Horizontal Mortising Machine
Turn your router into a horizontal mortiser. Sliding tables, easy-to-adjust stops, and excellent dust collection round out this budget friendly, precision shop-made tool.
Dedicated, production-style joinery machines fascinate me. The precise control, smooth cuts, and ease of setup set the bar pretty high. Of course, mortising machines, slot mortisers, and other similar tools have a price tag that goes with the performance. I’ve been bugging creative director, Chris Fitch, enough to come up a shop-made machine that can hold its ground with the commercial models. What he came up with makes my heart beat fast.
In our talks, one of the primary goals was simplicity. He wanted to avoid a complicated contraption. I wanted a way to rout mortises in the edges and ends of my workpieces. Layered plywood assembled with screws makes up most of the construction. A minimized hardware list avoids “Unobtainium” items and keeps the cost down.
At the core of this machine is an ordinary router motor. It’s mounted to a carriage that slides side to side as well as forward and back to create mortises. Easy-to-adjust stops offer consistent mortise sizing.
The workpiece is fixed on a table using stops and hold-downs. The table adjusts vertically to locate the bit on the thickness of the workpiece. Another feature I like is the dust collection. It sounds a little lame, but many router-based machines and jigs spew dust and chips all over. The shroud on this machine registers the workpiece and collects chips before they can get away.
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What You Get:
- 11 pages of step-by-step instructions
- Over 40 full-color photos and illustrations and exploded views
- Hardware sources and materials list
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Similar Woodsmith Plans
The United States Customary System of Units (USCS or USC), more commonly referred to as the English or Imperial system, is the standard set of units for our plans. It uses inches and feet for measurement. This is the one you probably want if you are in the United States, and it is the one we have traditionally offered on this website.
The International System of Units (SI), more commonly referred to as the metric system, is the alternative set of units that we have available for some of our plans. It uses millimeters, centimeters, and meters for measurement. This is the one you probably want if you are outside the United States. These plans are provided by our business partner, Australian Woodsmith, and are based on the original Woodsmith plan. However, dimensions and other elements of the plan may vary between the metric and standard versions. Be sure to double-check the plan before building.
All of the information that you need to build our plans can be found in the standard plan. However, if you want even more granular detail to make your job easier, you should consider our premium plans. These come with additional shop diagrams that we drew when creating the prototypes. Shop drawings are not available for every plan.