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Fox benchtop morticer

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Steve

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Fox 5/8" Morticer

I had to wait some time for this from Rutlands (see the Rutlands Experience in Buying Advice), because, they said, the stock had sold out far quicker than they envisaged. Now that it's arrived and assembled, I can see why.
This is a very solid, precise and assured benchtop morticer that at £160, performs much better than it has a right to. The Delta, Jet and Record benchtops are put firmly in the shade: two columns and a gas strut which can be applied in a number of different positions, a big handle (that can be fixed left or right of the headstock), a very smooth action, absolutely no wobble or judder - this was certainly one of my better buys!
The 3/4hp induction motor is nice and quiet, the fence is really solid, there's a micro-adjuster that works like a dream, the fence is terrific and the whole malarkey exudes strength. It's very substantial. Steel Bristol locking handles, heavy castings, allen keys with nice big handles, a full 9 inches of head travel and the set of chisels supplied aren't the usual throwaways. Pretty good, in fact!
The whole thing rotates for over-the-end morticing, and there's a handy tray to keep the bits in too. You can get at the chuck on either side easily through a set of doors, and the chuck key is spring-loaded so there's absolutely no chance of leaving it in the chuck by mistake. (Not that I ever have done such a thing, you understand. Honest).
I thought that was a really nice touch.

So how does it perform?
Well - I tried it on a bit of 4x4 pine and it purred. Absolutely no problem at all. Clean, square and the accuracy was spot-on.
Some maple - it treated it the way it did the pine. Lastly, an offcut of beech left over from my bench-build. It cut it with ease - a real pleasure to use. All in all, it blows the competition out of the workshop. It's twice the morticer of the single column Jet (£225), and is in another league altogether when compared to the Delta and Record benchtops.
I still can't get over the fact that this was only £160.
It really is outstanding value.
This machine was designed by someone who uses benchtop morticers for people who use benchtop morticers. I can't fault it.
There's also a big brother 1" 1hp with sliding table for under £300.
If the new Fox range is going to be up to these standards, you'll be calling me Basil!
Highly recommended.

Steve
 

Alf

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Steve":3nuy2dld said:
If the new Fox range is going to be up to these standards, you'll be calling me Basil!
Boom, boom! :roll:

Sounds great, Steve. Glad it was worth the wait. :? You're putting me in a terrible quandry though. A dedicated mortiser is probably the one thing I lack at the moment, so it has to go on the possible-birthday-pressie list, alongside those L-N chisels... :shock: :? Anyone know of a good stockist? i.e. not Rutlands. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Steve i must say i have been looking at the fox morticer too , glad its arrived and working well . Alf, remind me again how many birthdays you have in 1 year :lol:
 

Alf

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Well AP, just as many as the next person - as long as the head of the next person happens to be on your loose change... :lol: Nah, just the one. Been looming rather large this year, but only a week and a bit to go now. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

Steve

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Hi Alf,

Machinery Supply Centre also sell Fox.
http://www.msctool.com - look under 'Stationary Power'. If you're doing a lot of morticing, the bigger model might be more suitable. Looks like a real beast at £290.
I used mine in anger today on some doors in hard Maple - and it lived up to my initial expectations (above). The micro adjuster is really excellent. Simplicity itself, but accurate enough to work to knifed lines.
This is the first morticer I've owned - I nip round to a pal nearby (but don't like to overdo it) or more usually, do them by hand.
The time I saved today makes me kick myself for not having got hold of one sooner!

Baz!
 
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Steve as soon as i get the roof on and electrics in the new workshop i think i will be after the beastie many thanks for the review .
Alf 1 birthday with a wish list as long as yours is hoping but i suppose your only 21 once :lol:
 

Alf

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Steve, thanks; I spotted MSC's ad in F&C. I'll have to go and see if Neil's got them in his uber thread :D No room, or probably budget, for a bigger one alas :(

AP, it's a list of possibilities don'tcha know. :p Fat chance of getting everything I would like to have, :roll: so it's a matter of seeing what I think I need, prioritising, and then getting another L-N anyway... :lol:

Cheers, Alf

21 again, I wish...
 

