" If you have a short 3 handle drill press don't do it."
When I built my woodworking drill press table for my Rigid floor-mounted press, I found the Long Arms interfered with the table!
As a result, I discovered how simple it was to re-fit the press with shorter arms.
Thus, I would not think a short-arm drill press was necessarily an obstacle to employing a mortising attachment - maybe all you need do is retro-fit a longer arm or two.
If these are cabinet doors you would be better off making stub tenons to
fit in slots. Far Simpler and fine for that weight door.
You would probably be better off with a bench top mortiser, they can be
had for not much more than the attachments for a DP and far simpler to
My personal prejudices:
1) Drill Press & Attachment
May a constipated camel decorate your front lawn.
IMHO, strictly a loser.
2) Plunge router & Jig.
My weapon of choice.
You can knock out 40-50 mortises in a short amount of time.
I leave the ends of the mortise round and knock off the corners
of the tenon with a flat bastard file.
3) Dedicated bench top mortising machine.
You have enough work to justify the expense of a dedicated tool.
Here's one I used for making chairs years back, well before I got a
I made it so I could use simple shims for different size stock. Simple,
no moving parts, used in a vice:
On Monday, April 20, 2015 at 8:59:47 PM UTC-5, southborough_man wrote:
In addition to the information in the other replies, there is this. IF you have a mortising attachment for your drill press, and it is not EXACTLY fitted to the spindle, it can come lose and start spinning. That gets really interesting, extremely fast.
BTW, don't ask me how I know. ;-)
Ergo, a dedicated mortiser is the only way to go. Or you could cut them by hand, which is the way I cut most of mine.
1. If you kreg it, forget plugs, use filler.
2. Routers can make mortices
3. Half laps are strong
4. Dowels work too. Too much precision? Glue into rails, glue rails into
sloppy big holes in stiles using filled epoxy.
I make my own plugs. Get a dowel that fits and cut it into 6"
lengths, put some glue on the DOWEL and tap it into the hole. Later
saw it off with a flush-cut saw and use the other end. Cut the
leftover in half with a scroll saw and use the two halves. If you put
the glue in the hole it will gum up the screw and make it difficult to
remove if you ever need to do so. (As I just had to do to replace a
I don't often use plugs, but I make my own with a simple jig. Make a
pocket hole in a piece of scrap, insert a dowel a bit longer than the
hole, then I use my disk sander to sand off the excess. Also, drill a
hole in the other end of the jig to pop out the dowel filler. Works
like a charm if you need fillers. Typically, I don't use pocket holes
where they show.
Add Life to your Days not Days to your Life.
Well, just to add to what everyone else has said, I think it
depends on what else you expect to do in woodworking. If you
intend it to be a continuing hobby, this project probably
justifies buying a dedicated mortise machine, which you will
likely use fairly often.
Apropos of the drill press attachment, I'd be sceptical. The
weak point of mortising machines is the holddown (which stops
the workpiece lifting when you retract the chisel), from what
I've seen these are rudimentary or non-existant on drill press
attachments. Also, as woodchucker mentioned, it takes a fair
bit of force to push the chisel into the wood, and the handle
on a drillpress doesn't give you much leverage for that.
So my suggestion here would be, if you'll do more mortises in
future, buy a benchtop mortising machine. If not, build a
dedicated jig and use the router.
I started out with a DP attachment for a Delta 17-900. It worked,
but I wouldn't use it for production. Lubricating the bit
and honing the chisel was required for best operation. It's not
difficult to add a cheater to the DP handle if necessary for
I then picked up a General International benchtop unit. It worked
better, albeit still a bit underpowered; better holddown than
the DP attachment.
I then picked up a horizontal mortiser from Laguna. The best
of the bunch, especially for production.
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