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Thread: I built a Morley Mortiser

  1. #1

    I built a Morley Mortiser

    I have watched and admired Philip Morley for awhile as he seems to be truly dedicated to his craft and has earned his way through a 7 year apprenticeship. Here is his website; https://philipmorleyfurniture.com/

    He designed this mortising jig to be easy to set up and use. I downloaded the plans from his website a long while back and I was impressed with his attention to detail and it was obvious that he put a lot of thought into his design. What I really liked the most was that his design positions the mortise slot using center line marks and pre-made shim blocks. This gives me repeatable accuracy time after time which I really wanted. It is very adaptable to different stock and mortise sizes and it was pretty easy to construct.

    I took great care to cut my dado slots very accurately along with the corresponding slides to try and achieve tight tolerances as this is what really drives the accuracy of the mortise slot. After I got a snug fit to the slides, I waxed them with a bit of paraffin for smooth action. All of the other pieces are just basic cut and fit parts. I had a bit of an issue with finding an adapter plate for my old Ryobi router that would accept a guide bushing as required for his design. I finally got that resolved with a lexan adapter plate that fit, and I was in business. I have made mortises all morning and they have all been dead on accurate so far. I am having an issue with chip extraction as the chips get packed under the adapter plate quickly as there is no easy way for them to escape from under the plate. I'll have to work on that issue, but so far, everything else has been really smooth.

    I have pre-cut my tenon stock and planed it to the right thickness so that whenever I need it I just cut off a short section and use that for my floating tenon.

    Hope this review helps someone!
    Bud
    IMG_3400.JPGIMG_3401.JPGIMG_3402.JPGIMG_3398.JPG

  2. #2
    Cleaning out the chips is the reason Phil Thien designed his mortising jig the way he did. Maybe a shortened bushing? Or a blast of air blown through the router base as mortises are being cut? Because the bushing only locates front to back, and not length, an elbow could be adapted to router base for air line to supply compressed air to clear chips at the point of generation. Hose would most likely have to come down from over head.
    Last edited by Bruce Wrenn; 12-14-2020 at 9:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Lafayette, CA
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    Bud, this reminds me of Young Je's design. He and Philip Morley certainly have a way of inventing jigs.

    Here's my take on Young Je's jig:

    IMG_3403.jpg IMG_3404.jpg

    It's only useful for shorter mortises than yours can make. I tend to use two mortises in long work anyway.

    For a little extra accuracy, I did notice that this little shim was helpful for finding the center, so I made a few:

    IMG_4935.jpg
    Last edited by Bob Jones 5443; 12-15-2020 at 12:49 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Jones 5443 View Post
    Bud, this reminds me of Young Je's design. He and Philip Morley certainly have a way of inventing jigs.

    Here's my take on Young Je's jig:

    IMG_3403.jpg IMG_3404.jpg

    It's only useful for shorter mortises than yours can make. I tend to use two mortises in long work anyway.

    For a little extra accuracy, I did notice that this little shim was helpful for finding the center, so I made a few:

    IMG_4935.jpg

    That's a nice looking jig Bob!
    I use the same centering shim block just like yours. In addition, I also made some pre-measured spacer blocks to set up my outer stops to the mortise center. I have them pre-cut at various standard mortise widths such as 1" , 1 1/2". etc. Saves time and gives excellent accuracy. You just line up your spacer block and then slide the outer stops on each side to the block.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    717
    Jigs are fun.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
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    4,650
    Good job...thnks for info...
    Jerry

  7. #7
    Thanks for introducing me to Philip Morley, and showing a Jig that I didn't know I needed until I saw it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Woodward View Post
    Thanks for introducing me to Philip Morley, and showing a Jig that I didn't know I needed until I saw it.

    Also check out Woodsmith / ShopNotes mortiser, which uses router base as guide. Same basic method of construction, just different system for guiding cuts. After weighing both plans, I went with the ShopSmith version.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    8,401
    For comparison, here is the fixture I built. Inspired by one in FWW magazine, with a few mods of my own.













    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Last edited by Derek Cohen; 04-01-2021 at 12:22 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northeastern OK
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    147
    I bought the Morley plans and then realized the limitation of mortise depth that comes with the 3/4" base. I modified the design which coincidently looks much like Derek's but uses the Morley-type clamp board. That extra clamp board length plus horizontal clamp grooves is useful for mortising chair legs and other odd shaped parts (or loose tenons on ends of boards). I happen to have the same router edge guide. Word of warning...that guide flexes just enough that one has to be be very careful to take relatively light passes. Also, taking the mortise ends to full depth initially is also a no-no. They never aligned perfectly with the rest of the mortise cut because of the inherent flex. The guide aspect of the Morley design eliminates this problem but mortise depth is the trade-off that I was not able to overcome.
    The Match-Fit clamps have become my favorite accessory for table saw and router jigs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    97

    Pat Warner solved all router problems

    Nice work --

    For anything having to do with routers and jigs/fixtures, genius-level solutions from Pat Warner can't be beat. Unfortunately Pat passed away in 2017, but you can see photos of his solutions in the wayback machine (https://archive.org/web/), just plug in patwarner.com, and look for a snapshot that's before 2017.

    Here is the morticing jig I bought from Pat long ago. He solved the chip collection issue by using a router that has a connection for collection. The full description of the jig can be seen here:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20100724.../mortiser.html


    pat warner mort_jig1.jpg

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