Noel

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Steve,

Glad you finally got the Fox and that it performs above expectations. BUT I've got to come to the defence of the Delta morticer. OK similar money but as far as I'm concerned the Delta is better designed and engineered than any single or two column model. We are talking Dovetail sliding ways here. with rack and pinion. To my mind a superior arrangement. Agree with you that the single column Jet does not look that attractive but I've never used one so can't comment. The Record is popular but again, never used one. Another sliding dovetail model to be considered is the Rexon which I've used and can recommend.. I have no doubt that the Fox is excellent but just wanted to broaden the horizon for those who maybe considering a similar purchase. Incidentially I presume the Fox runs at 3.5K odd rpm? The Delta and some others run at about 1,450 rpm but that's another debate, ie - slow V fast etc.
Lastly, another factor that often determines performance is chisel quality and sharpness. This can make or break the efficiency of a morticer.
Enjoy your new arrival.

Rgds

Noel
 
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Alf":33kq066t said:
, and then getting another L-N anyway... :lol:

Cheers, Alf
Been there, done that and now want loads more LNs and those chisels...... :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

Alf

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Thanks, Jim, that does appear to be a good price. Anyone used 'em? Didn't see them listed in Neil's uber thread.

Cheers, Alf
 

Noel

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Don't forget the VAT...

Rgds

Noel
 

Steve

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Hi Noely,
Points taken about the Delta - especially the dovetail way which makes it nice and sure, and means you can compensate for wear. The Delta was my choice until the Fox jumped over the fence.
I played with quite a few benchtops before taking the plunge, courtesy of George Higgins in Sidcup (yes - that was a plug!) - and I chose the Fox because of its sheer solidity and its amazing capacities.
After all - a morticer is about putting holes in timber, and the Fox enables you to put holes in a wider range of timber. A full 9 inches of head travel does, in my opinion, count for an awful lot! The differences between the dual column and dovetail arrangements shouldn't make any difference for some years of use. The dual columns will eventually get sloppy, whereas the dovetail can be tightened. Apart from that, I can't see any other advantage - except that I like dovetails! I won't be using it eight hours a day, so capacities won easily for me.
I'm probably the UK's last remaining Record fan, and gave the RBM75 a good looksee. The Jet is a nice tool too - any of these are a good buy IMHO.
(I looked at the Draper. Nuff sed.)
Simply put, it enables you to do more than the others at the sub £200 mark. There's plenty of room for angle jigs, appreciably more centre-to-fence room, and the micro-adjuster really does do its job.
I know it's only a few days old - but it really is knife-line accurate.
It ain't no Sedgewick - but for £150 it's a steal!

The chisels are a given of course. however, the chisels supplied aren't too bad at all. I expected to stash them away somewhere and to get some 'proper' chisels, but these are good enough for the time being. Certainly not the s*%t you usually get!
What would you recommened? Clico?

Steve
 

Noel

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Hey Steve,

I think we're both happy with our morticers and that's the best way to be -happy. I'd say the Fox is more versatile than the Delta and I imagine they both came out of the same factory in good old P R of China.
Chisels? Yup I got 4 chisels free - free of any decent steel, free of a workable edge, free of any acceptable manufacturing tolerances. But lots of free burrs and swarf. You'd have thought they were hewn from a block of pretend steel with a blunt cold chisel. You get the picture....
So, off to find a good 1/2"er of european origin. £50? No way! (the closeness of two coats of paint may come to mind..). So off to the garage to find diamond hones and rat tail files and a couple of these diamond cones, which work really well:

The Clico type of reamer and insert costs about £50........Someday I'll get good set of chisels and bits but what I have will do in the meantime.

Rgds

Noel
 

Jim

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Got the Fox today from Tool-Net, good service, ordered yesterday.
Put the machine together in about half an hour and did a few test cuts in hard and soft wood and seems to be a very good machine.
Just a few thing that could be better:
1. Fence lock works well enough but the locking handle is between the two pillars and is a bit fiddly the use.
2. More use of Bristol locks for work peice hold down and chisel lock would have been nice (I have some spares, right size thread but foul on base when tightened, so will use hex bolts) but as they supply three hex keys with a holder I suppose I can`t really complain.
Pretty poor manual, changed gas strut postition three times before I found the ideal placement.
Overall a very good machine for the price, the drill inside the chisel makes more noise than the motor and the chisels (as said previous) are of passable quality for a machine of this price, I`ll have to give it 4.9 stars out of 5.
 

Noel

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Jim,

Just to pick up on the chisel noise being louder than the motor - the Delta is the same, no matter how well you set the bit in relation to the chisel. I wonder if this is a characteristic of the tool quality even although the Fox freebies appear to be of slightly better quality?. Anybody got a morticer with European tooling? Charley?

Rgds

Noel
 

Jim

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It is reccommended to lubricate the drill (not the chisel) with some beeswax, wether this will reduce noise I don`t know but will probably reduce wear on both parts, but I will try and see
 
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