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  • dedicated mortise machine

    I find myself doing a lot of mortise and tenon joints lately (mostly for coffee tables, end tables, etc). Currently I am cutting them by hand, with a drill press and chisel set.

    I was considering getting a dedicated mortise machine. A bench top model would suffice, perhaps the Delta 14-651 (1/2 hp).

    Does anyone have a dedicated mortise machine and can offer an opinion?

  • #2
    Re: dedicated mortise machine

    I do not have one but want one, be fun to see what people say,
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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    • #3
      Re: dedicated mortise machine

      I also don't have one and even though I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night I thought this jig was kinda cool.

      Awhile back I considered buying one but the small amount of M&T joinery I do I really couldn't justify getting one. When I was looking though the two benchtops that I liked the best were the Powermatic and the Steel City.
      Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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      • #4
        Re: dedicated mortise machine

        I went with the PowerMatic PM 701. A little more money than some of the other benchtops (+/- $100 difference), but for the extra money you get a 3/4 HP motor, larger table and fence, better hold down and clamping design etc.

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        • #5
          Re: dedicated mortise machine

          I agree with Tomapple. I bought the Steel City shortly after it was released and picked it over the PowerMatic based on price. I really wish I had spent the extra money on the PM.

          I don't care for the depth stop on the Steel City. I find it hard to set and since it is off center from the bit, it seems to cause a bit of deflection at the stop point.

          The SC fence adjustment is not as easy to use or as accurate as the PM. I also like the PM's hold down much better. Also, the PM (I think) is completely tool-free.

          Over all, I think the PM is a much better choice.

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          • #6
            Re: dedicated mortise machine

            I don't do enough M&T joinery to justify one for myself, but the current issue of Woodworker's Journal mag did a test of 7 mortisers and the Shop Fox W1671 came out on top...and was the cheapest of the bunch they tested. Good luck, Mike

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            • #7
              Re: dedicated mortise machine

              i have the delta and it's done whatever i've asked it to do. i use it a lot for making slots for jigs. easy to use and reliable. got it on CL as part of a larger purchase as discussed in this thread:

              http://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=27452

              whatever you do, don't get the powermatic or a jet. they are brands of the walter meier tool group which has a reputation for tools that are long on promise, short on delivery and relatively high priced making them a poor value. not to mention their decidedly average technical support staff.
              there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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              • #8
                Re: dedicated mortise machine

                For the few mortises I do, I've found the HF Central Machinery unit to be well worth the $100 asking price. The hold down devices isn't too good but it drills square holes pretty nicely.

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                • #9
                  Re: dedicated mortise machine

                  I had the delta for years and it worked great. I would purchase it again (and will someday) No complaints.

                  Red
                  Red

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                  • #10
                    Re: dedicated mortise machine

                    I have the PM701 and picked it for its features over others. I felt the added expense was worth it in this case.

                    One of the WWing Mags just did an article on them. It should be one the newstand right now, look for it.
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
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                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
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                    • #11
                      Re: dedicated mortise machine

                      If you have a plunge router a solid carbide upcut spiral bit is a good option for fast clean mortises (can be used for the tenons as well).
                      After the cut you can either square the mortise corners with a chisel in about 1 min or you can chamfer the edges of the tenon slightly to fit the rounded edges of the mortise
                      The Freud 75-308 will cut a 1/2" X 2" hole, they also have other double cut bits for melamine etc

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                      • #12
                        Re: dedicated mortise machine

                        Well, I went ahead and bought the delta 14-651. Put it together, and did a few test cuts in maple. Must say, it did a great job.

                        I decided to build a coffee table as a project to give it a real try. Off to the lumber yard to buy some rough stock.

                        In the shop, surfacing the first side on my jointer (delta 37-275x) and the damn thing quits! I think the motor is burnt out. I went to turn it on and the switch stuck, then it just quit. Dead. Im not an electrician, but I put a pen light tester (one of those that beeps and turns red when power is present) on the power cable and it cuts in and out when i turn the jointer's power switch on and off. So, I guess its the motor.

                        There is no reset button on the motor, and it's still under warranty. So now I have to wait until monday before I can even get an idea of how long it will take to repair. Very dissapointing. I was planning on being in the shop all day tomorrow.

                        I own 3 major Delta machines, so I guess I'll find out how the warranty service is.

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                        • #13
                          Re: dedicated mortise machine

                          Woodworkers Journal has the mortiser review in the August 2010 issue.

                          Her's a short video on setting up and using one, which looks like a Jet machine. I can tell you from watching the video whatever machine this is I would not buy it.

                          Why? Because the controls are crap. Look at the excuse for a knob on the work hold down, that thing will be a PITA every time you use it until it breaks. I also don't like the fence system, very awkard to set and lock it looks like to me. No work holder on the front side or the workpiece. How about the gyrations he goes through trying to set the chisel up. He has to grab a screwdriver to lock it down. How long do you think that will last?

                          Compare to the PM701, which I believe the only reason it did not take the top spot in their review was because of price.

                          http://webapps.easy2.com/cm2/flash/g...vid_refer=5061


                          Sorry to hear your planer to a dump on you. Nothing more frustrating than having something break down right when you are ready to go useit.
                          Last edited by Bob D.; 07-10-2010, 10:38 PM.
                          ---------------
                          Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                          ---------------
                          “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                          ---------
                          "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                          ---------
                          sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

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