Slot Mortising Setup (and router table)

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Project by Muzhik posted 08-02-2009 02:15 PM 14736 views 43 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I haven’t posted a project in quite some time. I’ve now moved back to the ‘states from Germany and I’m happy to be reunited with all of my big shop tools that have been in storage for 3 years. Yesterday I used my shop-built router table and slot mortising jig for the first time in ages. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. Would have really come in handy when I was building that bed in Germany.

Anyhow, I thought I’d post it b/c I know the LJ crew always appreciates shop-made tooling solutions. I found the plans for the router table in Popular Woodworking, if memory serves. The plans included a horizontal routing attachment. When I built it, I had no idea if I’d ever USE a horizontal routing attachment, but decided to make the provisions for it anyway.

Months later, I saw plans for a slot mortising jig in an issue of Fine Woodworking. The plans call for mounting the router in an aluminum plate with L-channel attached, if memory serves. I can’t remember if it was height adjustable somehow or not.

I decided to combine the two and came up with a setup that truly is better than the sum of its parts. I always thought I’d need one of the JDS Multi-Routers that David Marks used in his TV shows all the time. It would still be nice to have one, but I believe this to be the next best thing.

17 comments so far

View arw01's profile


55 posts in 3637 days

#1 posted 08-02-2009 02:44 PM

Great looking setup. How tight are the slides and such? Did you find you needed to put some hefty springs in to lock down “tables” to keep them from having any wiggle room?

Could you post more photos?

-- No good deed goes unpunished!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4241 days

#2 posted 08-02-2009 03:04 PM

Man, that’s quite a contraption, but brilliant!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Muzhik's profile


173 posts in 4161 days

#3 posted 08-02-2009 03:25 PM


It’s been a few years since I built it, but it seems like I snuck up on the fit of the dados on the tracks so that they slide with no play. I have to periodically wax the tracks so keep things running smoothly. There are no springs anywhere in the setup. The heft of MDF helps hold everything down pretty well. I can take some more pictures and measurements of whatever you like next time I set it up for use. Anything specific you’re looking for?


Of course I can’t take credit for the design. All I did was marry two good designs together :)

View kerflesss's profile


182 posts in 3391 days

#4 posted 08-02-2009 03:50 PM

Nice tool. Albet it was fun to make. Nothing like making a tool and reaping the rewards down the road.
Thanks for sharing.

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3905 days

#5 posted 08-02-2009 03:58 PM

Sweet. I have always wanted one of these.
I wanted linear bearings on it to “keep things running smoothly” but that complicates things and jacks up the price so I never built it. Maybe I should take your lead and just do it.

Thanks for the inspiriation,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 3929 days

#6 posted 08-02-2009 04:19 PM

That’s a great idea for a mortiser…and looks very easy to build and adjust.
Here’s another slot mortiser from a website I sneak to every now and again…this guy creates all kinds of interesting wooden gadgets…

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4269 days

#7 posted 08-02-2009 04:53 PM

Nice jig.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3436 days

#8 posted 08-02-2009 07:42 PM

Good use of taking a router table and having multiple uses for it.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#9 posted 08-03-2009 06:33 AM

welcome home great Jig. your right multi routers work great.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View mcoyfrog's profile


4145 posts in 3617 days

#10 posted 08-03-2009 05:55 PM

INteresting I might have to try that

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Muzhik's profile


173 posts in 4161 days

#11 posted 08-04-2009 03:43 AM

More pictures:


View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3549 days

#12 posted 08-10-2009 08:10 PM

A beautiful set up you made! Great idea!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Muzhik's profile


173 posts in 4161 days

#13 posted 08-13-2009 01:41 AM

Thanks. Adding a few more pictures for anyone interested in tackling their own.

P.S. don’t make fun of my krappy Ryobi router that I have mounted in there. I think it was the first power tool I ever bought. Still going strong (though I like my DeWalt plunge router alot more!)

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3696 days

#14 posted 08-19-2009 10:36 PM

Cool set up!

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 2711 days

#15 posted 02-01-2011 10:17 PM

I found one of those ryobi routers at the local ggodwill store.hardly used with the case and all attachments and they had it marked for 10 dollars.i still have not used it a lot but seems to work real nice.Now i need to build a nice table for it.thanks for the pictures


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