Tighten up your loose-tenon joinery

Jigs make for precise plunging

By Gord Graff


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With loose-tenon joinery, getting consistent and accurate results with a plunge router can be difficult. But with the Mortise Pal jig, cutting mortises is extremely accurate and easy.

The Mortise Pal is used with a plunge router with a 6″ base, an up-cut spiral router bit to cut the mortise and a 5/8″ outside-diameter template guide bushing. The guide bushing must be installed in the router so that the router bit and guide bushing are concentric, which is critical for creating joinery.

The Mortise Pal is well machined using stainless steel, aluminum and brass. The jig allows you to create flush, angled, offset and a variety of other mortises in stock from 1/2″ to 2″ thick. It comes with four mortising templates that allow you to cut four lengths of mortises, from 3/4″ to 2 1/2″. By moving the jig along the workpiece, I was able to cut mortises, any length I wanted.

Changing a template is as simple as removing two screws with the hex key supplied and replacing the template with one that suits the required mortise length. A convenient chart in the instruction booklet gives you all the mortise dimensions and template lengths at a glance.

Using the jig couldn’t be easier; all that’s required are two layout lines drawn on the stock that indicate the centre of the mortise to be cut. You then align the jig with the marks and attach it to the stock. Rout the mortise with a series of plunge cuts and then perform a final cleanup pass. The result is a perfectly milled mortise.

For more information, call 619-459-7951 or visit www.mortisepal.com.

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