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Author Topic: Electric Drill for Mortising  (Read 2577 times)

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Offline Rougespear

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Electric Drill for Mortising
« on: December 09, 2016, 11:58:04 am »
I'm in the market to buy a new 1/2" electric drill for drilling 2" mortises using an 18" x 2" ship auger bit (my search for 2" boring machines is not panning out).  I am thinking a drill in the 400-500 rpm would be about righnt for such a large-sized auger bit.  I see two distinct types of drills: a D-handle and the so-called spade handle.  I am thinking the spade-type drills would be better for holding against the torque while sitting on the timber.  I see both Milwaukee and Makita have some nice spade drills in the $300-400 CDN market.  The Milwaukee has a nice 12" long pipe handle which seems nice.

Any suggestions of drill type/brands? 
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Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2016, 01:24:14 pm »
I'm in the market to buy a new 1/2" electric drill for drilling 2" mortises using an 18" x 2" ship auger bit (my search for 2" boring machines is not panning out).  I am thinking a drill in the 400-500 rpm would be about righnt for such a large-sized auger bit.  I see two distinct types of drills: a D-handle and the so-called spade handle.  I am thinking the spade-type drills would be better for holding against the torque while sitting on the timber.  I see both Milwaukee and Makita have some nice spade drills in the $300-400 CDN market.  The Milwaukee has a nice 12" long pipe handle which seems nice.

Any suggestions of drill type/brands?

I bought one from Jim Rogers (FF member with a "store" on here) and then I found one on ebay fairly cheap.  I will only have a generator so I opted for manual labor :D
John Sawicky

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Offline Roger Nair

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2016, 08:51:28 pm »
I favor the Milwaukee Hole Hawg which has a high and low range speed option.  In the large size model there is also a clutch on the low speed range to prevent severe kick if the bit seizes.  DeWalt has a similar design, also recommended.  The added bonus is that both models are right angle so they can be used in close quarters.  They are very serious drills capable heavy use also very serious if they bind, they will throw up down and beat you up, even break a wrist, so clutch models are desirable.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2016, 04:40:09 pm »
It would  probably work but a 2" ship auger takes some power .I've got a 3/4" Milwaukee and the largest ship auger I have I think is 1-1/4" inch .You'd better have a good grip on that drill motor with 18" of pipe in the side handle hole .It not instead of the drill bit going around you will go around .

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2016, 06:22:04 pm »
There are 2" boring bits for manual boring machines.  It would be a workout in oak, and you'd still get strong in DF or pine.

Not sure what you mean by spade bit?  If you mean a paddle bit, that would not be my choice.  A good ships auger bit with a Milwaukee Hole Hawg.  WoodOwl bits are good. Will probably make the cleanest hole.  Also Irwin, bosch are ok too.

The truth is, if you are building a garden shed, you can use the hole hawg and auger bit.  If you're doing a big frame, you'll probably be happier beaking down and getting a Makita mortiser.  You'd be even happier with a Mafell mortiser.  But there is a big price difference.  You can sell them after you're done though.
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Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2016, 09:49:58 pm »
Most any 1/2 inch heavy duty drill with a ship auger bit should work reasonably well.  The auger bit will work better than a spade bit because it has flutes to remove the waste from the deep holes.  Here, I made a fancy drill guide to help drill the vertical holes:


e aho laula

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2016, 10:11:22 pm »
Milwaukee at least at one time had some bits for larger holes in wood much like a hole saw .Had teeth around the outside and two cutters inside with a screw feed .Those you could do with hole hog or a right angle drill .Heaven help you though if you ever got them cocked out of line.Drilling a floor joist it would jamb you up so tight you'd think it broke your arm .Been there done that ,sore elbow and all .

Offline shinnlinger

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 08:07:43 am »
I have done a few frames with my right angle plumbers drill.  It also happens to be a Milwaukee Hole Hawg.  I like it vs a conventional or D handle drill as it allows you to get up over the bit to align it easier and of course has a side handle to help you keep a grip on it.  If you want, you can set two speed squares, one at the top and one at the side to help keep you plumb, but with a bit of practice you will have it.

I have used both 2" screw auger forstner bits (you really do need the screw tip) and 2"ship augers bits.  Milwaukee, DeWalt, Lee Valley, your local plumbing supply should have these.

The forstners were good for pockets for joists and the augers were good for mortises.

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Offline Don P

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 08:58:40 am »
I broke a wrist, a powerful big bodied 1/2" Asian knockoff that ran at 1200, nuts. I went and got a clutched drill. The first was a timberwolf, Dewalt carries them now, the current one is the Makita right angle. But, when hand drilling a mortise I use smaller bits and a number of holes, then clean it up with a chisel.

