steel city mortising machine

  • Advertise with us
Review by tchaser posted 07-22-2012 05:52 PM 12760 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
steel city mortising machine steel city mortising machine No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After doing some research found this one I looked over the specs and bought it..It has many of the features I wanted. Great tool. Assy went easy, all parts lined up easily a well machined. Comes with 4 chisels and allen wrench, chuck key. Works well has a wide base of 15.5 in with pull out work piece supports that go to 36 in w. I have used a jet before and this works much better. It has a tool holder in back that will hold 4 chisels and chuck key. Rubber rollers hold stock in place well and fine adjustment knob works well . This is the best one in its price class at $329 incl shipping

-- bad projects make good firewood

View tchaser's profile


37 posts in 3459 days

10 comments so far

View Chris 's profile


1880 posts in 4759 days

#1 posted 07-22-2012 09:21 PM

I have this mortiser…. Picked up broken from someone who didn’t want to fix it. The parts cost me $75.00 and it works like a charm.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3458 days

#2 posted 07-23-2012 02:04 AM

How does the hold down work? It looks like the one on the Jet and it doesn’t work very well. I like the rubber rollers and think I might be able to fabricate those for my Jet.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View tchaser's profile


37 posts in 3459 days

#3 posted 07-24-2012 02:25 AM

allen screw in the back but the rod will go in wrong and it can slip if installed wrong found that out in test run.

-- bad projects make good firewood

View felkadelic's profile


220 posts in 3308 days

#4 posted 07-24-2012 05:54 AM

Actually, the best in its price is probably the (identical) Woodriver model which is $289 ;-)

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3772 days

#5 posted 07-25-2012 10:56 PM

I am looking to build some mission pieces and will need one of these for the mortices. Let use know how it continues to perform

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Captain_bligh's profile


10 posts in 3333 days

#6 posted 08-15-2012 03:17 PM

I have this machine as well. Very pleased so far (had it for a year or so). Purchased an upgraded set of chisels from Lee Valley and it has made a world of difference. [,180,42240,53317]

-- Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art. ~ FLW

View Prplhrtjarhead's profile


80 posts in 2874 days

#7 posted 08-21-2012 12:35 AM

This steel city machine looks a lot like my shop fox. There are some minor differences, but it really does look very similar.

Like one of the other posters mentioned, I’m guessing the hold down is very similar to the shop fox and no it does not work great, but it works with some effort. I use some of my Kreg clamps to assist with the hold down personally. It’s a pretty common problem among these types of machines, but some are definitely better than others.

Also like one of the other posters mentioned, I upgraded to the Lee Valley bits and it does help a bunch. The type of wood also affects how easily you can come away from your piece.

I love mission pieces and have made a few smaller things as well (doll cribs, some chairs) and absolutely love using my shop fox. I hope you equally have as much enjoyment from your Steel City machine as I get from my Shop Fox.

-- "We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness." R. Reagan, "The Speech", 1964

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16692 posts in 3386 days

#8 posted 01-30-2013 12:40 AM

My Steel City, same model, broke last week. Compression rod stuck in the ‘down’ position, couldn’t lift the head. Then the holders snapped, top and bottom, and the bottom nib broke off. This was in the same session that saw the front-to-back adjuster toggle lever ‘strip’ inside, forcing me to use a pliers. Argh. Now I have parts to replace like in Post #1 above. Love the tool, found it’s weakness though.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View SOG's profile


22 posts in 2144 days

#9 posted 01-17-2015 01:48 AM

I just bought one, model 200. The shank size is 5/8” ID. anyone know where I can buy mortising chisels and bits that fit a 5/8” collar?

View billthegorilla's profile


1 post in 2026 days

#10 posted 04-08-2015 08:37 PM

SOG – I just got a used grizzly and had the same question. Found out you can get a 3/4 inch collar from Grizzly to replace the 5/8” collar. Both Grizzly and Shop fox originally shipped with both. These seem to be pretty standardized. You can check someplace that sells one of these brands with your own 5/8 collar in hand and see if tlhey interchange. Grizzly only charges about $4 for the part but $8 to ship it. It was worth $12 for sure to be able to use the more common 3/4 diameter shaft chisels

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics