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Reply by BikerDad

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Posted on mortising machines

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BikerDad

347 posts in 4051 days


#1 posted 03-28-2018 12:05 AM

A key consideration when looking at cutting mortises with a machine is this:

Do you want the ability to do rectilinear THROUGH mortises?

If you do, then a Hollow Chisel Mortiser (or a Drill Press with a HCM attachment) is the only pure machine work game in town. Rectilinear through mortises (RTM) are a signature design element of the various forms of Arts & Crafts (Prairie, G&G, etc) furniture. If you aren’t doing RTM, then any system you choose will work. Router, Router in fancy horizontal table setup, Domino, Drill Press & chisel, slot mortiser. You can do RTM with any of the others, but you have to square the ends of the mortise by hand.

Purportedly, the best current market hobby/light pro grade Hollow Chisel Mortiser is the Powermatic 719, which is a floor model unit that may be out of the preferred price range of the OP. The benchtop models, while a step up from the DP attachment, tend to have mediocre tables/holddowns and are often underpowered. They’re also pretty easy to find used at a hefty discount. One can also occasionally find old iron industrial gems, the absolute opposite of “benchtop”.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.


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