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Are Drill Press Mortising Attachments Worth Trying

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Forum topic by crank49 posted 10-28-2011 06:53 PM 1325 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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crank49

3421 posts in 1624 days


10-28-2011 06:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortising question

First, let me say I know others have said the set-up is such a hassle that they never use the things.

But, what if you had a spare drill press. I upgraded mine and have been wondering whether to sell the old one or not.

I really want a benchtop mortiser but it’s hard to justify for a hobby shop. I have seen a couple of machines on CL lately, but they always seem to sell for around $225 used. I could get a new Rikon or Jet (on sale right now) for about $50 more.

The other day I saw a kit to install on a drill press for $60 and I thought, well I have a spare drill press I could install it on and avoid the sett-up hassle.

Are the drill press mortising attachments useable, other than the fact that they are hard to install and the fact that they tie up your drill press.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H


14 replies so far

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 1337 days


#1 posted 10-28-2011 07:21 PM

I had one for a few years…apart from the drawbacks you say to ignore, I was never happy with it due primarily to difficulty in supporting the work piece on a floor standing DP (small table and about 3’+ from the floor)...maybe a bench top DP would work better.

I also had excessive “flex” (dedicated machine is a essentially a dovetailed rack and pinion system that I think controls downward movement better) but have since learned not to expect “perfection” on equipment that only costs a few $$$.

Finally, price the bit/chisel sets. My dedicated Delta came with 4 cheapos but they have served me well. On the DP attachment, it came with none and I think I paid $35 each.

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crank49

3421 posts in 1624 days


#2 posted 10-28-2011 07:49 PM

Thanks for the repy, Teejk.

I had thought of the chisel cost problem, but the Craig’s List kit I found included chisels.

The other part, the excessive flex, is what I was worried about. And your reply seems to validate my fear.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3451 posts in 2613 days


#3 posted 10-28-2011 07:54 PM

I just gave mine away. That tell ya sompin?
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5383 posts in 1885 days


#4 posted 10-28-2011 07:59 PM

If you have the shop space, a dedicated mortiser is well worth the extra funds. Now mind you, mine is the cheapo HF mortiser, and it is far from my favorite tool. Heck it’s far from my favorite HF tool… But it works, fairly well. Just set it up and go… But mine was more or less free. Before I got it, I had my eye on the Shop Fox 3/4 HP model, much better clamping system, which is where the HF stinks…

Now having bad mouthed my HF mortiser, I will say, a dedicated mortiser, even the lowly HF, is far and away easier, and more consistent than using a mortising attachment… About the only way I would consider one of those attachments is if I were trying to put my shop into a 10×12 shed…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3385 posts in 1847 days


#5 posted 10-28-2011 09:07 PM

Crank,

You can have mine, if that tells you anything….Here’s how old mine is: When I bought it I piad $ 35.00 for it.
Price tag still on the box…it’s a Delta, cause that’s what I use….But a major pain in the rectoid area to set up, and then when you did need the d.p., tear it all down, etc.,etc., etc. I had 2 d.p’s. at one time…a 12” and a 16 1/2” floor model… I would NOT put this piece of crap on either one. They flex too much, and tie up the machine. I’ve had my dedicated mortiser for about 12-14 years, and it’s the creme’ dela creme’...... It does everything I tell it to…..it obeys better than my wife…I better hide that part…lol.:))

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View crank49's profile

crank49

3421 posts in 1624 days


#6 posted 10-28-2011 11:54 PM

Thanks, my suspicions confirmed.

Maybe I’ll just keep using the drill and pare out method till the economy improves and I can get a real mortiser.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View DaddyZ's profile

DaddyZ

2401 posts in 1693 days


#7 posted 10-28-2011 11:59 PM

I use mine from time to time, it does flex some but with a mortise noone is going to see its OK if its is going to be seen, not a chance !

