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Thread: Exhausted hand tool worker

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Warwick, RI
    Posts
    670

    Exhausted hand tool worker

    I'm building a simple table / bench for my recently acquired RAS. I made the legs out of 4x4s I had laying around and squared up 2 sides with my hand planes and finished on the table saw. I did the same to an old 2x4 I had. What a freakin workout!! I did enjoy it, for a while, then I was wishing I had my electric planer that my SIL borrowed or maybe it's time to buy a jointer. I have a 19x38 drum sander so as long as I get close, I can finish on that.

    Now I'm on to the mortises and I'm not going to chop 8 mortises so I set up the router. I don't have a plunge router strong enough so I'm using my 1 3/4 HP Porter Cable router in a Bench-dog table. I thought about using spacers to act like the steps on a plunge router but I don't have any material flat enough, may have to make them. I'll need enough 1/8" pieces to stack up to 1 1/4". Is there a better way?

  2. #2
    As far as mortises go, I drill them out with my drill press, and then trim up the sides of the mortise with a standard bench chisel.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    3,021
    Now you know why old wood shops had apprentices. The masters did not prepare the boards, the apprentices (indentured slaves, LOL) did the heavy work.

  4. #4
    It’s fun to do a couple mortises. Literally a couple. One to practice, the second to perfect. Anything beyond that for me is an elbow danger. Hand tool working is hard on arms and neck - even if one does it right.

    I feel you, Brother.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Warwick, RI
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    670
    That might be quicker.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    As far as mortises go, I drill them out with my drill press, and then trim up the sides of the mortise with a standard bench chisel.

    Mike

  6. #6
    there are mortise attachments for drill presses

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Warwick, RI
    Posts
    670
    Never heard anyone say they love them. Plus I have a cheap Ryobi bench drill press.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    there are mortise attachments for drill presses

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    3,229
    A jointer is alot like a handplane. The bigger the better

  9. #9
    They work, chisel care most important. I use what i have till I buy a dedicated machine in that case a chain and chisel mortiser. At the time I used a General Drill press and would use the Buffalo 18 now as it much larger. Your drill press forget it.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    there are mortise attachments for drill presses
    I tried one of those attachments one time. First, there's the setup and teardown time. And while you have the attachment on, you can't use the drill press as a drill press. Then the arm of the drill press is not very long so you don't have a lot of leverage. While there's a drill bit in the chisel, you really are pushing that chisel into the hole to make a square hole.

    I decided it was much quicker and easier (and cheaper) to just drill the holes and use a bench chisel to square things up.

    I use a drill bit that's a bit smaller than the mortise, in case I'm not perfect with my alignment of the holes. Then, I just trim the sides with the bench chisel.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 06-24-2022 at 11:09 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    61,320
    Richard, I truly appreciate hand tools and what they can lend to the process and for me, that's for the finesse work. There's no harm in using powered fit for purpose tools to "get there" and then use the "skilz" for taking things to the proper ending. I'll readily take a hand plane to something I originally cut on my CNC machine...how's that for spanning technologies?
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
    set up time? Its part of the trade and it goes fast. Machine I have now I still have to set it up, I still have to change bits.

    I was making tables in birdseye at the time. Pre drilling and hand chisel clean out is not as accurate and way too slow. I put a piece of bar clamp for more leverage for the birdseye. Drill press is 40 plus years old and works great still.

    Everyone trashes them. I used what I had then the money made from the work paid for the dedicated machine.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    68
    I'm still very new to woodworking, but I quickly found out that being a hand tool only woodworker is hard work. It is because of that reason that I've decided to start incorporating power tools to do a bulk of the work, then as Jim said, finesse my material with hand tools as needed.

  14. #14
    For a large mortise on large parts I've drilled em out with a hand held drill & auger bits using a simple box jig to keep bit plumb/square to the part than cleaned em up with a bench chisel. Works great & pretty quick after you've done the 1st one.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    226
    There’s only two reasons to use hand tools instead of the powered alternatives…
    1. You have no other choice. I.e. you loaned your tools out and you are up against some kind of deadline, wherein, you are unable to wait for them to be returned.
    or-
    2. You absolutely love them and delight in the process. (My camp).
    you sound like you might be in camp 1. . (Mostly teasing)

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