Once again I took a little trip out to visit with the crew at ToolSelect.com to share my opinions on a tool they sent me to tryout in the shop, General Tools EZ Pro Mortise and Tenon Jig. It arrived at just the right time, since I was about to start building Samantha’s Mirror Frame. If you haven’t seen the first half of the build video, check it out here – Samantha’s Mirror Frame Pt 1.
Mortise and tenon joinery is one of the foundations of good construction. It’s been used for centuries, not just in furniture construction but especially in timber framing where it’s kept many a roof and wall together. From buildings as small as summer cottages in the middle of a scenic meadow to monstrously looming cathedrals in the center of sprawling metropolises. In short, it’s a useful joint!
While it’s been a cornerstone of good construction for centuries, it’s not always the easiest joint to master. Ask two woodworkers how to cut it, you’ll get two different answers. So it can be confusing for beginners and tedious for more advanced users depending on how they approach it.
There have been a number of jigs created to help get around all the confusion and assist woodworkers in constructing solid, tight fitting, reliable mortise and tenon joinery every time. Not all of them live up to the hype, some are just downright ridiculous and even more are ridiculously priced.
The mortise and tenon jig I had a chance to tryout in my shop was made by General Tools. It’s designed to be simple to use, easy to setup and allows the user to cut both the mortise and tenon side by side.
The beauty in that design is that there’s no need to load up the first piece, cut the tenon, then remove and reload with the mating piece for the mortise. Both are clamped in the jig simultaneously and the user moves from one to the other.
Is it a jig I’ll be using every time for cutting mortise and tenon joints? Is it something I think lives up to it’s promise? Would I recommend it to ALL woodworkers looking for a M&T jig? You’ll have to watch to find out…
Standard features include:
* Fully assembled, ready to use right out-of-the-box.
* Includes bushing to create 1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″ joints.
* Use with a plunge router to cut fully aligned mortises and tenons ranging from 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide and from 1 to 3″ long.
* Can be mounted directly on a workbench or onto a board that can be clamped in a vise or to a bench.
* Easily handles stock from 1/2″ to 1-1/2″ thick
* Can cut multiple mortises in a single long piece.
For more information on these and other great tools by General Tools visit their website at www.generaltools.com.
Filed in: Mid-week tool sneak peek