Mortising Survey

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I'm just beginning to make M&T joints, and I've seen at least 3-4 general ways to mill mortices:
Dedicated Mortising Machine Router Router plus corner cleanout By hand, using chisels
What kind do *you* use, and why?
--
Vince Heuring ECE Department, University of Colorado - Boulder
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On 15 Sep 2003, Vince Heuring spake unto rec.woodworking:

=> By hand, using chisels

A number of reasons. It's quick, fun, and very satisfying. Thwacking a mortise chisel with a mallet and prying out the waste is gratifying, hands- on woodworking, and not difficult with a bit of practice. I get consistent results, and a bit of exercise in the bargain.
Scott
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Dedicated Mortising Machine (cheapest I could find on Ebay)

Having taken up WW only 6 - 7 months ago after a 25+ year gap, I can achieve near perfect fitting M&T joints with very little if any skill. Also it's a lot quicker than by hand.
I did try using a router at first, but as I don't have a proper router table I didn't get very good results.
Graham
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Vince Heuring wrote:

Does drill press and forstner bit followed by chisels fall into any of the above? I've only done two mortises so far, but that's how I did it. That was Norm's way before he got the attachment for his drill press, and then the dedicated mortiser.
Dan
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I second that. Why? Best method with the tools I own and I don't have a mortising chisel so it is "almost" hand cut.
-Chris
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By hand with a little help from a drill press. I ususally rmove as much material as I can with a drill bit and then hand chisel the rest.

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I had the Jet - quicker, positive placement for exactness, and I was doing a lot of work. The production flew by.
Jim
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Drill holes with a hand drill and brad points, finish with chisels.

Cause I'm a) beginner at M&T joints and b) too broke to buy a router, drill press and mortice attachment or any other fancy gadget (even though there's a clearout down the road on a Bosch 1617EVS @ $100 off... whimper...)
Mike
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On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 20:48:19 GMT, "Michael Daly"

WHERE???
I want another.
Thanks, Barry
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On 15-Sep-2003, B a r r y B u r k e J r .

Mississauga, ON. Canadian Tire - they seem to be dumping Bosch from the stores and only selling online. The stores are stocked with cheap brands. That's C$, not US$ so it's more like US$73 off.
Mike
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Thanks for the tip! Bought 1 today.

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Router with edge guide and home-made jigs.
Very quick, clean, and consistent mortices.
With saw-cut or routed tenons I square the mortices because I've messed up too many shoulders while rounding tenons. With loose tenons the tenon stock is rounded to match the mortice ends.
For my first project with dozens of small spindles I'll be looking for a dedicated morticer.

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Dedicated Mortising Machine for me :) Just a little quicker, and very valuable when time is a rare commodity!
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 5 Reviews: - Woodworking Techniques & Projects - Kreg Right Angle Clamp - Bosch 3912 (GCM12) 12" Compound Miter Saw - Dowelmax Doweling System - Ryobi CDL1802D Pro Series 18v Cordless Drill ------------------------------------------------------------
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Vince Heuring wrote:

you forgot horizontal router table (or boring machine)...
--
************************************
Chris Merrill
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Big old Powermatic #10 standup mortiser for cabinet work. Why -- because I like big old machines and they work great. Portable Makita chain mortiser for timber frame work, followed by cleanup with a sharp chisel. Why -- because there are alot of mortises in the average timber frame. I also occassionally do them with one of my antique hand powered Millers Falls mortisers if there aren't too many.
--
Ross
www.myoldtools.com
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Hand router, pix and text at: http://www.patwarner.com/morticer.html *******************************************************************

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On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 13:54:43 -0600, Vince Heuring

Lessee:
Made open mortices (bridle joints) on the table saw for many years. One pass with a dado blade, with the work piece held vertically. Why: did not have the tools to make them otherwise.
Also made mortices by laminating three pieces of wood, with the middle one the width of the mortice and a gap of the appropriate length. Cleaned the glue out of the corners with a chisel. Why: It was usually on a thick pieces of wood. Made sense in the applications I used (e.g. base for a plant stand).
On the posts & beams in my solarium: hand drill (with home made guide) & cleaned up with chisel. Why: no router or mortiser or drill press mortising attachment could make them deep enough. Could not justify $2,000 chain mortiser for ~20 mortises, although I would have loved to get one.
On greenhouse windows, got a delta mortising attachment for my drill press. Why: I needed a mortice in the middle of the stile, so open mortices done on the table saw (what I had been using up to that point) could not work. Couldn't afford (or couldn't really justify) buying a plunge router at that time.
On solarium windows, plunge router with long 1/2" bit & a home-made jig. Why: wanted a plunge router and nice, accurate clean-sided mortices. Rounded most of the tenon over with a roundover bit in the router table, and finished the end of the tenon (close to the shoulder) with a Lee Valley flush plane (#05P20.01). Why: experimented with many methods including squaring the mortice corners with a regular chisel and a corner chisel, and rounding over the tenons with a rasp, sandpaper, sander, router table with regular chisel for the clean-up. This was the fastest method.
Given a choice in the future, I would use the last method. Why: accurate, clean mortice cheeks and, consequently, a presumably better glue joint.
But, next, I gotta try doing them by hand, but I have to get good mortising chisels first.
Note that the mortice/mortise spelling choices are quite deliberate. I use mortice for the noun & mortise for the verb, on the advice/advise model. I would like to propose that we wreckers make that the official spelling so we have one more reason to bug newbies about their spelling.
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" twice in reply address for real email address
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Luigi Zanasi wrote:

What about pronunciation? Do you use a "mor-tize-ing" chisel to cut a "mor-tis"? :) Please "ad-vize".
Martin
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On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 11:14:04 -0700, Martin Frankel

I would like to advice you that in English, unlike most other languages (with the notable exception of French), pronounciation has very little to do with the way a word is spelled. So my advise is pronounce it the way you want. :-)
Note that mortice/mortise is one of the many exceptions to one of the few clear clues to pronounciation that English has, i.e. that an "e" following a consonant indicates that the preceding vowel has a long sound.
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" twice in reply address for real email address
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======================== I had to laugh at getting a lession on the English Language from a guy named Luigi....
BUT if anyone needs at least 100 such lessions .. I'm the guy...
Bob Griffiths
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