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Help, Tips and Ideas. You may be a novice, you may be an experienced model maker; but if you are looking for advice and help on anything at all, this is the place to ask. It doesn’t matter if you think it is a daft and trivial questions, please don’t be afraid to ask! Likewise, if you have a particular way of producing scale nuts and bolts, getting timber to size, silver soldering or bending metal to shape etc, then get your idea in here. Each and everyone of us are never to old to learn something new! ~~ jraah ~~

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Old 11th January 2017, 03:02 PM
keith8 keith8 is offline
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Default Best way of cutting small mortises?

Question from someone new to working at a small scale.
  • Make a small chisel and cut it by hand
  • Drill and clean with a knife
  • Other
if I was doing it full scale I would simply cut them with a chisel.
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Old 13th January 2017, 04:56 PM
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PFW PFW is offline
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I make small chisels from old needle files. Then drill out some of the mortise, finish with the small chisel.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
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Old 14th January 2017, 01:02 PM
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Merl T Merl T is offline
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Keith --

Like Paul, I start with a small hole.

Then I file out the mortise with a square micro file and then use a triangular micro file to true up the corners.

If I'm making a little larger mortise, I use these:

I found these at MicroMark several years ago.


You will have to spend some time getting a proper edge on these.


(I have no connection with MicroMark other that I spend money there.)
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Old 14th January 2017, 03:39 PM
keith8 keith8 is offline
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Thanks for the comments from you both. i think that i knew all along that I would need to experiment and find my own "method". I have a large collection of very old awls that I don't really use. I was thinking of using these to grind into chisels, or fashion my own from scratch using silver steel.

next issue to solve will be thae lack of a lathe. But I think that I can modify an old picador drive that I used asa grinder in the past. It will become a bit like the Picador Pup as used by John Thompson.

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Old 17th April 2017, 11:18 AM
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Danny Vadas Danny Vadas is offline
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Hi Keith,

I make small chisels from Xacto blades, and use the Xacto blade holders. They can be ground to any shape you desire using a grindstone in a Dremel or similar, and finish sharpened with a wetstone. The steel holds a good edge for quite a while.

Cheers, Danny
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Old 18th April 2017, 02:39 PM
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Chuck Chuck is offline
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Thats a good suggestion. Exacto does have a couple sizes in chisel type blades. They are a bit to wide at times so I use a set that I got from Micromark that are scalpels. The are very small. Your suggestion would eliminate having to buy the scalpels and could be made to the size needed.
>> Chuck<<
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