Here’s a simple, low-cost way to improve the performance of your benchtop mortiser.

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Here's a simple, low-cost way to improve the performance of your benchtop mortiser. Replace the factory table with a larger one, and add a bench-dog type screw clamp for side pressure. I made my MDF table 12" square and drilled the bench dog holes on 2" centers on the centerline of the bit. The clamp came from my mitersaw, but you can get something similar from Lee Valley Tools (05G10.02, 800/871-8158 or leevalley.com). The side pressure not only holds the workpiece tight and square against the fence, it also prevents the chisel from binding when I raise it out of the wood.
—Larry Hayes, Olathe, Kan.