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Cutting Mortises with the Shopsmith

Long-time viewers of The New Yankee Workshop will remember that Norm Abram originally used to cut mortises by plunging the board onto his Craftsman router table. This is not an easy task, especially if youíre using a long board. Too bad he didnít walk across his shop and use his Shopsmith.

Iím using a couple of optional accessories, the router chuck and the fence-mounted featherboard. Iíve got the Shopsmith set up in horizontal mode. On a small board like this you could do this operation in vertical mode, but if youíre using a wide board itís safer to use horizontal mode.

The cut is made in a series of light passes. I stopped the machine and lined up the bit to begin the cut, and a stop block ensures that all of the cuts end up in the same place.

My right hand, which is out of the frame, pushed the stock forward, while my left held it down with a pushing block.

The mortise has a rounded end, which you could square up with a chisel. If youíd like the Shopsmith to cut the squared end for you, you can get the mortising attachment.

By the way, donít get the wrong idea about Norm Abram. Heís still my woodworking hero. I just donít happen to think that he ever really got to know his Shopsmith.

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This page last updated 07/23/05
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