This is a morticing machine, used for drilling/chiselling square holes.
Induction and Training
If applicable, a short description of induction requirements
eg. instruction manuals, tutorial videos etc.
What the Morticer does:
A Morticer has one dedicated use, to cut a perfectly square hole in timber. Usually, several of these square holes would be made one after the other in a piece of wood, to create a larger and/or rectangular hole - ie. the mortise into which a tenon would be fitted to make a mortise and tenon joint.
The Morticer is essentially a pillar drill (AKA drill press) that uses a square, hollow chisel bit, sharpened on all four sides, containing an auger drill bit in the middle which cuts and clears the majority of the waste material. The square hole cut by the Morticer is called the mortice, and the waste material is cleared by the auger bit through a gap in the side of the hollow chisel bit - while the 4 sides of the chisel neatly pares and squares off the edges of the mortice itself.
- Do not wear loose clothing
- Ensure long hair, jewellery, and any clothing drawstrings are securely tied back
- Eye protection is recommended
- Masks are not normally required, as there is very little dusk produced
- Sensible footwear with sturdy toes should be worn at all times in the workshop. Steel toe-caps are a bonus.
- Do not wear gloves - they are an entanglement risk with woodworking machine tools
Anatomy of the tool
Adjustable Bed - flat metal plate with a rear fence and front clamp attached, onto which you place your workpiece. There are two control wheels in front of the bed which can be used to move it - the larger wheel (around 30cm diameter) moves the bed from side-to-side, whilst the smaller wheel below it moves the bed forwards and backwards.
Clamp - there is a sliding clamp built into the bed, which is designed to clamp your work place against the flat rear fence. The clamp is adjusted in two stages - the horizontal black-tipped handle can be loosened to allow the clamp body to be slid forward and back easily by hand, or tightened to hold firmly in place. Once the clamp is locked in approximately the right spot, the silver handle can then be turned to force the clamping plate towards the fence - this allows for a much tighter clamping action. Always ensure that both the handles are tightened before using the mortiser, and that your workpiece is securely held in place!
- Drill head - similar to the pillar drill, the drill head is a large electric motor mounted over the bed, to which the hollow chisel and drill bits are attached. It is raised and lowered by the control arm. There are cut-outs in the side of the drill head to allow access to the hex socket used to change the bit.
Control arm - silver metallic arm on the right-hand side of the mortiser, which is pulled down to lower the Drill head. The adjustment wheel is a lefthand thread.
Hollow chisel bit - four-sided chisel with a circular channel up the middle for the auger drill bit. The chisel is very sharp - take care when handling! At least one of the four sides will have a long opening down most of its length - waste material is cleared out from the centre of the bit through this gap.
Auger drill bit - fits inside the hollow chisel bit, and is turned by the motor in the drill head. It removes material between the four sides of the chisel, and clears the waste material through a hole/gap in the side of the hollow chisel.
Collar - all bits have this third competent, a short metal cylinder (with some cut outs/thickness changes), which sits on top of the chisel bit, surrounding the top of the auger drill bit.
Storage compartment - on the lower right-hand side of the body of the tool, is a door to a storage compartment beneath the bed. This contains the box of bits, chuck key, allen keys, etc.
Prepare your material:
- Depending on how long your workpiece is - eg. if it’s the top of a door frame, to fit a lintel - then you may need to clear material stacked near the tool. If you thinkthe machine itself needs moving, this MUST be discussed with a woodtech first.
- Check your workpiece fits in to the mortiser!
- Mark the outline of the mortise you need to cut on the top of your workpiece - be clear and very accurate
- On the sides of your workpiece which will be visible when it is clamped, mark the depth you need to cut down to as a horizontal line.
Preparation for usage:
Isolate the tool by turning off its power supply and fit the tool needed - always do this before adjusting any powered tool.
Always use the largest bit you can - to minimise the number of passes need to make your mortise
Clamping, positioning and depth stop:
- Clamp your workpiece firmly on the bed. If your workpiece is not very tall, pllace some scrap wood underneath to raise your workpiece until it is firmly held by the clamp. If your piece is not correctly clamped, then it may come lose when you raise the chisel - this could damage the machine and your material.
