How would you do this? Shallow mortise on end of long work piece....

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  • dbhost
    Slow and steady
    • Apr 2008
    • 9126
    • League City, Texas
    • Ryobi BT3100

    How would you do this? Shallow mortise on end of long work piece....

    So I am wanting to make a few bed frames for some local charitable organizations, I got some knock down bed frame hardware, and it is the kind that mortises in to a shallow mortise, and then screws in.

    The question I have is the mortises should be about 3/16" deep, and will end up on the end of the bed rails so a 78" rail, not exactly something I can set up my drill press, or any drill press I have ever seen for...

    End grain so making the cut would be easy, clearing out the cut not so much.

    I am thinking some sort of router jig, but what?

    Any of you done this before?
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  • leehljp
    Just me
    • Dec 2002
    • 8382
    • Tunica, MS
    • BT3000/3100

    #2
    I did this about 7 years ago:

    I have been working on this for over 18 months. I thought it was a year but my daughter said it was started in the Fall of 2014. Its for my middle daughter. She has a small bed room without a bed, and she has two sisters with 5 kids each that like to visit! :eek: So I made the bed for our grandkids (her nephews/nieces) to use




    It is in Missouri at my daughter's house. I do not remember the specifics now, but as you wrote, It was tedious as I have tried to be very precise on numerous occasions but I ended up with mediocre cuts at best.

    Here is what I bought for the rails (2 sets):


    It seems like I marked it very specifically on each spot and then took a sharp chisel and went around the perimeter and tapped the chisel on the line with a hammer. Things like this cause me to be a procrastinator until finally I just realize that this is going to take me the better part of a whole day. Then when I accept that in my mind, I go and do it. It seems like that is what I did for the bed.

    YES, a router jig would be better, but I couldn't find what I needed, nor make what kind of a jig I needed, so I did it the old fashion way - chisel, sharp, sharp sharp!
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

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    • dbhost
      Slow and steady
      • Apr 2008
      • 9126
      • League City, Texas
      • Ryobi BT3100

      #3
      Okay delaying that, apparently I somehow managed to authorize the ever listening hockeypuck, I mean Alexa to order non mortise ones for me...

      Will knock these beds out quick-ish so some kids can have a bed for Christmas. Super simple design. 4x4 posts 2x4 top and bottom of headboard and footboard, slotted for some pine beadboard. A trip to Hobby Lobby should come up with some hammer on stars or horseshoes. A cleat on each rail for some 1x3 slats, each slat with a 1/4" dowel locating pin. So simple click, click, click drop in drop in drop in and then place the box springs etc...

      Those Rockler fasteners / hardware kits are exactly what I got in both sizes...
      Last edited by dbhost; 10-26-2023, 08:37 PM.
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      • dbhost
        Slow and steady
        • Apr 2008
        • 9126
        • League City, Texas
        • Ryobi BT3100

        #4
        I have one of the sets of mortise hardware the replace the ones that are in my master bedroom bed. We took it apart to clean up as we refurbished the master bedroom and I lost the darn things, so no full loss, The smaller ones though, it's going to take some work to do...
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        • dbhost
          Slow and steady
          • Apr 2008
          • 9126
          • League City, Texas
          • Ryobi BT3100

          #5
          THANKS for the link to the bed rail hardware, Rockler has an associated video attached to that page.


          I would need to roll the router table outside to perform the operation, but duh. Simple shallow stopped dado on the router. SMH...
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          • LCHIEN
            Internet Fact Checker
            • Dec 2002
            • 20710
            • Katy, TX, USA.
            • BT3000 vintage 1999

            #6
            I Built a bed about 20 years ago for my daughter that has now come home to roost in my upstairs guest bedroom.
            Using this Rockler hardware

            Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	0 Size:	562.9 KB ID:	856612​One, I recall I had to file on them just a little because they came with an interference fit, I figured if I jammed them together with the weight of the mattress I might not get them apart easily. I did not want them to stick together when I wanted them to separate so I filed off just enough for a slip fit.

            The mortise in the end of a long board was daunting at first. But I clamped the board at about a 30 degree angle (i.e. one end on the floor, the other at working height). This means using the router at about a 60 angle rather than a horizontal surface as we are used to.

            I found it easy to do. Make a template out of 1-by material (3/4" thick) I find it easier to use four pieces to frame an opening than to mortise an exact shape. Make the opening oversize by the size of your router template guide vs the router bit dia,,,, probably want to use a 1/4" plunge capable grooving bit. Make the template area large enough to be able to keep the router base engaged while at an angle.
            Fasten the template to a vertical guide that will clamp to the side of the rail.

            The secret is to practice on a few scraps and then a a scrap piece of the actual material..,
            Click image for larger version  Name:	CCI10262023_00000 bed rail template.jpg Views:	0 Size:	60.7 KB ID:	856613

            Use a few clamps to firmly fasten the template jig to the rail, you don't want it to slip.
            You will be using the router at an angle, but it has enough vertical component so gravity will help a little keeping it in place. But you will have to support it vertically some.
            I used a full size router but using a palm-style router will be good, if not better.
            You will need to use a sharp chisel to square up the corners.

            If you make it wide enough, you can remove and remount the vertical leg farther to the side so you can use the same template on the leg of the bed which is usually wider than the rail.

            There's some good info and some pics of the bed I made with the rail hangers https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...ge2#post632526
            Click image for larger version  Name:	image.png Views:	0 Size:	77.3 KB ID:	856614

            Good luck.
            Last edited by LCHIEN; 10-27-2023, 03:13 AM.
            Loring in Katy, TX USA
            If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
            BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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