In Tricks of the Trade

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Drilling a mortise requires you to move the stock from side to side. Using a Forstner bit, you drill the end holes first, then drill overlapping holes in between. To keep the workpiece tight against the fence, it helps to have a featherboard that works in both directions. I made one using a pair of MagJigs.

A MagJig is a magnetic clamp. Turn its knob one way and it exerts a powerful magnetic force. Turn the knob the other way and it lets go. Mounted on a cast iron drill press table, it is rock solid.

I added a rotating rubber washer that acts like a roller bearing to each Magjig. The washer spins on a machine screw that passes through a mounting hole in the MagJig. A nylon locking nut secures the washer.

You could make the same kind of roller-bearing device without using MagJigs, but I love these things because they’re so easy to position. -Jim Reinhart

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