Poor man's mortising machine

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Blog entry by brevort posted 10-29-2012 01:15 AM 2742 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a poor man’s mortising machine. I bought a mortising kit from Grizzly and I can say that I am not sure I would recommend this kit. If it is in your budget I would look at a mortising machine. The only thing that wasn’t reworked on this kit was the chisels….. I am happy to say they cut an accurate pocket but the fence was way out of square. If you were to use this tool right out of the box your mortises would be at an angle. The hold down foot was about 1/16” out of parallel to the work surface…. it was just about unusable. If you have access to a milling machine and you like to make tools this may be the kit for you. I modified the tool for my first project and was happy with the performance. But setup time using a drill press as a mortising machine is time consuming compared to a real mortising machine. So I spent some time looking through boxes of scrap stock that I had in my shop. Then I built this poor man’s mortising machine. I had two table tops for my drill press so I sacrificed one for this project. The new table slides on two 1” diameter dowels which have ball bearing sleeves so movement is easy and very accurate. Switching from drill press to mortising machine is fast and easy…. and after squaring up the chisel to the fence you can move the table and have the confidence that everything is still square and repeatable.

-- Rick

2 comments so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4833 days

#1 posted 10-29-2012 01:22 AM

never liked drill press morticing

but this looks like a very well thought out re-build

better to take the time to fix the thing right
than try and fix all the mortices

well done

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4728 days

#2 posted 10-29-2012 11:15 AM

Great looking fixture to hold the part while you are cutting the mortise.

-- Hal, Tennessee

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