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General Machine - 75-050T M1 - Tilting Bench top Mortiser

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Review by Gator posted 12-09-2010 12:58 AM 8397 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
General Machine - 75-050T M1 - Tilting Bench top Mortiser General Machine - 75-050T M1 - Tilting Bench top Mortiser General Machine - 75-050T M1 - Tilting Bench top Mortiser Click the pictures to enlarge them

Picked this up today at Federated Tool in London, Ontario
It is the General Machine 75-050T1 – Tilting head mortiser.

I brought it home and unpacked it. There was a small amount of oil, not pounds of grease to deal with. I had the entire unit wiped down in less than 10 minutes. There were no parts missing, and it was 80% assembled in the box. Instructions were not too bad, there was not much to do. The fence is dead straight and required no shimming. The unit came with 4 chisels, 1/4” to 1/2”. These will be replaced with a set from Lee Valley, but will work for now with a little honing. It also comes with a collar for 5/8” & 3/4” shanks. The test cut was a piece of scrap red oak, and was a bit tough to get through but chisels were right out of the box, untouched.
The machine itself is suprisingly quiet when the 1/2 hp motor is running. It is very heavy and stable. The table is a nice size – (13.5” x 9” )
I found it easy to set up the chisel and bit depth, and from the time I put the box on my bench, until I had cut the mortise in a piece of scrap was less than an hour.

Now there has to be cons..

The hand wheel for the stock hold down is located on the right side of the machine & when in the down position, interferes with the handle to tighten down the fence on this side. If you are cuttuing a mortise in more than 1/4” from the fence you must raise the stock hold down to tighten the fence first, then lower it into place to secure the stock.
You must ensure the fence is very tight before tigtening up the front screw on the stock hold down or it will “push” your fence out of adjustment when you tigten it up to apply pressure against the fence. I think these two items may be the proper steps to operating these machines anyway, and may not really be cons afterall ?

The hole in the center of the base for cutting through mortises is a little large, so you will require a backing board under your material if cutting small stock, as it will “tip” up into the hole when you pull the chisel down.
The depth stop could be a little better built, but seems to work okay – I only cut 1 mortise, so I can’t swear to it.
This machine is heavy. You will want to put it where it will be best utilized in your shop, and leave it there. It is just over 100 Lbs.

Overall I am very happy with it as it seems to be a very good machine.

All in all I still gave this machine 4 stars, considering I have never used one before, I found it very easy to set up, and work with. I would recommend it to anyone looking for one.

Gator

-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.




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Gator

377 posts in 2430 days



4 comments so far

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tenontim

2131 posts in 2498 days


#1 posted 12-09-2010 03:03 PM

Nice review. When I lived in Maine, I seriously considered buying one of these. I like the features, especially the tilt. Kept putting off the trip to Quebec and finally just bought another drill press and dedicated one to mortising.
Now that General has a distributor in the US, I may have to think about this machine again. Thanks for the post.

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TominTexas

42 posts in 1590 days


#2 posted 12-09-2010 08:59 PM

I’ve had this mortiser for 3 years now and have to agree with your review. It is a nice piece of equipment and I think you would have to move up to a free standing mortiser to gain a more substantial machine (at a higher cost as well).

Before you discard the bits that came with the mortiser, do some polishing of the outside faces of the chisel. You may find them to be better than they first appear. I spent a little time polishing them and found them to be the equal of a few of the Lee Valley bits that I also own.

Regarding the front screw moving the fence, I experienced the same thing but learned that the holding power of the front screw is quite sufficient with a mininmum of pressure – meaning use just a light touch when cranking the front screw – it will still hold the work piece in place and won’t disturb your fence setting.

Whenever I cut a through mortise, I always use a backer board. It greatly reduces tear out and helps maintain the accuracy of the through cut. Consequently, the center hole has never been a significant problem for me.

I agree that the vertical travel stop is pretty weak. I guess it’s not caused me enough grief to seek a shop made remedy.

Thanks for the review and I think you will come to really like this machine.

Tom

-- East Side of Big D

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Lenny

1298 posts in 2281 days


#3 posted 12-12-2010 05:35 AM

Hi Gator. Congratulations on your purchase and best of luck with the mortiser. I have to agree you made an excellent choice. I bought mine about 1 1/2 years ago. I am not sure I understand what others are saying about where to get these and distributors, etc. but I bought mine at my local Woodcraft store here in the states. If I remember correctly, they did not have it in stock so they ordered it and called me when it came in. They stand behind their sales and if anything were wrong with it, they would take it back and provide a replacement. For me, it was a toss up between General and Powermatic (PM). I read some negative comments about a specific aspect of the PM mortiser and that’s what tipped the scales. I have had great success with mine although, as mentioned, the chisels are not that great out of the box. I haven’t encountered a need for the tilting feature yet but it is nice to know it’s there if needed. Enjoy yours and again, good luck with it.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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