Mortice Jig for loose tenon joinery

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Project by tdv posted 01-13-2011 11:57 AM 19105 views 74 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi Friends I have been building (amongst other things) a desk for my daughter-in-law (will post tomorrow) I have since joining Lumberjocks become a fan of loose tenon joinery so I found a jig on the site made by Sawdustonmyshoulder
But after sending him a couple of PM’s without reply (anyone know where he is?) I decided to guess dimensions myself & have a go this is what I came up with it is slightly different but works in the same way. I used Kreg tee track & mitre track but made the stops from some 1/2” poly prop sheet I had lying around. Sawdust did a great video on using it very informative check it out. I used a deWalt 625 plunge router (removed for clarity) & I have to say it’s a great jig. This site is a great reference library, If anyone wants to build one I can save them some time with measurements etc. I have a commercially madeTrend mortice & tenon jig (a cheaper version of the Leigh MT) but capacity is limited, this however will handle most things I’m liable to throw at it. Hope you like it & build one
Best regards to you all

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

25 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7284 posts in 4596 days

#1 posted 01-13-2011 12:04 PM

I have the Leigh FMT and have just made 22 cabinet doors works like a dream..

-- Be safe.

View Sodabowski's profile


2401 posts in 4074 days

#2 posted 01-13-2011 12:36 PM

Hi Trevor, very nice job on the jig! How about showing us what it can actually do? :)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View mafe's profile


13334 posts in 4330 days

#3 posted 01-13-2011 12:43 PM

Hi Trevor,
It’s really well made. I love it. When I get to work on mine, I will look at this one for inspiration.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4305 days

#4 posted 01-13-2011 01:02 PM

Nice looking jig there. Especially since it does the job.. Thanks for the post.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Todd Thomas 's profile

Todd Thomas

4969 posts in 4690 days

#5 posted 01-13-2011 01:28 PM

looks good….well done…i may have to make me one of these…

-- Todd, Oak Ridge, TN, Hello my name is Todd and I'm a Toolholic, I bought my last tool 10 days, no 4 days, oh heck I bought a tool on the way here! †

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5123 days

#6 posted 01-13-2011 03:02 PM

Wow. Nice build. I like it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4318 days

#7 posted 01-13-2011 03:57 PM

Wow Trevor! Now that is sweet! Looks like you have yourself one well built Cadillac of a mortise jig….

Very cool and well done!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5028 days

#8 posted 01-13-2011 04:07 PM

Sweet jig! Nicely executed. Looks like it will make highly functional loose tenons. So exactly how will it put a mortise in the end of a long (like 6’) stretcher? This is the same problem I’m having with the one I built. I may have to build a portable mini version for extra long items like workbench stretchers.
Thanks for sharing your work with us.

View Doug's profile


1247 posts in 4002 days

#9 posted 01-13-2011 04:41 PM

Nice work Trevor. I’ve not considered using loose tenon joinery before simply because I have no way of holding the material. Your jig would solve that issue for me. May I take you up on your offer for the dimensions? Thanks for the post.

-- Doug

View Schwieb's profile


1921 posts in 4702 days

#10 posted 01-13-2011 04:49 PM

Hi Trevor, I love seeing well made jigs and fixtures. These extrusions available now for the tracks and the knobs and handles make it so nice to make things like this. I’m spending this morning making some fixtures based on a book by Yeung Chan, “Classic Joints with Power Tools”. This is a great little reference book that I think Mads made mention of before. I confess, I know almost nothing about “loose tenon joinery” but there’s nothing wrong with learning a new way to do joinery. I’ll have to check it out. Good work, man. I appreciate it very much.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View tdv's profile


1203 posts in 4311 days

#11 posted 01-13-2011 05:11 PM

Thanks guys as I said if anyone needs measurements or info let me know

It is mountable on any work surface just a couple of clamps, it cuts about 9” above the mounting surface & I built a router station (see post) which is 4’ 6” so I could do a 5’ rail end or pack it up on a temporary box to achieve 6’ I guess

The thing I like about loose tenons is that the router bit cuts the same every time, All the rails are simply cut to length without allowing for the tenons & you mill up your own tenon stock through the thicknesser
and get the perfect fit & if you make a mistake with the tenon you just throw it away & make a new one instead of scrapping the rail or messing around having to glue veneers to the cheeks. As Larry (degoose) said the FMT is brilliant but very expensive & this will cover the same tasks even angled

all the best

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


489 posts in 4869 days

#12 posted 01-13-2011 06:28 PM

Say, tdv, your jig looks good. I really like the clear plate for the router. You can really see what your doing under there and the plastics stops look good too. I used mostly scrapes and parts I had around the shop so mine looks like the “Mad Max” version. 8^)

Do you incorporate the hold-down for routing the side-grain?

Ratchet, for a 6 foot stretcher, I would go with a convention tenon or get a tall bench and ladder set-up.

Jig Projects: First posting ———— Second posting

Jig Video is here.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View tdv's profile


1203 posts in 4311 days

#13 posted 01-13-2011 07:34 PM

Why thankyou I’ll definitely take that as a compliment. I also used up scraps for mine I was lucky & found some thick poly sheet for the stops & offcuts of track from a previous jig & yes I did make a hold down for the side tenons but I borrowed the knob off my drill press table & put it back when I was finished I’ll have to get another. Good luck with the house build by the way, If you have any morticing to do let me know I’ll bring my jig over & we can do them 2 at a time

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4175 days

#14 posted 01-14-2011 01:33 AM

Great Jig Trevor!

From the video it seems to make easy to cut those loose tennon.

Thanks for sharing!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22378 posts in 4917 days

#15 posted 01-14-2011 09:12 AM

Nice work. Looks like the way to go if you have a lot of mortises to do.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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