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Adjusting Delta mortising machine fence

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Forum topic by patchencindy posted 195 days ago 844 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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patchencindy

32 posts in 510 days


195 days ago

Hope I’m putting this question in the right category. I just bought a (slightly) used Delta 14-650 hollow chisel mortiser. So far, I’ve been able to make all but one adjustment. The one I haven’t figured out has to do with the fence. As the tool is now, the fence is hiked up maybe 1/2-3/4” above the base platform. That means the hold-down piece doesn’t make contact with, let alone keep in place, a 2-by. From what I’ve read, I’ll probably have to use clamps or another mechanism beyond the hold-down to keep lumber in place, but I’d like the hold-down to do at least some of the work. Does anyone know how to adjust the fence up and down? Thanks for any recommendations!


23 replies so far

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Purrmaster

773 posts in 596 days


#1 posted 195 days ago

I can’t tell you how to vertically adjust the fence but I have the Delta 14-651 and I can tell you that the hold down barely does any holding down. I think that may just be a problem with these Delta mortisers.

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patchencindy

32 posts in 510 days


#2 posted 195 days ago

Thanks, Purrmaster. I hope you’re wrong … but I’ll bet you’re right. Cindy

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Purrmaster

773 posts in 596 days


#3 posted 195 days ago

I hope I’m wrong too.

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tefinn

1171 posts in 940 days


#4 posted 195 days ago

Cindy, as Purrmaster noted, you can’t move the fence up or down. When I had my Delta, I put a 1” riser on the bed to raise the work up so the hold down would make contact. You will still need some kind of outboard clamping to help.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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Purrmaster

773 posts in 596 days


#5 posted 195 days ago

His model is different from mine so it may be possible to change the fence vertically. I’ll look for a manual. I know mine has a column extension you can put on to increase the height of the drill bit/chisel. I used it for a while and the hold down didn’t work any better that way.

The problem is that the hold down just clamp down enough. As soon as I tighten the hold down it jumps up a few millimeters. Which is enough to make the hold down nearly useless.

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tefinn

1171 posts in 940 days


#6 posted 195 days ago

I looked up the 14-651, you have a split type fence on yours so you can lower the hold down almost to the bed. The 14-650 has a solid fence so if the work isn’t tall enough, the hold down hits the fence before clamping down on the wood. The bottom of the fence also has a large gap between it and the table, supposedly for chip clearance. If the table is made higher with a riser, you lose this gap but it makes the hold down more usable. I didn’t even fix the riser to the table, just set a surfaced board on it, then the work on top of it. This is the main reason I got rid of my 14-650.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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Purrmaster

773 posts in 596 days


#7 posted 195 days ago

The hold down is my only real disappointment with my 14-651. I have to hold the boards down by hand or find something way of clamping it, both of which are annoying. Well, that and the 1/2 inch chisel leaves somewhat poorly defined sides. But heck, the thing is a 1/2 HP benchtop machine. There’s only so much I can ask from it.

I found a manual for your mortiser:

www.mikestools.com/.../DeltaDrill…Manuals/Delta14-650.pdf

I don’t see anything in there about being able to adjust the fence vertically. Sorry. Your hold down looks very similar to my hold down. Does your do the same thing when you tighten it? Creep up just enough to not hold down the wood?

View woodenwarrior's profile

woodenwarrior

131 posts in 697 days


#8 posted 195 days ago

I don’t have the Delta mortiser, but I do have the Shopfox. One thing I’ve noticed in general is the lack of good support or extremely finicky fence/hold down adjustment for the piece while mortising. I don’t know whether this is endemic to all mortisers save the really expensive production type. I have been designing in my head an auxiliary base and fence system that incorporates a wider and longer base with a press screw type hold down like those seen on the bigger models. I’m sorry that I have nothing more than my own idea descriptions to go on but I think you get the point. I believe there are plans in a Shop Notes magazine to make a really coolio auxiliary fence system for a mortiser. The reference to them is on this site “somewhere”. When I finally do get around to making this, I will share it.

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

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Purrmaster

773 posts in 596 days


#9 posted 194 days ago

I think you’re right about about mortisers and hold downs. My cousin has one of the freestanding high powered production machines and I don’t think he has problems with his hold down. Of course I think the thing cost him over a grand.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3428 posts in 2166 days


#10 posted 194 days ago

Hold-downs, IMHO, are problematic for most benchtop mortisers.

I have a Jet JBM5 that would be a great machine if the hold-down was worth a tinker’s darn.

Some woodworkers have retrofitted a cross-slide vise on their mortisers which addresses the fence and hold-down problem … it is on my list of things to do … someday.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View David Dean's profile

David Dean

452 posts in 1402 days


#11 posted 194 days ago

patchencindy do you have this mortiser.

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patchencindy

32 posts in 510 days


#12 posted 193 days ago

Yep, David, I believe that looks just like mine. Mine doesn’t creep up, Purrmaster: it doesn’t come close enough to the lumber to even think about creeping! It sounds like the consensus is that the hold-down is never gonna be worth a flip. And since I just shot my wad (and then some) on a new Sawstop, guess I won’t be looking at a floor-model mortiser in the next decade. Instead, I will do what you suggested, tefinn, that is, stick a 1-by on the table/under the fence. At least I’ll have a little holding power from the hold-down. Beyond that, excellent suggestions, woodwarrior and TheDane: I’ll definitely explore the possibility of building an auxiliary fence and the cross-slide vice. Just got to finish my outfeed table first. It won’t compare to any of the gorgeous tables I’ve seen posted here, but it should be functional. Thanks much, all. You guys are awesome.

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Rick Dennington

3253 posts in 1697 days


#13 posted 193 days ago

I have the older Delta mortiser, which is about 6-7 years old…..Don’t remember the number right off hand, but I replaced the original table with one that I got from Rockler a few years back…...It came with a fence that you retro-fit to the existing fence, which is higher, and the table has rollers that slide back and forth in miter tracks to hold the work tighter to the fence, and you can lock them down….tighter, or looser…...Don’t know if Rockler still sells these, but it made a big difference in how the machine works, as far as holding material down, and aganist the fence…....Here’s a couple of pictures of mine….....

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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TheDane

3428 posts in 2166 days


#14 posted 193 days ago

Rick Dennington—I have the same table: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1100

Sadly, Rockler has apparently discontinued it.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Rick Dennington

3253 posts in 1697 days


#15 posted 193 days ago

Thanks, Gerry….I didn’t know if they still carried it or not….It’s too bad when something works, and they discontinue it…..I’ve had good luck with mine…Gald I bought it when I did…bet you are too…...!!!!!

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

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