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Homemade Mortise Pal jig

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Forum topic by MattKindall posted 11-01-2015 07:51 PM 5623 views 8 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MattKindall

11 posts in 1083 days


11-01-2015 07:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise tenon mortiser jig router

So I’ve been looking for a good mortising jig for building six dining chairs. Each chair has about 20 mortises and I want to finish them before I’m 100 years old (I am 42), so I needed something fast and accurate. I found the Mortise Pal online, but I am apparently a few years too late because they are out of business. I figured I could try to make one with some aluminum and plastic. Turns out my old 12” Caftsman band saw with an Olsen 6tpi blade cuts through one inch aluminum like butter! The band saw, a crappy tabletop drill press, some thread taps and a Ridgid belt/spindle sander are about all I needed to make this. Careful setup and use of a clamped-on fence got it done. All told, I spent about $60 on this thing and it works like a champ!!!


17 replies so far

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HerbC

1790 posts in 3004 days


#1 posted 11-01-2015 09:14 PM

Great jig!

Good luck on your chairs.

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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DMC1903

285 posts in 2472 days


#2 posted 11-01-2015 10:24 PM

Well done, I purchased a mortise pal years ago. It worked very accurately, however I grew tired of making the loose tenons. So using the Festool XL is my current form of joinery.

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AandCstyle

3164 posts in 2402 days


#3 posted 11-01-2015 11:45 PM

Matt, welcome to LJs. It looks like you must be something of a machinist because your MortisePal replica looks pretty good to me. Maybe you should consider selling your version commercially unless there any patents protecting the original design. I greatly prefer my MP to the hollow chisel mortiser it replaced. Will your chairs require angled mortises? The MP can do them if you make angled wedges to insert between the MP and the stock. Anyhow, please keep the posts coming.

P.S. Beautiful table, especially the sapele.

-- Art

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bonesbr549

1576 posts in 3212 days


#4 posted 11-02-2015 12:18 AM

Good job, it looks cool.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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MattKindall

11 posts in 1083 days


#5 posted 11-02-2015 02:48 AM

AandCstyle, “looks like you must be something of a machinist” Haha no. If you saw my shop you would laugh with me. I told a bit about the tools I used, and I wasn’t kidding. It was all just careful planning and layout, and the use of a block of wood as a drill press-and-sander fence. It was really pretty slapdash, and that’s why I posted it, because I was sort of surprised by the turnout as well.

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Betsy

3391 posts in 4041 days


#6 posted 11-02-2015 03:41 AM

Slapdash works! I often wished I had a bit more of the “tinkerer” in me that could come up with these jigs on my own – but that gene did not get passed on to me. I’m glad it worked out for you.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

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joey502

544 posts in 1663 days


#7 posted 11-02-2015 03:48 AM

Well done matt.

How wide is the polycarbonate piece? Does your router have the tendency to rock on a base that narrow?

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MattKindall

11 posts in 1083 days


#8 posted 11-02-2015 04:13 AM

The poly part is about 1” by almost 6” long. The router rides on the outer thick pieces of aluminum, and actually doesn’t touch the poly at all, since it sits about a 16th of an inch low to keep it from getting scratched by the router base. I didn’t notice any rocking in it, but I’ve only run a few mortises so far. The weight of the jig and the clamping pressure keep it pretty steady, in the bottom picture where it is clamped onto the wood, the whole thing is almost 6” square, so it’s a good base to ride on.

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joey502

544 posts in 1663 days


#9 posted 11-02-2015 06:23 AM

Ok. I did not realize the polycarbonate was below the aluminum and that the router did not touch it.

A 6” base is a nice size. I cut mortises with plywood jigs that use a slot and guide bushing similar to your jig. Mine have a 6” square base but are not adjustable.

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FrankRGinn

3 posts in 1082 days


#10 posted 11-02-2015 08:44 AM

Thanks. I love it. I think it’s useful.

-- Frank Ginn

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Pete_LJ

101 posts in 891 days


#11 posted 03-13-2017 04:21 PM

Nice looking jig. Excellent execution. Do you have plans for this jig?

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Matt

30 posts in 2112 days


#12 posted 05-18-2018 07:22 PM

Can you give some of the dimensions?

-- Matt, Pennsylvania

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1790 posts in 3004 days


#13 posted 05-18-2018 08:52 PM



Can you give some of the dimensions?

- Matt

Since the OP has only 10 posts, many of them on this thread and has not contributed any further info in two and 1/2 years, I don’t think he’ll be answering your question…

Good Luck!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3164 posts in 2402 days


#14 posted 05-19-2018 09:00 PM

Matt, I recently sold mine to “DIY1”. You might trying PMing him to see if he can help you out. He also has a set of guides he would like to sell to you if you’re interested. HTH

-- Art

View MattKindall's profile

MattKindall

11 posts in 1083 days


#15 posted 05-19-2018 09:51 PM


Can you give some of the dimensions?

- Matt

Since the OP has only 10 posts, many of them on this thread and has not contributed any further info in two and 1/2 years, I don t think he ll be answering your question…

Never underestimate the power of automated email notifications!

The body is just under 6” long, and I made it out of 3/4” by 2” aluminum. I used thick aluminum so it wouldn’t flex when clamped down. The only thing that would really matter is the rod length. I made them long enough that I could clamp a piece of stock up to about 4 in. thick. The larger pieces are adjusted to roughly fit the stock, then I crank the threaded ball which is attached to the smaller piece on the inside. The different plastic templates are for different sized mortises. Any other questions let me know!

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