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Cut mortises of any width and length in stock of virtually any size.

Here’s a win-win proposition: Spend a day in your shop and turn your drill press into a mortising machine. This fixture makes it easy to cut mortises in multiples for doors, tables and frames. It has four components: a fixed base, a sliding table, an adjustable fence, and an adjustable stop mechanism. Building it requires less than a half-sheet of 3/4″ plywood or MDF and some easily obtainable hardware. I use Forstner bits to create the mortises.

How it works

Step 1. Adjust the fence to center the bit on the mortise centerline.

Mark the centerline and both ends of the mortise on one workpiece and use it to set up the fixture. Place the workpiece on the sliding table, lower the bit to the desired mortise depth and set the depth stop. Then adjust the fence to center the bit on the mortise (Step 1).

Step 2. Locate the right end of the mortise, clamp on a stop block and set the first stop bolt.

Maximize the sliding table’s travel by lowering the flipper and backing off the stop mechanism’s bolts.


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