Delta Mortising Attachment Review

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I finally got around to trying out my new mortising attachment for my new delta drill press. Contrary to some of the posts I read in this ng, it is awesome. It is a breeze to set up and not difficult to square (square enough) to the fence. The attachment (model 17-924) says on the box that it is a "New Improved Design". I had to raise the depth stop on my drill press up on the shaft in order to accept the collar for the attachment. I lose about a 3/4" in quill travel, but I can always lower the depth stop back down after removing the mortise attachment. It came with 4 mortising chisels (1/4", 5/16", 3/8" and 1/2"). The attachment goes onto the drill press without using ANY wrenches or tool of any kind. Quick and easy. The only thing that was somewhat of a pain to put on was the fence, but I plan on leaving this on when using the drill (unless it gets in the way).
I tried the 1/4" chisel to mortise some red oak and it went through like melted butter. Squaring the chisel to the fence, which can be a problem as some posters have stated, but I think I have found a method that gets the chisel "square enough" After all it doesn't have to look pretty, because the mortise his hidden behind a tenon.
**** (four stars)
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stoutman said:

I have one, but even *I* wouldn't call it awesome. Try that 1/2" chisel in some hard maple. You'll break the levers off the press pulling on it. <g> I use it mostly on pine, poplar and other soft woods. My biggest complaint is the setup time. Switching between drill press mode and morticer is time consuming. I use both tools concurrently, and everything has a price - in this case, convenience.
JMHO,
Greg G.
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Do you have the old model or the new one?
I'm curious if the older model required tools to attach the mortiser.
<Greg G.> wrote in message

is
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stoutman said:

No tools needed, other than possibly one to loosen the drill press quill stop clamp when first setting it up. I don't have the model number handy, but it's about a year old. All thumbscrew assembly.
My drill press has diagonal hold-down slots instead of parallel slots, so the fence is a bit of a PITA to setup. Also, drill presses are not designed to exert the pressure needed to cut into hard wood.
But it does work, even though it does require some manual clean-up with a chisel, and is certainly cheaper that a $275 dedicated mortiser.
Greg G.
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I like how it worked with the 1/4" chisel in red oak, but like you said I may be in for a surprise when I put in a 1/2" chisel and try to plunge through some maple.
(snip)> My drill press has diagonal hold-down slots instead of parallel slots,

Mine has the diagonal slots also, HUGE pain in the arse! I'm not sure why they use diagonal slots. I think the Delta engineers were puffing on something silly when they designed the diagonal slots.
I guess (hope) it will work for my needs for now until I can afford a dedicated mortiser.
Oh and Happy New Year. (yeah, thats right I'm not out partying, I'm a nerd)
<Greg G.> wrote in message

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stoutman said:

It gets considerably tougher! Keeping the chisels really sharp and tuned helps a lot.

Metal working DPs usually have diagonal slots, a coolant trough and drain around the tray. The larger Delta woodworking presses have parallel slots, however.

That's why I have it as well. But I'm presently leaning towards routed mortices and floating tenons.

Happy New Year to you and everyone. I'm not out either. SWMBO is at her folks in California, and I'm stuck here at home in the shop. :-)
Greg G.
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<Greg G.> wrote in message

is
I had one, but I passed that critter on as quick as I could and went to a REAL mortiser! ;>)
... well, one a little beefier than a DP, anyhow.
Happy New Year ... & happy mortising.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 12/29/03
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Swingman said:

And thanks again! <smart a$#>

For what I have in it, it works fine.

Same to You!
Greg G.
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I've got one and think it's next to worthless. Try doing large, deep mortises in maple and get back to us. :)
dave
stoutman wrote:

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Most of the stock I use is 3/4" which lets me get a way with using 1/4" tenons for most projects. I will be making 1/4" mortises most of the time. Like I posted earlier, in red oak the 1/4" 'er went in and out of the red oak like bud da. :) I would rather use this attachment than the router table which I have been using thus far. I found the tool easy to take on and off (with the exception of the fence). My attitude toward this purchase could change when I try to mortise through a harder wood, but cant you just take smaller nibbles?? I'm guessing that if you are experiencing a lot of resistance with a bigger chisel or harder wood that you could just use only a portion of the chisel with each plunge. Granted, this will take longer. I don't know though, I have not tried that, nor have I tried it on anything but red oak.
I wouldn't go as far as to call it worthless.
:)

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I wouldn't call it useless IF you are doing 1/4" tenons in oak, either.
However, since a tool should (IMHO) work under a variety of conditions, having a limitation as to the wood species that it will work with makes it worthy of the "NEXT to worthless" appellation I ascribed to it. If my TS couldn't cut maple well, I'd be calling it "next to worthless" also! :)
dave
stoutman wrote:

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Damn, the idiots back. You've never used the thing to cut 1/2" mortises in maple, so just shut the fuck up!
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i have a stand-alone bench-top Delta mortiser. i was just using it this week to cut some 1/4" mortises in walnut. it worked like cutting butter. previously i had used it to cut some 1/2" wide mortises in oak for a cabinet i built. it was a BIG PAIN IN THE ARSE! i came to the conclusion that anything short of a 1000+ lb. mortising machine is not very practical unless you are only making a few small mortises. i am sure your drill press attachment will work fine for smaller projects and an occasional large one, but if you plan on making 1/2" mortises with any regularity, you will not be happy. when i need to make large mortises anymore, i just grab the chisels.
don't take this as a negative reply, as the drill press attachment works just as it was designed. it is not meant for high volume or regular use.
andy b.

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as
So is your review of four stars based on a single mortise using the smallest chisel?
Brian.
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Umm, 2 or 3 mortises. What's the required number of uses before posting a review so I know next time?

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It would at least be nice to know that a review is based on the use of all the capabilities of the device under test. In this case all the chisels.
Brian.
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Why not just take the review at face value? If you find it useful, good. If you don't find it useful, move on.

next
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Let me just ad that I have seen very FEW reviews were the reviewer took the tool in question through "all the capabilities of the device under test"
I found your initial response to be sarcastic, however I could be mistaken.
I used the tool with the 1/4" chisel and it exceeded my expectations based on what I have read in this ng. I was excited with its performance and posted my findings in a review. I am not a professional woodworker or reviewer. If I had based my decision on whether to buy this tool from what I have read in this ng, I would not own a mortise attachment right now. The purpose of the review was to give those 'sitting on the fence' about the tool, the courage to try it.
I am happy with my decision to buy the tool, like I said in a previous post, I will be using the 1/4" chisel ,most of the time.
This will be my last review of any kind.

next
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stoutman wrote:

Aw, nuts to them. I found your writeup useful. I don't have budget or room for a dedicated machine but if I had a bunch of 1/4" mortises to make I would consider the DP attachment.
I recall lots of published reviews where the author states s/he has used only a subset of the features. This is especially true of reviews of computer programming tools. A comprehensive review of Microsoft's Visual Stuido.NET would be hundreds of pages long.
-- Mark
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mistaken.
It was not.

I suspect that I'm not alone when I say that I don't like to spend money to "try" tools. I want to know that when I buy something it is going to be robust and serve my needs, else I have to go out and buy (or "try") a replacement. I want to know what a tool does well, and even more importantly what its shortcomings are.

post,
That's fine, but many people would be (and are) very disappointed when they discover that the larger chisels are nearly useless.

You're taking the questions and feedback the wrong way if they are what led you to that...
Brian.

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chisels.
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