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JessEm’s Zip Slot Mortise Mill transforms your hand drill into a machine for creating loose tenon joints.  Cutting two mortises and using a loose tenon can speed up joinery significantly, because you only need to do one operation multiple times, rather than the three or four operations required with traditional mortise and tenon joints.

To use the mill, chuck the special mortising drill bit into your hand drill, and mount the matching bearing-guided drill bushing into the mill’s carriage.  Stick the bit into the bearing guide, and slide the carriage along the rails to create crisp mortises up to 3-1/2″ long in hardwoods or softwoods.

You can either mount the Zip Slot Mortise Mill to a workbench or remove the top plate and clamp it directly to the workpiece.  The stock locating block on the front of the base allows you to accurately position the mill on your workpieces to make repeatable slot mortises.

For $100 you get a Zip Slot Mortise Mill, a 3/8″ drill-guide bushing, a 3/8″ mortising drill bit, and five pre-cut tenons.  JessEm also sell 1/4″ and 1/2″ drill-guide bushings and mortising bits separately.  So far, Woodcraft seems to be the only company carrying the tool.

Zip Slot Mortise Mill [JessEm]
Zip Slot Mortise Mill [Woodcraft]

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2 Responses to Loose Tenon Joinery With Your Hand Drill

  1. fred says:

    This looks to be a competitor to several other loose tenon jigs and tools.
    At the high cost end (about $800) is the Festool Domino using a dedicated machine.
    The there is the beadlock system:


    Some years ago we tried a jig called the MorTen made by Porter Cable. It was OK but generally not worth the set-up time – and I think that it is no longer made.

    We’ve been using a Mafell DD40 dual doweling machine which is just as pricey (about $900) as the Festool Domino. I see now that Freud is offering a doweling machine at a more modest cost (just over $300) that may be worth a try.

  2. ShopMonger says:

    This looks like a “Muli Machine” or multi router….

    but of course they are wayyyyyy expensive..

    This looks like a cheap version but if it holds up i guess it would be alright

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