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How do you mortise?

by Manitario
posted 12-14-2012 10:45 PM

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66 replies

66 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3702 days

#51 posted 12-16-2012 01:22 AM

A JDS MultiRouter, horizontal mortiser, vertical mortiser, router, Leigh jig mortise attachment, router, and drill press & chisels. The JDS gets used the most followed by the vertical hollow chisel mortiser for when doing square mortises. The horizontal when doing very large mortises.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Manitario's profile


2629 posts in 2848 days

#52 posted 12-19-2012 06:13 PM

Thanks for all the responses; it seems, much to my surprise, that the majority use mortising machines. As I don’t have the budget or the space for a mortiser at this point I’m going to work on doing mortises with a router…I have a few projects coming up that’ll give my router-mortising skills a workout.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View SqPeg's profile


15 posts in 1954 days

#53 posted 12-19-2012 07:30 PM

Until recently I have completed all of my mortises either with a chisel or with a router. There are some really good, very simple jigs out there that can make the task easy. I saw one recently on YouTube by Gary Rogowski that I thought was especially good.

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3000 days

#54 posted 12-19-2012 08:07 PM

Delta benchtop mortiser. The mortiser and the Unisaw are 2 of my favorite tools in the shop.

View opalko's profile


148 posts in 3000 days

#55 posted 12-19-2012 08:11 PM

Yeung Chan’s mortise & tenoning fixture always looked great to me by the way, but I never got around to building it:

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2649 days

#56 posted 12-19-2012 08:17 PM

manitario…the cheaper dedicated machines have a VERY small footprint on the bench (I use removable blocks to extend the table for that very reason…the supplied table is not big enough for my limited abilities). I just checked and see that the Delta “pro” is still under $300 and comes with 4 chisel sets.

They are essentially modified bench top drill presses and come with 2 of the flaws of the DP mortising attachments (flex and material movement) but without what I think is the biggest complaint (set-up and taking the DP out of service). The dedicated machines can do mortises fast. I’m guessing a plunge router does them better but I’ve learned that perfection is relative in mortises (minor flaws will rarely get seen).

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3445 days

#57 posted 12-19-2012 08:23 PM

This is what I use.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 2802 days

#58 posted 12-19-2012 08:29 PM

I have a cheap mortise machine and the bits are always getting clogged with chips even when I go slow. So now I use a dowell-it jig and drill out the bulk and sqaure them off with my cheap mortise machine.

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View HorizontalMike's profile


7749 posts in 2879 days

#59 posted 12-19-2012 08:36 PM

I use a DIY shop made horizontal mortising machine. I started with a Greg Paolini design and added an integrated dust collection system as well as adding a lift mechanism. IMO, this is very accurate and repeatable when making either mortises or dados in small pieces/frames. I have dado’d up to 30in with this.

Front view of the two axis platforms that slide on T-Track

Backside view of lifting cradle and dust collection

Closer view of dust collection. You can see one of the DC slot openings to the front side.

MDF cover over the DC channel. This way I get DC across the entire front side, below the router bit.

Adjustable dust baffles work great and they help channel shavings into the DC chamber slots.

Some examples

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3050 days

#60 posted 12-21-2012 02:01 AM

Here is the one I have been using #225 Hollow Chisel Mortiser
The serial number on the one I have been using is 46302

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2320 days

#61 posted 12-21-2012 02:46 AM

have a porter cable bench top mortiser and a chain mortiser at my disposal

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3306 days

#62 posted 12-21-2012 03:21 AM

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View shampeon's profile


1775 posts in 2148 days

#63 posted 12-21-2012 03:26 AM

I use the Paul Sellers bevel chisel method. I’ve used routers and templates, too. This is quieter.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3277 days

#64 posted 12-22-2012 08:53 PM

I just use my router either hand held or in the table. Quick accurate and done.

For my tenons I just take a rasp or my spindle sander and round the edges of the tenon until I am happy with the fit.

I don’t usually have tons of them to do, so that way works fine for me without buying a separate mortiser.

View NewEnglandsWoodWorks's profile


117 posts in 2566 days

#65 posted 12-22-2012 09:14 PM

I use a plunge router with a fence.

-- Brett

View Woodmaster1's profile


918 posts in 2552 days

#66 posted 12-22-2012 09:25 PM

I use a mortising attachment on my drill press. Once you get it set up it does a good job.

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