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Horizontal (Mike) Router Mortising Machine

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Project by HorizontalMike posted 996 days ago 11752 views 39 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

HorizontalMike just HAD to make a Horizontal Mortising Machine, don’t cha’ know… ;-)

Early on I knew that I wanted a 3-axis Horizontal Mortising Machine after watching just how easy it looked when things operated as they were designed. I think I must have watched at least a dozen videos dozens of times EACH, looking for the “Best” solution for me. What I ended up with is a combination of features I gleaned from several other Lumberjocks efforts and inspiration.

This machine now has a pretty decent dust collection system. While I designed this feature, it was with much trial and error in order to get dust collection into the 80-90% range. Much of the gains were incremental and inter-related. The major DC tunnel splits suction up into two major channels: 1.) the center and far side slots (away from the 4in port, and 2.) The main 4in port with 1 1/4in Router feed and a near side slot. Worth NOTING: I did take the time to calculate the cross-section area of my DC system in order to stay “under” what my single hose HF DC system provides. My 4in adapter is actually less than 4in, so that area comes out around 11 sq.in. to work with. I built the far side channel at 4 sq.in and the main DC box feeds the 1 1/4in router hose plus 3 sq.in of slot on its own. As best that I can figure I am using roughly 8-9 sq.in. of the 11 sq.in. available in the “4in” hose. I also added adjustable “dust walls” that actually work well at keeping most dust confined to directly in front of the machine where the DC slots suck it up.

While I knew that I wanted a threaded lifting mechanism, it was fellow LJ Steve Donnelly who fabricated the lifting cradle for my Triton Router. We had to play with this awhile in order to work out the bugs… such as adding longer T-track on the router plexiglass mounting plate on the front and adding a bit of bungee to take some of the weight off of the threaded lift while adjusting router height. This helped keep things from binding.

Another incremental improvement came when I decided to cover up the router “hole” with a piece of Teflon that I had sitting around. Just used a bit of double sticky back tape and drill a hole to fit the bit exactly. All I have to do is peal this plastic piece off when I need to swap out router bits. This made a big improvement in keeping dust down “behind” the machine.

One last feature is the removable “lid” on the DC channel. I used the round “hole” piece/cutout from the 1- 1/4in hose port to make a cam-lock that works like a champ. Every time I have checked, the DC completely empties the machine’s DC channel with NO build up.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:

All T-Track: Mounted with #8 counter-sunk wood screws, regardless of mounting the track “surface” or “flush”.

Base: T-track surface mounted fore and aft, as you stand in front of the machine.

First MDF platform (Y-axis): Stack of 3 MDF 3/4in glued together. Bottom routed 3/4 thickness to slide on base tracks. Top has two surface mounted T-Tracks running R-to-L.

Second MDF platform(X-axis): Stack of 3 MDF 3/4in glued together. Bottom routed 3/4 thickness to slide R-and-L on first platform. Top is 100% routed and 3 R-to-L Tracks mounted flush with #8 wood screws through the T-track (counter-sunk holes).

Third platform(secondary X-axis): Stack of 2 MDF glued together. NO routing at all. Lever clamps are held down ONLY by just one side of the 4 bolt pattern. The 2 bolt holes on the same side of each of the clamps are actually held by T-Track bolts and are tightened using a hex nut and wrench. This allows me to get away with using MDF here instead of plywood. All clamping is between the T-Track and the mounting plate of each lever clamp, and this spreads the load out and does not indent the MDF.

Z-axis: Router mounted horizontally to 3/8in Plexiglass that is mounted vertically with extended pieces of T-track. NOT seen but important, are two screws (one at the top of each T-track mounted in the wood) that serve as guides for the vertical movement PLUS it keeps the T-track close/almost snug against the vertical box. This eliminates binding of the T-Track when using the lifting mechanism. Two locking T-Thread Knobs are mounted midway up the length of the extended T-Track.

More images HERE with some neat mouseover animations. Enjoy!...

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."





42 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112016 posts in 2210 days


#1 posted 996 days ago

Very slick Mike that’s going to do tons of great milling operations .Super job.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Lance's profile

Lance

362 posts in 1159 days


#2 posted 996 days ago

Nice Mike, post a video of you using it if you have time! love to see it in action.

-- Lance, Hook'em HORNS! ""V""

View getlostinwood's profile

getlostinwood

224 posts in 1236 days


#3 posted 996 days ago

Great looking set up, I’ll second Lance’s video request

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5289 posts in 1232 days


#4 posted 996 days ago

Holy cow, looks like you have some time, effort and engineering into this one. I would also like to see it in action. Pretty cool, well done.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6926 posts in 1547 days


#5 posted 996 days ago

Problem is that I don’t have a video camera. The only thing I have is an old first generation smartphone (Mogul) that supposedly does some video but not sure how to pull that one off. At least I should be able to get some before and after images, once I round up some more scrap to mortise…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View lanwater's profile

lanwater

3076 posts in 1567 days


#6 posted 996 days ago

well done Mike.

I like the dust collection addition. well thought out.

Great project.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3033 posts in 1300 days


#7 posted 996 days ago

Very good looking setup Mike !
Yes I too wold like to see it in action and it’s too bad you didn’t do a blog that would have been fun

Thanks Kiefer

-- Kiefer 松

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

1831 posts in 1630 days


#8 posted 996 days ago

Another way to get more use from the router. Thanks for sharing !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4791 posts in 2515 days


#9 posted 996 days ago

Sweet. I love it.
I can only imagine all the thought that went into this. Although it is kind of fun designing and building machines.

I also would love a blog or such on watching it work.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1466 days


#10 posted 996 days ago

TL;DR, but the pictures show a nice machine :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9492 posts in 1723 days


#11 posted 996 days ago

Thats a really nice h-router, love the dust detail, no love plenty of little details.
Nice work.
Best thoughts,
Mads

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

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14878 posts in 1822 days


#12 posted 996 days ago

Mike great work, very clean.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6926 posts in 1547 days


#13 posted 996 days ago

Thanks guys.

Oh yeah, I am using this opportunity to try and convince the LOML that we absolutely need a NEW Canon DSLR with “video” capability. We will see… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1326 days


#14 posted 996 days ago

Jeez Mike, you’ve been busy! This is my favorite one I’ve seen yet. Why didn’t you use a powerful router for this application?, lol;)

Speaking of cameras, I was reading in this month’s Atlantic (yes, people in West Virginia read the Atlantic, lol) and they were talking about that new camera that basically shoots in mutliple planes. You take the shot and then later choose the foreground/background focusing. Supposedly, it’s as revolutionary as the switch to digital. I don’t know about that but it’s pretty interesting.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View horky's profile

horky

78 posts in 1564 days


#15 posted 996 days ago

Mike, I see some type of T-track is used for the x-y slides. Can you provide some detail on this, how assembled, MDF simply slotted to slide over? Anything used to hold together? etc. Thanks.
Great looking tool.

showing 1 through 15 of 42 comments

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