I rate the delta Mortising attachment @ 2 of 5

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2397 days


#8 posted 10-29-2011 01:20 AM

I chose to buy an extra drill press rather than spend more on a mortiser. I like the ability to mortise into any thickness of lumber. I also got rid of the pia hold down that comes with the drill press mortise attachments. I installed a sliding drill press vise. I leave everything set up all the time. I only have to change the size of the bits if I want to change the size of the mortise. My $0.02 worth.

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3233 posts in 1215 days


#9 posted 10-29-2011 02:18 AM

I have a Delta attachment that I find works very well. I cannot not comment in comparison as I’ve never used a dedicated mortiser. I have not found set up to be much of an issue, however, I will agree it is a pain when I have not planned well and have to switch back and forth. But if you have two DP then that should be much less an issue.

FYI – I do cram my shop into 12×20 so multi-function equipment is a bonus when it does not mean loss of capability in any one function.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1704 days


#10 posted 10-30-2011 05:20 AM

Crank,

I have a old (38 years) bench type 3/4 hp drill press. I use the grizz universal mortise kit with 4 drill/chisels that cost me $50 ($25 less than I paid for the dp). So far, I have been very happy with. Done a couple hundred mortises with no problem. All except the priciest machines have hold downs that suck. Tenontim’s setup is the way to go. That’s next on my to-do list. Solves all your problems. Setup is a non-issue. Takes just a few minutes. Keep your bits and chisels sharp, take your time, and have fun. You’re lucky to have a spare drill press. If you want, send me your e-mail address, and I’ll send you a copy of how to modify a x-y sliding table.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View GregD's profile

GregD

616 posts in 1789 days


#11 posted 11-01-2011 03:17 AM

I like my mortising attachment just fine. No regrets at all. I don’t think a low end bench top mortiser at twice the price (or more) would do much better. Also, I needed 9” capacity to put mortises into the edges of the lower and bottom entry door rails. Another advantage, IMHO, is I can set my DP at a very low RPM so that the bit doesn’t get so blasted hot.

-- Greg D.

View RaymondAbel's profile

RaymondAbel

30 posts in 1186 days


#12 posted 11-05-2011 04:45 PM

allo

On the French forum, we add this very long discussion about it link

So it was the start for a friendly challenge.

Press drill kit:
I “was” one of those that but a kit that fit on a press drill & hate it so much that I gave it (yes not sold it but just gave it). It was be before I saw this video done by someone fromthe French forum: elpatenteur
The thing you HAVE to know is to use the slowiest speed as possible. Thing that I did not know. then it will do a pretty good job

Dedicated mortaising:
Note: it was about 2 years that I did not used it because I do not like it anymore since I have a FMT

FMT
By far the most expensive one but after using it you will never go back to antrhing else.

my 2 cents
Ray

NOTE: of course, all video’s commantaries are in French but I am sur you will able to “see” what I am doing & figure out what I am saying.

-- "Ceci est un hobby, c'est pas supposé "faire de sens".

View RaymondAbel's profile

RaymondAbel

30 posts in 1186 days


#13 posted 11-05-2011 04:46 PM

allo

On the French forum, we add this very long discussion about it link

So it was the start for a friendly challenge.

Press drill kit:
I “was” one of those that but a kit that fit on a press drill & hate it so much that I gave it (yes not sold it but just gave it). It was be before I saw this video done by someone fromthe French forum: elpatenteur
The thing you HAVE to know is to use the slowiest speed as possible. Thing that I did not know. then it will do a pretty good job

Dedicated mortaising:
Note: it was about 2 years that I did not used it because I do not like it anymore since I have a FMT

FMT
By far the most expensive one but after using it you will never go back to antrhing else.

my 2 cents
Ray

NOTE: of course, all video’s commantaries are in French but I am sur you will able to “see” what I am doing & figure out what I am saying.

-- "Ceci est un hobby, c'est pas supposé "faire de sens".

View RaymondAbel's profile

RaymondAbel

30 posts in 1186 days


#14 posted 11-05-2011 04:47 PM

sorryfor the 2 posts

-- "Ceci est un hobby, c'est pas supposé "faire de sens".

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