Need Advice on a Mortiser

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Forum topic by davidroberts posted 09-08-2009 04:21 PM 2517 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1027 posts in 3480 days

09-08-2009 04:21 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise benchtop mortiser mortise pal jig

I’ve been considering a dedicated mortise machine, like the delta, jet or grizzly. I don’t do production work and probably cut 50 to 100 mortises a year (maybe less) using either a router or chop them with a chisel. It’s hard to justify $300+ for a benchtop mortiser while only doing a few mortises a year, plus finding storage space when not in use. If I go the benchtop route, i’m leaning toward the grizzly or shop fox, on the grizzly website. Anyone know the pros and cons on these models. Here’s the kicker, given the cost and space allowance for a benchtop, plus the limited use, i’m very interested in the Mortise Pal I’ve read newTim’s review, which was positive and it seems to fit the bill. Have any others out there used the Mortise Pal. Any thoughts. TIA.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

9 replies so far

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4045 days

#1 posted 09-08-2009 04:40 PM

I recently purchased a shop fox and have been very satisfied with it. It is able to pivot on its base so that you can mortice long peices. I looked at four of them isde by side and chose the shop fox, I was nervous as i have never used any Shp fox tools but it has been working well.

Give it a look.

-- Hope Never fails

View lcurrent's profile


125 posts in 3809 days

#2 posted 09-20-2009 12:40 AM

I built a mortising jig that will cut a mortise on the end of a rail using a loose tenon any angle by just using a center line to line up to see photo

This is the jig

This some of the cuts it can make

This computer table has 175+ mortises not one missed


-- lcurrent ( It's not a mistake till you run out of wood )

View woodman71's profile


162 posts in 3318 days

#3 posted 09-20-2009 01:26 AM

I would have to say that the mortisepal looks like it will fit your needs and for the money and being able to storage it fast and out of your way looks good but I also think it come down to you if don’t think you will use it much I would look for something you can build cheap and works for you .

View woodbutcher's profile


592 posts in 4160 days

#4 posted 09-20-2009 02:41 AM

david roberts,
I went with the shopfox mortising machine that Grizzly had on sale. It was on sale and for the money I don’t think it can beat. It has a larger chuck than most as well as the ability to be mounted and perform end mortises on any length board. Mine gets a real workout and I wouldn’t be able to get by without it. Yes it does take up some bench space, but you can always move it! Good luck on making your purchase, which ever you decide.

Ken McGinnis

-- woodbutcher north carolina

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4395 days

#5 posted 09-20-2009 02:45 AM

I’ve got a different brand. It was sold by Wilke tools and they have gon out of business. I love the tool because it has a solid lockup of the wood and the wood is moved by an x-y action on the table. I only paid $189.00 as they were closing them out.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3480 days

#6 posted 09-20-2009 06:20 AM

Thanks everyone. In the meantime, the mortiser decision will have to wait a while as I ran across a good deal on an old Dewalt RAS which now has my attention. By Christmas, it’s either the Grizzly or the Mortise Pal. I do want to cut through mortises which I believe the dedicated mortiser is more capable of. But I like the idea of a quick setup and storge for the Mortise Pal. Thanks again for the comments.

PS, Karson I think it was a wilke planer i was wanting to buy but could not find a distributor. Know I know why. Thanks

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3177 days

#7 posted 09-20-2009 06:28 AM

I had a Mortise attachment for my drill press and it worked OK but I got tired of setting it up all the time. I came across a brand new Jet dedicated mortising machine for $150.00 at a store closeout sale and I love it. It’s easy to set up and performs very well.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3571 days

#8 posted 09-20-2009 07:12 AM

I have a de;ta bench top and a laguna floor model they both work fine . You might see if you can find a used one.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3519 days

#9 posted 09-20-2009 04:39 PM

I would try to look for a used one. They come up on craigslist around here quite often. I found an old but new looking multico brand mortiser made in germany for $200. It’s built like a tank, and will most likely outlast me.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

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