Mortiser - a one trick pony?

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Forum topic by pashley posted 07-01-2008 01:48 PM 1425 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View pashley's profile


1044 posts in 3954 days

07-01-2008 01:48 PM

Topic tags/keywords: mortiser

I’m strongly considering getting a benchtop mortiser, specifically the Steel City 25200.

I think I know the answer to this question, but are mortisers just one-trick ponies? Or, can they be used for something other than making square holes?

Also, do you use yours very much? Was it worth buying?

-- Have a blessed day!

6 replies so far

View Hrolfr's profile


174 posts in 3902 days

#1 posted 07-01-2008 04:32 PM

I have a Jet benchtop mortiser and it gets a fair amount of use but then a mortse and tenon joint is used alot in the viking stuff I like to make for my re-enacting. Before I bought a bandsaw I used it to make the corner of the lap joints in the viking chests on my projects page.

So for me it was worth buying and I like using it. I guess it depends …. how many mortises do you plan on makeing?

-- Hrolfr

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4175 days

#2 posted 07-01-2008 04:36 PM

Yeah, a mortising machine is pretty much single use, but I know I use mine a lot. To my way of thinking, you can’t have a better dedicated machine.

-- Working at Woodworking

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4227 days

#3 posted 07-01-2008 06:08 PM

I make mortises (is that right?) with my WoodRat. It cost quite a bit more than a benchtop mortiser but it can also replace a lot of other tool needs. I guess it does depend on how often you actually end up using it (not just plan on using it). Kind of like the fish you catch from your fishing boat. If you don’t catch a lot of fish, the cost per pound of fish you eat can get astronomical! LOL…

Good luck,

-- Jim

View Betsy's profile


3392 posts in 4132 days

#4 posted 07-01-2008 07:37 PM

I use mine a fair bit at an angle to make decorative holes on boxes and such. So it is a one-trick pont in most ways – but ponies can be ridden sideisaddle. :- )

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4406 days

#5 posted 07-01-2008 08:42 PM

But it’s a really good trick!

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Sac's profile


268 posts in 3870 days

#6 posted 07-01-2008 08:55 PM

Here is the option I have chosen and will be ordering this 575 on Thursday. I emailed WoodHaven and the president of the company had this reply:


The 575 will do most mortising operations connected with furniture making. Mortises for interior or exterior doors could tax it too much. We prefer to make double mortises and use floating tenons as it faster, but just as strong, as a mortise and tenon. However you can make the tenons on the 576 or 578 if you like. You don’t have to use the 575 mortising table to cut tenons (although it does provide great clamping power), just a miter gauge will do. Of course you’ll have to round the edges of the tenon, or square the shoulders of the mortise, if you use this method. The 578HD is designed for holding stock against the table/plate when cutting moldings, etc. It’s not used for mortise or tenon work. The difference between the 576K and the 578K is that on the 578K the router mounts square to the router plate and is horizontal to the table – period. With the 576K you can tilt the router bit up to 45º up or down, but this has no value for mortise or tenon work. Let me know if you have more questions.


501 W 1st Ave
Durant , IA

Woodhaven, Inc

Bradley R Witt
President 1-800-344-6657

Hope this helps some.

-- Jerry

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