Wednesday 15th February 2017
I know, I should have just made one or two of these years ago. I knew exactly what I wanted but was too lazy to just make one. Fast forward and I decided to do something about it so here it is. What to call it?? Waste extractor? Chip remover? You help me decide. Right now, from the package, it’s just a little ol’ paint can/bottle opener. Why do I so need one? To stop those uninitiated around me using 1/4″ chisels as paint can openers. No, not really, they learned that long ago. What I need something to excavate with. For years now I have chopped all of my mortises by hand and it looks as though I will be doing it for another decade (hopefully). Inside the mortises we accumulate chips that build up and get wedged between the walls until we lever them out either with the same mortising chisel or a slightly narrower one because it’s easier. Generally we avoid levering the chisel on the ends of the mortise holes because these are often seen. Any bruising then looks ugly and sullies the view people have us. On shallow mortise holes and non-through mortises it’s not such a problem to remove the waste wood, but as we deepen the mortise in deeper mortises, such as in door stiles and table legs, the chips can often be hard to remove because of the angle of leverage in relation to the length of the mortise. My new device takes all of this into account. I have looked at many possible options for the past couple of weeks having made my mind up and finally I found the paint can lever with the curved tip. I refined it just a little to remove the blunt or square end. So that in the mortise it will slide into and under the chips more readily. It’s not at all meant to cut. The tool dislodges chips and the hook end is large enough to lift out the waste. I made one full width, which is 7/16” wide, ideal for 1/2” mortise holes. The second one I filed down, to ¼” bare so around 7/32” or 6 mm. Perfect for 1/4 “ – 3/8” holes. Like many things, I should have done this before now and had the benefit of it in daily use. One day I will learn, but at least i have it now.