Update to "Mortising Machine...What am I doing wrong?"


Well, the verdict is in, and indeed, it is the drill bit. After reading everyone's replies last night, I took a look at it this morning, and it was about as sharp as a sack of wet mice. (Thank you, Foghorn Leghorn.)
But...the saga continues...
I only found one supplier in town that sold individual sizes, and it happened to be the Austrian bits sold by Delta. Wonderful!! Looked like good quality, made (packaged?) by Delta...gotta fit my mortiser...which conveniently is a Delta too.
Wrong. Being made in Austria, the "chuck" for the chisel is 16mm. The chuck for my mortiser...5/8". It was then that I noticed the tiny label on the box, "For the Delta drill-press mortising attachment." What it should have said was "For the f&cking drill-press mortising attachment," but I digress.
So I sits and I thinks...hmmm...if I can't take 5/1000's of an inch off a round piece of steel with some emory paper...I'm pretty much shit worthless. Then I looked at my original chisel, and my new bit, and it hit me like an old Reese's peanut butter commercial. ("You dipped your...")
Wala...new bit/old chisel goes through cherry like crap through a goose.
BUT I'M NOT DONE YET...OH HELL NO!!
Unfortunately, the new bit is .38 inches wide...my old chisel is .36 inches wide. Enough to leave every "plunge" with a big round groove in the side. Not what I'm looking for in a mortise. And the new chisel is almost as bad, so even if I did make it fit in the chuck, it's still proud of the chisel by a long shot.
So now, I just have to order a new one from Lee Valley, and all is well.
Except Lee Valley is backordered on 3/8" for two &^%damm months. &^%$#@%$&%#&%!!
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If you hurry, you can get this one on eBay. Auction's up in an hour. http://cgi.ebay.com/Delta-Mortising-Chisel-Bit-Set-17-910_W0QQitemZ7595507718QQcategoryZ67240QQtcZphotoQQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Thanks for the search, but that's the one I just bought...it's the Austrian set Delta packages to fit their drill-press mortising attachment.
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Sorry to hear of all your troubles, buy did you read my reply? The one where I told you to sharpen the bits and chisel?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I did indeed, and thanks for it. Unfortunately, the fluting nearest the tip is the part that's dull. And to my unpracticed eye, it looked to me to be unsharpenable. The chaiwanese grinding machine literally ground the flute down to a flat "ledge" that's about 1/16" wide. I would somehow have had to have resurrected that fluting from the dead, and with none of the tools to do it, even if it could have been done.
I'm not well-versed in the geometry of drill bits, but it did not look salvageable to me.
In order to fix the new set, where the bit sits proud of the chisel, I put the bit in a hand drill, set it to reverse, and held it sideways against a piece of emory cloth. I used *very* light pressure, particularly given charlie b's warning about lateral weekness in these style of bits. Then I hand sanded the shank of the chisel to fit in my chuck, and the results so far are at least passable.
I'll work on the chisel tomorrow, and I'll probably end up taking the bit to a sharpening service down the street. This one looks like it can be worked on, and they can probably further reduce the size of the head.
Thanks Ed...I'll keep you posted.
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I think you need to use a slipstone to do that.
er
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If you want to sharpen the bit find a lapidary store. They usually also sell jewelry making tools. Get a set of needle files. One of the flat ones will have "safe" sides - smooth so they only cut on the faces, not the edges. File from the "inside" of the bit not the end of the bit. While your there, also get the smallest stick of White Diamond or whatever "stick" they have that will remove metal rather than just burnishing it (the burnishing compound/ stick is typically called Rouge because it's reddish brown)
File the cutting edge then apply the cutting compound to a hardwood stick and refine, "polish" / hone the edge. Slip sticks work faster and better but you'd have to order them from Lee Valley, HIghland Hardware and the like.
As for buying an individual bit or chisel - they're typically sold as a set - for a reason.
As for the chisel fit in your mortiser - many mortisers come with multiple collets for exactly that reason. Mine (General International 75-075M) came with a 5/8 & 3/4" collet.
The underlying problem is what you don't know. THAT'S why you want to make friends with the most knowledgable guy at the tool store - not The BORG - but a real tool store. A good salesperson will ask questions before they try and sell you something that probably won't work.
You can save a few dollars by mail order or web shopping but you'll spend far more than you saved on valium or booze. Buy the big stuff from a local who knows the stuff he/she sells. Spend a little more and save your self a lot of grief and frustration.
Case in point I bought a Makita 12" SCMS from CB Tools here in Silly Cone Valley. A month after I bought it I blew out the left fence. Took the pieces to CB Tools and said "It broke!" My sales guy walked over to a floor model, took the piece I needed off it and sent me on my way with a "sorry - that shouldn't happen."
Now granted, the saw, fully loaded with extra hold down and optional hold ins was a tad over $800 - and I've spent a chunk of change there, but Mario takes care of his customers. With the exception of Lee Valley, no mailer order place comes close to that kind of service.
AND - a good salesman will let his customers know about upcoming sales, discontinued items deals and "stuff in the back". I got an 8', 10" wide Beismeyer (sp?) miter saw table for $75. Customer ordered it and never picked it up http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MakitaSCMS.html Of course I spent another $75 on a pair of flip stops but . . .
charlie b
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charlie b wrote:

Better yet, I found a sharpening service down the street. I've learned how to sharpen flat stuff, all my planes and chisels, but I figure I'll hold off on drill bits till I've mastered some woodworking techniques that are more important to me right now.
These guys have a great rep in town, and I spent about 30 minutes talking shop with them last night. Very knowlegable, friendly, willing to give advice where warranted. They'll get all my round-tool bidness for the time being, including saw blades.

If only the 3/8" bit/chisel I bought as a set had fit together! I guess even Austria can have shitty quality control.

I couldn't agree more. I buy my big iron locally now, and have begun developing the kind of relationships you're talking about for the same reason. I do mail order/web for super-high end hand tools that the local shops can't afford to inventory (or the manufacturers won't sell other than directly), but that's it. The tool-store advice is usually worth its weight in gold.
Thanks for all your help on this one, Charlie. And to the rest who weighed-in too...given the proper filters, this newsgroup is also a hell of a good source of savings on booze and valium!!
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