Tool Talk #17: Mortise Master

Because I produce online woodworking content I regularly get asked to promote tools and products. Most of the time I decline for various reasons and sometimes the item sparks interest. I was recently asked by Don Browning to take a look at his Mortise Master.

After getting one and looking it over I thought it was definitely worth sharing with all of you. It’s a jig to batch out various sized mortises quickly. You can set the width and the offset from the edge quickly and easily. You can bring the material to the jig or bring the jig to the material. All you need is a plunge router and a spiral upcut bit.

I have nothing to gain or lose if you do or do not buy this product. I am not being paid to make this video or article.

Learn more about the Mortise Master at


  1. Looks pretty handy. I have a vise on a substantial workbench that would probably accommodate the Mortise Master. Thanks for the video, workbench and vise.

  2. Very cool. Thanks!

    We in Germany always think we already know everything. But it’s really important to be open and look for new inspirations. Very cool.

    Thanks Jay.

    Greetings from the German craftsman: Samuel

  3. Love everything about this!

    Iā€™m fascinated by folks like Don who are able to develop solutions and then turn those solutions into products that can be shared with others.

    Also, your willingness to test drive, and provide a platform is both inspiring and appreciated, Jay.

    Good product, good video, good vibes.

  4. Neat tool, however considering that after purchase the purchaser will still need a plunge router and bits. With $180 (on sale from $279) for the Mortise Master and another $150 or so for a router (Festool, much more) and a $100 in bits. The set up is going to be about 25% of a PantoRouter and about half of a Festool Domino. A PantoRouter does it all. The other option is the Festool Domino. About half the PantoRouter, but much more versatile than the Mortise Master, and very little set up time and available off the shelf splines perfect for glue-up. And. don’t forget about dust collection. Just my thoughts.

    • With the pantarouter, you still have to buy a router and bits – so the cost of a router and bits is not part of the comparison right?

      You can only compare —
      Mortice Master $180
      Basic Tilting Pantarouter (without router) = $1,095 ($1,850 for pro)
      Domino = $960 (1,400 for XL)

  5. A good jig, but nothing innovative. There are a dozen or more plans to make similar jigs already out there – at a fraction of the price. $179 is a bit steep, considering the average DIYer could bang one of these out in a few hours.

  6. Thanx Jay.. Well put together. Unfortunately I live in Canada and shipping seems to be a problem but all problems seem to be easily overcome with deep pockets. Please keep up your uploads as it seems that many of the folks I have followed have disappeared into the sunset. BTW.. uploads such as yours have generated dollars for the industry and promoted woodcraft across the globe. Please keep at it.


  7. Good demo and a good idea. My thought is that the plexiglass pieces could be extended over the back and then both sides would be supported when it’s in the vise.

  8. Interesting! I have a similar jig called the Mortise Pal. It’s similar in design to a doweling jig. It works but initial setup is tedious. The Mortise Pal is apparently no longer on the market, but there are still some YouTube videos such as this one:

    Keep those videos coming!


  9. Nice Video and Demonstration Jay. It’s definitely something to consider for future projects. I would personally rather spend time making projects than making jigs. And this one looks like it was well thought out with.

    Let’s keep those negative comments and ridiculous comparisons coming , Pfffffttttttt.

  10. Great review, Jay – always neat to see someone’s inspiration to create something! Good luck with that dirty diaper!

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