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Forum topic by john2005 posted 07-24-2014 04:03 AM 920 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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john2005

952 posts in 831 days


07-24-2014 04:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mortiser hollow chisel

So I have been giving a little thought to a benchtop mortis machine. The primary reason is that i am terribly slow when I do them by hand and don’t always get the results I desire. When doing a lot, I set up the cheapy Grizzly attachment on the drill press, but that thing is so finicky its hardly worth it. On a big job like the closet I did a couple years back it was worth having. It took awhile to set up but then I was able to crank out roughly a hundred 1/4” mortises. Something that would have taken an eternity with hand tools even with the alder I was using. For just a few, it is nothing but a source of frustration.

All that said, who has experience with what? What do you like, not like? If you tell me you like everything about it, I might call you a liar. Just sayin. Nothing’s perfect, but obviously some are better than others.

Currently looking at the powermatic and the general 040. I don’t like the price of either, but they seem to be better. FW mag put the Wood River up there, but I don’t have any experience with their equipment of any sort so no idea what to think there. Thoughts?

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.


30 replies so far

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

3040 posts in 493 days


#1 posted 07-24-2014 06:32 AM

John, I looked at these a while back and found some factory reconditioned models for a substantial discount. A quick search now came up empty though. Just an option you may want to consider.

-- God bless, Candy

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

1699 posts in 857 days


#2 posted 07-24-2014 07:17 AM

Have a look at the woodwhisperers site he did a comparative review on about 3 machines from memory

His video is very detailed and well presented, typical !! Worth a look !!

-- Regards Robert

View RodNGun's profile

RodNGun

118 posts in 957 days


#3 posted 07-24-2014 10:52 AM

I have the PM. It’s a nice machine and I thought priced fairly. The chisels strike me as expensive though. Since I got my domino, the machine has sat idle, not used once.

View john2005's profile

john2005

952 posts in 831 days


#4 posted 07-24-2014 02:01 PM

Thanks all. Solid feedback.
Candy, I have been keeping an eye out for used but never thought of recon. Thanks for the tip.

Definitly going to have to look up the wood whisperer vid. I agree, he usuall has good info.

I noticed that about the PM chisels. I suppose a guy could run other chisels though?

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

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timbertailor

553 posts in 77 days


#5 posted 07-24-2014 02:03 PM

I own a Jet Mortiser. It cuts nice, clean holes and is very easy to use. My complaint is the fence system. Not just on the Jet, but almost all of the less expensive models for hobbyists.

I suggest adding an x y vise, like I have in this photo. Makes using a mortiser a real pleasure to use, especially if most of your work is face frames. It is not expensive but it does take a little of your time to build.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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john2005

952 posts in 831 days


#6 posted 07-24-2014 06:24 PM

Brad, that is trick! That opens up the options quite a bit!

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

1316 posts in 910 days


#7 posted 07-25-2014 12:28 AM

I, also, have a Jet. If you lived closer I would give you a real deal on it and the chisels. :) IMO the hold down leaves a LOT to be desired. I have replaced it with a MortisePal which I really like. It is accurate, fast and easy. I make a lot of mortises as well.

-- Art

View giser3546's profile

giser3546

111 posts in 126 days


#8 posted 07-25-2014 03:10 AM

I use forstner bits to drill overlapping holes and then use mu chisels to square it off. Its not too quick but its faster than my hand tool methods.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5299 posts in 1251 days


#9 posted 07-25-2014 03:14 AM

I have the Craftsman version. Only Craftsman WW tool I own. I know I got it on a sale, can’t recall how much I paid. But not much. It does what it is supposed to. The chisels are questionable, but I really don’t use it too often. So it has been fine given the investment.

View john2005's profile

john2005

952 posts in 831 days


#10 posted 07-25-2014 03:58 AM

Solo…just how far away are you Art?

That’s one of my current methods as well giser. I find it to be faster than other methods, but still slow for those time when you have to crank out a bunch.

I didnt know craftsman made one Shane. Will have to look at that. Thx

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3360 posts in 1466 days


#11 posted 07-25-2014 04:03 AM

I have the Delta, and I use it on every project. The hold down leaves something to be desired, but it will make accurate mortises, and tons of them. I have broken a few parts on it, but parts were available.
I make arts and crafts furniture with real through tenons, so a Domino or doweling jig wouldn’t work for me. Honestly I can’t imagine woodworking without one.
If I bought another benchtop I would consider the Powermatic, the General, or the Woodriver. The roller wheels look helpful with holding the workpiece against the fence (the Delta does not have this feature).

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View john2005's profile

john2005

952 posts in 831 days


#12 posted 07-25-2014 01:49 PM

Thanks PintoD. You hit a couple of my concerns on the head. First the hold down. The one on my drillress attachment leaves plenty to be desired. And secondly I also do just enough through tenons that a domino wouldn’t work. I have a doweleing jig, but as you point out, it doesn’t help with a lot of joints.

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View giser3546's profile

giser3546

111 posts in 126 days


#13 posted 07-25-2014 02:10 PM

When I have to do several I sometimes use the forstner bits then use a mortiser chisel and a malet instead of the regular chisels.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

View Sunstealer73's profile

Sunstealer73

42 posts in 746 days


#14 posted 07-25-2014 03:54 PM

I also recently purchased the Delta. It works great, but as mentioned the hold-down is a little hard to use. If you get it tight enough to hold the wood, you can’t slide the wood for the next plunge. If you leave it loose, the chisel tries to pull the wood up off the table when you pull it up. I think the models with the sliding table/hold-down would definitely work better, but they are much more expensive in most cases. I’m happy with it, especially for the price.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1377 posts in 837 days


#15 posted 07-25-2014 04:15 PM

I’ve tossed around the idea of a mortiser if I start making more furniture, and it really seems like unless you’ve got the cash and space for a standalone one, getting a used Delta/Jet/Woodriver and modding it with an X-Y table a la timbertailor is the way to go.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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