Philip Morley Shop Tour & The Morley Mortiser
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Philip Morley Shop Tour & The Morley Mortiser

March 4, 2020

– The Wood Whisperer is sponsored by Powermatic and Titebond. So I got a special treat for you today. I am in Wimberley, Texas
at Philip Morley’s shop where I’m actually working with Philip to make this table for the Guild. So if you want to get in on this it’s at the But today our focus is taking
a look at Philip’s shop. He’s got a really great space here filled with lots of tools
and some homemade tools that I think you’re
really gonna enjoy seeing, as well as one of his homemade jigs, which you can buy the parts for or the plans for and build it. All right, so let’s go to Philip
and get a nice little tour. – Hey guys, welcome to the shop. I figured since you’re
here I’m gonna show you, do a little shop tour. So the shop is about 750 square feet. So I built this shop about,
oh, six or seven years ago. I’ve only actually been
operating in it for five years as Philip Morley Furniture. And I did pretty much everything from the ground up by myself. Took me two years. It’s not big enough. I have some lumber rack
here that works well. I do have other storage
units that people don’t see that are outside of the shop that I can store more lumber and a lot of my jigs and fixtures. But when I start a job
I’ll bring the wood in, let it acclimate here. You can see a lot of
different jigs up on the wall. These guys are the ones
for my rocking chairs that I kind of value
more than any of my jigs, ’cause I’ve put a lot of time into them. So they just kind of live in here. Other jigs that I don’t use that much will live in my storage unit. Typical bench I made when I did my seven year apprenticeship. The first thing my
mentor, Michael Caulker, had me make was my bench. I like it that tall because, and it might be because I’m not
strictly a hand tool person, but also even when I do
a lot of hand planing I’m not bending over. And I know this is typically
not a standard size bench, but I made it a little higher, mainly ’cause that’s what
my mentor’s bench was like and I kind of just copied
the height and stuff. Another funny thing about the bench, I am not left-handed, I’m right-handed, but I set it up as a left-handed bench and it was just strictly, monkey sees, monkeys do type thing. I was just looking at my mentor’s, like oh, that’s where you put the vice, I’ll put it there and then I did it and I was like, oh yeah,
that’s kind of backwards. But it works for me. You know, just typical
little tool storage. Again, yes, I do use hand tools, but I’m not strictly a hand tool guy. Gotta have it though obviously. Here in Texas it gets really hot and so I got a mini split. The mini split, I can’t
remember the stats on it, but it’s I think about
the biggest one they did. This one unit works really well, however I don’t have any
dust filtration in my shop, so all the dust gets sucked up in there and I have to clean it on a regular basis. The piping and stuff, that was on me. I wanted it inside, ’cause it was ugly, I didn’t want it on
the outside of my shop. But you do get a little bit of moisture dripping off that sometimes. So there’s that. Band saw, I’ve got two of
the exact same band saws. I do love these bands saws and definitely for the
price range they work great. The lathe that rarely gets used. Yes, I do have too many planers mark, but this is my third
or fourth, third planer that obviously sees a lot
of use there in the corner. Simple drill press. Like I mentioned in the videos, this is just my rough saw, I don’t do anything
really fine with this saw, it’s just to get my blank out stuff. Yeah, cabinets, don’t do cabinets, don’t even look inside there. It’s just a bunch of crap
and sawdust inside of them. And then this is the other bench. So I do have someone that
works with me on and off, Amanda, sawdustwoman on Instagram. She’s learning and coming
along in the craft. She’s very skilled. But she will come here and
I’ve got this bench for her. So this is a standard size bench, which I don’t like and it’s just probably what I get used to. And I’m a little bit taller too, so that’s probably why. These are just some projects going on. These are my lounge chairs, a box that’s going out, all my awards, and only one of these is for first price. (laughs) Kind of pathetic. So I do have two joiners. I love this joiner, ’cause
it’s got a long bed. I’ve never had problems with it, just straight out of the box it worked. I’ve had it for 11 or 12 years I believe. I sharpen my knives, so this is straight knives and I sharpen them and hone them myself. And that way I can get almost like a hand plane
shaving finish off of it. So I like it for that reason. Gotta have the little Dewalt planer. It’s a little workhorse, incredibly loud, but I really do like that too. So again, kind of over to this corner, which I kind of called a sanding corner. These are big machines, but a few years back I realized
how much time I was wasting doing hand sanding, and
so I made these machines. I think I’m the third person to make this particular type edge sander. And what’s kind of unique about it and I’m not sure why someone
