View Full Version : Mortise chisel for drill press

12-12-2000, 12:09 AM
Hey guys---

I've got a drill press and I want to do good mortise and tenon joints for furniture making. I've priced a 1/2" mortise bit at Home Depot for about $35.

Is that all I need to do mortises? Can I just chuck it in and go? Some of the magazines I was reading talk about an adapter kit that you need to have to use a mortise bit on a drill press. Is that right, or can I just get the mortise bit and go to work.



12-12-2000, 04:32 AM
You have to have the mortise attachment to use the Chisel. Each drill press manufacture has a different attachment and it is based on the dia of the quill of your DP. The attachment is clamped around the quill. The chisel is mounted in the attachment and a drill bit is chucked in the center of the chisel. The drill removes most of the waste as the chisel cuts the sides of the motise. They work, but I bought a dedicated Mortise machine for about 200. with 3 chisels. Works great. Holds the work piece steady as you push the chisel into the work.

karl in pa
12-12-2000, 10:00 AM
Lou gave you good advice but you should also have the chisel sharpened before you use it. It only has a factory edge on it and will give you a great mortise in butter but not in wood.

12-12-2000, 12:38 PM

Your right, But that is true of all tools and sometimes I forget that the begining user thinks that tools are sharp when they get them. The only tool I have found to be sharp from the store was a saw blade.

The other name for a woodworker is tool sharpener.

Gary R in Pa
12-12-2000, 08:44 PM
Be you Neanderthal or Normite you will learn to sharpen properly or suffer needlessly.
I have several means but still like the "Scary Sharp" method (can't beat the price either!!!!)

12-15-2000, 07:22 PM
I am a beginning woodworker and am intriqued by what you say about sharpening. For example, I did buy a Jet mortiser and I have been using it and its doing a great job (in red oak). Now are you telling me that it would do an even better job if I got the chisels sharpened. Do you do it by hand or with a jig? Where would you take hollow chisels to get them sharpened? Thanks for any help.

12-15-2000, 09:37 PM
Yes, it will do much better if it is sharpened. You can do the work yourself. Disassemble the chisel and take a small round file and use in on the inside bevel only. Make a few passes on the bevel to produce about a 30 degree angle and develop the edge. when you have a wire edge developed, you then take the chisel and lay it flat on a stone or better yet fine (220) sand paper on a glass plate strop the chisel to polish the surface. Keep the chisel flat on the paper. If you have not sharppend drills then you might not want to try to do more than that.

It will help a lot.

12-16-2000, 12:02 AM
I had a mortise machine on my wish list also. (Note: past tense intended.)

I've just gotten back into wood working since what would be called junior high school or middle school today. (6, 7 & 8 grades and over 40 years ago.) Today I was fitting mortise and tennons in red oak on my first real WOOD WORKING project in that many years. I used my router to cut the majority of the mortise and a quarter inch chisel to knock out the rounded corners. It took me about 10 minutes to figure out that the chisel was dull and another 20 minutes to figure out how to sharpen it by hand. With a sharp chisel and the router I can cut and fit a mortise in about 5 minutes. It's not that difficult!

With your drill press' adjustable depth stop and a clamped on fence you can do just as good a job as I did with a router. You may have a little bit more clean out work with the chisel. Just practice on some scrap and in an hour you'll be saying, "Darn, I'm good!"