Quiet mortising

  • Creator
  • #495935

    Hi All,

    I have my workbench in the shared basement of a 4 unit condo in NJ. I’m not on the bottom floor above the basement so the noise I make concerns me as the couple who live there almost certainly put up with any banging, sawing and even planing sounds.

    I’m working on the tool chest project and now need to cut 12 mortices, which I’m sure will make quite a racket if I chose to go at it with only the chisel. My groves are cut and everything is marked up and ready to go.

    I’m considering this time boring out the waste with a brace and bit to make it a quiet exercise and then paring the sides and ends. I would probably use the PS chisel guide when using the brace and also doing the paring of the mortise sides, since I would like some exactness in this project.

    Does anyone have any experience with this method? I’ve always cut mortices with only the chisel. Any tips, recommendations, things to avoid or even don’t attempt it would be welcome. Sizes of bit relative to the 1/4″ grove etc.

    Looking forward to everyone’s opinions on this.

    Best regards and many thanks,

    PS: I may chose to wait until the 1st floor guys are not around and have at it with the chisel. That’s another option.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by prbayliss.
Viewing 16 replies (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #507149
    Larry Geib


    If a jig is too pricey or hard to find, I’d give Paul’s guide a try

    Or make a poor man’s doweling jig

    nullPoor man’s dowel jig

    Since walnut was mentioned, I took an off cut, a little Birch ply, and a steel shaft sleeve from my local hardware store ($1.69) and made one and tested it on the rest of the walnut scrap to see how it would go.

    This jig has two sleeves, one centered on 3/4”, and one centered on 1”. Shims would allow further adjustment (a deck of cards?). A touch of your glue of choice would secure the sleeves permanently, but it worked fine with just a friction fit.

    The edges of the “window” in the jig align with the hole centers for positioning. If you are just going to use it for mortise work, align the window with the outside of the hole.
    One caveat. Shaft sleeves are intentionally a couple thousandth snug, so run a metal bit through the sleeve before you commit your pristine Brad point bit.

    And the walnut pared like butter. Even easier than the pine.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Larry Geib.
Viewing 16 replies (of 16 total)

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