I made the first version of this jig, depicted in the video below, when we were working on the timber frame for our goat and yak barn. I designed the barn in two stories with a short lower frame filled with cordwood masonry.
It was made primarily to make it easier to cut mortice and tenon joints on logs, which can be a lot of work to layout and cut compared to a square-edged timber.
I fitted the first mortiser with a radial arm saw attachment that I modified by stacking three of the 1/4″ chainsaw bars together. It was particularly low power and slow. Hence the 4x speed in the video.
Since that first version, it has gone through two other significant revisions, and now is as you see in the pictures on this page. With a tool like this, there are always improvements that come to mind while working with it.
The frames we’ve made have a lot of curves and other odd angles. These are easily worked with the articulated chain mortiser, which can be set to cut at most any angle. Being able to index a log and accurately lay out joints along its ends and sides makes incorporating a plain or specially shaped log into a frame much easier.
This second video shows me cutting a mortise using the current version of the Timber Jig. The post in the video is a part of one of our freestanding art gallery walls which are made from reclaimed redwood timbers.
These photos show me using the timber jig on both timbers and logs while we were building the upper frame for our goat and yak barn. If you visit our place here in Homer, Alaska, you can see both the tool, and barn.
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