Well today I bought me one of them there dedicated mortisers. Having cut the
bastards by hand, with a router, a drill press and several other methods
over the years I have to say ..............that was really stupid. Man do
yourselves a favor if you dont have one, get one. Damn why does it take me
so long to see things sometimes!!
Yeahbuddy... a dedicated mortiser is a helluva bang for the buck in saved
time. I just walked in from cutting mortises and tenons for a hall table and
did in one afternoon what used to take two days with no screwups.
For a dedicated mortiser such as a home woodworker might have, is it
recommended to slush out most of the mortise with a drill press before
cleaning up with the mortiser? Or is that dependent on wood type?
Normally, I would say no. If you keep your chisels sharp and properly set up
the bit and chisel to work together, you shouldn't have too much of a
problem with domestic hardwoods. Most of my experience is with the various
oaks, particularly white oak, and cherry, so take that into account.
Lee Valley has cone shaped sharpening stones that can be used to touch up
chisels on a drill press (with a drill press vice) ... IME, sharp chisels
take care of 98% of use without having to resort to another tool.
That said, I find regular chisels are still necessary to clean-up and do a
little fine tuning, particularly to the bottoms ... just by hand, no mallet.
Ditto here swingman. First thing I noticed was the small chunks left at the
bottom that must be coaxed out of the mortise with a chisel or in my case I
use my little 6" engineers rule. I usually have it in hand or pocket anyway
so its handy! I went with the cheaper Delta unit from Lowes because I
actually wasn't sure if I wanted one or not, and there was rebate. That
little thing is the berries though it does a fine job. Tried it on pine,
some cherry and the dreaded purpleheart. With the latter it was necessary to
extend the bit lower past the chisel as per the instructions and then I made
a few shallow cuts side by side before making a full plunge. Worked great,
no problems in the PH. I think its going to work fine for what I need which
is the project I'm on now. Gonna have about 48 mortises in all.
Second question that occurred to me. Could a dedicated mortiser do double
duty as a basic drill press without the chisels? Understandably, the travel
would be limited, but I'm thinking that for someone wanting both, but have
neither, the mortiser could be a preferred starting point.
My HF mortiser came with an auxiliary chuck that can allow it to act like a
drill press. It is single speed and the travel is limited. However, I have
a small shop and, if the mortiser is already out, I would rather use that
than putting it away and pulling out the DP.
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