LV premium hollow mortising chisels + bits?


I'm planning on getting a mortising attachment for the dp (I know, I know, a dedicated machine is better, but I don't have money or space right now). Anyway, I've read in the archives here that a good-quality chisel makes a big difference in this application. I was wondering if anyone has used the LV "Premium Hollow Mortise Chisels & Bits" http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pS252&cat=1,180,42240,53317&ap=1 Other possibilities I've found in this price range include the CMT mortising bits from Woodcraft, or the Delta "Professional" chisel & bit set through Amazon. Hartville Tool also has some of their own name bits for about $10 on clearance that they claim are as good as bits twice the price. (I know the shank sizes vary (5/8 or 3/4), so the attachment I buy will probably depend on which bit/s I get.) So... What "premium" chisel/bit sets have you used, and what were your experiences? I'm not looking for the super-premium $40-100 bits - I'm thinking $20-25 each range. I'd appreciate shared experience or advice. By the way, does anyone have a used DP mortising attachment sitting around your shop, unused since the purchase of your new dedicated mortising machine? My DP spindle is 1 13/16"; the closest attachments I've found are 48mm by Delta or 1 7/8" by Grizzly, so I'd need to shim it up either way. Let me know. Thanks, Andy
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Take it from me, a DP mortising attachment is a huge pain. By the time you buy the attachment, quality chisels and bits, hone and sharpen them, you could have made the mortis with a forstner bit and a sharp chisel.
OTOH, if you plan on doing allot of mortising in the future, buy a good, dedicated mortising machine and a set of high quality chisels. The ones from LV look nice but the low price scares me a little. I paid close to $75 for each chisel/bit combination (Forrest City) and damn glad I did. They made a huge difference in the machines performance.
However, I still make a number of mortises with the plunge router.
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"Andy" wrote:
> I'm planning on getting a mortising attachment for the dp (I know, I > know, a dedicated machine is better, but I don't have money or space > right now).
<snip>
SFWIW, a drill press mortising attachment gets a lot of bad press around here.
So much so that I used a good forstner bit in a drill press followed by a 4 flute bottom end mill to do the chisel work.
Very acceptable for my work; however, next time around probably use the plunge router with an up spiral bit.
In any event it won't be a drill press mounted mortising attachment.
Lew
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Teamcasa wrote:

Make that two of us.
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B A R R Y wrote:

OK, if anyone's still watching this thread, you've almost convinced me to go with a plunge router mortising jig rather than a hollow mortise dp attachment (don't worry Rob - LV will still be receiving a good portion of my woodworking budget...). What kind of jig have you found to be most useful/convenient/effective? A link would be wonderful, or a book title would be great also. Trying to decide whether to get a 3/8" collet for my DW618 plunger, so I could use a spiral upcut to do 3/8" mortises without worrying about the little bushing adapter thing (which isn't all that much cheaper than the $16-19 collet...) Thanks, Andy
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I built the Jeff Miller jig shown in his book about chair making. It works great! I can do a picture in a.b.p.w if you want to see it. I have a 3/8 spiral upcut (Whitehead) bit with a 1/2" shank. It works in my DW610 and DW620.
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For spiral bits, look at some place that sells machine shop supplies. 2 flute, solid carbide end mills work great and are less expensive. You will need a 3/8 collet for the 3/8 end mill though. I use them for anything that I need a strait bit for.

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Andy wrote:

Check Highland Hardware for a description of the Frid Jig. You can build it in less than an hour, and that's if you're really slow.
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<snip>

Well.... we could put the prices up ..... :)
Actually - the prices on those DO go up 8-10% on Friday......
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The chisels are great, I love mine, much better then Grizzly's or the ones off an old shopsmith that I have. Now do you have to raise prices? Still would be a good buy though a real good buy.

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Andy wrote:

the Delta Bechtop Mortiser,the newer model with the big heavy cast iron base ,and I love it. I probably don't use it nearly enough to justify having it, but it sure makes mortises a breeze. And as has been noted above by the time you buy the attachment and some good chisels you are most of the way to the price of that delta benchtop. I haven't looked lately but it was about $200 the last time I looked. Hope that helps. bc
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Andy wrote:

A good mortising chisel can make a 5" deep mortise; what is the plunge (spindle feed) range of your drill press? Mine is only 2.375 inches.
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