What's the best way to mortise on my drill press? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 26 Old 10-17-2013, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
Hobbyist
 
gthec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philly
Posts: 151
View gthec's Photo Album My Photos
What's the best way to mortise on my drill press?

Hi Folks,

It's been a while since I last checked into Wood Forum. I have started a new project building a sofa table and have some questions about the joinery. The legs and stretchers will be made from cherry with mortises and tenons. I'm drilling my tenons with a drill press and as a test I used a 3/8 inch straight router bit in the drill press. The only problems I ran into was that it was a little jerky and rough but with some extra clamping and care, I managed to make some decent 3 inch long slot. Overall however, it was a pretty sloppy process and I'm wondering if there's a better way using my drill press.

A couple details. The legs and the stretchers are cherry. The legs are 1 3/4 inches square, the stretchers are 7/8 inches wide. My mortises are about 3/8 wide inches x 3/4 inches deep.

So looking at what's out there I'm seeing upcut spiral and downcut spiral router bits, hinge mortising bits, etc, etc. In the woodworking class where I'm trying to learn this stuff, I think the setup was some sort of spiral bit in the drill press. Needles to say, I'm a little confused and overwhelmed..

My question is, which of these would work best with my 139 dollar Craftsman drill press for what I'm doing? These won't be through mortises (if that's the right term)

I welcome any and all suggestions and on drill press mortising and what bits and /or hardware and technique you might recommend.

Thanks so much.

Greg

Picture of my table design is attached
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image-3087968861.jpg
Views:	472
Size:	49.9 KB
ID:	81199  

gthec is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 12:24 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,874
View trc65's Photo Album My Photos
Using router bits in a drill press is not the way to go. Router bits will not spin fast enough in a drill press to properly cut and they can be prone to breaking if you put a lot of lateral pressure on them trying to force them to cut.

What you need is a forstner drill bit to remove most of the waste in your mortise then clean the edges and square the corners with a chisel. Using a fence and clamps to hold your work will greatly increase accuracy, safety and speed.

"Good Behavior is the last refuge of mediocrity" -- Henry S. Haskins
trc65 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to trc65 For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-18-2013)
post #3 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 03:00 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,043
View Masterjer's Photo Album My Photos
Another inexpensive solution is the Beadlock. I saw it at Rockler and it looks pretty slick. It is designed to cut mortises that accept floating tenons. It is essentially a jig for your hand held drill that allows you to drill overlapping holes to create a scalloped mortise that is sized and shaped to receive their floating tenons. However, they also advertise that after using you drill, the jig can be left in place and used to guide a chisel to square up the sides for a traditional tenon.
Masterjer is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Masterjer For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-18-2013)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 06:09 AM
(clever wood pun here)
 
Phaedrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Ames, IA
Posts: 979
View Phaedrus's Photo Album My Photos
Is there a reason you don't just use a router with your router bit?

Sent from my DROID RAZR MAXX using Woodworking Talk
Phaedrus is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Phaedrus For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-18-2013)
post #5 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 06:32 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,342
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
drill press mortising attachment is best

If you must use a drill press then the mortising attachment would be good, however your drill press is pretty small and may not accept one. There's quite a few to choose from and they get expensive:
http://www.amazon.com/Anytime-Tools-MORTISING-ATTACHMENT-CHISELS/dp/B001PEZOT2/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1382092308&sr=1-2&keywords=drill+press+mortising

Here's a better solution IF you have a router:
http://www.amazon.com/Rockler-Mortise-Centering-Router-Base/dp/B001DSZOTA/ref=sr_1_5?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1382092014&sr=1-5&keywords=router+base+mortising
It self centers the bit on any width stock if you "crank" over the base to ride on the 2 pins. You must keep it in contact with the piece on both side to keep it centered.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-18-2013 at 06:34 AM.
woodnthings is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-18-2013)
post #6 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 08:53 AM
Senior Member
 
Dave Paine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 7,222
View Dave Paine's Photo Album My Photos
I think your drill press may be underpowered for a mortise attachment.

I purchased a mortise attachment for my bench drill press and was not able to get this to work. The handles on a drill press are short so not as much leverage. My table flexed too much.

