my catcher’s mit hands.
The new Mortise Pal is wide enough that I could clamp the parts together and cut each stile’s mortise just by switching the jig from one side to the other. I just had to make sure the same side of the jig registered on the same side of each stile (in this case the front). The bottom and top (arch) rails were just as easy. Oh yeah, as I covered in the Copper Patina Gate I blog series, I made the mortise longer than the jig by overlapping the cuts. In this case I used a 1” offset on each side from the middle. You can just make out the white guidelines in the photo above.
The only problem with the MP jig is getting the mortise deep enough. One work around is to use a bit with a top guide roller and follow the edges of the mortise. I just used the shaft of the same bit I used to cut the mortise to prevent the cutter from wandering. BTW, another advantage of the Milescraft bushing is there is no top collar so you can get the bit that much deeper on the first pass. And it clears the chips and dust much better.
Here’s a picture from their website.
For the tenon stock I used to resaw a length then run it through the planer or drum sander. Now I just resaw a piece on the table saw and round over the edges on the router table. Very fast and you can dial in a good fit.
-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com