Around the Shop #14: W. F. & J. Barnes Foot Mortiser Assembly and Test Run

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Blog entry by Mosquito posted 03-20-2017 01:34 PM 1873 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 13: Barnes Foot Powered Mortiser Disassembly Part 14 of Around the Shop series no next part

I put my W. F. and J. Barnes Foot Powered Mortiser back together, sharpened up the chisel, and made a few test cuts with it.

Case Mod Portfolio:

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

7 comments so far

View terryR's profile


7562 posts in 2914 days

#1 posted 03-20-2017 02:52 PM

Thanks for the video, Mos.

I didn’t realize this tool was completely unplugged. Sure is quiet in use, though.

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View Mosquito's profile


10001 posts in 2898 days

#2 posted 03-20-2017 03:19 PM

Yeah, way quieter than chopping by hand even.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View theoldfart's profile


11055 posts in 3057 days

#3 posted 03-20-2017 07:31 PM

Great video Mos. That thing will be a whole lotta fun after you design some work holding clamps!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View AnthonyReed's profile


10120 posts in 3046 days

#4 posted 03-20-2017 08:31 PM

Excellent Mos! Thank you, Mos. That mortiser is fantastic.

I thought you were going to dance with it there at the end.

-- ~Tony

View Mosquito's profile


10001 posts in 2898 days

#5 posted 03-20-2017 10:59 PM

haha thanks guys. Tony that thing is way too heavy for me to dance with lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2810 days

#6 posted 03-21-2017 10:14 AM

Interesting machine.

A couple of questions if I may
1. How old is it?
2. Deleted found the answer in ATS #13
3. Are spares available
3. Where did you get it from, apart from the obvious

Some facts I found It weighs 130 pounds. Boxed, ready for shipment, it weighs 170 pounds. The price, without chisels, is $22. Chisels, $1 each extra.

From the 1885 catalog of W.F. & John Barnes Co., Rockford, Il.

They made some most interestng machines all foot powered.

Thank You

-- Regards Rob

View Mosquito's profile


10001 posts in 2898 days

#7 posted 03-21-2017 12:38 PM

1.) 125 years as of this year (the type I have was only made in 1892)

2.) Good :) Basically a tapered shaft on the back of a chisel with a hollowed out bevel side. Several variations were made throughout the years

3.) I have not found any new production, and haven’t come across many chisels on eBay. Was able to find a guy over on who had a few spare chisels, which is where the one I’m using in the video came from. The one that came with the machine has a decent amount of pitting on it.

4.) I picked it up from Craigslist last year. Interestingly enough it turned out to be up in my home town where I went to Junior high and highschool, and where my parents still live. It was stored in a storage unit that was owned by one of my childhood friend’s dad. As it turns out, the guy I bought it from had a son that I went to highschool with as well. Interesting little “small world” sort of thing.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

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