Another reply mentioned floating tenons, which are easy to drill.

A cheap solution is to use the drill press to make a series of holes and clean up the mortise with a hand chisel. I have used this solution. Does not take long.

A corner chisel speeds up the work.
Dave Paine is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Dave Paine For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-18-2013)
post #7 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
Hobbyist
 
gthec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philly
Posts: 151
View gthec's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by trc65 View Post
Using router bits in a drill press is not the way to go. Router bits will not spin fast enough in a drill press to properly cut and they can be prone to breaking if you put a lot of lateral pressure on them trying to force them to cut.

What you need is a forstner drill bit to remove most of the waste in your mortise then clean the edges and square the corners with a chisel. Using a fence and clamps to hold your work will greatly increase accuracy, safety and speed.
The router bits I played with had 1/2 shanks if that makes a difference. They did work (believe it or not) on my drill press but seemed like a clumsy solution; that's why I was asking about other hardware and methods.

I did try a forstner bit but had a little trouble with the wood burning. I slowed the speed down and that seemed to fix the problem.

As you can tell, I'm a bit of a novice at woodworking. I take an adult evening class in the shop of a High School near me. The teacher demonstrated mortising using a drill press and a mortising bit. I can't say if it was a drill bit per se. I actually think it was a 1/4 inch spiral bit of some type. Could it have been a router bit? It looked like the attached.
Attached Images
 
gthec is offline  
post #8 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
Hobbyist
 
gthec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philly
Posts: 151
View gthec's Photo Album My Photos
Hi Everybody.

I'm hoping to have the mortises done for the next class which is in 3 days. Not enough time time get a router guide. Also, my router, a Skil, sucks. It slips, it's imprecise and the router guide for it (which I would have to buy) is cheesy plastic. I'm going to my $$ to get a better router better down the road.

The Beadlock and floating tenons looks like a way to go. I'll seriously consider that for the next project. Mortising attachments, a no-go given my small drill press and keeping in mind woodnthing's advice.

In the mean time, I should work with the tools I have. I'll try Dave_Paine's advice for now (drilling and chiseling). Got to get a corner chisel; or, I can wait till Monday's class and use their setup although the biggest bit the teacher had was 1/4 inch.

Thanks again all. I'll report back.

Greg
gthec is offline  
post #9 of 26 Old 10-18-2013, 03:18 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,342
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
no need to buy a new base

Quote:
Originally Posted by gthec View Post
Hi Everybody.

I'm hoping to have the mortises done for the next class which is in 3 days. Not enough time time get a router guide. Also, my router, a Skil, sucks. It slips, it's imprecise and the router guide for it (which I would have to buy) is cheesy plastic. I'm going to my $$ to get a better router better down the road.


Thanks again all. I'll report back.

Greg
Just drill two holes on the centerline of the bit about 1" or so from the center, insert 2 round bolts or pins and it will self center every time when you crank it over. Couldn't be easier or cheaper.

Another basic method is a self centering doweling jig, cheap also:
http://www.harborfreight.com/self-ce...jig-41345.html
Has inserts for various size drills.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-18-2013 at 03:25 PM.
woodnthings is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to woodnthings For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-20-2013)
post #10 of 26 Old 10-19-2013, 12:34 AM
Senior Member
 
GISer3546's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 504
View GISer3546's Photo Album My Photos
I've always used my forstner bits and a dovetail saw for the tenon. If you're looking for a way to make cutting the mortise easier I have recently tried taking the corners off the tenon with a rabbet plane as apposed to cutting out the corners of the mortise. I did a lot of reading about mortising band saw attachments, and the majority opinion seems to be pretty negative so I just invested in chisels.
GISer3546 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to GISer3546 For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-20-2013)
post #11 of 26 Old 10-19-2013, 07:38 AM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 27,342
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
Huh?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GISer3546 View Post
I've always used my forstner bits and a dovetail saw for the tenon. If you're looking for a way to make cutting the mortise easier I have recently tried taking the corners off the tenon with a rabbet plane as apposed to cutting out the corners of the mortise. I did a lot of reading about mortising band saw attachments, and the majority opinion seems to be pretty negative so I just invested in chisels.
You mean drill press attachments....don't you?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is online now  
post #12 of 26 Old 10-19-2013, 08:20 AM
Splinters
 
