Mortiser Machine Help

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Forum topic by AJswoodshop posted 08-28-2012 12:14 AM 1760 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2300 days

08-28-2012 12:14 AM

I love making chairs, and other woodworking projects. One of my favorite joints are mortise, and tenon. But the mortises can be cut many different ways. You can use a drill press with the right size bit, and use a chisel to make it square. Or buy a mortising machine, I’m having trouble picking a mortising machine out thou. The Woodriver mortiser looks really nice, but Im not sure about it. The jet mortiser has a lot of good reviews about it too. So which one would you guys pick?

Please leave a comment below,

15 replies so far

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3219 days

#1 posted 08-28-2012 12:17 AM


We have the Woodriver and it works very well. We can recomend it. It is same as the Steel City.

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2300 days

#2 posted 08-28-2012 12:50 AM

Thanks! I haven’t looked at the steel city one yet, thanks for the comment!


View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 08-28-2012 12:57 AM

I’ve owned a Delta and a Laguna tilting head I would recommend the the delta. You might also look at shop fox and Grizzly.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2859 days

#4 posted 08-28-2012 01:49 AM

I picked the delta after looking at the reviews in 2 different magazines, it wasn’t the best but the two that made the best in both were a lot more money and it received favorable reviews overall from both tests as being a solid value and sturdy. The only thing with it is take the plastic bit holder that screws to the back and put it somewhere far from the mortiser, the thing is a really bad idea. I went to add in the riser block one time which involves removing the 4 bolts that hold it too the table at which point the mortiser immediately tipped over and in my impulse grab to stop it I put a mortise chisel into the palm of my hand. Never dawned on me I wouldn’t be safe with them in their holder or that the machine is so forward heavy that it would tip that fast once unbolted. I’ve also scraped my hand on them reaching back to get one out because they’re so clumped together and high up being on the tool. Just keep the chisels in a box or a roll.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2699 days

#5 posted 08-28-2012 01:54 AM

I have a Delta. Only one I have owned and it makes me happy. About all I can say about it. Look at CPO. they sell tools that have been refurbished but are like new and Mine works well.

View oldnovice's profile


6896 posts in 3392 days

#6 posted 08-28-2012 03:09 AM

I have a Jet for sale. It was only used by a limitless old lady every sixth Saturday of the month!

Honestly, I want to sell my Jet mortise machine. It needs at least one new chisel, there are three total. I don’t use it enough to have it take up space in my shop/garage!

Let me know if you are interested and I can post some pictures!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2489 days

#7 posted 08-28-2012 10:21 AM

Wood magazine recently did a comparison. Grizzly was the best value and powermatic highest rated (and most expensive). Each had its pro’s and cons.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View jmos's profile


839 posts in 2393 days

#8 posted 08-28-2012 11:43 AM

I’ve got the Delta, and it works fine. I think work holding is an issue with all the benchtop machines; I’d love to have a floor model, but can’t justify the expense.

Another option to consider is a horizontal slot mortiser. You don’t need special bits and it’s faster to cut mortises, but you have to square up the corners or round the tenon. There are a bunch or build you own plans out there like this one

-- John

View bondogaposis's profile


4759 posts in 2375 days

#9 posted 08-28-2012 01:31 PM

Mortises can be also made w/ router, that is what I use.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View WoodworkingGeek's profile


181 posts in 2716 days

#10 posted 08-28-2012 02:03 PM

I have an old delta mortiser, the one that Norm uses on the new yankee work shop.
It works great! I got it on ebay for $60.00 If you can find one, its worth it.

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2300 days

#11 posted 08-28-2012 02:06 PM

Thanks guys for the information, the grizzly and delta sound really good too. Thanks!


View BilltheDiver's profile


255 posts in 2909 days

#12 posted 08-28-2012 04:14 PM

I found a Delta in great condition on Craigslist. If I were buying new I would strongly consider the Shop Fox also. It has more power than most benchtops.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

View geauxtiger's profile


17 posts in 2619 days

#13 posted 08-28-2012 04:18 PM

Shop Fox has worked well for me. No exposure to others.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2717 days

#14 posted 08-28-2012 04:21 PM

I’ve got the JET but I almost never use it. I liked the Powermatic much more but I felt like I couldn’t justify the price. Turns out I couldn’t, right? I found it to be a quality machine for a cheap price but the stock chisels are junk. I used them to play around, then bought some good ones for real work. I’ve heard good things about the Delta.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2300 days

#15 posted 08-28-2012 06:23 PM

Bertha-Yeah I know, for a mortising machine $470 is way to much for me. The most I want to spend is about $350. Thanks for the comments guys!


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