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 In Techniques

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mortisedrillpress_lead

Simple improvements make a mortising attachment work great.

Even though they’re sexy, benchtop mortising machines aren’t the only power-tool option when it comes to cutting square-shouldered mortises. A drill-press mortising attachment can be just as effective and it costs a lot less. I’ll show you how to tune any out-of–the-box mortising attachment so it’s easy to install and a joy to use. Mortising attachments are available for almost every drill press.

Although they vary in appearance, they all have three basic components: a fence, a chisel holder and a hold-down. Upgrading these parts to stabilize the workpiece and operating the drill press at the optimal speed are the keys to success.I get first-class results with my tuned-up mortising attachment. That means I don’t have to store a large, heavy mortiser that I would only use occasionally. On the drill press, I can slow the speed way down, too, so the bits don’t screetch and smoke. Drill press mortising is slower, but it’s much more pleasant, a lot quieter and much less nerve-racking than using a mortiser.

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