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Craftsman Mortise Routing Jig

By: Erich Lage
Use this router jig to create the look of through mortise and tenon joinery.

The sides and top of the Craftsman dresser are assembled with screws through the shallow mortises that also hold the tenon plugs. To ensure consistent mortise sizes, I used this router jig.

mortise jig drawing

router jig detail a

The two-part base and a pair of spacers form an opening for a guide bushing and straight bit. The width of the opening matches the bushing. The bushing should slide smoothly in the slot without moving from side to side. The distance between the spacers determines the overall length of the mortise.

Router jig figure 1

For all of the mortises except the two near the front edge of the top, clamp the jig to the workpiece with the narrow cleat securely against the edge of the workpiece. Use a plunge router to make a couple of passes to reach the final depth like you see in Figure 1a. For the two front mortises on the top, remove the narrow cleat, flip the jig over and attach the wide cleat. That cleat butts against the front edge of the top.

router jig figure 2

Published: Oct. 27, 2021
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