Reply by pintodeluxe

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Posted on Mortiser problems

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5975 posts in 3292 days

#1 posted 08-13-2017 05:36 PM

A couple things contribute to the problem you’re having. Runout of the machine can be a culprit. Sometimes the drill bit is not perfectly straight which makes the tip of the bit travel in a larger circle than normal (bit squealing is a telltale sign).

I have a Delta bench top unit, as well as a Jet floor model. The Jet makes much cleaner holes with the same chisels. The mid priced chisels like the Jet brand are pretty good. I have been able to get good results with the bargain chisels too, but you need to grind down the diameter of the drill bit. Chuck just the drill bit into the machine, and hold a sharpening stone against the bit. Go slowly and test the bit often.

Which model Rikon did you get? The one with an X-Y table typically gets very poor reviews. I was planning on buying that model because I really wanted an X-Y table. The same tool has been sold under different brand names, and FWW magazine once said it was the only mortiser tested that wouldn’t make acceptable mortises. I then compared it to a floor mortiser, and realized the Rikon has quite a few shortcomings. However I made thousands of really clean mortises with my bench top unit, so maybe there’s hope. The best woodworkers have a way of getting excellent results with average tools.

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