- Use the control wheel to move the material so far to one side that it is not under the chisel. Now lower the drill head until the top of the chisel cutting arches are the same height as the depth mark you placed on your material.
- With the drill head at the right height, set the depth stop on the left hand side of the drill head
Cutting a mortise
- Ensure that the tool is set up correctly and that the spanner and allen key have been removed from the tool and placed back in the toolkit.
- Ensure your piece is correctly clamped
- Connect the power to the mortiser
- From now on, only touch the control wheels and the arm to raise or lower the drill head -
- Use measured and even force and speed when pulling the arm down to drop the cutter into the timber - let the tool do the work - remember that auger bits are designed to pull into the wood - don’t push down hard.
- Always ensure the cutter had been raised out of the material, and returned to the fully raised position before moving the bed position
- If you’re cutting all the way through use a sacrificial piece of wood underneath
- Mke sure the depth stop is set so you can not crash into the bed
- Do not over work the tool - IF SMOKE IS COMING OUT STOP!!!
- Lubricate the cutter with bees wax
- make sure the machine is always attached to the wall
Cleaning up after use
Ensure the tool is isolated from power
Sweep and hoover up all dust/shavings/chips - always try to leave the workshop cleaner than you found it! CLEAN CHISEL!
You can leave the chisel/drill bit in place in the machine
Ensure that all the tools are in the tool kit and it is put back into the storage compartment
Note - if you ever need to adjust the control arm (ie. to rotate the arm without moving the drill head) - then please note that the arm is secured to the mortiser with a left-handed thread. This means that the loosening and tightening go in opposite directions to normal - turning left makes it tighter, turning right makes it looser. This is because in normal operation, when you pull the arm down to drive the cutting head into your material, you are also twisting the retaining nut to the left… and you don’t want it to loosen easily in use!
To change the bit: (Only done by people trained how to do so.)
- Double-check the tool is isolated
- Place a scrap piece of softwood on the bed under the hollow chisel and drill bit. If the chisel/bit drop onto the bed, they will be damaged.
- Look inside the “cut-out” hole on the side of the drill head - locate the hex socket, and insert the allen key from the toolkit
- Loosen the allen key (lefty-loosey), which will release the drill bit, and allow it to drop onto the scrap wood on the bed. Carefully remove the drill bit (this may involve raising the drill head a little)
- Use the spanner from the toolkit to loosen the nut on the right-hand side of the drill head, at the very bottom. Loosen the nut until the chisel slides out of the drill head into the scrap wood. Carefully remove the chisel (this may involve raising the drill head a little)
- Put the drill bit, chisel and collar back together and put neatly in their box in the toolkit.
- Select the new bits you want to fit
- Carefully slide the cylindrical top end of the chisel into the bottom of the drill head. The cylindrical top of the chisel should slide all the way in to the drill head, until the profile of the chisel changes, stopping it going any further. Hold the chisel in place make sure that the “cut out” side(s) of the chisel are facing sideways.
- Take a coin and insert this between the bottom of the drill head and the top of the square profile of the chisel. Essentially, we are stopping the chisel going all the way up in to the drill head - but only by a couple of millimetres.
- Lightly re-tighten the nut so it just holds the chisel in place.
- Raise the drill head, and insert the back of the auger drill bit into the bottom of the chisel. Place the tip of the drill bit onto the scrap bit of wood and lift to move the drill bit all the way up.
Move the drill bit up until the wood touches the points of the chisel
- Hold the drill bit in place and firmly re-tighten the hex socket through the cut-out in the side of the drill head.
- Holding the chisel, loosen the nut and remove the coin
- Now lift the chisel until it is flush against the bottom of the drill head. Hold it in place as you slightly tighten the nut to hold the chisel in place.
- Use the square to re-check that the chisel is square with the rear fence of the bed. You may need to twist the chisel a little to make sure it is perfectly square. Adjust as necessary.
- Firmly tighten the nut holding the chisel.
Original instructions on changing the bit are included in the PDF below…
Multico K2.pdf (1.4 MB)