Cheap and Simple Slot Mortiser Plans

comments (7) May 17th, 2011 in blogs

thumbs up 25 users recommend

Learn how to build this simple, economical slot mortiser.
Dont let the simple design fool you. This shopmade device, constructed primarily of MDF, makes it easy to cut countless mortises quickly and accurately.
Learn how to build this simple, economical slot mortiser. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Learn how to build this simple, economical slot mortiser.

click to enlarge

Sooner or later, most avid furniture makers fall under the intoxicating spell of the slot mortiser. While cutting individual mortise-and-tenon joints the old fashioned way can be therapeutic and fun-being faced with a larger project, or a contract to build an entire kitchen's worth of cabinets can be more than a bit daunting.

But the cost of a decent machine can vary anywhere from around $500, all the up way up to over $2,500. That's not exactly chump change, and we've featured plenty of great shop-built models here at Case-in-point: furniture maker Greg Paolini's home-brewed machine. You can catch a video tour of his homemade slot mortiser here. Plus, members can download the original project plan article and take a stab at building their own.

Download the Members-Only Plan

Paolini's slot mortiser is fully adjustable on three separate axes and doesn't require any high-priced hardware. Basic materials include some high quality multi-ply, MDF, aluminum T-track, a router baseplate, and two De-Staco clamps. Watch Greg's video for even more information. 

Build a Shopmade Slot Mortiser

posted in: blogs, how to, router, mortise and tenon, horizontal router table, slot mortiser, floating tenon

Comments (7)

dpaulstone dpaulstone writes: Might you show us how you made the height adjusting router mount? Seems better than the aluminum plate you originally used. The video is neat, but not quite adequate.
Posted: 5:13 pm on July 9th

aetrev aetrev writes: Looks like a good device, BUT the Unit in the video does not match the unit in the downloaded plan.
Posted: 9:22 pm on June 1st

armand767 armand767 writes: my mortise and tenon jig is a lot lot better than it here:
Posted: 4:17 am on May 25th

mlitzkow mlitzkow writes: Loose tenon stock can be made with a table saw and a roundover bit on a router table. The radius of the roundover bit should match the radius of the straight bit used to cut the mortise.
Posted: 12:22 pm on May 24th

Mordha Mordha writes: That's a great demonstration but how did he cut those curved tenons to fit the curved ends of the mortises?
Posted: 10:33 pm on May 22nd

slowman slowman writes: try downloading adobe reader and reinslalling it. after that the plan should load just fine. it did for me. I still need to read it and see if its the right one for my needs, but it looks good at first glance!
Posted: 3:29 pm on May 22nd

arden3 arden3 writes: I just tried to download the plans - all I get is a blank screen.
Posted: 2:20 pm on May 21st

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking


Become a Better Woodworker


GlueTube is's video blog that features self-produced videos about woodworking submitted by woodworkers around the globe. The videos featured here stream direct from video file-sharing Web sites including YouTube, Howcast, Vimeo,, and Google Video.

Learn about our new format!

Archive: Temporarily unavailable. Stay tuned and sorry for the inconvenience.