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Mortising machine with oak

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mattyb

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Hi all,

I have a question about using a chisel mortiser that I had hoped you could help me with.. I come from an oak frame background where I work with nice soft green timber and a hefty chain mortiser.

For a personal project however I'm working with some air dried oak, using a 16mm chisel bit with an old axminster mortising machine and I'm not having much luck. The auger cuts in fine but when the chisel meets the timber it just won't go through. The bit is brand new and razor sharp.

So the machine itself is only 370w, but as the problem seems to be more with the chisel than the auger, is the power of the machine that relevant? I have adjusted the distance between the tips of the auger and chisel but it's the same story every time..

So as a broad question, is getting a 16mm bit into something as hard as oak unrealistic? Or would a more powerful machine actually solve the problem?

Many thanks for your time :D
 

adidat

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Haven't used one for years but I seem to remember pulling quite hard on the arm to get it to work???

It needs a fair bit of pressure to cut the sides out square


Adidat
 

custard

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mattyb":1bdpct6g said:
The bit is brand new and razor sharp.
Matty, I think that's a contradiction in terms! I've never met the mortice chisel where either the auger or, even more especially, the chisel, are remotely sharp when first bought. And that's with top quality, professional tooling such as Clico.

Before use I always sharpen the chisel and auger, then bring the outside four faces of the chisel to a mirror finish for the first inch in order to minimise friction. The only tooling where I won't do this is the new Japanese chisels from Scott & sergeant, which have a one or two thou relief machined in a few mill behind the cutting edge to minimise friction.
 

no idea

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I've had success with 16mm wide mortics using the Dakota (Rutlands) version of the small Axminster machine on kiln dried oak - just needed to use brute force to plunge the chisel in. The auger had no problems cutting, whether I used the cheap and cheerful Rutlands morticing bits or the Axminster Japanese pattern ones.
 

ColeyS1

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I use a 3/4 mortice chisel in oak regularly. It takes some pulling on the lever to get it to slice it's way through. The first hole is the hardest. Then just take half- 3/4 of a mortice hole after.

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deema

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As custard said, the chisel will definitely need sharpening. Do not lap the outside of the chisel or it will get stuck.

Have you got the auger protruding about 2mm or 1/6” beyond the end of the chisel? That’s not the point that’s the actual cutter. If not the chisel won’t work.

Check the chisel is being held and pulled down plumb to the table, if not again it will jamb up. Tighten all gribs to eliminate any play, again or it will cause the chisel to jamb up.


I can cut up to 1” on a Sedgwick Morticer but in oak it takes a heck of a lot of pressure when everything is properly setup.

If possible get a Ridgeway, Wadkin or Clico chisel and auger (English, double fluted pattern), the steel is far superior and they hold their edge. Unfortunately none of these are made any more but they regularly come up on auction sites.
 

AJB Temple

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I had an Axminster morticer for a while. I found it really hard work to get it to cut cleanly in oak and I ended up selling it and just using an auger bit and chop round with a chisel and mallet. I suspect it's one of those tools where a big weighty machine makes all the difference.
 

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