To attach the rails to the headboard and footboard of the platform bed on page 22,1 used bed rail fasteners. These are mortised into the legs of the bed as well as the ends of the rails. And since they carry the entire weight of the platform and mattress, youH want to make sure they fit into the mortises like a hand in a glove. In order to do this, I made a simple jig that allowed me to quickly rout snug-fitting mortises for the fasteners, as is shown in the photo at right.
As you can see in the drawing below, the jig is just a router template that fits over the workpiece. The top of the jig is nothing more than a piece of y2"-thick hardwood with a slot in the center to match the size of the bed rail fasteners.
But instead of trying to cut the slot in the center of the top, I glued up the top out of four separate pieces, using one of the rail fasteners as a spacer to make sure the slot was perfectly matched to the hardware.
FENCE. The underside of the top has a couple of grooves cut in it to hold a hardboard fence. This way, you can move the fence from one groove to the other to cut the mortises on the legs as well as those in the bed rails. I sized both of these grooves for a tight, friction fit.
To use the jig, place the fence in the groove closest to the slot opening and then clamp the jig to the end of one of the bed rails, as you can see in Fig. 1. Using a l/i' dado clean-out bit (see inset photo at left) rout a shallow mortise in the end of the rail. The bearing on the bit follows the slot in the jig, creating a perfectly sized mortise. (You can use one of the rail fasteners as a gauge to check the depth of the mortise.)
After routing the mortises on the bed rails, you can move the fence to the outer groove of the jig and repeat the mortising procedure on the legs of the bed (Figs. 2 and 2a).
Once all the mortises have been routed, the next step is to square up the ends of each mortise with a chisel (Fig. 2b). Then you just have a few little minor details to take care of before screwing the rail fasteners in place. (See page 28 for more.)
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