Hollow mortice chisels

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Fireburst

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I have just acquired an old Sedgewick Morticer that comes with a small collection of chisels (max 1/2 inch). I would like to get a 16mm for hardwood and a 25mm for softwood. Can anyone recommend where I can purchase good-quality sets?
 
Do not buy the Axminster ones, absolute garbage.
The ones I like are the Japanese pattern ones, I forget the name of the ones I have. I may have got them at Scott and Sargeant or AMS.

Also you might need a collet adaptor, I did for my wadkin but it was only a couple of quid.

Ollie
 
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As above, different size collets for different drills, agree about the Japanese ones.
It seems alarming but you might have to cut the top off the drill bit to fit your machine - or anyone else’s for that matter. The 25mm one will take some forcing btw.
Ian
 
Even in softwood you will struggle to push a 25mm chisel through with a Sedgwick Morticer, extremely hard work and the chisel and auger will not be cheap just to be left because it was too difficult to use. From personal experience, it is much easier and often faster to produce the cut in two passes with a 12mm chisel for those very rare occasions where you may need a wider mortice.

There used to be a plethora of manufacturers of hollow mortice chisels, Ridgway, Clifton, Wadkin, Monninger, Robinson... Now there are only two or three left and they only produce what's known as the "Japanese Pattern", the only one left in the UK being Armac.

Nakahasi are fine, but I have had perfectly good results with the cheaper Taiwanese ones, correct setup is the largest contributor to making them work correctly as you can buy an expensive set but still have lacklustre results due to poor setup and working practice.
 
You will need a system to sharpen the chisels, Clifton used to make them, there were 3 sets (looks like a counter sink with a variety of inserts to guide the cutter into the chisel) to cover the entire range of chisel sizes. They are rare to find, usually hideously expensive and often as not need sharpening before use. Clifton did a sets for both English and Japanese chisels. The ‘countersink’ had I believe a different angle)
I’d look for any of the old brand of chisels on eBay. They were all good quality, multi lifetime buys.
The Sedgwick mortice is rated up to 3/4” not 1”. I’m not sure why you need 1”? I would use two mortice side by side of say 1/2” thickness to achieve the 1” desired thickness. This was common practice as stock became increasing thick until you get to structural oak beams for instance. Commonly for anything over 3/4” you would use a chain mortice.
 
You will need a system to sharpen the chisels

You can get diamond cones for the smaller sizes, nowhere near as expensive as the special reamers have become because they're getting rarer and rarer, and more often than not the ones available secondhand are well used and do not ream particularly well.

If you have a good vertical setup in something like a high speed pillar drill, off centre grinding with a conical abrasive stone is best especially in the larger sizes, grinding one side of the chisel at a time and then turning it 90 degrees to the next side and so on until it is sharp and even on all four corners.
 
I buy Nakahashi Seisakusho directly from Amazon Japan. Very good chisels and much more economical for me here in Italy.
 
You will need a system to sharpen the chisels, Clifton used to make them, there were 3 sets (looks like a counter sink with a variety of inserts to guide the cutter into the chisel) to cover the entire range of chisel sizes. They are rare to find, usually hideously expensive and often as not need sharpening before use. Clifton did a sets for both English and Japanese chisels. The ‘countersink’ had I believe a different angle)
I’d look for any of the old brand of chisels on eBay. They were all good quality, multi lifetime buys.
The Sedgwick mortice is rated up to 3/4” not 1”. I’m not sure why you need 1”? I would use two mortice side by side of say 1/2” thickness to achieve the 1” desired thickness. This was common practice as stock became increasing thick until you get to structural oak beams for instance. Commonly for anything over 3/4” you would use a chain mortice.
The user guide I looked at stated the machine would handle up to 25mm in softwood, but I will follow the advice of doing a couple of passes with a smaller chisel as it sounds like awfully hard work using the large chisel. I will also be investing in a cross grain chain morticer for large outdoor projects in the summer so the need for the larger chisel will become moot at that point.
 
I have the Sedgwick morticer, and I have to admit that most of the time I make do with the1/2" chisel. The other useful one is 3/8". I do have 1/4" and a 5/8" - the 1/4" comes into its own for more delicate work, but I seldom bother with the 5/8".
 
I have over the years collected virtually a full set of imperial mortice chisels. Just missing the elusive 15/16” to fulfil my need for completeness. 😂
The chisels that see the light of day have been 1/4”, 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4”. That’s covered everything from furniture, doors and windows and the largest chisel for gates. I too use a Sedgwick morticer.

Sorry, you’re correct it does state 1” for softwood. I’d assumed you were timber framing in a hardwood with you wanting M&T joints. You’ve got me curious now, what are you making in 75mm+ that needs M&T in softwood that’s outside???
 
I like inch chisels for doorframe mortices. They work fine on sedgwicks. As do 3/4. I've got a load of bnib multico japanese bits. I tried to sell some on ebay with very little interest! I've also got clico ridgway the Japanese are a bit better but no much in it tbh. Some of the more modern chisels are too hard to use the countersink thingies.
 
I buy Nakahashi Seisakusho directly from Amazon Japan. Very good chisels and much more economical for me here in Italy.
I've had a Sedgwick chisel mortiser for more than 40 years with English and Japanese pattern chisels.
Sharpened or otherwise I have never managed to cut mortises as do those on Youtube who seem to be able to obtain wood akin to butter in consistency.
I guess it should not be surprised at the difficulty I experience in plunging chisels into hardwood as the force required is considerable. On the initial plunge, it's the equivalent of trying to push x4 chisels at the same time verically into the wood. Without a hammer, hard enough getting just one in. OK, when I feel in the mood, I relieve most of the mortise waste with a drill or Domino, but I still wonder at the Youtubers seeming ease of work without this first step.
Or maybe I should try taking my feet off the ground when pulling on the handle? ;)
I now lean towards the Domino and/or slot mortice cutters in an Arboga mill/drill. And depending on my mood, round over the tenons or square off the mortices with the Sedgwick.
 
I've had a Sedgwick chisel mortiser for more than 40 years with English and Japanese pattern chisels.
Sharpened or otherwise I have never managed to cut mortises as do those on Youtube who seem to be able to obtain wood akin to butter in consistency.
I guess it should not be surprised at the difficulty I experience in plunging chisels into hardwood as the force required is considerable. On the initial plunge, it's the equivalent of trying to push x4 chisels at the same time verically into the wood. Without a hammer, hard enough getting just one in. OK, when I feel in the mood, I relieve most of the mortise waste with a drill or Domino, but I still wonder at the Youtubers seeming ease of work without this first step.
Or maybe I should try taking my feet off the ground when pulling on the handle? ;)
I now lean towards the Domino and/or slot mortice cutters in an Arboga mill/drill. And depending on my mood, round over the tenons or square off the mortices with the Sedgwick.
It shouldn't be this hard surely with this quality of machine.
One of the key problems I can see from your what you're saying is that first plunge. I find that it is better to be working down in steps and not going for full depth in one go.
Another key point is to look at the fact that a morticer has it's own drill built in which needs to be set sufficiently below the chisel to do it's job.
Sometimes incorrect or over zealous sharpening of the outside can create a wedge effect.
Don't forget the wax candle
Have you got it cleaned, properly adjusted and lubricated in all the necessary places ?
BUT then I've just had a thought, of all the ones I've used have I used a Sedgewick?
Cannot be certain, so I wonder if the gearing in the rack on this particular model is suffering a design fault ?
My present model is a early Multico and it takes no prisoners....
Intriguing, if you were closer I'd have loved to pop in and take a look.
40 years is too long.
Cheers, Andy
 

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