How to Cut Mortises with a Plunge Router
Refinements to a Fine Woodworking contributor’s jig yield faster mortises
Back in 2007, issue 172 of Fine Woodworking magazine featured an article by furniture maker Jeff Miller on how to execute Perfect Mortise-and-Tenon Joints. Miller outlined a variety of techniques, including how to cut perfect mortises using a specially-built jig that traps the edge guide of a plunge router, thus keeping the machine on a perfectly straight path during routing.
The jig is easy to build and works beautifully. To define a mortise’s start and stop point, Miller simply screws on a pair of stop blocks. That works just fine, but I thought I might refine the jig, just a bit, to make it easier to use. By adding a length of T-track to the long beam that serves as the bearing surface for the router, I’m able to use repositionable stop blocks that don’t require me to break out my drill-driver every time I want to make a mortise.
This short video demonstrates how I built the jig, and how it’s put to use in cutting accurate mortise-and-tenon joinery.