Missing tools

Now I’m working at home again I don’t have access to a mortiser machine or a planner thicknesser both of which I’ve come to rely on rather too much.

For cutting mortises I could go back to doing it by hand with a bevel edge chisel which is what I was doing before I went to furniture making school, or I could buy a dedicated mortiser machine. The problem with this is that I don’t have that much room and a machine dedicated to one thing seems a bit of a luxury in terms of both space and cost. Maybe something to aspire to.

I could get a Festool domino machine which wouldn’t take up much space and would do as a substitute for most traditional mortise and tenon work, but then I’d have to be BaylisMachineMade which doesn’t have the same wring to it. I might give in to the temptation one day, just not yet.

So I’ve bought a smallish pillar drill and a set of mortise chisels. This is the other way we learnt to cut mortises at furniture making school and seems a reasonable compromise until I have a larger workshop with space for a mortiser.

I would really like to have a planner thicknesser. It would save a lot of time and hard work but again space and cost are limiting factors. In the meantime I have a band saw and some hand planes. I can plane wood flat and square, I can saw pretty close to thickness with the band saw and I can get the final thickness with a plane. So for the time being this will have to suffice.

What do you do when you want to get a 25mm thick panel down to 16mm but the piece is too big to cut in the band saw. Plane it or saw it? I picked the rip saw which was the wrong choice. I did end up with two boards rather than one board and a big pile of shavings but a scrub plane would have been much easier work.

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