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Horizontal slot mortiser

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Project by Gianni posted 11-04-2014 02:39 AM 2264 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For Christmas my sister asked if I could do a small table for my niece’s playroom. Shouldn’t be too hard, I thought, but there’s one thing standing in the way… I hate (hate hate hate) cutting mortises, mostly because I suck at it and have ruined a handful of otherwise good projects trying it in the past.

Enter a search of the interwebz for a solution to this deficiency. I had seen before the Matthias Wandel machine, but the build looked pretty complex. I found a blurb on finewoodworking for a moving base horizontal router that used t-track, and combined the idea of drawer slides from Matthias’ machine to come up with this.

I was a bit worried about rigidity of the router while moving the table and workpiece, so you can see I may have overdone the bracing a bit, but it’s good and solid. I would have few concerns using this to support a car while working underneath. Test cuts turned out really well and I could cut friction-fit tenons in just a few minutes on the table saw. Overall, I’m really happy with the results, ‘cept it’s a little large; the shortest drawer tracks at HD were 14”.

The top box, in addition to giving me some height for the router handles, gives me a sacrificial top that I can just screw the clamp base to. I don’t expect to move it often, but won’t worry if it has a few extra holes in it. The back of the box away from the router is left open in case I want to reach in and tighten bolts or clamps on a larger piece.

Now for that table….

<edit> sorry about the messy workbench, need to spend a few days cleaning the garage.





6 comments so far

View JRAP's profile

JRAP

47 posts in 1417 days


#1 posted 11-04-2014 02:51 AM

Great job Gianni… any chance you could post a video of it in action? Would love to see it.

-- -- Jim, Cumberland,RI -- Life is all the other stuff you do when you're not in the shop. - http://www.woodshopshed.com

View geekwoodworker's profile

geekwoodworker

354 posts in 927 days


#2 posted 11-04-2014 01:36 PM

Nice job. Simple yet effective. I too wanted a slot mortiser and felt that Matthias Wandels would be difficult. However I said the heck with it and gave it a try and I am glad I did as it was simple to follow his plans and build. I didn’t go with the drawer sliders though. I went with 16mm shafts with linear bearings. Much easier to install. Just ensure the plywood they are attached to is square and all will be good. Here is my mortiser. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/101724 . Using a 1” Core box bit (from leevalley http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=30169&cat=1,46168,69435,46173&ap=1 ) I route a groove into the plywood which holds the bearing and then make a wooden clamp with same groove and it holds bearing square and straight.

I say just give it a try. Whats the worst that can happen. You spend some quality time in the shop doing what you enjoy.

Enjoy

View LJackson's profile

LJackson

295 posts in 1061 days


#3 posted 11-04-2014 04:01 PM

To each his own solution to a problem. I too am intimidated by complex joinery. So, I purchased a JessEm dowlling jig. It is very easy to use, and the results are very accurate. I guess, essentially, I’m doing loose tennon joinery, but the tennons are just dowel shaped.

View Gianni's profile

Gianni

228 posts in 1441 days


#4 posted 11-05-2014 03:13 AM

http://youtu.be/i5jhvd1TI2g

Here’s a short video as requested. Seems to work well. Right now I’m using a standard quarter straight bit, should pick up a spiral bit if I’m going to be using it often (don’t expect to, but you never know). The other obvious thing on the to-do list is to put the dust collector back on the router base. I had it off during the build and mounting so I didn’t break it.

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9169 posts in 2334 days


#5 posted 11-05-2014 06:13 PM

I’m always for fresh and inovative jig ideas. That’s why I like LJ.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

7708 posts in 2309 days


#6 posted 11-25-2014 07:26 PM

John,

Saw the video. You make it look easy!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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