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Workshop Development #28: Stealth gloat. New to me, NIB Central Machinery mortiser.

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 1077 days ago 5039 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 27: Cleanup, and tool tuning.. Part 28 of Workshop Development series Part 29: LOML is wanting storage in the garage. May be time to rethink the whole shop arrangement. »

After checking out the reviews, seeing the shortcomings of the HF mortiser, and comparing it to models from Steel City, Grizzly, Jet, Delta, and WoodRiver, I noted they all more or less stink in one way or another. Mostly the fences and hold downs are pitiful. Seeing how the HF fence works it is similar to others, better than some, but worse than most, so that is not really a factor. The hold downs on all of them I looked at stank. I would end up using clamps as hold downs no matter the machine, but budget screamed, so I left well enough alone, until…

Monday afternoon, a coworker, that I had traded some other equipment with at an earlier time had a need for a miter saw. I happened to have 3, 1 of which was my keeper (the slider), the other 2, my B&D Firestorm, and a Delta I picked up off of Craigslist free posting, that I cleaned up, and reassembled, got it working like new. I was going to sell it for $75.00, well he mentioned he had this mortiser he never opened, and wouldn’t use, and would I like to swap…

Hey, I can look at this like it was free, or $75.00, but since that $75.00 never hit my wallet, I am going to call it free…

I know no pics, didn’t happen, pics are forth coming. I didn’t have the assembly finished last night. I did get it bolted solidly down to my strong tie bench next to the slider. the tables align nicely between the SCMS and the mortiser, I will need to do a tiny bit of shimming on the mortiser to get it dead level, but it is within 1/16”, so not a huge deal…

Assembly instructions were typical of Harbor Freight tools, completely forgettable, and worthless. But once I figured out which direction to put the handle on, and how to assemble the fence (still not sure I have it right,which is why I don’t have pics…) it went together okay. The table itself is just a basic piece of MDF, which will likely be replaced with hardboard topped BB ply just for my own sanity sake. The cheesy wood grain sticker on the MDF arrived chipped off in 2 spots. I would love a cast iron table, but view the OE table as sacrificial for through mortises.

I did get a test cut done, using 6” bar clamps to secure stock to the table and the fence, and I must say it cuts nice, has plenty of power, and is quiet…

The timing couldn’t be better either. I have a couple of projects that are going to call for a LOT of mortises, and while this won’t be the fastest machine to use, it is a TON faster than drilling / chiseling out my mortises by drill press / hand…

Pics coming soon, as soon as I figure out what way the stupid bracket for the fence goes on. It can go both ways, but either way seems screwy to me…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com



5 comments so far

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1760 days


#1 posted 1076 days ago

Sounds free to me…........traded for something that was free…........of course, don’t know what you put into the Delta miter saw.

Seems to me I saw a review of mortisers where Delta came out on top.

I am just putting some finishing touches on a project stand (elevator?) that I cobbled together to build the multifunction bench. Decided it was worth keeping, so just making it a little more stable and versatile. Then I will install a small vise on the multifunction bench, have the vise, from Veritas. It will be shoehorned into the end of the table, so the size was limited. As long as my back holds up, should get that done this weekend.

Think I will use some ancient left over prefinished oak flooring for the entry into the house from the garage. Probably use some oak veneer plywood with solid oak trim for the bench and the shoe rack. Think I will start working on that as I do some smaller shop projects that are not pressing.

Later….............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5377 posts in 1827 days


#2 posted 1076 days ago

The Delta miter saw got a lightly used cheap blade, ($24.00) and some extensive clean up / polish work with a $5.00 can of Mother’s Mag & Aluminum Polish. The cheap blade was one I had from a prior table saw, that I hated (the blade, not the saw), it was an Irwin 80T, and was going to head to the trash if I didn’t use it there. The Mother’s I keep around to polish up the wheels on my truck…

The Delta did come out on top, due to a better designed hold down. In my book, it still stinks. Just not as bad as the others…

Actually, if I had to come up with the entire $$ for a new mortiser, I would have put my pennies aside for a new Shop Fox 3/4 HP mortiser. But for the price, too hard to pass up you know?

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1760 days


#3 posted 1076 days ago

As an aside, I just had a bunch of stuff I was writing completely disappear. Basically, I just have to write in an editor, and then copy and paste into LJ’s, because if it is more than a paragraph long, I stand about a 20% or more I am going to lose all of it. What’s with that?

For instance, if I put something in the posting box, and push escape, it all goes to lala land. Not any convention I am familiar with. Guess I expect everything to follow MS and Windows conventions, and I guess they don’t.

OK, back to the mortiser….....now writing in the editor…....

I have not looked into buying a mortiser…because you have to do real projects to use those things…......(-:

But…...I have read a couple of the reviews here on LJ’s and in my woodworking mags. It seems to me that one has to get one of the floor standing models to get the real deal, but I would never use one of those enough in a life time to make it worthwhile.

I am like you….never look a gift horse in the mouth…it is the principal of the thing. Like making a drill press stand out of an unused scroll saw stand. Not ideal, but not bad either. I have about 10 things to blog about, I am really delinquent.

Oh well, lets see what the HF mortiser will do. Remember to sharpen everything…..Neil had a good blog item about that…...

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/16460

The one link in there is dead, however…......

.........just resting after a morning of work, and then a delivery…..on my afternoon off yet….........

Later….....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5377 posts in 1827 days


#4 posted 1076 days ago

Well, no pics didn’t happen right? There’s the pic…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1760 days


#5 posted 1076 days ago

Let us know how it works, and any mods to make it work better. Just being aware of certain issues makes one look at purchases differently, or….....helps to rectify issues with tools we already have. I had my TS for nearly 20 years before I did anything to upgrade it, but now it is a markedly better saw than the one I naively bought decades ago.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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