Mortise Machine

  • Advertise with us
Project by Thos. Angle posted 01-28-2009 11:50 PM 5804 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In 1990 I bought out a fellow who had just about everything ShopSmith put out. That included manuals. This Shopsmith Router Arm was in the deal. I used it as it was some but the table was no good. I gave it to an old friend who was a wood butcher. He has since gotten to where he doesn’t work in the shop as much(age). Last spring, I was at his house and asked if he would sell this machine back to me. He said, “No, but I’ll load it on your truck and you can have it back. I never used it much anyway.”

When I got it home, I removed the table and replaced it with one made from particle board and laminate. I then made the two movable fences. The piece to be mortised is placed between the fences and the fences are brought to just touching the project. I then adjust the two fences so the mortise is in the right place. I set stops and use the router like a drill to bore a series of holes. After the mortise is drilled out, I slide the workpiece back and forth to smooth the edges. with the set up I now have I can go to 1 1/4 inch depth. By using a longer bit and raising the arm I can go deeper. One can either round the top of the tenon or square the mortise with a mortise chisel.

This can also be used as a pin router. I haven’t put the pin system in the new table but it is in the router drawer. These sell for less than a good mortise machine on E-Bay.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

16 comments so far

View BarryW's profile


1016 posts in 5189 days

#1 posted 01-29-2009 12:05 AM

Use it and enjoy…and the price was right.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

839 posts in 5116 days

#2 posted 01-29-2009 12:16 AM

Very cool. ebay eh? good Idea. Is the mortise smoother than with a hollow chisel?

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5134 days

#3 posted 01-29-2009 12:43 AM

Great acquisition Tom.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

557 posts in 4799 days

#4 posted 01-29-2009 01:14 AM

I had one of those…I sold it before the days of e-bay when SS quit selling them and a contractor needed one. I broke even and like the saying goes, I sure needed the $$$.

I use my Woodrat for doing these now, but I just had to do some on the edge of a 12” board that was 80” long. I was never comfortable so I ripped it apart, cut the mortises and glued it back. I’ll see how it looks once it has been sanded.

-- jstegall

View Max's profile


55999 posts in 5556 days

#5 posted 01-29-2009 01:23 AM

Looks to me like it does a really nice job. Like the table you built and set up.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14192 posts in 5266 days

#6 posted 01-29-2009 01:35 AM

I’ve been looking for a good deal for one of these. I bought a shopsmith Joint Matic a few years ago. It is a cool tool also.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5304 days

#7 posted 01-29-2009 01:40 AM

Dandy good solution for a great tool!

I have and old swiss aerosol can capper I was about to scrap but It looks like it could find a new home.

Thanks for the prod Thom.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5245 days

#8 posted 01-29-2009 01:55 AM

Rob, The edges are very smooth. I just fitted 4 tenons in about 5 minutes.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 5082 days

#9 posted 01-29-2009 02:20 AM

it’ll work

-- making sawdust....

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5683 days

#10 posted 01-29-2009 05:53 AM

Thos. An old acquantiance returns and becomes a NBFF (New Best Friend Forever).

I’m always a sucker for a happy ending. Great job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5157 days

#11 posted 01-29-2009 07:28 AM

Very cool. What a great tool to have.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4971 days

#12 posted 01-29-2009 09:46 AM

Very nice idea ..Thanks : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 5157 days

#13 posted 01-29-2009 01:42 PM

Necessity is the mother…........ That’s a great use, Thos.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5529 days

#14 posted 01-29-2009 03:17 PM

Cool idea Thos. I’m glad you can make something from nothing. Handy skill to have. My dad was like that. Mom used to bitch at him, we’d take a load of junk to the junkyard and bring back more than we took. Thats how all eight of us got bikes. lol.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5262 days

#15 posted 01-29-2009 04:35 PM

Hi Thomas;

Sure looks like it works well.

Great idea.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics