24 Jun The Morty™ Loose Tenon Joinery Jig from Woodpeckers
Mortise and tenon joinery is strong, so naturally it’s used a lot in furniture design. The joint was cut by hand for millenia, and after the advent of routers a new variant, the loose tenon, became popular. This is a joint where a guided router plows a recess in each of the two parts to be joined, and then a shaped wooden tenon in glued into both.
Woodpeckers newest tool, the Morty Loose Tenon Joinery Jig, is a very precise aid to making this joint. It also offers the ability to align the mortise at an angle to the stock, which is often required in chair and other furniture joints. Morty uses a basic template and different combinations of template guide bushings and router bits to make seven different standard mortises for loose tenons – 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and 14mm. These are the same sizes cut by the Festool Domino™ mortising tool. A woodworker just needs to chuck the right router bit and guide bushing combination in a plunge router, align index marks in the template with the centerlines of a mortise, and rout away. For the decorative look of exposed tenons, one can set the depth of cut to rout completely through the material.
Note the small gray circle at the center of the jig in the photos. That’s a template that can be rotated in the sliding base to cut a mortise at any angle. This feature can provide design options in chair and stool construction, as well as in projects such as louvered doors and screens.
There are index pins that locate the ends of joined pieces, so the recesses line up perfectly. These pins also make projects with multiple mortises easy – just drop the pin in the previously milled mortise and use that as a guide to cut the next one.
If a mortise is going to be spaced beyond the length of the jig, then one can add a stop rod and a flip stop. And for more adjustment, the stops have some micro adjustments.
Woodpeckers is also offering precisely milled tenon stock in multiple species of wood, each specifically shaped for exposed joinery and available in 31″ length. Initially, these are available in white oak and beech, but more species will be added later. The tenon stock is carefully machined for a perfect fit in both blind and exposed joints. It also matches the dimensions of the Domino mortisers, which allows owners of that tool to make through tenons.
Morty is machined from stainless steel and anodized aluminum. The standard kit comes with the adjustable template, four guide bushings, a 1/4″ router bit, a sample of both white oak and beech 8mm tenon stock, the stop-rods and a couple of the 3-step flip stops. That’s everything one needs to get going. Woodpeckers also offers router bits. And tenon stock is available in 60-pack or 10-pack bundles, depending on size. Woodworkers who already own the right router bits can opt for the Morty Basic kit that comes with everything in the standard pack except router bits and the Rack-It caddy. The jig is precisely machined in Strongsville, Ohio. Kits run from $439.99 to $639.99 and are expected to ship in late December 2021