Workbench TWO – Day 20

The objective for today is mortises for the legs. The leg tenons have been cut but need the mortises.

Since this needed exact registration, I decided to make a router template and cut the mortise using a Whiteside Ultimate Trim bit. This is a very robust and smooth cutting bit.

So this will be a tutorial for making router templates using Kreg Pocket holes. I have made many and I am sure most of my readers have also, but I think it is worth a few steps. You might read or see something that is different from your process.

Four critial design requirements for a router jig for a mortise.

  1. The mortise size ( width and height ) must be exact.
  2. The template must register to the work piece in an exact manner. If multiple mortises of the same size, then then registration must be design to handle this.
  3. The template must attach ( usually with clamps ) to the work in a totally secure manner.
  4. The surface of the template must allow of complete registration of the router base.

As I did the work on this I created a series of pictures with comments that show how to accomplish the four critical factors above.

NOTE:  I used my DW618 fixed base router to do this.  This is NOT the ideal method.  My plunge base router was out of commission. See day 17.  Using two routers is shown on Day 8.

After each template was cut with the router, I worked each mortise with my PMV11 1/2″ chisel.  Using a sharp chisel, doing something you understand, is just FUN.

The result was really good.   The legs register in the mortises exactly.  The real proof will be when I attach the short rails tomorrow.

The bad news is I pushed my DW618 router too hard with that large bit and killed the main bearing.  I have a bearing on order and will create a complete posting on how to install that bearing.

NOTE: Day 21 will be finishing tenon on short rails, cutting dados in bottom rails and fitting the twin vise..

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Please enjoy the full set of day 20 pictures with detailed comments:




  1. says

    Did you drill just the one starter hole for the mortise? In hindsight it might have been better to drill out as much waste as possible. That might have saved you from replacing the bearing on the DW.
    You still got a nice glove and hand fit which always brings a smile to my face.

    • Bartee says


      Well, NO I did not think about using the drill to clear as much as possible. Yes that would have saved the bearing.

      I suffer from the bad defect of not thinking about something after I have a decision in my mind. I did a “head slap” after reading your comment. Duh…

      On another note, I have just spent about 2 hours moving around vise parts. This time I am changing what has been in my mind for about 3 years for this workbench. I think I have come up with a better bench as a result. I will post some pictures for day 21 tomorrow. Really will not have much to show, except thinking.

      I have learned to listen. a little 🙂

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