Cut a Mortise in Minutes
Drill out the waste, then use a unique chiseling technique to handle the rest
Synopsis: The time-honored practice of cutting mortises with a drill and chisel can be frustrating, mainly because the process of chiseling out the waste between drilled holes takes time and can easily go awry. Furniture maker Christian Becksvoort has refined the technique over the years to a four-step process that delivers clean, accurate mortises in no time at all. He begins with careful layout, then drills out the waste. Third-and this is key-he uses a mortising chisel and an unconventional technique to lever out most of the waste. And finally, he cleans up the mortise with a bench chisel. Simple, effective, and consistent.
From Fine Woodworking #200
Many woodworkers cut mortises by drilling away much of the waste with a drill press, then cleaning up what remains using a bench chisel. The technique is popular because it doesn’t require a special machine or jig. It’s a challenge, though, mainly because the…