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Thread: Need an opinion on the Harbor Freight mortiser...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940

    Question Need an opinion on the Harbor Freight mortiser...

    Hi folks,

    It looks like I'm probably going to be getting into doing quite a bit of arts & crafts/mission style building soon. That being the case, a mortiser is going to be a must! Harbor Freight sells one for $200 but it's on sale for $180. I just checked CL and there's one not too far from me that looks to be in excellent condition and the guy only wants $80 for it. I sent him an email saying the if it's still available, I'll take it.

    Anyone here ever used one? If so, how did you like it? I know it's not going to be as good as a Delta or a Jet, but it should be fine for me to get started with. Any input is appreciated.

    Thanks!

    John
    Last edited by John Pollman; 02-15-2013 at 11:51 PM.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,475
    john you could just use your drill press and use the attachment that is available but maybe that would cost as much as the HF one your looking at..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    That's what I was thinking too, but I bet a drill press attachment will be more than $80. Besides, with a dedicated mortiser, it will be set up and ready whenever I need it.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
    Posts
    17,475
    remeber to get some hones for the mortis bits.. the square part john.. lee valley sells them and probally woodcraft.. those square bits need to be sharp..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    Yep,
    being that most arts & crafts is done in Oak.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Syracuse, Nebraska
    Posts
    669
    Looks like a knock off of the Delta. Spend some time honing the outside of the chisels and get a cone shaped hone for the inside,

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...3&site=ROCKLER

    and you should be off to a good start. Several you tube vids available on set up and care of these machines.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Rochester Hills, MI
    Posts
    940
    Looks like a good plan Roger. Thanks!
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    falcon heights, minnesota
    Posts
    5,610
    i had a jet until i wore it out, then bought one from grizzly. both are good machines.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,606
    Don Baer bought one of the HF mortisers for a big job he had for a church awhile back. He said that he had good luck with it. I have a Delta that I bought brand new on CL for very cheap money. I really like it.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    I'd suggest taking some of the money you're saving and investing in good-quality mortising bits. Even freshly honed, I suspect the HF bits will be sub-par. I know the bits that came with my Shop Fox mortiser weren't nearly as good as some aftermarket ones I bought elsewhere. (Unfortunately, I don't remember where I bought the better bits...hopefully someone else can chime in.)
    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

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