How to Cut a Mortise With a Router

We research in-depth and provide unbiased reviews and recommendations on the best products. We strive to give you the most accurate information. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

There are three main steps in cutting a mortise with a router. To ensure accuracy, you must use a template guide and screw-guide. Also, you must use a jig’s fence to cut the mortise to the proper depth. For more tips, read this article. Also, watch the videos below to learn more about the various ways to cut a mortise.

Using a screw-

You can cut a mortise in a wood piece by using a router. The first step is to attach a straight bit to the plunge router base. Center the straight bit over the outline of the mortise. Using a guide block, line up the work-piece against the bit’s layout line. Once done, move onto the next step.

The thickness of the mortise must be about one-third of the thickness of the stock. A good router bit will come with adjustable depth settings. Make sure you get one that has carbide blades and is manufactured by a reputable company. Mortises cut too wide can weaken tenons and cheeks. Therefore, it is crucial to cut the mortise just right to avoid weakening the tenons.

Choosing the right router bit for the job is critical. The correct one will make the job easier. For instance, you can use a plunge router with a chisel to cut a mortise. This tool is ideal for making mortises in narrow wood. A plunge router can be used with a mortise bit or a screw-driver.

Before cutting a mortise with a router, you should align the cutter with the lock plate. Make sure the width of the mortise is the same as the width of the door. Then, adjust the depth stop accordingly to the thickness of the lock plate. Once you have done this, place the router in a stable position against the door. If it’s too thick, you will need to use a mortising jig.

Using a template guide

Before cutting a mortise, you should make sure that your workpiece is square. A jig can make this task easier, but you should still measure the workpiece carefully. To get a square fit, you can use a combination square or other measuring tool. After you measure the length of the mortise, use the combination square to mark its width. Then, insert a shim between the workpiece and template fence to compensate for the offset.

A template guide is a useful tool to use when doing low-production woodworking. It creates a larger platform on which to steady the router and ensure an even mortise. Most trim router models include accessory sub-bases that can be screwed to the router. But if you’re using a larger router, you can also purchase a universal sub-base for your machine.

Before cutting a mortise with a router, make sure you create a template. A template is an excellent way to ensure a perfect fit. It also saves you a lot of time by reducing the load on your router. A template can be attached to the workpiece using screws, clamps, or double-sided tape. The template should be fixed securely to avoid flexing, which can ruin your work piece.

Next, make sure you measure the offset between the cutting edge of your router bit and the guide edge of the template guide. Calculate the offset by measuring the length of the cutting edge of your bit from the base of your router. If the offset is not right, you might have too large of a bit. If this happens, you can adjust the offset by using the guide edge.

Read More:   How to Make Sliding Cabinet Doors

Lastly, make sure that you install your fence. You can align your mortise width layout lines with the top plate of your template guide. You can also use short layout marks to position the fence. Then, use a bench vise to hold the mortised workpiece steady. For this, you need to make several passes to cut the full depth of the mortise.

Cleaning a mortise with a router

A clean, crisp edge is essential when making a mortise. A sharp chisel can help you get rid of any waste and square up the ends of the mortise. While conventional mortises have squared ends, you should clean these with a sharp chisel if they are rounded. Make sure to do this in stages, instead of all at once. This will result in a mortise that is clean and crisp.

Before you begin cleaning a mortise with a router, it’s helpful to mark where the overlapping holes are. Then, use a jig to guide the router’s movements. Choosing the correct bit for the job is as important as using an accurate jig. Using a jig will help you get the right angle when cleaning a mortise.

One way to clean a mortise with a router is to remove the mortise’s tenon. Mortises usually have sharp corners. This is why it is important to square up the mortise ends. If you don’t want to use a chisel, choose a straight bit. If you’re using a router table, you can use a guide block to line up the edges of the mortises and the tenon.

For the best results, a router bit that is 1/2 inch to a third of the thickness of the mortise is a good choice. The router bit should be made of carbide material and manufactured by a reputable manufacturer. It is important to ensure that the mortise is the right width because too narrow a mortise can weaken the tenon and the cheeks. You can also use a router with a wide bit for cleaning the cheeks and a narrow chise for cleaning the ends.

Using a sharp chisel to clean the mortise wall is also a good idea. A variety of chisels with varying angles will allow you to clean out any debris and waste. While it may not be as fast as a router, it is effective for cleaning mortise walls. With practice, you’ll be able to clean a mortise wall in no time.

Using a jig’s fence

A jig is a tool that uses a slotted piece of hardboard and an auxiliary baseplate to hold the workpiece in place while you cut a mortise. The guides position the mortise in the desired location, and they control the router. This will ensure that the mortise is cut precisely every time.

To prepare the workpiece for cutting, you should first glue up the platform. You can also use a test scrap piece to line up the jig’s fence with the platform. Before gluing it together, use a pencil to mark the center line. Once the jig is set, you can make a full-depth plunge cut in the slot. Then clean the middle part of the slot and blow out the chips. Before you begin the mortise, note the size of the bit and bushing that you will be using. Alternatively, you can add shims to the fence so that it fits the workpiece.

To install a jig’s fence, mark the workpiece and position it in the jig as if you were making it by hand. Mark the mortise location with sharp knife or gauge lines. Set the mortise gauge to the width of the end mill’s flutes. Then, clamp the workpiece so that it is parallel to the front wall of the jig and flush with the top edge. Alternatively, you can use a scrap piece of lumber to shim the workpiece to the desired height.

Read More:   How to Clean Your Shower Head

A jig’s fence is a convenient way to hold a mortise piece for cutting. The fence is a guide that enables the mortise to be cut accurately. A jig’s fence prevents the router from crossing over the mating piece during the cut. It also prevents the router from slipping off the plate as it cuts.

If you aren’t familiar with using a jig, you can use a longer scrap piece as a stop to hold the workpiece in place. You can also mount a stop block on the inside of the front wall to guide the router’s progress. Then, align the edge of the desired mortise width and adjust the router accordingly.

Why trust Handyman.Guide?

s written by Itamar Ben-Dor, who has 25 years of experience in renovations, carpentry, locks, creation, landscaping, painting, furniture construction, and furniture renovation, works with concrete, plumbing, door repair, and more.

Itamar Ben-Dor has been in the home improvement business for over 25 years. Itamar Ben-Dor is a jack of all trades. He's worked in the renovation field for years, doing everything from locksmithing to carpentry. He's a small repairs specialist. But his true passion lies in furniture construction and renovation - he loves seeing old pieces come back to life with some new woodwork or a fresh coat of paint.

He has taken courses on many topics in these fields at professional colleges in Israel. Over the years, Itamar has also become quite skilled in gardening, carpentry, and renovations. He's worked on projects of all sizes, from massive renovations to small repairs. No job is too big or too small for him!

Disclosure: participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.