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PJ

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Hi all,
I've been thinking about buying a morticer for some time now but do not know if it will better/quicken than how I make them at present using a horizontal router table with a 1/2" solid carbide slot drill. I get very clean mortices but have to square out the ends. So really I am asking if a morticer will do the job to the same quality as the router table and will it take less time?
Mostly morticing oaks and maple.
Would appreciate your views and recommendations.

PJ
 

Chris Knight

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PJ,

A morticer will not cut as cleanly as a router. If all you are bothered with is square ends, why not leave them round and knock the corners off your tenons with a rasp or chisel?

Alternatively, use loose tenons. They are simpler, quicker and they save wood!

Timewise there is probably not a lot in it.

Oak and maple particularly can be very hard and you need a surprising amount of effort on a mortiser for these woods. You also have to maintain the chisels which are a bit of a pain to sharpen compared with a quick honing of a router bit.
 

Aragorn

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I agree with Chris (as I often do!).
I think if you are used to the speed, accuracy and quality of router-made mortices, you will be disappointed with morticer-made ones.

Don't get me wrong - they are fine, and work as well. I find the setup time is longer to precisely place the mortice and it can be hard work ploughing through tough woods.

On the other side - you will be able to make deeper mortices on the morticer and so potentially have greater flexibility when doing through tenons for example. Also, a morticer will take up to a ¾" chisel (or even 1") should the need arise.

I used to put off using M&Ts if I could use another joint because of the hassle in making them, up until I started using router-made M&Ts (Leigh FMT) and have found that because of the precision and speed I now choose to use M&Ts where they aren't (strickly speaking) necessary.

What? Me? Obsessed? Come on - look who's talking!
 

devonwoody

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I note you state that you use a router table to make your mortises, Do you use a jig?

I make my mortises using the router hand held with a very simple jig setup.
 

Bean

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I've tried a mortiser(wadkin) on Oak and found it to be hard work, and I have changed back to using a router bit in my bench drill and rounding off the tenons. I have also been known to drill them out and finish with a chisel if I'm in the mood.
The router Jigs and Woodrats seem a good idea and an easier method of cutting them.


Bean
 

Aragorn

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Forgot to mention.....
Re: rounding off tenons:
I saw Norm using the table saw to knock the corners off the tenon to fit into a rounded mortice.
Did you see it?
He basically set up a jig so that he could slide the tenon piece across the very front portion of the blade (raised up quite high) up as far as the rip fence which acts as a stop. This seems safe as you are removing such a tiny amount of wood.

Useful technique for large quantites or repeatability I'd say.
 

sawdustalley

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I've got the JET benchtop mortiser at the moment, and I will review it soon in New Woodworking magazine - This is the first time i've ever owned a mortiser, but i've used them before.

I think its a great tool, its very quick and easy to setup. But as everyone else has said, the finish is not brilliant. The holes are perfectly acceptable however.

The router table takes a long time to setup, and I hate doing the whole plunge wood on top of bit thing, just doesn't please me.

I say if you have the money and space for a dedicated mortiser, and you plan to make alot of mortise's - then go for it :)
 
A

Anonymous

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PJ

On the whole I agree with Chris and Aragorn except for the set-up time. A morticer with an X-Y vice can be set up in a few seconds, I simply place wood in vice, set depth stop and turn X and Y handles to positiion layout marks under the chisel. I suspect tha the router jig may take considerably longer to set up

Cheers

Tony
 

Adam

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I;ve always been very successful with a morticer - and used them in preference on my recent table top. I find them very accurate, and fast to set up.

However, the morticer we are using is a super size industrial size jobbie - so maybe that helps.

Adam
 
A

Anonymous

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Hello PJ

Sometime ago I got one of those £100ish morticers (comes in various brandings). I never use it now. I either rout or use a forstner bit and nice wide chisel for the sides (very satisfying)

If your producing on an industrial scale with an industrial standard machine then fine. Otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Regards

Roy
 

Noel

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Hi PJ,

I've a Delta morticer and very happy with it. Be even more happier with a high end chisel and bit, but that can wait.
If you're up my part of the world anytime you're welcome to come and have go with it. Nothing beats a hands on test drive. Just PM me.

Rgds

Noel
 

PJ

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Thanks Guys for the information and views. Basically I agree that the hollow chisel morticer is probably a step backwards, so I think a redesign of the horizontal router table is in order. Some good ideas from this site http://woodcentral.com/shots/shot390.shtml and the FWW horizontal mortising plan.

Thanks again for your views and advise.

PJ.

ps - Noely. Thanks for the Invite but not much up that neck of the woods being from Comber.
 

Dewy

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Aragorn":12x72g50 said:
Forgot to mention.....
Re: rounding off tenons:
I saw Norm using the table saw to knock the corners off the tenon to fit into a rounded mortice.
Did you see it?
He basically set up a jig so that he could slide the tenon piece across the very front portion of the blade (raised up quite high) up as far as the rip fence which acts as a stop. This seems safe as you are removing such a tiny amount of wood.

Useful technique for large quantites or repeatability I'd say.
I made a similar jig for the shoulder cuts. Mine has an adjustable stop for different length tenons. I tried it for cutting the corners & my heart was in my throat the whole time. You are sliding the wood (and your hand) towards the blade. If the blade should snatch on the workpiece it's goodbye hand. Never again. Since then I have either squared the corners of the router cut mortices or used a tenon saw then chisel & rasp to round them over.
Please Note that this jig needs the saw guard & riving knife removing to work so it's not recommended. Safety is of paramount importance.
 

SimonA

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I've just got the new DM Tools catalogue through the door the other day and its got a new morticer, and some other new machines, from Scheppach!! I was wondering if the Guys at NMA could tell us a little more about it?

SimonA
 
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