Bench top Mortiser Chisel

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Forum topic by flyboy posted 07-19-2010 02:31 AM 1221 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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96 posts in 3183 days

07-19-2010 02:31 AM

Hi, I have what is probably a very stupid question. What woud be the right size chisel to use if the wood I use is primarily 3/4” stock. My sisters surprised me with a new Powermatic PM701 which does not come with chisels. I am looking to buy one new chisel every month but didn’t know if a 1/4”, 5/16”, or a 3/8” would be the first. I appreciate any help. Thanks, Flyboy

-- 160th S.O.A.R

8 replies so far

View barryvabeach's profile


159 posts in 2952 days

#1 posted 07-19-2010 02:39 AM

I would get a 1/4 chisel – in general a tenon should be 1/3 the thickness of the stock – which leaves 1/4 inch of material on either side of the tenon.

View cutmantom's profile


401 posts in 2943 days

#2 posted 07-19-2010 02:40 AM

1/4 inch, but a set may be a good way to go, don’t settle for cheap ones, they will give you problems like burning

View patron's profile


13594 posts in 3249 days

#3 posted 07-19-2010 02:41 AM

for 3/4” stock ,
i use 1/4” chisel .
for 1 1/2 ,
a 1/2” chisel ,

the tenon 1/3rd the stock thickness ,
if you make then 1/2 ratio ,
the mortise cheeks are to thin .

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

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5698 posts in 3102 days

#4 posted 07-19-2010 02:55 AM

Greetings flyboy,

Why not buy all 4 at the same time, and have them on hand when you’re ready to use them. It’ll be cheaper in the long run…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3388 days

#5 posted 07-19-2010 03:20 AM

I agree with everyone. I think it would be easier though just to buy the set. It probably would be cheaper too.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3111 days

#6 posted 07-19-2010 05:02 AM

WOW – I wish I had siblings that liked be that much! Congratulations. I’m sure you could find a set for under $50 – that way you would be set.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View flyboy's profile


96 posts in 3183 days

#7 posted 07-19-2010 06:00 PM

I wanted to say thanks for everyone’s help. This is why I truly love this site and the people on it. I am a lucky man to have sisters like I do. With 13 siblings I have not one complaint. I wanted to buy one at a time so I can buy the very best that I can. I feel that it’s better to buy that best you can afford once rather than crap several times. I have read good reveiws on the Powermatic chisels so I am off today to get my 1/4” chisel. Thanks again to all. Flyboy

-- 160th S.O.A.R

View Rob Bois's profile

Rob Bois

33 posts in 3302 days

#8 posted 07-19-2010 07:23 PM

The rule of a tenon being 1/3 the width of the stock is fairly traditional, but I would suggest a wider tenon is likely a bit stronger. I use 3/8” mortises and tenons for all my 3/4” stock as this gives me tenons half the thickness of the material. Plus, a 3/8” mortising machine chisel is less likely to get clogged with chips since you have a bit more clearance for chip ejection.

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