Long board end mortise


JeffMan
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  1. 1. Should I build a horizontal router setup or just use a jig on the end of the long board to make a shallow mortise?

    • Build a horizontal router table setup
    • Mortise the board using a clamp on jig
    • Stand on a stool with the board vertical


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I am building a bed and have known that I was going to need to make a mortise in the end of the rail board to attach the hardware. I've just been avoiding the issue, until now. I know that a horizontal router setup would work just perfectly, however I don't have a setup like that. I do however have a router and a very nice table that I built. Attached is a picture of the board and hardware and the outline of the mortise. I have a feeling, i'm going to end up standing on a stool with my router on the end of the board with a jig on the end. Now that I think about it, why not use the jig with the board lying horizontally? That would mean holding the router sideways, but with the jig there shouldn't be any issues. Any feedback would be helpful. Should I just put a horizontal jig together for my router table or just use a jig clamped to the end of the board?

post-1448-089736000 1283189849_thumb.jpg

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I'd offer an alternative to your 3 options and that would be if using a router just use a fence on a hand held router either normal size or trim router if you have one. when I built my bed I think I went with the trim router for that hardware that or I did it by hand with a power drill and forstner bit and a chisel. Cant remember for sure.

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Same ideas as Keith: use an edge guide but you can normally screw on your own fence board to them.... screw on a piece of 3/4 ply or MDF as it will hold the router horizontal quite well. Makes the passes easier. Ben's thought is good, too, but I'd use the fence mostly cuz I don't have a small router; mine is too heavy for free-handing.

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I'd make a template that clamped over the end of the rail. I would clamp the rail diagonally in my vise at a comfortable angle, then use a router with the template to cut the mortice. I'd finish up with a chisel to square the corners and be done.

The template consists of a board with a slot down the middle that will guide a router bit with either a bearing (dado cleanout bit or short pattern bit) or guide bushing. Mount a perpendicular board underneath the template so the slot is centered on the end of the rail. This clamps onto the face of the rail. Add a stop to align the end of the slot so it is centered on the height of the rail.

There are lots of ways to make the template. Start with a 3/4" board about 4" wide and longer than the rail height by a few inches. Cut a dado down the middle of the board that was exactly the width of the fitting (plus offset if using a guide bushing) and about 3/8" deep. End stops in the slot that defined the ends of the slot (length of the fitting) and drill a starter hole in the middle of the slot. Use a pattern follower bit to open up the slot through the board. I'd then widen out the dado so it fit over the end of the rail with the slot centered. Add the clamping board and stop and use it to cut the 4 mortices in my rails.

Finally, I'd set up the bed and take a nap after all that hard work.

Then send us a picture when its all done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, they are done and I ended up using the edge guide I bought for my Bosch router. The only thing I would have done and will do for the future is cut a piece of wood and joint and plane it flat and parallel and screw it to the fence as a single piece instead of using the guide how it is which is split in the middle. When the board is short it's easy to get to the edge and let the fence come off. Now that I think about it, those guide fences may adjust together, I just have them set apart for some reason. Pics of the bed to come. Thanks for all the suggestions, I just needed to KISS!

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Maybe I'm old school, but it's exactly these kinds of situations where I don't think twice before reaching for hand tools. Honestly if you have a marking gauge, a good sharp chisel, and ideally a router plane, this is a very quick operation that requires no setup or harming of electrons. I had a similar situation recently where I needed to cut tenons on the ends of a 60" long board. The only safe and practical way to do it was to use hand tools. It was kind of a funny setup too...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is the way to do this with a Festool plexiglass system. The beauty of this attachment is the versatility. Oh yes I know ... I am a FesHead ... Guilty as charged.

http://www.festoolus...ct-2008.html#05

As much as I like Festool, I've never understood the price of that jig. I have an OF-1400 and have 2 edge guides. Put one on each side of the router (on the same guide bars) and you have the same thing. Since you likely have one edge guide already, it only costs for the second (which, surprise surprise, was half the cost of my deluxe Bosch edge guide).

Got lucky, too, as I found a low-volume local dealer who had the original version of the OF-1400 edge guide. oh la la...

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Yes and no. Yes because is less money and you are correct, no because with the plexiglass template you can dial your "off center" by milimetric adjustments.

As much as I like Festool, I've never understood the price of that jig. I have an OF-1400 and have 2 edge guides. Put one on each side of the router (on the same guide bars) and you have the same thing. Since you likely have one edge guide already, it only costs for the second (which, surprise surprise, was half the cost of my deluxe Bosch edge guide).

Got lucky, too, as I found a low-volume local dealer who had the original version of the OF-1400 edge guide. oh la la...

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I also wanted to add that I use that template for a whole bunch of stuff, mortise locks for doors, a groove on the edge, etc. I am very aware you can do the same thing with your method. I should say ... I am very aware today after reading your post plus the last Festool newsletter "sysnotes".

I was installing a mortise latch on a tall door and had to have a hole dead 90 degrees to match a mortise and was able to clamp the jig on a door, I don't think you can clamp the 2 edge guides.

But having said all of that may be if I would have thought about this more when I purchased my plexiglass template would have gone your route.

Good idea.

As much as I like Festool, I've never understood the price of that jig. I have an OF-1400 and have 2 edge guides. Put one on each side of the router (on the same guide bars) and you have the same thing. Since you likely have one edge guide already, it only costs for the second (which, surprise surprise, was half the cost of my deluxe Bosch edge guide).

Got lucky, too, as I found a low-volume local dealer who had the original version of the OF-1400 edge guide. oh la la...

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Hi

Couldn't you have just clamped two pieces of 25 - 30mm MDF to each side or your mortise, flush with the end. The MDF would be longer than the width of your rail and then you could run the edge guide off the MDF. The MDF makes a very stable base for the router and there is no need to add anything to the edge guide. Also it's very quick to set up and doesn't really cost anything.

Also IMHO it would be better to angle the rail, when freehand routing, rather than standing on a stool or to have the piece horizontal just 'cause it's easier and you're less likely to make a mistake.

Hope the hindsight helped :)

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