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Cut mortises of any width and size in inventory of just about any dimension.

Here’s a win-win proposition: Spend a day in your store and switch your drill press right into a mortising machine. This fixture makes it simple to chop mortises in multiples for doorways, tables and frames. It has 4 elements: a hard and fast base, a sliding desk, an adjustable fence, and an adjustable cease mechanism. Building it requires lower than a half-sheet of three/4″ plywood or MDF and a few simply obtainable {hardware}. I take advantage of Forstner bits to create the mortises.

How it really works

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

Mark the centerline and each ends of the mortise on one workpiece and use it to arrange the fixture. Place the workpiece on the sliding desk, decrease the bit to the specified mortise depth and set the depth cease. Then alter the fence to heart the bit on the mortise (Step 1).

Step 2. Locate the appropriate finish of the mortise, clamp on a cease block and set the primary cease bolt.

Maximize the sliding desk’s journey by reducing the flipper and backing off the cease mechanism’s bolts. Next, roughly align the appropriate finish of the mortise with the skin fringe of the bit and clamp a cease block towards the workpiece.

Step 3. Slide the desk to the left finish of the mortise and set the remaining cease bolt.

Then use the sliding desk and the flipper-stop mechanism to dial within the bit’s precise location (Step 2). Repeat the process to find the opposite finish of the mortise (Step 3). The fixture is now able to course of a number of items with mortises of the identical dimension and site.

Step 4. Rough out the mortise by sliding the desk and drilling a sequence of overlapping holes.

Create every mortise in two steps. First, drill overlapping holes to take away many of the waste (Step 4). Then full the job by making incrementally deeper passes with the bit whereas sliding the desk forwards and backwards (Step 5).

Step 5. Complete the mortise by sliding the desk forwards and backwards as you slowly decrease the bit.

Build it

Start by attaching the guides to the bottom and the runners to the sled (A–D, Fig. A, beneath, and Cutting List, at backside). Sand easy one lengthy edge of every information and runner, as these edges will rub towards one another when the sled slides forwards and backwards. Square the guides to the bottom, with the sanded edges to the within, and fasten them with glue and screws.

Fig. A) Mortising Fixture

1. Locate the sled’s runners by wedging them towards the guides mounted on the bottom.

Place the sanded edges of the 2 runners towards the within edges of the guides. Then use a chunk of scrap wooden and a few wedges to carry the runners snugly—however not too tightly—towards the 2 guides (Photo 1). Place the sled on prime of the bottom meeting and sq. it. Then screw the sled to the runners. Remove the scrap wooden and wedges. Then take a look at the sled to ensure it slides easily, with out binding or wobbling backward and forward. If the match is just too tight, rub paraffin on the perimeters of the runners and guides. If the match is just too unfastened, glue a chunk of veneer to one of many edges.

2. Create the slots within the fence cleat by drilling overlapping holes after which smoothing the shoulders.

Outfit your drill press with a sacrificial desk and clamp on a fence. Then use a 1/4″ Forstner bit to chop a pair of two″ lengthy slots via the fence cleat (E), 2-1/2″ from every finish (Photo 2). After drilling the overlapping holes, create the slots by sliding the cleat forwards and backwards whereas slowly reducing the bit. Glue and screw the fence face (F) and the information blocks (G) to the cleat. Then set the assembled fence on the sled and use its slots to find the holes for the hanger bolts that connect these two components. Note that the fence meeting is a tiny bit wider than the sled, so it can slide freely. Drill the hanger-bolt holes.

3. Drill a gap via every adjustment block and flipper block. Provide extra assist to securely maintain these slim items.

Cut the adjustment blocks (H) and flipper blocks (J) to last dimensions and drill a centered 1/4″ dia. gap lengthwise via every block (Photo 3). Use the sacrificial desk and clamp a scrap 90° block to the fence to find and assist these slim items whereas drilling.

4. Create a housing for the captured nut in every adjustment block by drilling overlapping stopped holes.

Next, lower a stopped mortise within the aspect of every adjustment block for the captured nuts used to string the cease bolts (Photo 4). This time, lay the 90° block on the desk subsequent to the adjustment block and press each items towards the fence whereas drilling the overlapping holes and reaming out the slot. Cut the slots simply extensive sufficient to seize the nut, so it will possibly’t rotate, and simply deep sufficient for the bolt to string into the nut. Center the adjustment blocks 6″ aside on the entrance fringe of the sled and glue them in place, flush with the underside of the sled (Photo 5).

5. Glue the adjustment blocks to the entrance of the sled, spaced 6″ and flush with the underside.

Cut out the flipper clean (Ok) and drill a 1/4″ dia. gap at one finish, aligned with the holes within the flipper blocks. Then spherical each ends of the flipper. Slide the dowel (L) via the flipper and set up each flipper blocks with out glue. Test the flipper’s operation by setting the meeting towards the fence on the sled and ensuring the flipper doesn’t rub towards the mounting floor. Adjust the form of its again finish if needed. Then heart and glue the flipper meeting to the entrance of the bottom (Photo 6). Press the blocks towards the flipper, however ensure that the flipper flips.

6. Glue the flipper meeting to the bottom, flush with the guides.

Install the fixture by fastening its base to your drill press. I preserve a wood desk mounted on prime of my drill press’s steel desk, so the bottom of this fixture merely screws into the wood desk. I take advantage of the identical screw holes every time, so the fixture is at all times appropriately positioned. Place the sled in place on the fixture’s base and also you’re prepared to chop some mortises.

Drill Press Mortising Fixture Cut List

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