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Thread: Mortising attachment?

  1. #1

    Mortising attachment?

    Anyone have any experience using one of these? I'm curious how well they work and if they are easy enough to swap on/off of your drill press. I currently have a bench top drill press, with the expectation to get a floor unit down the road, but was thinking if they work ok, then the cost of one coupled with the smaller bench top press, is far less in cost to a stand alone mortising machine.

    Thoughts and opinions?
    Go ahead and run clown, with those big floppy shoes, you won't get far.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Grimm View Post
    Anyone have any experience using one of these? I'm curious how well they work and if they are easy enough to swap on/off of your drill press. I currently have a bench top drill press, with the expectation to get a floor unit down the road, but was thinking if they work ok, then the cost of one coupled with the smaller bench top press, is far less in cost to a stand alone mortising machine.

    Thoughts and opinions?
    I had one of those once, and I remember two things about. First, it was unpleasant to attach, and secondly, it burned a lot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    If you live anywhere near a Harbor Freight you might take a look at one of these;

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=35570

    Several of the guys I work with have one of these and they're pleased with it. It will probably be the next power tool I buy.

  4. #4
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    Yep a pain to change. Mine sits on the shelf.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I used one on my floor model drill press. It worked OK after a good deal of fettling. It does take a while to set up, so get all of your stock prepared ahead of time and run it all through at once. While the mortising attachment is on, your drill press is tied up and can't be used for anything else.
    That all said, i got pretty good results.
    Then i found a used Delta benchtop mortiser with a set of chisels. It's their standard model, and it works so much better than the drill press / attachment arrangement. It's much stiffer than a drill press, and the longer lever arm makes pushing the chisel into hardwood a lot easier. The pinion gear mechanism in drill presses is typically a lot lighter than that in mortisers. I could see that extensive use of a mortising attachment on a drill press mibht really strain these parts.
    Are you sure a new decent drill press with the attachement is really much less expensive than a benchtop dedicated mortiser? I see them for less than $300. A decent benchtop drill press will approach $200 - then you've still got to purchase the mortising attachment.
    Maybe you can pick up a good used unit like i did - with chisels.
    paulh

  6. #6
    Yeah, I'm leaning towards just getting a machine dedicated to cutting them. I just cut one by hand using a drill press and a chisel, it came out...less than stellar.
    Go ahead and run clown, with those big floppy shoes, you won't get far.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    new york city burbs
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    I have posted all of my work for the past year or so.
    I am not an expert nor do I have anything to compare my experiences with.
    I purchased a tabletop delta drill press last year along with the 79 dollar mortising attachement.
    I have cut close to 1000 mortises, of all sizes, probably 5000 plunges on the mortise attachment.
    I have used it on maple, oak, ash, mahogany,sapele, spanish cedar, ipe,pressure treated pine and poplar.

    I personally dont find it any more difficult or time consuming to change over the attachment off and on than changing a bandsaw blade or switching over planer blades.

    I am not offering advice, only my experiences.

    My work is far from perfect, I am still learning basic woodworking skills, but none of my work suffered from poor mortising. As a matter of fact, I found the attachement cut dead on square holes.

    While Im sure a seperate mortiser is the way to go for more horsepower, I dont think the attachement is a bad investment for 80 bucks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    My experience is that those attachments for a drill press are not of value. They're a pain to set up and tear down. And the handle on your drill press is not long enough to give you the leverage you need. For most people, that attachment just sits in a drawer or on the shelf and never gets used.

    If you really want at mortise chisel tool like that, buy a dedicated machine.

    That said, you can make a mortise simply by drilling out the mortise with a twist drill and cleaning it up with a chisel.

    Mike
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  9. #9
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    I think its about what your needs are.
    If you need to cut 40 mortises a year, and dont want to do it by hand, the attachment will work fine.
    If you dont mind spending the extra 200 or more bucks, and have the small space for the mortiser, why not buy it?
    Use, cost and space, seems to always be the deciding factors.

    I use my attachment all the time, and doubt any mortiser will cut a mortise with much more accuracy than I set the machine for.(maybe easier since they are more powerful)Its hold a certain amount of value for this beginner. They all use similar chisel and drill bits.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
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    I use to use one (still have it in case up on a shelf) and it did what it was suppose to do. It took awhile attach it and align it to do some mortising - one hole or hundred.

    If you needed to drill something you had to dismantle it before using a drill as a drill. Then if you need to do some more mortises - back putting the damn thing back on and aligning to do a mortise. Whooooops - have to drill another forgotten hole - damn, have to remove it again....on and on

    The last few years I have been using a deticated mortise machine - not the best but it will do.

    Rod

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