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Mortise & Tenon

Mortise and Tenon Joinery


There are a number of mortise and tenon styles that are commonly used in furniture building to provide strength to glue joints. Blind mortises, through mortises, and integral or loose tenon joints have traditionally been cut and/or chiseled for centuries to add strength and integrity to a wide variety of furniture and cabinetry assemblies. The advent of the router has created the possibility of approaches to these joints that makes them less tedious to accomplish.

The Micro Fence Edge Guide brings a measured approach for the cutting of mortises that offers accurate and easily achieved results regardless of the size or position of the cut. Any router fitted with our guide can be used directly on the work piece or shop-made jigs can be employed to create a larger platform for the machine’s base, (in many cases improving safety and stability factor).

a). Centered Mortises: Using a piece of sacrificial material of the same stock to be used in the project, one initial test cut will provide the information for making an adjustment on the Micro Fence dial. Simply measure the material remaining on either side of the initial cut and subtract the smaller from the larger. Divide by 2 and dial that dimension toward the center of the material...you will be set at dead center.

The use of the Micro Fence Off-Fence can assist in maintaining your cut’s position (especially if successive plunge cuts are necessary to achieve a required depth).

Another method for centered mortises is provided with our Plunge Base fitted with the 'Auto-Centering Bearings.' These sleeve bearings are installed on the base of the Portable Mill, the router is placed on the piece to be mortised and is pivoted until both bearings are in contact with it's sides. The result is a perfectly centered cut, regardless of the dimension of the work piece. (See our instructions for the Portable Three-Axis Mill under free downloads).

b). Off-Center Mortises: Any dimension can be accomplished as a set-back from the adjoining piece (e.g. between a table leg and apron) by virtue of a single test cut and subsequent adjustment. Using our Stop Collars, you can ‘memorize’ this off-set to make repetitive cuts more efficient and eliminate the need to re-measure each time the operation is performed.

c).The Mortise Pal is particularly aimed at loose-tenon joinery for frame construction. It provides a temporary platform upon which to rest and slide a router fitted with a template guide bushing. Referencing from centered scribe lines, the mortise cut can be placed at any position required. Effective for face frames, picture frames, frame and panel assemblies, chair, table-leg or box construction, this versatile little jig simplifies the process and can save a great deal of time and effort.

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