More Than a Mortising Jig

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JD Lohr School of Woodworking

At the JD Lohr School of Woodworking, we place a lot of value on practical jigs. I say “practical” because jig-making can get out of hand if you’re not careful, resulting in contraptions that are overly complicated and that try to do too many things. Ideally, a jig should be versatile without overreaching in its capabilities, and should do its job(s) as simply and directly as possible. This mortising jig is a great example of such a design. 

Used in conjunction with a router outfitted with an edge guide, this jig primarily serves for mortising furniture legs. However, we also employ it for other operations, such as slotting aprons to accept tabletop clips, and as a holding fixture to secure parts for edge-routing profiles. Part of its beauty as a mortising jig stems from its adjustable router-travel stops, which allow for quick, repeatable operation when cutting identical mortises in multiple legs. It works very well as a slotting or holding fixture because its fence-and-wedge system eliminates the need for numerous clamps, which would impede router travel. 

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