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Project by tyvekboy posted 08-02-2020 07:04 PM 2120 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
HORIZONTAL MORTISER JIG • No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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August 02, 2020

After my last post, you may be wondering what prompted the shop expansion. This is what caused it.

I built this Horizontal Mortiser and when completed I literally could not move around in the shop. This was built in 2017 and I just never got around to sharing it.

I was fasinated in what it would offer me in making small parts accurately and safely with a router. I researched the many that I saw on the internet and came up with this design.

This is the lower limit of the main table movement.

This is the maximum height that the table can move. It is moved with a wedge shaped sliding mechanism. Because of the weight springs were added to on each side.

The bottom half of the table moves side to side and has limit stops both on the left and right side attached to the blue T-track that control how far it moves. A metal index “finger” is mounted on the front of the table.

The top half of the table move towards and away from the router and also has limit stops attached to the blue T-track that control how far it moves. A metal index “finger” is mounted on the side of the table.

The table also can be move away from the router and up to the router mount. The router mount can also be raised and lowered with a crank attached to a threaded rod.

The one feature that I didn’t see in all the research that I did was a jig that had a table that could be tilted at an angle. That is the reason why I made mine that had a table that could be move away from the router mount.

The router is mounted on a carriage that moves up and down and can be locked in place with T-nuts and knobs. There is also a cord storage area that contains the excess cord of the router.

There is also a hanger for the collet wrenches on the side.

The router is turned on and off with a safety switch mounted on the side of the mobile cabinet.

Hope you enjoyed this project.

Comments and favorites welcomed and appreciated.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

16 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16964 posts in 4082 days

#1 posted 08-02-2020 07:11 PM

Just… awesome!!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26653 posts in 4320 days

#2 posted 08-02-2020 07:17 PM

WOW… will find that very very useful. I have a vertical mill that I use like that and you can make things that you would never be able to hold and do with router or router table. Nice work on it, Alex !!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8207 posts in 4568 days

#3 posted 08-02-2020 07:34 PM

A WOW for me too! More space is so much better when you have nice machines to work with. Your horizontal mortise machine deserved it’s new home! She’s a beauty!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4275 days

#4 posted 08-02-2020 09:18 PM

One more WOW from me! And a question …

Most of these that I have seen let the router move up and down like yours does. I’ve also seen one (on YouTube, if I remember right) where the table moves up and down on a wedge like yours does. But I don’t understand why you’d want both. What’s the benefit of having the table and the router both move vertically?


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View tyvekboy's profile


2128 posts in 4228 days

#5 posted 08-02-2020 09:59 PM


Having a table that moves up and down would allow different thicknesses of wood to be positioned in front of the router.

With the ability to move the router base up and down you can now route anywhere the router can reach without having to move the table. Also because it’s height is adjusted with a threaded rod, the router bit can be positioned very precisely.

The table lifting mechanism is not very precise unless I added a threaded rod adjustment mechanism to my jig. Hummm … maybe I should add that … what an idea. Anyway right now table height adjuster is a quick and dirty mechanism.

Does that explain it?

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


7910 posts in 2035 days

#6 posted 08-02-2020 10:50 PM

I also wanted to say WOW back, but it looked no different in either direction.

Love it ty’, sitting here with a big red (vino) thinking of ways I might be able to use it and though it has a smallish footprint formulating a tenure in the workshop.

That tilt option surpasses any level conjecture.

... a threaded rod adjustment mechanism to my jig. Hummm … maybe I should add that …
- tyvekboy

Ho-hum, No Hummm... would make a up lifting addition… and should be looked at now, before the creativity juices start to ebb.

Any SU?

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View swirt's profile


6526 posts in 4187 days

#7 posted 08-03-2020 01:09 AM

That is quite a machine. It is one of those things that I can think of 20 ways to use it but know full well there are 100’s I can’t fathom.

-- Galootish log blog,

View rmac's profile


236 posts in 4275 days

#8 posted 08-03-2020 03:07 AM

Does that explain it?

tyvekboy …

Sorry, I’m still not seeing it. I’ll explain my thinking and maybe you can tell me where I’m messed up.

When the router is at its lowest position, I’m assuming that there is a table position that puts the router bit at essentially the same elevation as the table surface.

Starting from that condition, it doesn’t make any sense to move the table up because doing that would put the router bit below the table.

So what happens when you move the table down? It’s true that moving the table down lets you work on taller work pieces. But couldn’t you get the same effect with a stationary table by just making the router tower taller so the router had more upward range of motion? Was there some reason you couldn’t (or didn’t want to) make the tower taller?


-- My table saw laughs at hot dogs.

View unclearthur's profile


387 posts in 3003 days

#9 posted 08-03-2020 05:20 AM

Congrats, thats quite a build.
I tried to make a horizontal mortiser once (much simpler) but it failed as the slides I used had too much play in them causing poor milling.
What do the moving tables ride on?

View AHPDEB's profile


40 posts in 2604 days

#10 posted 08-03-2020 05:44 AM

This is brilliant, also very well built and nice to look at! If you have a video somewhere of it in use plse share the link. If you are willing to share your plans I’ll be your loyal servant till end of time. Well done, excellent job.

-- Andries - South Africa

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9972 posts in 3543 days

#11 posted 08-03-2020 01:25 PM

Looks like a great build.

Please be sure to show us pics of the joinery you make with it.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View tyvekboy's profile


2128 posts in 4228 days

#12 posted 08-03-2020 01:58 PM

Rmac—I’ll try to post more photos later in the comments to show what I’m trying to explain.

Unclearthur—I’ll try to add more photos to the post showing what I used for the table guides. The lower one is a modified drawer slide and the upper one is made of plastic. WATCH the project and it’ll appear some time today if I have time.

Mainiac Matt—Like a mortising machine that’s hardly used unless you make a lot of furniture or projects that need mortise and tenon joints, this is one of those machine. I hate to tell you that since I’ve built it, I haven’t had a project that I needed it for. It’s still a virgin machine …. lol.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View gdaveg's profile


319 posts in 417 days

#13 posted 08-03-2020 03:37 PM


I will follow this post. Interesting and complex build.

I agee a video of this machine in action is warranted.


-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3659 posts in 4927 days

#14 posted 08-05-2020 02:37 AM

I was really impressed with your copper anniversary rose, but I’d be even more impressed to receive this jig from my husband for our anniversary!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5066 days

#15 posted 08-06-2020 01:17 AM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

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

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