Offline Heartwood

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 09:16:24 am »
I'd suggest drilling two 1" holes for 2" mortises; much easier on the body and less work in the long run, IMO. I'd also be careful using boring machine or t-auger bits in electric drills as they weren't designed for the extra torque and could break.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 10:30:06 am »
Lehman's non-electric catalog has, or had, it's been a while since I've looked at one, 1.5" and 2" ship augers for power drills. I use an original HoleHawg, when I must. I have found my Milwaukee Fuel 18volt drill will run a 2" boring machine bit in pine, in a pinch.
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Offline Rougespear

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2016, 10:22:40 am »
Well you all have me right scared for the big drills now!  Thanks for all the suggestions on drill makes.

Brian_Weekley: great looking drilling jig... I really like that setup.  More information on the build?

I like the idea of using flat-bottomed bits for drilling out joist pockets and such.

Heartwood: I am now also strongly considering your suggestion to just drill 1" holes instead.  The Wood Owl augers look really nice, and don't require the huge drills to run properly.

I am continuing my search for a beam drill over the next couple months.  I would really like to go that route if I can fine something for an alright price.  If I don't find anything, I think I'll take a stab at making a drilling guide as mentioned above.

I would love to invest in a chain mortiser, but I think they're down-right expensive - that, and how many thousands of frames have been built in the past without such a tool!
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Offline jimdad07

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2016, 10:45:20 am »
I thought the same thing on the mortiser, but after a few 2-1/2"x16" mortices through 10"x10" wall posts, the chain mortiser was worth every penny and then some.  For what you'll spend on a serious still and good bits, you're halfway there on a used chain mortiser.
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Offline Brian_Weekley

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2016, 11:36:31 am »
Brian_Weekley: great looking drilling jig... I really like that setup.  More information on the build?

Thanks.  More information here including some links for other ideas:

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,81347.0/all.html
e aho laula

Offline Dakota

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2016, 08:50:22 am »
You might consider what I did:  I bought a mortiser new, and was very careful not to damage it.  I only had one frame to cut.  I sold it 3 years after I bought it, for more than I paid for it.  I sold it on Ebay.
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2016, 01:57:46 pm »
yep, used ones bring in top dollar when I shopped around for a used one. I'm still looking around for a good used one. :( My wife would leave me if I went and bought a new one. :D

OP, I used a 1/2" Dewalt drill along with 1 1/2" arguer bit. Got to be very careful or those big drills and bits will break a arm.

Offline TimFromNB

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2016, 09:18:06 pm »
I just bought this guy: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00SCXURMI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I will be drilling 1 1/2" holes in pine and spruce. Haven't tested it too much yet. It has a variable speed control.

Tim

Offline Don P

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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2016, 04:59:41 am »
Just as general info .Lowes,Home Depot and others have a no questions asked policy on tools returns .Often some cheap skate buys one,uses it and returns it for a refund .
They discount it to some tool supplier who sells it with a new case,new instruction manuals at a deeply discounted price,up to 50 percent of list price with a warranty .

Some time back I made a seam roller for standing seam roofing and used a Milwaukee 1/2" right angle drill as a power source.That drill I found on line at a supplier in South Carolina for a tad over 200 dollars and normally sold at that time for a tad over 400 .---Google ---

Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2016, 08:45:14 am »
I used a drill press head with a sawtooth bit, it has been a while but seems to me I had to lower the bit and take 2 passes on really deep mortices because the drill press did not have enough vertical travel.

Also I found that drilling the corners first with a smaller bit with a hand drill makes chiseling the corners out a lot easier.

 

 

Above is a picture of the frame I built to hold the drill press, it has a clamp that is used to hold it secure to the beam but I found (because of the weight) that I only needed the clamp if drilling around knots.

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2017, 01:32:30 am »
I have one that some day going to get the best of me... 1" chuck.

 

 
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2017, 05:31:29 am »
K, that beast will break an arm in a heart beat. :o

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2017, 09:44:50 am »
I have a Milwaukee cordless 7/16 impact to drive auger bits that I like very well. I think they are intended to drive augers into power poles for linemen.

Offline Farmerjw

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Re: Electric Drill for Mortising
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2017, 11:50:37 am »
I have one that some day going to get the best of me... 1" chuck.

 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

That is the drill my dad had at his gas station and we would drill out the hole on bumpers for 1" shanked balls.  I do not know how many fingers I have smashed between a tailgate and that pipe handle on his drill!  :o   Heck, on today's tailgates that handle would probably just rip a slit through the tailgate!!

My maternal grandfather was an electrician.  He taught me to stand on the extension cord right behind the connector, hold the cord in my hand with the pipe handle with no slack between my foot and hand, then if it caught it unplugged itself!!! 8) 8)
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