The agony, the agony, some more agony and the ecstasy #7: 20 minute slot mortiser

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by 404 - Not Found posted 03-27-2013 12:18 AM 2162 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Eating an elephant... Part 7 of The agony, the agony, some more agony and the ecstasy series Part 8: Progress »

Fairly unremarkable things on this job today. Just about done with the planing. It’s running behind schedule, Easter holidays mean the kids are at home and I’ve got to do the running about.

Standing at the planer today I was thinking about how I could speed this job up a bit. I used loose tenons to make four doors for my ‘chicken proof’ project a couple of weeks ago, they were really quick, close fitting and accurate. It took hardly any time at all to sand down the doors, no racking either. I come to the conclusion that a table to hold a router sideways is needed and start planning it. It will save a lot of time making all the frame and panel pieces.

Think simple, I haven’t got time to engineer one. Think agricultural. Think birch ply scraps, pivots, bolts and screws.

First cut the scraps to what looks about right.

Scrap one, place router on 3/4 birch ply, draw around base with pencil. Freehand out 1/2” with router. Remove router base plate, put in the hole you just took out of the ply, pencil around the screws in the base plate, drill the holes, attach router to ply. Put base plate somewhere you can find it later.

Scrap 2, 3, 4 make a small table size piece, make two lengths to act as legs running the whole length of the table, attach at edges, make 90 degree blocks to keep the construction square.

Attach scrap one to the back of one of your legs with a single bolt, fastened with a nyloc nut, the pivoting action gives me all the height adjustment I need. At the end of the pivotong piece, attach a strip of the same material to the leg of the table extending upwards, then attach a wider scrap to that, so it overlaps the pivoting piece to keep it in place.

Need to add a piece above above the cutter to act as a hold down and guard, and put a bolt with a wing nut through the piece holding the router and the overlapping bit at the back to lock it (I suppose a g cramp would do). Other than that, should be ready to go in the morning. Do I need to add a disclaimer?

2 comments so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3705 days

#1 posted 03-27-2013 02:56 AM

I would probably make a carrier board with a square edge
and a right angle fence.

If you had a Woodrat plunge bar you would have it
easy because it lets you plunge the cutter with one

I did build the setup I am describing a few years back
during a downsizing when I got rid of my heavy slot

In one of James Krenov’s books he describes freehand
plunging and mortising with no jigs, but the chuck
was running considerably slower than a router.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3026 days

#2 posted 03-28-2013 01:42 AM

This works really well, just put stop blocks front and back of the cutter and do a walking plunge with the board – zigzagging it into the cutter to full depth. Did 48 slot mortises with it this afternoon, have to stop half way through each mortise to vacuum up the dust. I could do with some spiral upcut bits but they’re not something you see here.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics