Drill press morticing attachments

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 02-11-2012 01:56 AM 2321 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

5370 posts in 1420 days

02-11-2012 01:56 AM

Do they work well?

Are they frustrating to deal with?

I don’t really have room for a dedicated morticing machine….

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

23 replies so far

View tt1106's profile


113 posts in 2160 days

#1 posted 02-11-2012 01:58 AM

I have a set. It works ok….on a limited basis. It does not do as well as a mortising machine. This is only me experience and i suspect it would be different if I had a seriously heavy duty drill press.

-- -Todd

View HamS's profile


1709 posts in 1481 days

#2 posted 02-11-2012 02:04 AM

I have one that you can have. I have used it once in ten years. I have a bench top drill press and My table won’t go low enough to get the 3/8th bit in the quill and still have room for the wood and the 1/4 in bit was just a real pain to set up and use. I found that a good forstner bit and a sharp chisel was as almost as quick. send me a PM.

-- Haming it up in the 'bash.

View tt1106's profile


113 posts in 2160 days

#3 posted 02-11-2012 02:12 AM

I should mention after using the kit, I just went and bought the mortiser. HamS has the right idea.

-- -Todd

View Zulu55's profile


72 posts in 1408 days

#4 posted 02-11-2012 02:14 AM

I would avoid the use of it…but that’s just my personal opinion. There are people who may have better advice that are much more experienced than I am.

But here are two of my reasons:

-They take awhile to set up on your drill press to get them working properly
-Its tough on you and your drill press to sink the hollow chisels into your stock.

I’m not saying you need to go out and buy a dedicated mortiser (I did because $400 was burning a hole in my pocket) but if you really want to make square mortises, I have to agree with HamS advice.

-- Adam - Langley, British Columbia (Canada)

View Viking's profile


858 posts in 2287 days

#5 posted 02-11-2012 02:22 AM

If you do a lot of mortises you are far ahead either finding a good used morticing machine or you might look at the Wood River MM at Woodcraft. It is a twin to the Steel City MM but much less $$$. I caught it on a good sale ($199) when Woodcraft first introduced it.

The drill press tools are a joke.

The alternative would be to make a jig and cut them with a router. You would still have to chisel the ends square though.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4625 posts in 2286 days

#6 posted 02-11-2012 03:47 AM

Hey….you can have mine, too…...To tell you how long I’ve had mine…..when I bought it, I paid $ 32.00.

Biggest piece of crap I ever wasted money on, except my Delta 20 ” scroll saw…..the big yellow one….

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2836 days

#7 posted 02-11-2012 12:31 PM

Just to be on the other side of the fence, I have one that I use all the time. But it is set up on a dedicated drill press. I like the drill press because you can do thicker and/or longer boards, and at an angle. Of course I would probably trade it for the General tilting mortiser, if I ever have $800 burning a hole in my pocket.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4625 posts in 2286 days

#8 posted 02-11-2012 02:09 PM


That would be the one advantage of owning a mortising attachment….if you had two, and like you say, keep one dedicated just for the attachment….otherwise, you’ll spend more time setting and tearing down than you will actually using the thing…..Several years ago, I tore mine down, put it back in the box, and bought a bench top mortiser…I haven’t looked back since….I would like to get a floor model, but right now I see no advantage to it over the bench type…...

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4022 posts in 3052 days

#9 posted 02-11-2012 02:55 PM

Here’s another one you can buy.


View TheDane's profile


4585 posts in 2755 days

#10 posted 02-11-2012 02:59 PM

Ask Tom Hintz at what he thinks of them! I think he said once that he has three of them … all of them are somewhere out in the woods behind his house!


-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

4625 posts in 2286 days

#11 posted 02-11-2012 04:25 PM

That’s not a bad idea, Gerry…...? I should do the same thing since I have plenty of woods on my place. That piece of crap is just taking up space in my drill cabinet…...:). I could use that space to buy another worthless piece of crap I would probably never use…

-- " I don't makes my coffee spill...."

View Kenny 's profile


260 posts in 1540 days

#12 posted 02-11-2012 05:10 PM

Whoa! Drill press mortising attachment?!? Do you want a migraine and less money????

Look at even a bench top mortiser and the handle it has on it. Now look at the big rack and pinion gears that operate the plunge. Now look at the piny handle on your DP and the tiny little rack and pinion teeth it has.

See the difference? The mortiser is built to take the punishment of shoving a 1/2” square chisel into hard maple, where your drill press is made to push a sharp spinning drill bit into wood and metal, which requires a LOT less force than the chisel will.

If you don’t believe me, take a 1/2” mortise chisel and try to shove it into a 1/2” hole in a piece of maple. Take it to your DP and try to use the quill to push it in. It’s basically going to require that much force with the mortising attachment too. Well, a little less, but you get my point.

Drill presses are made to drill, mortisers are made to cut mortises. They can both be used for the other purpose, but neither is going to do really well.

A MUCH better solution is to make a horizontal router table like this unit from

And then either buy their mortising attachment
Or make your own mortising attachment.

And better still would be their 6010HD Mortising Table, which basically turns a horizontal router table into a multi-router of sorts.

I have a shop-made horizontal router table with a mortising attachment I made, and it works awesome. Super fast and easy. Mine is similar to the basic design from WoodHaven. But I’m planning to build another table using aluminum extrusions from and then make my own X-Y axis mortising table using heavy-duty ball-bearing drawer slides.

Their is simply no equal when it comes to the speed of a slot mortiser, which is why pros will spend thousands on a multi-router.
It makes loose tenon joinery so fast and easy you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. And if you want to use standard tenons cut into the workpiece, it’s as easy as rasping round corners on the tenons or chiseling the mortises square, which only takes about a minute of paring per mortise.

-- Kenny

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 2836 days

#13 posted 02-11-2012 05:27 PM

This is what I call a dedicated drill press mortiser. Floor model. 1 hp. Sliding table vise. Roller supports. Additional long handle. Don’t try it with a Harbor Freight table top drill press.

View kizerpea's profile


746 posts in 1459 days

#14 posted 02-11-2012 05:46 PM

DON,T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! buy a real mortice machine!


View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4022 posts in 3052 days

#15 posted 02-11-2012 08:29 PM

So I guess that ya don’t want mine????
Oh well….....
Note to self: Go out to the woods. There might be some extra parts I don’t have.


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