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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in the process of building a night stand for my wife. Two nights ago I was fighting with a machine and then got called in for supper and came out and made a really rookie mistake because my brain wasn't fully involved in what I was doing. I cut the crosspieces for between the legs and forgot to add on the lengths of the tenons. I had already drilled the mortises for the top pieces into the legs with my drill press mortise attachment so I was committed to tenons already. I thought that it wasn't a start over type catastrophe, I'd just switch to floating tenons instead. I just needed to mortise the ends of the cross pieces to match.

I had just finished reading an article in FWW about one of the authors wanting to use his dedicated mortiser for a project but it didn't have enough height capacity. My screw up highlighted a major difference between using a dedicated mortiser and using a drill press mortise attachment. If someone is thinking about buying one opposed to the other this is something they may want to consider first. A dedicated mortiser has a height limitation of around 6-8 inches it looks like (I couldn't find a spec on that in their ads). A floor standing DP with attachment has a height limitation of a little over 3 feet if you turn the table to vertical or move it out of the way. This allowed me to use the DP to make mortises in the ends of my 13 1/2" long pieces instead of drilling and chiseling.
 

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Excellent point, Charles...not so obvious until it's needed...
 

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Good thoughts. Is it rigid enough to stay vertical with hard wood? Been thinking about getting the DP attachment beause I just won't use a mortising machine that much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's white birch that's 30 years old I'm using it on Tom so yes. Once the points enter the wood the top isn't going to move. A dedicated mortiser will set you back around $500, the attachment was $130 I think, but 25 years ago roughly. BJ used to say why have another machine taking up room when you already have a DP. That was my sentiment too but now I realize that the DP has far greater range so to me that makes the attachment an even better deal. The attachment takes 5 minutes or less to mount BTW. There is a clamp ring on the yoke that fits on the base of the quill, above the chuck. Mine was a Delta attachment for a Delta DP so no issues with fit but it came with a bushing for a different size quill and it sounds like the two sizes are pretty standard.
 

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That's white birch that's 30 years old I'm using it on Tom so yes. Once the points enter the wood the top isn't going to move. A dedicated mortiser will set you back around $500, the attachment was $130 I think, but 25 years ago roughly. BJ used to say why have another machine taking up room when you already have a DP. That was my sentiment too but now I realize that the DP has far greater range so to me that makes the attachment an even better deal. The attachment takes 5 minutes or less to mount BTW. There is a clamp ring on the yoke that fits on the base of the quill, above the chuck. Mine was a Delta attachment for a Delta DP so no issues with fit but it came with a bushing for a different size quill and it sounds like the two sizes are pretty standard.
Are you using square tenons in the spreaders instead of round?
Herb
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you using square tenons in the spreaders instead of round?
Herb
Yes. I used a 1/2" chisel and overlapped the holes to about 3/4" long so I cut some rectangular stock to match. If it's a little tight it only takes a minute to hand chisel out one end. None have been too loose yet but if they are I use paper or cotton cloth to tighten them up if needed. Cotton and paper will both absorb the glue and become part of the joint.
 

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Thanks,I'm going to look into that. I have a WEN DP, which is identical to the Jet, so I can probably get the one for the JET. Sounds like it would be a good idea to contact the manufacturer to be sure. Thinking about it, I suspect I'll want the chisel bits in 3/8ths and one half inch.

I recently bought the Rockler round mortise and tennon jig that uses the pre made tennons, but I'd like to be able to make through tennons as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Frank if we had a lot of mortise joints to do and on a daily basis then the dedicated mortiser would be good idea and not tie up our DPs but if you just mostly putter around in the shop then it's a different story, but that is a sweet deal.

Smitty I used a Shopsmith that belonged to someone else back in the early 70s and I don't understand why they aren't more popular. They are a very handy machine for a one person shop. Especially if your floor space is limited. I pretty much have tools that do everything that one will do but if I saw a good deal on one I'd still be tempted, but I rarely see one for sale even if it's a bad deal.

Tom the yoke that holds the chisel has to fit the diameter of the quill. I found this ad for it from Lowe's that says it fits quills of 66mm, 50.8, 48, and 38mm diameter. The sets I'm familiar with come equipped with 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, and 1/2" chisels. Replacements are about $14- $17 for a chisel/drill bit pair. I snapped the drill bit on the original 1/4" one and had to replace it years ago. https://www.lowes.com/pd/DELTA-Dril...ment-with-4-Piece-Chisel-and-Bit-Set/50159101
 

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I have both but can't use the DP attachment for it doesn't fit the DP. It's a King mortising set that cost $99 and is still brand new. It doesn't fit the collar on my General Intl DP. So I bought a dedicated mortiser a couple of years ago and I love it. The limitations only apply to a very small % if mortising requirements and if I ever need those I'll go old school and drill with a Forstner bit and chisel it square. My mortising machine is the Canadian version of HF, named Busy Bee. They sell a brand named Craftex and it's not high end but works fine and only $199 when I bought it. My joiner is also a Craftex.
 
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