To make mortises to make wood joints mortise and tenon we have several options, from using a mortising machine, to using the milling machine to the most artisan of making boxes or mortises by hand with chisel or chisel. But in this post we are going to see how to use the drill as a home mortiser to make mortises in a very simple way. I just need the drill press and its table with defense to support the workpiece I want to make the box on.
This is not a woodworking technique to use continuously, as the drill press may suffer a little, but it does come in handy every now and then to make a quick mortise in a piece of wood, when I don't want to work hard or prepare the router.
The first thing I have to do is decide in which position I want to make the mortise and tenon joint.
And after make the wooden dowel, I have to mark the height of the dowel on the piece of wood in which I want to make the box. So I have the length of the box that I need to cut.
Now, with the help of a marking gauge I mark the center of the wood. I could also measure the width and mark the center, but with the marking gauge I can mark from both sides of the piece and thus I realize if I am marking exactly in the center or not.
So now I will use the drill press as an improvised mortiser to make the mortise between the marks I have just made. The drill bit that I am going to use has a diameter equal to the thickness of the tenon, since when making the tenon I made sure that the thickness of the tenon was equal to the diameter of that drill bit. Now I just have to adjust the fence of the drill press table so that the tip of the bit coincides just in the center line that I made with the marking gauge. And I block the fence in that position. This way I can drill overlapping holes between the lines that mark the length of the mortise.
In this case I want to make a through mortise and tenon joint, in which the tenon goes completely through the wood. But as we can see in the image, the vertical movement of this drill press is not deep enough, so the drill bit cannot go completely through the wood and protrude the other side. But I could solve it by turning the workpiece upside down and drilling directly into those marks that were left by the tip of the drill bit in this face of the workpiece.
Now using the drill press As a home mortiser, I move the workpiece to the sides to clean the wood left between the overlapping holes I made. This involves inserting the bit a bit, moving the piece to the sides to remove the wood, inserting the bit a bit and moving the piece back to the sides. I lower just a little at a time so as not to force the drill too much when moving the wood sideways.
And so on until I can no longer lower the bit. And since the bit does not reach the other side of the workpiece, I have to rotate the workpiece and perform the same technique from the other side of the piece until I have a perfect mortise that go through the wood from side to side.
Now I have two options, either round the corners of the wooden tenon, or cut square the corners of the mortise I have just made. In this case I will use a chisel to cut square the corners of the mortise so I can fit the wooden tenon that has 90 degrees corners.
Then, with the help of a wooden mallet, I cut the corners to finish shaping the mortise in which the tenon will enter to make the wooden joint.
Here I have the rectangular mortise, with the corners that I have just cut at 90 degrees with the chisel.
Now I can fit the wooden tenon to make this mortise and tenon joint. And in this case I have a through mortise and tenon T-joint where we see the head of the tenon on the other side. So I can get an idea of how tight I made this joint. And although it was not perfect, it is sure that once I apply glue it will be very resistant.