LumberJocks

Mortise Pal - A Great Tool

  • Advertise with us
Review by mcase posted 1416 days ago 5208 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Mortise Pal -  A Great Tool Mortise Pal -  A Great Tool Mortise Pal -  A Great Tool Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’m a big fan of floating tenons. They are clean shouldered, very strong and very quick. So when I got a job for fir doors I wanted to use floating tenons. The problem for me was Getting them deep and wide enough for an exterior door. For most of my floating tenon mortises I use the Festool Domino. But while this a great machine it only cuts a mortise to 1” by 50mm thick. I could have used my hollow chisel mortiser and employed traditional mortise and tenon. This is a slow process and is often not as clean shouldered as floating Tenons. I even thought about buying a slot mortiser, but then remembered the great reviews I read about the Mortise Pal. Every owner seemed very happy with it, so I gave it a shot. It arrived promptly and turned out to be a well crafted tool. Its made in the USA and it shows. The Mortise pal was a breeze to use and very accurate. As you can see in the photos – The results were terrific! For only $169.00 I have to say this tool was worth every penny.




View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1727 days



8 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15404 posts in 1464 days


#1 posted 1415 days ago

That looks like a nice tool and seems to do a good job. Thanks for posting.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1672 days


#2 posted 1415 days ago

I went through a lengthy process to decide on a faster, slicker way to do mortise and tenon joints. I considered virtually every option available and ended up with the Mortise Pal. I’m confident I made the right decision and I second everything you say.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View REL's profile

REL

45 posts in 2255 days


#3 posted 1415 days ago

I have the Mortise Pal. I found it just okay. The tenons were a bit loose. I bought some extra “sleeves”or plates which were sized to closer tolerences. I also used tape to help and resize. The owner was a nice guy, however in the end Mortise Pal was not for me. I will sell mine, if anyone is interested, for a “fair” price. I also have a brand new Large Zip Slot Jessen Mortiser which I would like to get rid of.

I finally went with the Domino. What a dream to use! Expensive, but a real pleasure if you like loose tenons

-- REL, North Jersey

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1727 days


#4 posted 1415 days ago

Rel,

I own the domino too and use the mp for larger mortises. I can’t comment on the tenons they market. If they were loose I’m sorry you had a problem. Before you sell your mp try making your own tenons. Tenons can vary with the weather, literally. For example the beech tenons that Festool markets are pressed with a pattern to help compensate for this. This actually leaves less glue surface IMO and often people still have resort to resort to cooking then briefly in a microwave in order to shrink them when they swell in humid weather. Shrinking tenons or shimming tenons as you had to do or the impresses are all a waste IMO. Make your mortises and then mill up some tenons with your planer. I would advise to not even bother with rounding the edges but simple make them small enough to fit with square edges. The vast majority of the strength is the glue contact and you lose almost no strength doing this. You will also find that assembly is far, far easier this way as well. Give it shot and you may be happy with the results. I would also warn you about the relying on the domino as the impressions do not leave a lot of surface to surface glue contact. I would recommend smooth surface shop-made tenons here as well. In my experience they produce a far stronger joint than rough impressed surfaced dominos. Anyway happy woodworking!

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1389 posts in 2062 days


#5 posted 1413 days ago

thanks for the review. I wonder how this compares with the similarly priced (though different principle of operation) Jessem jig.

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1727 days


#6 posted 1411 days ago

Deke,

I looked at the Jessem mortiser. It looks like it only cuts little domino size mortises and from the reviews it does not seem to do this very well. Jessem has had a lot of quality control issues of late. Their sliding table has gotten horrible reviews and now they have problems with their router lift and their mortiser. They moved their manufacturing to China and the move was a disaster. The are now in the process of dumping the China junk at fire-sale prices and moving manufacturing back to Canada. So buyer beware of what they now call their import products. To answer your door question: The rails and stiles are vertical grain Douglas fir. The panels are eastern white pine. Its been painted a nice forest green and been installed in a suburban home near Boston.

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1389 posts in 2062 days


#7 posted 1411 days ago

thanks for the input on the jessem unit – from what i’d understood, they made good stuff – hopefully they will once again.

View pipersville's profile

pipersville

1 post in 290 days


#8 posted 290 days ago

Thanks for the review, mcase. How deep were the mortises and if they were deeper than 11/4” how did you do it with the mortise pal? Was it just a matter of using a longer bit? If so, where would I get one. I am planning on making a storm/screen door using loose tenon joinery. Thanks for any advise you can give….

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase