router mortising jig recommendations

Hi all - I need to make some mortises in bed posts for the rails.  I don't have much hand tool experience, so I think a router jig will be more accurate than forstner bits and chisels.  I have a couple older Hitachi routers and a newer bosch plug-in trim router.

Can anyone recommend me a good mortising jig that will help me center the mortise on the piece and work towards the end of the post?

oh man this picture makes me sad. i had that same router for over 25 years, then it finally died ! it was my favorite. sorry bud but no recommendations i can think of.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Probably this wont be what you want to hear, however, someone needs to get off their arse and make a start.

As always I will mention what I use, however, they are necessarily not in the frugal range and the best option.

I used to use the Leigh FMT

for over 15 years and has served me well.  It can do many variety of tenons,
and of course the appropriate mortices.

If you plan to do a lot of M&T joints in the future, it's hard to go past a Domino.... and don't say you don't plan to. The problem might the weigh of the decision between the 500 and the XL.
Because I had the Leigh FMT, their D4R and a biscuit joiner, I could not justify the Domino for 13 years. however, once Fe$tool released their breakdown hardware for the 500, it might be a puerile justification for me, but justification it was.

In my opinion, I will confess that the Leigh FMT will do a more "accurate" set of M&T joins than the Domino... but that is based on preciseness.  The Domino will place 1 (the first) accurate mortice for alignment, followed by a string of loose mortices for glue ups.  The Leigh (if accurately marked) is designed for exactness.

Another option is a mortise attachment for DP,

and there are many thousands of woodworkers still "using" them and will not hesitate to recommend them.... just remember that most are seasoned woodies with years of experience behind them and too bloody pigheaded to upgrade.
I bought a set, did a test run and it is stored in it's original box somewhere. Now maybe I needed to hone it, customise it, or whatever... but to me it was a bucket of shit... and I still cuss the ex-"friend" that recommended it.

Woodpeckers Morty is another option... all the recomendations I know of are based on their videos.

I'm sure there are many more "jigs" out there, but I have my bases covered by the above, so I don't need to look any further... however, someone may introduce something new that I'm not aware of that I may want to evaluate.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

Hmm, well thanks for those thoughts.  I'm not sure I want to do loose tenons though; I don't like the idea of trying to put the mortises into the ends of the long bed rails.  Not quite sure how I'd do that.  A more traditional tenon would be easier for me.

As for the router jig, I found a couple ideas but not quite 100% what I'm looking for.

This Rockler centering jig looks like it would do the job.  You can't take it all the way to the edge of the rail, but perhaps it would get close enough.  It also doesn't look like it would help with tipping, and if you rotate the router during the cut at all, then you loose your straight tenon walls.

I could just use the router fence, but again that leaves the human element to consider.

This Woodsmith plan looks closer, but centering it is still manual.  I'm concerned about changing orientations between the left and right side (for example) and having them be off.  Or referencing different faces between the upper and lower rails on the headboard.

This one is self-centering, but again, DIY and I don't really trust myself to make it within tolerance.  Also it would be nice to just buy something (as long as it's not super expensive).  I don't get nearly enough shop time as it is.

This last idea is what I'm looking for, but pre-fab plug and play.  Is anyone aware if somebody makes something like this?
 This one is self-centering, but again, DIY and I don't really trust myself to make it within tolerance.  Also it would be nice to just buy something (as long as it's not super expensive).  I don't get nearly enough shop time as it is. 

Don't fall into the trap that a decent jig is a one show pony.  You may not get much shoptime now, but you need to plan for the future... you will make other items albeit spaced appart and eventually you will retire and get more shoptime than you might wish for.
Just remember all the blogs you've read about people still using machines (whatever type/brand) made many years ago...  similar machines made nowdays are never that quality and machines made in the future might not be the quality of those made today. 

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

My favorite one, after trying a bunch of them with a drill press, router, other joinery techniques is gonna make Duckie right proud.

Festool Domino I absolutely understand at over a grand it 's price just SUX.

After you own one you will wonder why you spent all that $$$$$ on all those other tools that mostly fail, take forever to use, and don't give anywhere near as good a result. Thank me later.

If you cannot under any circumstances swing the grand, then do what jamsomito is showing above, and make something out of scrap wood. Results will be as good as most of the marketed items sold for a lot of cash. Duh, after I posted I looked up, it was you with the jig. I think you have the right idea if you don't want to spend a lot of cash to get it done.

Pottzie. I imagine a lot of peeps here had that same router, under one of it's many names. Elu, Dewalt, Hatachi, and likely a bunch of other names I have forgotten, or never knew about. It was THEE big boy router design of the 1980's. Like most 15", 4 post, planers, it's all the same tool. I believe at one time I had a dozen DeWalt 625's :-)

You might check the Woodsmith Plans library.  They have several plans for different style mortising jigs depending upon how elaborate a jig you want.  They also have plans for some mortising machines as well.    Here is also an online article for a simpler jig.  

--Nathan, TX. Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

Old thread but John Teneyck over at offers plans or will sell you one:

Now that I have more time, I’m going to build one from his plans.