Jet JBM-5 Bench Mortising Machine

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Review by TheDane posted 12-23-2009 07:24 PM 12690 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Jet JBM-5 Bench Mortising Machine No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have been using my JBM-5 for over 3 years now, and consider it a good investment for my home workshop. I haven’t kept track of the number of mortises I have done with it, but just about everything I build uses mortise and tenon joinery.

The JBM-5 fence can be a pain to set. The fence is attached to a steel hex rod that is held in place by a thumb screw. There is no rack & pinion fence adjustment (like the one on Delta’s mortiser), so getting the workpiece positioned correctly on the table takes soime patience. If the mortises are to be centered, I strike a center line on the workpiece, lower the tip of the auger (with the power off) to put a dent in the workpiece, then flip the workpiece end-for-end and repeat. If the mortise is offset, I use an adjustable mortising gauge to mark the position, then (with the power off) set the chisel to hit the line. This sounds more complicated than it is, and after some practice, it gets pretty easy.

The stock table is pretty small (again, Delta’s machine has a much larger table), so I retrofitted my JBM-5 with the mortise table from Rockler (as shown in the photo) and solved that problem.

I mounted it on a plywood base with a cleat across the front so I can keep it stabilized on my bench with only one clamp.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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8 comments so far

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 3932 days

#1 posted 12-25-2009 12:57 AM

Thanks for the review. A Mortising Machine is down my list a ways, but I suspect I will get one eventually. Good to hear about the fence solution as well. I was looking at your home page, did you ever get that RAS? I use mine all the time for crosscut.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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5822 posts in 4431 days

#2 posted 12-25-2009 01:16 AM

Eventhough the price was right ($0.00), I just do not have room for a machine as large as the DeWalt RAS, so I passed on it.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 3932 days

#3 posted 12-25-2009 01:50 AM

I am going to have to find room for some tools I do not yet have mounted, and space is limited. I am going to tear down a bench that was here when we moved in, not very important, and put everything on wheels. The RAS was my first large power tool. I am addicted to its ease of use for crosscut. Did the dadoes with a quick and dirty just using the crosscut blade on my new little shop tote:

But the RAS, with its 4’x2’ table, and the TS dominate my shop. You are right, it is a space hog. The TS with a sled or moving table or whatever can do the same job.

Hope all is well, thanks for the reviews. Slowly getting the shop in order, that is 50% of the fun in the hobby for me. I remember you saying you read a lot. I ordered for myself the Fine WoodWorking archive DVD. A little pricey, but there should be a lot of stuff in there from 1975 till now, for idle moments. It arrived, but I have not opened it yet. Going to Hawaii in early January for 2 weeks, an annual sojourn. We stay at a condo building in Maui that we have been to over 20 times, sit on the lanai (porch) overlooking the ocean just 10 yards away and drink my coffee as the sun comes up, and usually do some computer stuff. Sometimes we have internet in the particular condo we rent and sometimes not. We rent various condos, they have the same floor plan, but the furnishings are different. Figured if we didn’t have internet, the DVD would be good reading.

Always appreciate your entries. I hear you about the MDF and screws. I used it for some zero clearance inserts, and the hex set screws seem to be holding well. I made a RAS table with two thicknesses of glued MDF, 1/2” was all that was available, and I used the T-nut from the old table for the adjustment mechanism. That has worked out well. The 2’ x 4’ table is absolutely flat, after adjusting it with the screw in the T-nut. I even bought a 4 foot level to be absolutely sure, needed one anyway, and it is dead on. Flattest thing in the shop.

So MDF has some pluses, and some minuses. I agree, I wouldn’t trust screws in it, T-nuts and bolts are better. But it is flat.

Best to you and yours for the holidays….....give me a shout now and then, like to hear what you are up to…....

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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#4 posted 12-25-2009 01:50 AM

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#5 posted 12-25-2009 07:20 PM

Thank you for the review. I agree with everything you said and I am going to look for the Rockler mortise table for my machine. I will add one point that was significant to me. The Delta and most other bench top mortising machines run at about 3500 rpm. The Jet runs at about 1700 rpm. In my opinion, the slower speed is better and that is why I chose the Jet.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View bake's profile


385 posts in 4445 days

#6 posted 04-23-2010 06:51 AM

I just picked one up out of the local classifieds, I paid $150.00. It had never been unpacked from the box. I stopped at Woodcraft on the way over to the guys house to look at one before I bought it, they are $300.00 there.
I have wanted one for a while but I could not justify it, but for 1/2 price I could not pass it up.

-- I love the smell of Home Depot in the morning, it smells like.......carpentry. Bake, Bar Lazy U Woodworks, Lehi,UT.

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400 posts in 4546 days

#7 posted 06-07-2010 12:11 AM

I just picked up a used jet jbm-5 for $150 myself (at least the seller said it was used … no visible signs of wear). Haven’t used it but hope too soon.

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

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13588 posts in 3461 days

#8 posted 03-10-2011 07:08 PM

I appreciate this review!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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