I'd like to get myself a mortising machine but I'm having decision problems.
I'm also in need of a new drill press. Buying both is out of budget for
right now. I've seen some mortising attachments that fit on your drill press
and I could possibly swing the DP & the attachment.
Realizing that a dedicated machine would be better, has anyone used an add
on attachment with any degree of success?
There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who
I decided to buy a drill press which came with the mortising attachment
at the time. I figured if the attachment was the complete POS everyone
around here said it was, then I would buy a dedicated machine. I have
not bought the dedicated machine and while I still want one, it has
dropped to the bottom of the list. Also, I would like to say... for
cutting just a few.. drilling them out with a forstner bit and then using
a sharp chisel to clean them up is pretty quick to do.
I would suggest that you get the drill press to start -
it is much more versitile in that besides drilling,
you can mortise and sand with it with some inexpensive
attachments. That's what I did about 15 years ago.
That said, I recently added a Delta dedicated mortiser
and their BOSS (sander) to the shop.
Just because I tired of changing
out the drill press for every little operation. It is just
more convenient - not necessarily better.
By all means, get the drill press - it will earn it's keep
many times over - get the other stuff when you are looking
for a new tool to buy, but don't know what you need <G>.
I bought both, some time back. But the mortiser, the -651? Delta, was out
of stock for maybe 6 weeks, so I cut the 32 mortises for the project at
hand using the adult ed's machine, and trimmed everything up by hand.
When the -651 came in, it sat unopened for several months, and then was
sold to another member of our woodworker's club, and I bought a set of LN
chisels. I haven't missed that -651 a bit.
The forstner + chisel suggestion works for me, as long as there is an
adequate drill press in the shop. If I were to start making chairs
regularly, I might have a different opinion. YMMV.
All the suggestions make sense. I already have an adequate drill press for
my needs but it won't take an attachment for mortising.
Actually, like you, I already finished my project <g>. Made a set of redwood
patio chairs ( not Adirondack) and did the forstner/chisel bit with 96
mortises. Probably will never do another again BUT............
BTW, the first mortise took me about 1/2 hour - by the time I was getting to
the end I was cutting them in about 7 minutes.
Maybe I'll just upgrade my DP for now
Thanx to all for the suggestions -
On a related note, I am changing out the motor on an old (50's) Buffalo
drill press that was occupying too much floor space in a machine shop
-- "here take it and get it out of here -- free". Originally it had
3/4HP 3-phase; I don't have 3-phase power. Being cheap (w/ four kids)
I am thinking of putting on a 1/3" HP single phase motor I have laying
around rather than buying new. Since that motor came off my old junker
drill press I know it will pull the bits I typically use. Question is,
since I am thinking about adding a mortising attachment and a sliding
cross vice, do drill bits running inside a mortising chisel pull
significantly harder than similar sized bare bits?
I have both. The drill press attachment works fine. The only draw
backs are the pain of setting the attachment up (loosing the use of the
drill press while attached) and the drill press handle doesn't provide
the leverage a dedicated mortiser has.
There are a couple of down-sides to the mortising-attachment-on-a-drill-press
1) the comparatively short lever arms on the drill-press can make it
difficult to do larger mortises in hard woods.
2) the attachment is a royal PITA to adjust, which is required _every_time_
you put it on the press.
Dedicated mortisers also tend to be somewhat more rigid in their construction;
mortiser-attachment-on-a-drill-press can have flexing issues.
If you're willing to put up with the 'hassle' factor, work _slowly_, and
not try big mortises in hard stock, the drill-press attachment can work
Most of what I do is mahogany, with the occasional bit of pine for stuff where
I don't care about appearance. A mortiser attachment on my Delta 12" benchtop
drill-press -- with outriggers to support larger pieces -- has done everything
_I've_ needed, no problems.
I started with a bench top drill press and mortising attachment. For a
stop-gap until you can afford the dedicated machine, the mortising
attachment works fine. It's difficult to set up straight and square
though. The bigger the drill press, the better. It takes a lot of
force to drive the chisel in, which is why the dedicated machines have
a longer handle with different leverage. You may need an extention bar
on the DP. If you're using a bench top model, be sure to bolt it down.
I nearly knocked my over once with the attachment.
I have a Ryobi 12" Benchtop drill press and the Delta mortising
attachment that will fit on it. I love the ability to avoid all that
chiseling. The only downside is that the delta attachment connects to
the drill press table through the slots, and they are the only way to
adjust the distance between the bit and the fence. On a delta drill
press, the slots run lengthwise and the attachment can slide back and
forth. On my ryobi, the slots are radial, giving a limited adjustment
capability. Additionally, I have unscrewed one of the handle rods and
added a footlong piece of shaft threaded at one end to give more
leverage to pull the chisel. On the plus side, the fence part of the
attachment works as a great fence for regular drilling, and the special
t-nuts and ratcheting bolts that are used to attach the fence to the
table can be used for securing all kinds of shopmade jigs.
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