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Thread: Drill press mortisers any good?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie

    Drill press mortisers any good?

    Once I get the Craftsman DP(s) restored I won't be using my Delta DP anymore and was thinking about selling it. Then I thought about setting it up to do mortises. I would leave it that way, not be swapping it out.

    So that begs the question how good (or bad) are the mortising attachments? Are they even worth looking at? So, anyone have or used one and care to offer some input?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Austin, Texas
    I had the drill press mortise adapter, and used it a fair amount until I got a slot mortiser.

    The biggest problem is setup time, but if you have a spare drill press, then that argument goes away.

    You don't have as much leverage as you apparently do with the dedicated mortisers. In either case, your arm is cutting the square hole, with the drill in the center cleaning out a round circle of scrap - but I didn't have any problems using my small Delta drill press for this purpose. Hardwood seemed easier, because the scrap cleared better.

    With a little care in the alignment (be sure the square bit is parallel to the fence), it works pretty well.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at

  3. #3
    I had one oonce upon a time. I did mor time doing the set up that actually doin gany mortiseing. If you have the money try for a benchtop mortiseing machine its much better and you will be much happer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    yup, i agree with reg......sell the ol` drill press and get a mortiser....tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Had one enons ago.
    Twas a pita setting up, removing.
    It worked, did its job.

    But I eventually got a jet mortiser.

    I like single tools. Not much of a multi-function tool guy.

  6. #6
    Domino from festool coming soon. Expensive but may be something to look at. I tried the drill mortiser, not much luck. Re-sharpening can be a problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    My father was a professional furniture and cabinet maker. He used mortisers on his drill press for many decades. We used to amuse visitors by telling them he could drill a square hole. It worked for him and until this thread, I never considered that drilling square holes on a drill press was anything less than satisfactory. That's all I know, I've never done either. What mortises I have made have been with drill (round) and chisel. a/k/a the Roy Underhill method.

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