When using a benchtop mortiser to cut a mortise, it is very important to get the chisel in the right position. George Vondriska teaches you how to properly align the hollow chisel so that it is perfectly parallel to your mortiser’s fence.

Related Videos:
Benchtop Mortiser: Correct Cutting Technique
Benchtop Mortiser: Setting the Auger

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Tags: Aligning the chisel on a benchtop mortiser, cutting square mortises, and using a benchtop mortiser.

  • jet10rht

    George,
    I’ve had better luck aligning the chisel with the face of the work piece instead of the end. I move the fence back and keep the work piece against it. When the chisel is adjusted parallel with the work piece, I then adjust the fence to the location I need.

  • Peter Foy

    Surely it would be easier to set a small square against the rear (Green) fence which the stock will be against, and square the side of the chisel assembly against it!. One simple step and guaranteed accuracy.

    • http://www.grantcreekwoodcraft.com Peter

      This is the way I do it as well. 99% of the time it’s on, the 1% is operator error, but if I double check it after I tighten everything down it’s 99.9% accurate. The users manual that came with my machine suggests this approach as well.

  • George Vondriska

    Both of the suggestions provided offer good alternatives. For me, no matter what step I take to try and set up the chisel I want to do test cuts, and look for the potential saw tooth pattern, before making cuts in my final stock.

  • glass_man

    Hi George,

    The problem your approach takes is that you are trying to align (potentially) across a very small region. If you have a 1/4 mortice, that’s essentially impossible to see how off it is.

    What I do is to take a small rare-earth magnet and place it on the bit. I use that to hold a 6″ steel ruler. Then I bring my fence tup to that ruler (keeping a bit of a distance (or the magnetism will pass through the ruler to the fence), but now I’m not trying to align things parallel across 1/4″, but rather across 6 inches, and that’s a heck of a lot easier.

    Yes I do to a test cut (I can’t think of a situation where I wouldn’t), but I almost never have to adjust.