Hollow Chisel Mortiser Table Ideas...

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Forum topic by RobH posted 01-24-2008 03:18 AM 3806 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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465 posts in 4287 days

01-24-2008 03:18 AM

Hey all,

The wife has authorized the purchase of a hollow-chisel mortiser. It will either be the Steel City unit or the Jet unit. I have not made up my mind yet. Has anyone here got an opinion one way or the other?

Well, the real subject of the post is to see what innovative table systems you guys and gals have built around your hollow-chisel moritsers. My first project with it will be the boys bunk bed. There are going to be quite long pieces, so I at least figure I will build some extension tables.

If you have anything innovative built around your mortiser, head out to the shop, take a picture of it and post it for me. I really do need some ideas.

My plan right now is to build me a new router table and make room in the base for storing a lot of stuff. Right now I am planning on storing the mortiser in the cabinet, but that might change. I know for sure that the table will be used as a multi-tool top. It will mainly be a router table, but it will also serve as the table that I use the mortiser and my bench-top sanders on. It should be a really cool table. I just gotta get out in the shop and build it.

Thanks for the info, and have a great evening,

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

6 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4226 days

#1 posted 01-24-2008 03:24 AM

I have the Delta so I can’t say anything about the two you are looking at.

Unless you are going to be using it a lot, I would keep mine out of the way until I need it.
I would make some support blocks level with the table and keep them together.
That way when you needed it you could just pull it out, and use the support blocks to support
long pieces of wood, and then put it away after you’re done.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Alphie's profile


39 posts in 4023 days

#2 posted 01-24-2008 03:52 AM

My mortiser is a Jet and it has performed very well for me. I don’t use it constantly, but when it’s been called upon to a job, it’s worked very well. I can’t speak for the Steel City unit, or how it might compare to the Jet. I keep mine out of the way until I need to use it.

-- Tom, Michigan ~ Working with a renewable resource called wood

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4059 days

#3 posted 01-24-2008 04:03 AM

You might want to look at iannlb’s post on his Steel City jointer and drill press. This doesn’t speak very favorably about their product line. I have a Jet as well and keep it in its cabinet most of the time. I have mine mounted on a piece of 3/4” scrap hardwood that has been beveled at 45 degrees on both sides. When I need to use it I just slide it between two other strips with mating 45 bevels that are screwed to my bench top. The unit is locked down while I am using it and simply slides out when I am ready to store it until I need it again.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4638 days

#4 posted 01-24-2008 04:11 AM

I use the mortiser quite often. And right now it’s sitting on the front of the bench. I have another brand that I picked up. It’s called a Yorkcraft YC-10 It was sold by Wilke. They discontinued them and I got it for a great price. It works great. It has an X Y table so You don’t have to touch the wood to move down the mortise slot. If you can find one then buy it. It looks like Wilke went out of business.

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

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4161 days

#5 posted 01-24-2008 05:32 AM

Hi Rob, I did a comparison of a number of machines when I bought mine actually this is my second one. The first one I sold back in 2001 when I moved along with a lot of other equipment I had but that is another story and not relevant to this discussion. The mortise machine I had then and replaced is the Shop Fox W1671. The reason I like it is the ¾ HP motor which I found is more then enough power even when using it at the 8 1/2 “ capacity. I also liked the fact that you can use the pivot feature to mortise vertically the ends of things like headboard rails, table legs and you are only limited to how high you mount the machine ( I can do a 5/8” or ¾” mortise at 42” vertically in any width board) You should also invest in a hone for your chisels I had to learn that the hard way by retooling with a few new chisels because I burned two of them out discovering they were not as sharp as they should have been from the factory plus I had the bit set to high in the chisel. The thing is I never had that problem the first time I owned one in 2001 and should have known better. The W1671 goes for around $249.00 plus shipping and the hone tool can be picked up at Woodcraft for around $60.00. I have used my and found no limitations or short comings what so ever. By the way Grizzly has one, I believe it’s the G9967 and is the same machine and Shop Fox is printed right on it. I am not a big Jet fan I had one of there contractor saws with a base and it was a piece of junk right out of the box and they would not replace it plus it came with no guard. That’s my two cents hope it helps.

About the mounting: Mounting it should be permanent because of the weight. You don’t want this puppy to topple over or crash to the floor. I have two boxes I clamp to the bench on either side of the base and this serves well as support for any length stock you work with.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4228 days

#6 posted 04-16-2009 01:53 AM

Rob, Which unit did you end up purchasing? I asked because I just picked up a Steel City used….

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

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