How to cut a mortise with the drill press

Mortising in the drill press with a simple wood drill bit. In this woodworking video I use the drill press to cut a mortise to make a through mortise and tenon joint. I make a round corners mortise, and then I use a chisel to get a rectangular mortise so I can fit the tenon inside it.

You can watch how to cut a tenon using the jigsaw table:


  1. thanks for sharing the technique, I would like to try this some day.

  2. Great video! I think going short is good for preventing blow out on the back.

  3. Sergio Acuña Padin

    Thank you. Well, not too much splintering when you have a wooden table under the workpiece 🙂

  4. Sergio Acuña Padin

    Thanks for watching. It works quite well 🙂

  5. Great video, thanks for sharing.
    Mortise looks OK to me. You need a little space for glue.
    Why did you choose a through mortise?
    I did not start yet trying mortises and tenons. I hope to have time to learn it in the near future.
    But last month I made a simple drill press table according your video. I did not do the insert (yet)
    It works OK but it has a little play. For now I can live with that.

  6. Brilliant again! Clear, concise help for me, who does not have loads of fancy, complicated power tools! Thank you very much.

  7. “The play should not be a problem once you tighten the wingnuts”.
    I had to look up what I eventually did wrong because I did not remember I put there any wingnuts for tightening. So I watched your video again. It was very clear where and how you put those wingnuts there.
    But why did I do not that? I went to my shop and within seconds I knew the reason why.
    Your metal base plate (the original drill press table) has two slots paralel, like this: I I
    Mine has an X shaped slot which means that when I put wingnuts there I can only fixate the wooden drill
    pres table I made but sliding it will not be possible. So I did not make the wingnut fixation system.
    Maybe I should so that at least in one position my table is without play.

  8. Thanks for showing your methords with all.
    Please keep them cooming.

  9. Nice job! Loved watching this. I learned lots. Thanks for showing us.

  10. Hans de Groot I am teaching myself also.. learned a lot . unfortunately my main capacitor is out on my drill press. I find that working with wood helps you solve problems around house that mystify you till you learn skills. I’ve started playing around with the lowly block plane and that is an amazing tool mine is a buck brothers don’t get the cheap ones and spend time setting up your iron. just passing things along.

  11. Sergio Acuña Padin very true sometimes a mortice is hidden also if I was doing that on a lot of the same pieces I would use a stop block on both sides and that would lock the exact measurements in..I you can’t screw it up . btw I am a practicing frustrated amateur so these are meant to help people . harbor freight sells a mortice chisel and that would give near if not perfect results Everytime. when I first got it I thought it was stupid later on I realized what they do and I wouldn’t be without one .

  12. Bruce Chastain Bruce see my comment about the mortice chisel it will give you basically perfect corners on your mortices as long as you use them correctly. I have made every mistake there is and then some but I learn as I go. go to yard sales. and you can pick up old tools clamps ect..old antique planes .. just passing things along

  13. Bruce Chastain Bruce see my comment about the mortice chisel it will give you basically perfect corners on your mortices as long as you use them correctly. I have made every mistake there is and then some but I learn as I go. go to yard sales. and you can pick up old tools clamps ect..old antique planes .. just passing things along

  14. If you would rather round the tenon edges, it would be quite easy to make a gauge to test the radius. All that is necessary is to use the same drill to drill a hole in some waste wood., then making a cut across the hole leaves you with gauge. I feel it is easier to round the tenon with chisel, file and sandpaper than squaring the mortise.

  15. you said ” not perfect but not bad” For me it has to be perfect or it becomes garbage.

  16. PIANOSTYLE100 0

  17. How to make more than one piece of wood on a table top saw

  18. Simple solution Sergio but please be careful clearing chips away whilst the drill press is still rotating as bad things can happen. Only saying what hundreds are thinking!

  19. I love your channel man. It’s a nice to see an approach that is quite different from all the American channels.

  20. It’s really help. Thank’s

  21. Sergio Acuña Padin

    Thank you 🙂

  22. Ryan Lockwood Hello my old Nazi friend! Sieg heil to you too!

  23. dear sergio really enjoys watching his videos and his simple, but smart way of doing things, showing us his correctness and mistakes, as well as correcting, that is , a good pperson. I would suggest you use a router bit (spiral0 in the drill, so it would perform better and finish. a big hug from brazil. thank you very much.

  24. Sergio Acuña Padin

    Thank you very much. I think most people find interesting to watch my mistakes and how I try to fix them :). Would that router bit work if I use it in the drill press?

  25. Sergio Acuña Padin Thanks, When you use a router bit in the drill press, in addition to drilling the hole vertically, you can move the workpiece laterally to drill into the hole. Big hug

  26. Excellent demonstration thanks for sharing.

  27. Very good Sergio ! You have taught me to use my brain rather than my wallet ! You achieve so much with so few tools Thank You

  28. Brian Strappini

  29. Nice work Sergio and some great tips there, thanks for sharing. It’s a thumbs-up and a sub from me.

  30. I like that single pivot drilling fence idea!!

  31. all effords wherever comes from should be wellcomed

  32. Sergio Acuña Padin

    Thank you. This fence is easy to make, and it is very useful, too

  33. Sergio Acuña Padin very welcome! The simplicity is what makes it brilliant, lol. Superb not only for mortise work, but also holes spaced on a line, like shelf hanging pin bores, edge drilling/ dowelling, even sheet metal rivet work.

  34. Super job. Very helpful. Thank you

  35. Well said, Sergio! I would MUCH rather watch someone make mistakes, then demonstrate how to correct them. Thank you for your REALISTIC approach.

  36. I need to mortise out a piece of hardwood for a strike plate. Your video help me figure out how to do it. Great idea and thank you very much. Well done!!

  37. Nice job. Well done. Liked that you included mistakes because that is real world and would have happened to me too.

  38. Very instructive, thank you, Sergio. I’m never too old to learn !!!

  39. Sergio Acuña Padin

    Thank you. I make some mistake in most of my projects, so I think it is good to show them 🙂

  40. Are you serious??? Show something what is perfect.

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