You will get mixed opinions on mortising machines / mortising attachments
vs. routers or good old chisels.
I started my woodworking hobby with a mortising attachment for a craftsman
drill press. It worked ok, but in my opinion, the drill press quill had too
much slop to make straight, reliable mortises. (Perhaps a higher quality
drill press would not have this porblem.) Also, hollow chisel mortisers
require a tremendous amount of force to push into the wood. In my opionion,
the gearing ratio on a drill press is a little too high for this operation
and you need to crank down on the drill press handle pretty hard, with the
bigger bits. A dedicated mortiser ussually has more mechanical advantage,
and a LONG handle.
I eventually sold the attachment on ebay and bought a dedicated mortiser. I
love this thing! It makes great cuts, is very quick to setup and is alway
sitting there ready to go. It cost about $180 or something though (I can't
I have the Delta version, and I made a few mods to it to improve the work
holding. See here for details:
Router table make very nice mportises too, but the mortise ends are rounded
(Which you can quickly fix with a chisel) and in my opinion, they take a
little longer to set up.
Joe in Denver
my woodworking website:
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