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Horizontal Router Mortiser

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Project by Blake posted 1370 days ago 7023 views 75 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently upgraded my router table by adding a router lift. So I had a router plate without a home, which became the inspiration for this project.

Construction

Most of the parts are constructed with MDF. The table top is a piece of Phenolic that I found at my old job. It was exactly 1/2” thick so it was perfect for use with the t-track. I cut it into thirds, sandwiched the t-track between the pieces, and mounted it back on to a piece of MDF.

The raising/lowering mechanism for the router is a simple twist-screw mechanism made out of all-thread, a bracket mounted to the router plate and a store-bought knob.

I imbedded two rare-earth magnets next two the router plate and stuck a steel ruler to them (third photo). The ruler can be flipped from the fractions side to the other side with 10ths and 100ths of an inch depending on which system I’m using. It can also be “zeroed” just by sliding it up or down.

An Incra “T-track Plus” extends out either side of the X-Y table for attaching adjustable stops along the X-axis (see 5th and 6th photos)

The X-Y table slides on four modified ball-bearing keyboard slides.

The Slides:

Each slide had one set of ball-bearing gliders between the upper and lower section. But the slides were not accurate enough as-is because when the weight shifted from one side to the other it would rock on the glider. I also had to modify the slides so they would move in both directions from center.

The single ball-bearing glider in the slide:

To modify the slides I started by removing the stops that keep the slides from moving past the neutral position.

This allowed me to remove the lower section to reveal the ball-bearing glide:

Then I carefully transferred the glide from one slide to another to avoid losing ball bearings:

Now there are two glides in each slide. Yes, this does mean that I had to buy TWICE as many slides as I needed and waste half of them, but they are much stiffer and they don’t rock, which increases overall accuracy. It also means that they can slide in both directions but not as far as the original slides. Luckily I was able to get an awesome deal on the slides. They were an old style on clearance for 40% off (only $7 bucks per pair).

One set of two finished slides:

Because the stops were removed from the slides, I had to add my own stops between the X-Y table so it doesn’t slide beyond the point where the bearings were exposed and tiny steel balls start dropping to the floor. You can see the stops made from scraps of Padouk in the second photos.

The Test Cut

The first mortise came out flawlessly!

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com





24 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2182 days


#1 posted 1370 days ago

Very nice Blake much nice then one I made some time ago.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View DrAllred's profile

DrAllred

137 posts in 1428 days


#2 posted 1370 days ago

Very cool, I wonder if computer rack mounted slides would work?

-- David, Mesa Arizona

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2852 days


#3 posted 1370 days ago

VERY COOL JOB BLAKE. NICE IDEA.

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

View albachippie's profile

albachippie

532 posts in 1640 days


#4 posted 1370 days ago

This is a great job. Very inspirational! Thanks for posting Blake

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garry-Macdonald-Woodwork/425518554215355?ref=hl

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2345 posts in 1566 days


#5 posted 1370 days ago

Is there a patent in the future? I would think there would be a market for it.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9456 posts in 1695 days


#6 posted 1370 days ago

Really cool and simple thinking, how is the precission on those rollers?
This is the first I see, where I say: got to make one like that!
Thank you for sharing,
best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1462 posts in 2170 days


#7 posted 1370 days ago

This is great Blake, thanks for posting the the build info too. This is in my to build list so adding it to my favorites.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4096 posts in 1462 days


#8 posted 1370 days ago

Blake,
that is a very neat set up.
The final result makes it all worth while.
Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View RandyMarine's profile

RandyMarine

235 posts in 1975 days


#9 posted 1370 days ago

Cool, I want one!

-- Semper Fi, Randy Sr.

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4761 posts in 2487 days


#10 posted 1370 days ago

Very nice Blake. Good for you.
Are you going to add some levers for operating it?
But maybe just grabbing the work piece and pressing it into the bit is really easier. (?)

I like it,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View DanSurveyor's profile

DanSurveyor

16 posts in 2091 days


#11 posted 1370 days ago

Nice! That makes some clean mortises.

View Routerisstillmyname's profile

Routerisstillmyname

680 posts in 2114 days


#12 posted 1370 days ago

Awesome work. I’m in the process of making dozen or more mortises and sure could use this.
What’s a largest/longest piece it can support?
THX.

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Cajun Box Sculptor

4940 posts in 1914 days


#13 posted 1370 days ago

Great design. How far does your sliding table move? The plunge router on the back really ties it together. Very nice…

View Dez's profile

Dez

1113 posts in 2683 days


#14 posted 1370 days ago

Good Job, nice use of re-purposed parts and materials!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View rin69ga's profile

rin69ga

13 posts in 1370 days


#15 posted 1370 days ago

wow, very impressive! I want one

-- Dennis,Oregon

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

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