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Mortise Centering Router Base

Using simple geometry, Rockler’s mortise-centering router baseplate can help you make perfectly centered mortises. Rockler makes the baseplate from 1/4″ clear acrylic, so you can see exactly what you’re routing. Two solid brass, 11/16″ pins screw into one of three sets of inserts drilled into the baseplate to accommodate different board thicknesses.

Place the pins in equidistant inserts for dead-on center mortises, or place one pin closer to the center to move the mortise towards one edge of the board or the other. By straddling the board with the two pins as you route the mortise, you’ll get a perfectly straight mortise, centered or not.

Rockler designed the 6-1/2″ diameter baseplate to fit the Porter Cable 690/890 series, Makita 1100-1101 series, Bosch 1617-1618 (fixed base only), and Dewalt DW616/DW618 routers.

Rockler sells this base with the brass pins for $20.

Mortise-Centering Router Base [Rockler]


6 Responses to Center Mortises With Rockler’s Router Baseplate

  1. Fred says:

    We use the late and still lamented (by some and cursed by others) Porter Cable Mor-Ten jig with a plunge router and steel bit for field-made mortises.
    Might still be able to find one on Ebay.

    In the shop it is a different story – having a dedicated mortiser.

    The Rockler jig as pictured would seem to require some care to insure that both pins remain in contact with opposite sides of the work – otherwise it looks like the bit might wander

  2. Jake Strait says:

    What happens when the pin on the left slides off the end of the board? I don’t think the mortise shown can be cut with that jig – its too close to the end – where the majority of mortises go.

  3. Fred,
    I think this is meant more for people who want to try mortising without dropping $200 or more on a dedicated machine, or even $50 on a drill press mortiser. It is not a replacement for a mortising machine. You could also make something like this yourself pretty easily.

    You have to be aware of which way the bit rotates. The rotation helps keep the pins against the board.

    I first saw a router plate like this on the Router Workshop, given the guys are pretty handy with a router, they didn’t seem to have any problems. They tend to rely heavily on router jigs to build their projects rather than have a bunch of different shop equipment. The real premise of the show is look what YOU can do with only your router.

    yeah, you might be right, but the photo has obviously been doctored so it may not be accurate. The thicker the board the closer you can mortise to the end with a given set of holes. You’d think maybe there should be a 4th set of holes even closer to the bit to handle mortises closer to the edge, but then again what’s to prevent you from adding them yourself. Or possibly you could add larger diameter pins, I have seen versions of this baseplate with ball-bearings instead of pins.

  4. Fred says:

    Not that I’m against those TV shows – but I gave up on the Router workshop after only a few episodes. The father and son pair are ingenious – but they were pushing their Hitachi routers to do jobs much better suited to other tools.

    There are times however, when you need to make do in the field to get a job done – or it is easier than bringing everything back to the main shop. On big jobs we set up a shop on the worksite and equip it very well – but don’t expect to see the panel saw, big jointer, the Unisaw or the shaper arrive on the truck.

  5. l_bilyk says:

    It might be a neat idea to use the pins to center the base and then use an edge guide, assuming it clears the pins

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