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Hallelujahal

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I need to cut some fairly sizeable, as in deep, mortices for a workbench I’m building but am new to woodworking and have few tools.
I’m looking at the following options:

Buy a drill-press with mortice attachment.

Buy a Plunge Router.

Buy a mortice chisel and learn to do it the proper way 😆 with a mallet and by the sweat of my brow.

As a cheapskate I’m leaning towards the last choice but just wondered what you kind folks think?
Regards
Al
 

clogs

just can't decide
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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
Orraloon...
nice peice of wood and a good looking bed.....
Here in Crete that would be over €3000 might be nearer 4,000 euros, machine made plus the mattress...
Had plans for something similar x 6, plus tables n chairs etc for our high end holiday rental....that and Egyption cotton etc etc......
BUT I'd have to import the hard wood from Northern Europe....just not worth it.....with the price of Oak, which is my wood of choice...
If the above quant of furniture was feasable, def would get or cobble up a morticer but supose I could use my milling machine if I was being tight.....lol....
Hope things are well down there...? regarding fires etc......
we just had a small one in the mountains, helicopters etc.....
will be soon removing the dross from under all our olive tree's....it's gotta help if the worst happens....
luckily we have a lots of long hoses and stand pipes all over the place.....
fires do worry me.....everything is tinder dry right now.....at least we dont have gum trees.....
take care....
 

RobinBHM

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If you don’t have many tools, I’d say use knockdown bed fittings - cross dowel type.

mortice and tenon joints need sash clamps for gluing up.
 

Rorschach

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If you don’t have many tools, I’d say use knockdown bed fittings - cross dowel type.

mortice and tenon joints need sash clamps for gluing up.
He could use drawbore mortices or since it's a workbench he could use some screws or bolts to help pull it together.
Knockdown fittings not great for a workbench.
 
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It appears you're getting lots of different answers. I shall add another! :)

Definately avoid the drill press mortise attachments. Especially if you're making big mortices.

I would presonally go the Router approach. Its really quick and easy with a simple jig and bushing. e.g


You don't need to use loose tenons. You can still use normal tenons.
 

AFFF

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If you have lots to do then routing is the way to go. Traditionalists often look down on this method. But with a good jig (build your own, lots of designs can be found on YouTube) you can cut a mortice in the time it takes to sharpen your chisel. Don't get me wrong, chisel skills are essential but why make it hard on yourself, take the least path of resistance. Plus, once you have got a decent router you'll find its an incredibly useful and versatile power tool
 

Hallelujahal

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Thanks for your suggestions everyone, for now I think I’m going to stick with hammer and chisel until I find I absolutely can’t live without some kind of powered alternative 😀
 

TRITON

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Mark it out using your mortise gauge.
Drill out the middles with a forstner.
Clean up the edges using a very sharp chisel.

Trying to bash through the entire thing with a mallet(or hammer) and chisel is both time consuming and so 16th century.

Deep mortises with a router can be tricky, plus you can end up taking ages having to stop, and wait till the bit has stopped before withdrawing. Vac out the chippings as no extraction is going to work adequately at any depth, then continue on. stop start stop start. More of a pain than anything.

The mortise machine is a great bit of machinery, and in industry its the go to machine for doors, beds, benches and the like. Bit of a drought on them currently. Axminsters sticking to the one big thousand quid affair, RP BM16 is a great home machine with its sliding actions, but is currently unavailable. Some of them just have a hold down which to me seems a let down and problematic in setting up - Jet being an offender here.
Draper and sip make their own versions(well actually dont actually make it, but you know what i mean) the sip one is better priced than the draper for effectively the same thing. If you've room and 400 odd quid to spare, id recommend that, and as long as you have enough projects in the pipeline to justify the outlay. Alternatively a bit 2nd hand one via ebay or ebay, but might have to travel a bit, and the big old ones are industrially heavy.
Took a look on gumtree for down your way and heres a cracker.

I'd reckon time wise bashing out the mortises if you were to equate to any sort of cash equivalent, £150 is a bargain.
 

Stevekane

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Ive just done a number of largeish mortices, around 75mm wide and 60mm deep x 1/2ins thick, for oak loose tennons. And used a router with a cheap ebay HSS upcut spiral bit. Came out very well indeed. The other thing I used was an old Stanley 59 dowel jig, it has guides up to 1/2ins and worked really well, if you dont want to by a router plus bits look at Dowel guides, drill your series of holes to size and as others said, clean up with a chisel, at least your mortices will have parallel sides.
 
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