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mortise and tenon exampleMortising machines come in different sizes and configurations, but basically they are used to drill either round or square holes often using a hand drill or a drill press or a stand-alone mortising machine. A mortising bit such as pictured below drills a flat bottom hole to accommodate a tenon.

A mortising machine is used to drill squared-off holes to accept a rectangular tenon. Machines consist of a (hollow squared) chisel with a rotating drill inside the hollow to clear the bulk of the stock while the chisel squares the corners. Mortising machines range from free-standing dedicated tools or self-powered and drill press attachments.

Mortising Machines

Mortising MachineWoodhaven Mortising Table is an easy way to do mortise & tenon projects. You can set the mortise length and wood clamps in the jig and feeds forward in a straight line, into the bit until it bottoms out against the router plate. You can move the jig left & right against stops to cut the mortise length desired. Toggle clamps hold stock up to 1-3/4″ thick. More…

Delta Professional 1/2 Hp. Square holes? No problem. Delta’s industrial mortising machine offers precision with a 1/2-horsepower motor behind it. A rack-and-pinion system raises and lowers the head, and the mortising head column swings 180 degrees for off-table work. Clearly a step up from Delta’s MM300 Shopmaster mortising machine, this one’s made with the professional user in mind and includes an adjustable dovetail way on the mortising head, a tool and chisel tray, a gas-filled head stabilizer and multiposition feed lever. There’s also a generous 16-3/4-by-13-1/2-inch cast-iron base and 2-15/16-inch tall two-piece fence totaling 13-5/8 inches in length. Bit and chisel changing is easy with the chuck key/hex wrench. Of course, we always want to use new tools right out of the box, and Delta’s made sure you can get started right away with 1/4-, 5/16-, 3/8-, and 1/2-inch chisel and bit sets.

Forstner Bits

Forstner Bits are available at most hardware stores or home fix-up box stores. They are usually sold in sets and are excellent for drilling precision flat-bottom holes without tearing the wood fibers.

The Freud 16-Piece Forstner bit set contains the entire line of high-speed steel Forstner bits ranging from a 1/4-inch diameter bit to a 2-1/8-inch diameter bit in 1/8-inch increments. These bits are ideal for drilling flat bottom holes, pocket holes, and overlapping holes; and they come packaged in a sturdy wooden case for protection and convenient storage. These bits will drill plywood, hard wood, and soft wood in hand-held drills and drill presses.

Learn more about these Forstner Bits


Delta Professional Mortising Tool