doesn’t make this as a product, is it’s got a drag end on it. So the belt’s just
dragging around this end, which has got the
graphite paper around it. And I can do all my
flat sanding on this end and it’s just, the results are amazing. Most sanders have like a
four or five inch drum there and you can’t really use it. You’re not gonna do a flat with it. So this guy works really nice. My mentor made one, I
believe Gary Weeks made one, so then I went ahead and made one. So this is my stroke
sander made by Gary Weeks, they made about 30 years ago, and then I bought it from them. Works really well, but it is, takes a lot of space. But it saves me a lot of time. And again, these are just parts. This is for the lounge chair stacking up that needs to get done. Another band saw. I just leave a 3/4 inch blade on one and a 1/4 inch blade on the other. It’s just one of those time-savers that I don’t wanna keep
switching blades out. And then all these jigs, again, are just for like the crest
rails for my rocking chair and I think bar stools. I do have a regular table saw, so my Delta over here that I love, but I don’t do a whole lot
of sheet goods in my shop, so it doesn’t get much use for that. Mainly for the sled. This guy here, the big
elephant in the room. Is one of those opportunities, I got this, I couldn’t
kind of say no to it, and I’m really grateful that I do have it, but it does take a lot of room up. But yeah, so it’s a combination machine. The question I get asked a lot of times, well, do you get tired of
having to break it down and back and forth? Yeah, if you don’t plan your work out well you’re gonna get pretty frustrated. And if you have like multiple
people working in your shop it’s gonna be annoying. For the most part it’s very rare where I’m like, dang it, I gotta go back and now I need to break
this down and come back. So plan your work out well. I’m usually at one setting for a few hours before I need to change it, so it’s not this going back
and forth, back and forth. Same with the planer. It’s like, I do all my joining, flip it up, I do all my planing. I’m there at that center
for 30 minutes or so, so it doesn’t feel like I’m
going back and forth a lot. All right, before I let you guys go I’m just gonna show you a little jig that I came up with a while back that makes slip tenons really easy. This is the Morley Mortiser. I’m really bad at naming things, everything starts with
Morley, so not very original. But the reason I came up with this was essentially to do slip tenons and to do it in a very controlled way. Another nice feature about this it utilizes these clamps, the MICROJIG MATCHFIT clamps, which kind of was a bit
of a game changer for me. I’ve done many different ways, with holes through it and
putting the clamps each way, but these really hold it nice. You can move this back
and forth to center it, like so. And again, like how I
work with most things, everything referenced from a center line, so you just have crosshairs,
and then you can make shims, move your stops, kind of do
the calculation for that. More about that that kind of goes, dives a little bit deeper, like how to set it up,
how to make the shims, there’s also a part that goes in here to reference the center this way, is on my YouTube channel,
Philip Morley Furniture, it’s somewhere in there. But it’s probably just
called the Morley Mortiser. And I kind of go in a little
more in-depth about it. You can buy the plans at for this jig. And you can also buy a
flat pack version of this that’s made on a CNC. So check it out. I’m gonna go ahead, just pop
out a mortise real quick. So the nice thing about this
is you have the control, ’cause you’re trapped
in that guide bushing that you can actually ramp it, so you get a really clean mortise. But yeah, so it works very well. And I’ll say it works just
as well with the end grain. Thanks for checking out my shop and if you wanna kind
of learn more about me you can go to my website, And be sure to get
yourself the Guide project, the Morley dining table
stroke kitchen table. And yeah, follow along and
you can build this with me, thanks.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. $250 for a cnc jig is very reasonable.

    You could blow more then a day building one from his plans. Not too mention you have to buy the hardware and sheet stock.

  2. Dudes got a nice shop set up already subbed to him a long time ago. Does really nice work and good. Videos too.! Beautiful looking table

  3. Philip Morley, you may want to look at Jay Bates' video on filtration for your mini-split. He built one that's quite simple yet effective!

  4. Dang, you were in my neck of the woods. I would have loved to just shake your hand and thank you for inspiring me to get into this hobby.

  5. Don’t understand, “I use the end for flat sanding”, well the entire side is for flat sanding, don’t see the problem? Mine even oscillates up and down.

    The mortiser is a copy of my metal Trend made mortiser without the tilt feature and it does the matching tenons. Not original and it also aligns dowels. What is nice it can do compound tenons.

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