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Are Drill Press Mortising Attachments worth it?

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Forum topic by lumbering_on posted 10-05-2018 07:05 PM 2226 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lumbering_on

578 posts in 1092 days


10-05-2018 07:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question drill press

I’ve been considering getting one of these for a while, and this kit seems to be low considering the price of some I’ve seen

https://www.busybeetools.com/products/mortising-attachment-kit.html

Anyone have any experience with these and if they are worth getting? Can they harm the quill?


34 replies so far

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Steve

1694 posts in 1184 days


#1 posted 10-05-2018 07:11 PM

i’ve read mixed reviews. some say you don’t get enough leverage from the dp handles to drill a proper mortise.

I’ve thought about getting one for my older Delta.

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Fred Hargis

5921 posts in 3095 days


#2 posted 10-05-2018 07:30 PM

I had one for my Delta, and if you only use it once or twice a year, it might be worth it. But it wasn’t all that easy to set up and if you plan to do a lot of mortises I’d suggest looking for an alternative.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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EarlS

3409 posts in 2950 days


#3 posted 10-05-2018 07:36 PM

I have a Delta kit similar to the one you posted. It does make a mortise, but not great. I don’t even bother with the fence or hold downs that come with it because they are such low quality. If you need an occasional mortise it would probably be OK, but if you want to use it a lot, and want consistency and precision, I’d suggest a dedicated mortise machine or something like the Leigh Mortise and Tenon jig.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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lumbering_on

578 posts in 1092 days


#4 posted 10-05-2018 08:31 PM

Thanks for the replies. I was kind of thinking that it would be hard to get good results from a drill press. I want to start doing Shaker-style furniture, but I don’t know that the cost of a mortising machine is worth it.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1448 posts in 2713 days


#5 posted 10-05-2018 08:33 PM

It almost certainly is, though you might be able to get away with a router or a domino if speed and efficiency are what you are after.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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bondogaposis

5604 posts in 2953 days


#6 posted 10-05-2018 08:46 PM

I would say not. I thought about the same thing years ago and decided against it. Because I thought it would be a pain to set up and take down every time you need to use the drill press. If I left it set up so it would always be handy then I would need another drill press, better to buy a mortiser. I still have not bought a mortiser though, because I now use my plunge router to make mortises.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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MrRon

5807 posts in 3845 days


#7 posted 10-05-2018 09:10 PM

It may be what you want in a pinch. I always prefer tools with a dedicated purpose.

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lumbering_on

578 posts in 1092 days


#8 posted 10-05-2018 09:51 PM

JADobson

I like the idea of a Domino machine, but I don’t see me needing enough loose tenons to justify the cost. In Canada it’s $1,200 for the smaller version. Now, if I win the LottoMax tonight. :)

Bondo,

I use a router right now, too. But I used a buddy’s mortising machine, and it was really nice having something easy to set up and I didn’t have to either square the mortise or round the tenon. I know it isn’t a huge deal, but Shaker furniture has a lot of M&T to deal with,

MrRon,

Agree, but my shop is on the small size, and my wife insists that we need to feed our son. :(

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

2346 posts in 1205 days


#9 posted 10-06-2018 12:45 AM

I bought the Delta used and used it once then gave it away. The other drawback (actually a real pain in the ass) is that it renders your drill press unusable while the mortiser is attached. I’d go with either a real mortiser or the other option is this no-cost router jig that works just as well. As long as you’re ok with rounding the tenons the mortises are actually cleaner than with a mortise machine. I’m new at mortises and bought a mortise machine off of CL too. It really is a toss up.


-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Kazooman

1408 posts in 2554 days


#10 posted 10-06-2018 01:12 AM

Short answer: NO! I have a Delta drill press. Works great. Bought a Delta mortising attachment a few decades ago. Total waste of money. Sits in the original box to this day and the two chisel/bit sets I bought reside in my drill press accessory cabinet.. Echoing all of the other comments: drill press doesn’t give enough leverage, fence sucks, hold downs suck, fence hard to adjust, and more.

Did I mention that I have a virtually brand new Delta drill press mortising attachment and two bits for sale? PM me for a sweet deal! At least 20% off new retail!

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

260 posts in 1377 days


#11 posted 10-06-2018 01:20 AM



Short answer: NO! I have a Delta drill press. Works great. Bought a Delta mortising attachment a few decades ago. Total waste of money. Sits in the original box to this day and the two chisel/bit sets I bought reside in my drill press accessory cabinet.. Echoing all of the other comments: drill press doesn’t give enough leverage, fence sucks, hold downs suck, fence hard to adjust, and more.

Did I mention that I have a virtually brand new Delta drill press mortising attachment and two bits for sale? PM me for a sweet deal! At least 20% off new retail!

- Kazooman

I agree.

View lumbering_on's profile

lumbering_on

578 posts in 1092 days


#12 posted 10-06-2018 01:59 AM

Andy, thanks for the video, I use the edge guide with a block of wood, but that router jig looks better.

Kazooman – ah…I’ll pass. :)

View Richard's profile

Richard

11309 posts in 3635 days


#13 posted 10-06-2018 03:24 AM

I have a set that I bought from Lee Valley and I’m quite pleased with them.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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lumbering_on

578 posts in 1092 days


#14 posted 10-06-2018 03:38 AM


I have a set that I bought from Lee Valley and I m quite pleased with them.

- Rick S.

Edit: I just saw the picture you posted – are they not for the actual mortising machine?

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Andybb

2346 posts in 1205 days


#15 posted 10-06-2018 06:42 PM


Andy, thanks for the video, I use the edge guide with a block of wood, but that router jig looks better.

Kazooman – ah…I ll pass. :)

- lumbering_on


I looked long and hard for the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to do this without a mortising machine and this was the winner! I bought a Shop Fox mortiser on CL for $150 just to compare. Other than having to round the tenons it’s about the same. Great feeling of accomplishment going from never having done M&T to having good fitting tenons with really crisp shoulders. You don’t see the mortises. That being said, the Delta tenon jig my buddy lent me is the cat’s meow!

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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