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mortise machine capacity

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  • mortise machine capacity

    Hi All I'm new to the forums and have a question about a tool purchase.
    I'm thinking about purchasing a mortise machine and was wondering the max. height of wood that can be used with one. Ive been asked to build a arched slat bed and the rails are 7" tall. Will a 7" piece fit into the average machine standing up? Any advice would be greatly aprreciated. Any recomendations with brand?

  • #2
    Re: mortise machine capacity

    I have the JET mortising machine and I don't think it would come close to 7". In fact, I barely ever use it!

    You might want to take a look at this ( ) and perhaps consider building your own similar mortising jig specifically for this project. A router would make quick work of what you want to do with no consideration for the rail height, and since they're not through mortises who cares if they're round or square ends?

    I have one. I like it. Used it last week to bore 8 mortises in some maple legs for a workbench. Once the centered-setting is dialed in, takes literally 1 minute per mortise... Wish I had waited and bought the 3" version.


    • #3
      Re: mortise machine capacity

      I was in the market for a mortising machine not that long ago and decided to pass on buying one, for the time being at least. For the projects that I had intended to use it for, I decided that I could get away with using a doweled joint instead of a M&T one. I ended up getting this one from Woodcraft. I don't know if this will work out for your application but at less than 1/3 the cost of the mortisepal it's an alternative to consider.
      I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


      • #4
        Re: mortise machine capacity

        If you have a drill press, you can get a mortising attachment for it for less than $100 (the Delta is about $80). If your need for mortising is light this may be the best way to go. You can adjust the table height up/down to accommodate most any size board. The chisels are the same as used on dedicated mortising machines so no loss there is you decide later to get a dedicated machine. The one thing you need to check is the diameter of the quill where the attachment connects to your DP. The Delta comes with a couple adapters for different size quills.

        I bought a Delta mortising attachment a couple years ago and used ti on my 25+ year old Craftsman DP. The quill adapters supplied by Delta did not fit my DP, so I got a piece of brass shim stock (thickness determined by measuring the OD of my quill and the ID of the mortising attachment) and cutting a strip that would fit between the DP quill and mortiser. It worked well and I never had a problem with it such as slippage or misalignment. I only mention this to point out that you can overcome the problem of not having an adapter that fits your DP exactly if that should happen to be the case.

        As far as the MortisePal goes, I do not own one nor have I used one but looking at their website and taking the price into consideration I have to say that for $199 I could find a decent dedicated mortiser. Everything that the MortisePal does can be done with a could jigs for the router. I'd spend $20 for Pat Warner's router book and build one of his jigs for mortising before spending $199 on the MortisePal.
        Last edited by Bob D.; 12-31-2008, 10:06 AM. Reason: added llink to Pat's book
        "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006


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