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Hand Chiselling via mortising chisels

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  • rmhowe
    The other day I was reading a woodworking magazine and someone wrote in a suggestion for something he had been using for a while. The different mortising
    Message 1 of 1 , May 22, 2003
      The other day I was reading a woodworking magazine and someone wrote
      in a suggestion for something he had been using for a while.

      The different mortising chisels that fit in attachments for
      drill presses and actual mortising machines have a 5/8"
      round above their shoulders that fits in a yoke below
      the chuck that turns the drill inside them. In practice
      the drill bit inside them is set the thickness of a dime below
      the corners. Applied pressure chisels out the corners of the
      square bit.

      I found in actual practice, and from reading that it
      helps a great deal to file the inside corners of these
      things much sharper than they come. I've used three professional
      mortising machines and an older Sears drill table mounted press
      mounted with a yoke and a long movable handle that had superior
      cutting power. This would be one of the King-Seeley Sears
      Models of the 1950's/1960's. I eventually bought it.
      It cut much better than the ones I had to stand on a pedal
      on. One of them even had an extension welded onto the pedal.
      The long round sliding bar handle in the King Seeley Sears drill
      press simply had superior leverage.

      The short shop hint I was reading last week suggested taking
      some of the plentiful Taiwan bits I have been seeing as cheap
      as $14 for 1/4, 3/8, 1/2" sets and grinding away three of the
      four sides of the chisels, then using them as gear powered
      chisels, rather like an arbor press for fine work in one's
      drill press or mortising machine. Somehow this makes sense
      for some of us as regards finishing mortises from both sides.

      May help, may not, but consider that drill presses can be set
      for depths of cut too. Important if you are laying out an area
      to be carved in your work. The corners could be re-shaped round.

      My local flea market tool dealer has these, but I belive you
      can find them at Northern Supply and haborfreight.com as well.
      Since they are hand filable then they must be susceptable to
      a good quality hacksaw as well. I'm certain Sears sells them
      but for the limited use you might not want to pay those prices.

      Magnus, who's cut well over 10,000 mortises in his day.
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