Pauley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 357
View Pauley's Photo Album My Photos
Use a Forster bit and clean up with a good sharp chisel....that's how I do them...
Pauley is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Pauley For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-20-2013)
post #13 of 26 Old 10-19-2013, 10:17 AM
Old School
 
cabinetman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: So. Florida
Posts: 24,027
View cabinetman's Photo Album My Photos
Some hollow chisel mortiser attachments for drill presses are better than others. A dedicated one is the best. A Forstner bit and then a chisel cleanup works too.






.

cabinetman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to cabinetman For This Useful Post:
gthec (10-20-2013)
post #14 of 26 Old 10-20-2013, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
Hobbyist
 
gthec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philly
Posts: 151
View gthec's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pauley View Post
Use a Forster bit and clean up with a good sharp chisel....that's how I do them...
You know, I ran some tests using a 1/4 inch Forstner bit; (cheap Ryobi brand). There must have been some flexion in the bit as the holes didn't line up perfectly. I probably need a higher quality bit. So far, my best result has been with spiral bit. Still don't have a decent router so i'm trying to make the drill press work.

Last edited by gthec; 10-20-2013 at 12:45 PM.
gthec is offline  
post #15 of 26 Old 10-20-2013, 12:40 PM
Splinters
 
Pauley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 357
View Pauley's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by gthec
You know, I ran some tests using a 1/4 inch Forstner bit; (cheap Ryobi brand). There must have been some flexion in the bit as the holes didn't line up perfectly. I probably need a higher quality bit. So far, my best result has been with spiral bit (using the drill press)
I have never tried a spiral bit, but may try one.
Pauley is offline  
post #16 of 26 Old 10-20-2013, 03:25 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 291
View bladeburner's Photo Album My Photos
Are you sure you weren't looking at something like this?



Mortising bit & chisel
bladeburner is offline  
post #17 of 26 Old 10-20-2013, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
Hobbyist
 
gthec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philly
Posts: 151
View gthec's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by bladeburner View Post
Are you sure you weren't looking at something like this?



Mortising bit & chisel
Not sure if you were responding to Pauley or me. I bought a set of these:

Last edited by gthec; 10-20-2013 at 04:09 PM.
gthec is offline  
post #18 of 26 Old 10-20-2013, 03:57 PM
Sawdust Creator
 
ryan50hrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8,047
View ryan50hrl's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by gthec View Post
No sir, I bought a set of these:
Some bad news man....those aren't forstner bits....those are spiral cut router bits. Forestner bits look like this....

http://images.rockler.com/rockler/im...200-01-200.jpg
Attached Images
 
ryan50hrl is offline  
post #19 of 26 Old 10-20-2013, 04:01 PM
Sawdust Creator
 
ryan50hrl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8,047
View ryan50hrl's Photo Album My Photos
rereading again.....maybe i misunderstood.....

Either way...that router bit is designed to work at 15000+ rpm
ryan50hrl is offline  
post #20 of 26 Old 10-20-2013, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
Hobbyist
 
gthec's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Philly
Posts: 151
View gthec's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan50hrl
rereading again.....maybe i misunderstood.....

Either way...that router bit is designed to work at 15000+ rpm
Right. It is a router bit but the 1/4 inchh worked quite well in the drill press. Ultimately, I was trying to figure out what would work best in my drill press and I'm still reconciling the advice I'm getting on his message board, running some tests, etc.

Thanks.

Greg
gthec is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
template help please, Jig for a drill press, drill small hole and lots of them trina_mac Tips, Tricks, & Homemade Jigs 5 05-27-2012 11:38 PM
mortise tool vs. drill press with mortise attachment kooshball Power Tools & Machinery 1 02-17-2010 01:31 AM
Drill press mortise Nomes Joinery 6 04-07-2009 09:18 AM
Looking for mortise drill press kziggy General Woodworking Discussion 11 03-30-2009 07:29 AM
Mortise Drill Press kziggy Power Tools & Machinery 0 03-20-2009 06:37 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome