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Thread: Might need a Bench Top Mortiser.....???

  1. #1
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    Might need a Bench Top Mortiser.....???

    OK, things might just turn on the chair job to a whole new contract to build eight new chairs. To do this job I'd need a mortising machine, I only have room for bench-top model, I'd love to get some recommendations or point me to some online reviews (I'll be Googling form now)

    Shipping will not be cheap, but that is life in Japan so a few bucks more for a better machine is not a problem.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    Last reviews I read, the General benchtop mortiser was pretty much the top dog. Very substantial table, and the tilting capability might be handy.

    I have the Shop Fox benchtop and have been happy with it, but it's not as robust as the General. It has plenty of power, but the table and its adjustments aren't stout or as precise as the General model.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Yeah, that General unit does seem to come out on top, the other one I'm seeing that is nearly as good, is the Woodtek 138-224 unit.

    The difference in price I'm seeing is about $120

    I wonder what shipping will be
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    I think the extra $120 buys you a much better table and clamping system, as well as the tilting feature, which may or may not be worthwhile. The General is 236 pounds and the Woodtek shipping weight is 85 pounds. Heck, that's an extra $120 worth of steel and iron right there.

    The Woodtek looks pretty similar to my Shop Fox, but with an extra 1/4 HP and a bit better clamping system.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Yeah the buying price of the General unit does not put me off, but the shipping price certainly could, also I might need this kind of soon, so having to find a shop that would sell me the general unit and ship it, might take too long, the Woodtek unit, well Woodworkers Supply will ship it tomorrow
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Woodworker Supply is saying about $150 all in to ship it, that would be 2-day air, not bad for the Woodtek machine
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  7. #7
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    Considering your limited space, do you think a good router jig would work better? The homemade one in Carols book is pretty nice looking or the leigh jig. Never used either jig, but I do have the powermatic mortiser and have done a lot of router cut mortises before with more crude jigs I made.

    The hollow chisel is nice and fast, easy to use, but I get better results with the router. The edges are just more consistant along the mortise. I imagine the big drawback on router would be limited depth of cut.

  8. #8
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    I did loose tenons on my Garage doors due to the size of the pieces and I have to say I was impressed. with a good fit which I know you would have no problem creating, everything I read say says they are extremely strong. Doors have been up 4+ years now and not a single problem. Might be something to consider.

    I love mortise and tenon and the challenge of making good joints, but this is a viable option.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


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  9. #9
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    Jeb I think I'm now leaning more towards the Leigh FMT, sure does look like a great unit, and I got a call from Alex, our in house guitar builder, and he has the FMT and recommends it, he had a bench top Mortiser and it wore out with use. He agrees that your observation about smoother cuts are had with the router, and they are also more consistent. The shipping should be cheaper too!

    Well, I'll find out what is up in the next half hour or so.

    Fingers crossed, I'd love to get the new job...... I think....

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
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    The Mortise Pal has done all but my visible or decorative M&T work for a few years and would fit in the dungeon better than even the smallest BT Mortiser. I does not handle mortises into flat surfaces like the rear edge of a chair however ;-) When I was shopping for benchtop mortisers, the General was my choice. The space and meeting 95% of my needs lead to the Mortise Pal.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 07-30-2011 at 11:28 PM.
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