Does anybody have any good or bad opinions of the Delta mortising attachment for drill presses? I'm a hobbyist, so I don't need extreme speed or accuracy. The attachment looks clumsy and awkward, but the tool guy at the local Lowes says it works great (same thing he said about the $40 wobble dado set...). I've been needing a mortiser, and I'm tired of making them with chisels. Are the dedicated mortising machines a better option than the drill press / mortising attachment? I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thanks!
Also, Costco has a 14" Jet floor model drill press for $199. Is that a great deal?
There are members here that have been able to get good performace out of the Attachments. But, they had to do a lot of work to get them to be useful. I through mine in the trash and bought a Jet mortising machine. Much better tool in MHO.
You are wrong about not needing accuracy. You might not need speed, but a motise has to be right on.
No mater which way you go the chisels are ok to test and learn how to use them. But, that is about it. After market chisles are much better, but costly. You will also have to learn how to sharpen the chisels.
If the guy at Lowe's says a $40 wobble dado works great, he obviously has never used a stacked dado. So his idea of accurate is worthless (IMHO), after he said that.
If your only a hobbyist, it may be OK, but if you plan to be more than a hobbyist in the future, you may want to consider a dedicated mortising machine. You can get one of the Jet models for around $225. They don't take up much room, and they are more accurate than the DP attachments I've seen. They're not that much more money for a much better tool that's going to last a heck of a lot longer.
$199 for a 14" Jet floor DP? That sounds like a great price. I wonder what model it is?
Thanks for the input. The Jet drill press is a Shopmaster, I think. Shop was in the name. I looked at Jet's website and didn't see one like it. Costco also has a 3/4 hp jet DC for $129, same model name. Shop-something-or-other.
I would like nothing more than to purchase a dedicated mortiser, but I don't have the space. I can justify a drill press that is also a mortising machine, and a spindle sander, and a grinder, for a total of $300. I can't really justify a dedicated mortiser for $225, that also needs a piece of bench space to sit on.
One other thing the Lowes guy told me is that a dedicated mortising machine was nothing more than a drill press with the chisel head permanently affixed to it. Any commments on that?
One last question: the drill press does not include a fence or clamping system. Any advice on a simple, cheap clamping system? The drill press table is round, maybe 12", and has several large holes in it. Thanks again!
First, on the space issue. I don't have my mortising machine out on the bench except when I use it. I have a dedicated location on my long cut off bench that the machine drops into. When not in use it is located under the bench and a fill board goes into the hole. But for years I would just bring it to the bench and bolt it down.
It takes no space when not in use.
The guy you keep talking to is an idiot. There is a major difference between a Dedicated machine and a drill press. The mortiser is designed to do that job. There is a big leverage arm to power the chisel into the stock. The rack and pinion system for lowering the head, not a quil into the cut is more effective. The Dedicated machines have a fence that works and doesn't have to make a lot of modification to hold the stock.
If you go the DP route, you will need to build a aux table and a fence system, hold downs. I had a lot of issue getting enough leverage with the DP quil system to make the system work well. No Dano makes mission style furniture. Lots of M&T joints and he uses one of these. But I will bet a lot of money he has a very good DP, not a 199 model and he has built the aux table and fencing system.
First thing you need to understand is that there might be someone at one of the box stores that knows something about woodworking, but he is on break right now. Most of them are idiots. They sell tools or cars or computers, it is all the same to them.
In case anyone is wonderiing, the Jet drill press is of the Shopline model, which I can't find anywhere on the web or in my ww catalogs. It has a 5/8" chuck, 3/4 hp, 14" swing, and it's a floor model. For $199! From what I've seen, this seems to be a great deal. I bought one tonight. There were two left. There were 7 last night. I'm going to try the mortisiing attachment. If it sucks I'll return it, and at least I have a nice drill press for a good price! Thanks for the feedback.
My ears were burnin' so I though I'd better pop in. First off that Jet you are looking at is really an inexpensive machinists' drill press (round table).
Lou's right that I use the Delta attachement on my DP (Delta), I consider it to be my "dedicated" mortise machine with boring capabilities. ;) First thing I did when I got the attachment was to pitch the chisels in the garbage can, then got a good set through Garrett Wade. As to my auxilary table/fence "system" it took me less than 30 minutes to construct out of 3/4" Birch ply (scrap). It mounts to the DP table using two carraige bolts and wing nuts through counter sunk holes that were spaced to the two parallel slots. Not sure exactly what the set up time is, can't count that low. But I can say it's a matter of seconds, not minutes. I did allow for some lateral play as well and used a framing square to scribe the center line. I'll also add that those who do know me, know that I'm a real stickler on precision and accuracy and my set up meets those requirements. The auxilary table is "at home" on the DP and it serves very well for other precision boring operations such as using a Fortsner bit to mill out the mortises for European hinges on cabinet doors.
Any who, it's a pretty simple system and a dedicated mortising machine is the farthest thing from my mind in terms of future tooling requirments....
The cross-slide table can add a great deal of flexibility to the DP mounted mortising attachment. Harbor Freight and Highland Hardware carry the table for $60, although I would be inclined to go with the HH version.