Mortiser

windknot

New User
Scott
I am in the market for a mortising machine. I see a couple Jets on CL but before I go that route thought I would check in with everyone to see if anyone has one they are wanting to get rid of or has a recommendation on which machine I should be looking at.
 

Phil S

Phil Soper
Corporate Member
DQ
I have a Steelex ST1005 with many extras. Floor model, great shape, little use $300
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
I have a dedicated steel city mortiser. I use it occasionally but after investing in a Festool Domino, the use level is even less.

The laying out of a mortise is 75% of the work. Once laid out, I can use a chisel to cut the mart ice in very little time. It actually takes less time than setting up the mortiser. The actual cuts with the mortiser are fast but I have never been good enough to not require cleanup with a chisel.

I generally use mortiser and tennon joints very little. If I were building a lot of Shaker style pieces with large numbers of identical joints, the mortiser may make more sense.
 

windknot

New User
Scott
Looks in good shape Phil. Are you satisfied with the movement on the XY table? Whats your schedule like this week?
 

FlyingRon

Board of Directors, Webmaster
Ron
Staff member
Corporate Member
DQ
I bought a shopfox mortiser that was on sale a few years back. It seems to work adequately though I can't say I've used it much.
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Senior User
If one has to clean up a mortise after the machine, I'd settle for overlapping forstner bit holes and a chisel. It would be cheaper.......
 

ehpoole

Ethan
Corporate Member
DQ
If one has to clean up a mortise after the machine, I'd settle for overlapping forstner bit holes and a chisel. It would be cheaper.......
If done properly, one should only have cleanup to do if for whatever reason you needed more mortise depth than the mortiser chisels can deliver. There is a region at the bottom of a mortise that is uneven because there is a region covered by the outside corners of the square chisel and another by the auger style bit and center of each chisel side that clears out the chips and center that results in an uneven bottom. But ordinarily you have enough excess depth to ignore that final 1/8” to 3/16” that is not flat bottomed.
 

Mike Davis

Board of Directors, President
Mike
Corporate Member
DQ
nearly 40 years ago i cut 800 mortises in small wheel hubs with a Rockwell drill mortise attachment. Did them all in a few days. No extra clean up.

I've used a few other mortise machines since then, have a Delta now, never any extra cleanup.

You would probably have a lot of clean up if your fence moved a lot, otherwise no need for it.
 

Charlie Buchanan

Charlie
Corporate Member
DQ
I’m a fan of hollow chisel mortisers. Very happy with my bench top Jet, but if I were making lots of mortises I’d go for a floor model with moving table. The key to accuracy is a sharp hollow chisel that is perfectly aligned with the fence. Then you only have to clean up the bottom of your mortise if you think someone might look in there and discover you used a hollow chisel mortiser rather than a pig sticker. Even through mortises are clean if you take the trouble to lock down your fence and use the same reference face for both sides.
 

TENdriver

TENdriver
User
I have a Powermatic mortiser that I bought along with a set of Japanese chisels. Mine isn’t the floor model, but Phil’s Steelex has the X Y table and hold downs that I would like to try. They would be an improvement over my Powermatic.

As for “cleaning up” the mortise, I only had that happen when the chisel wasn’t adjusted properly. It’s really a straight forward tool that’s been around for probably more than a 150 years and makes an effective joint that’s been around for thousands of years.
 

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