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My mom wonts two morris chair, but thats a lot of mortises and tenons so think I might need to get a a benchtop mortiser, I am looking at the Powermatic or the Steel City model. I will cut the tenons on my Unisaw with my tenoning jig. I try to set up my Hitachi Benchtop Drill Press with a mortiseing kit but the drill press is to little to do any of the mortises. I am trying to make this project as easy I can, I dont know what I got my self into :)
 

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Remember the unwritten law of woodworking, CJ. "Every new project requires the purchase of, at least, one new tool"!

Lew
 

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I make mostly Arts & Crafts style furniture for myself. I got a Jet mortiser from a guy on Craigslist. It was hardly used and I couldnt be happier. Make mortise and tenon joints a joy to work with.
 

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definitely time to upgrade !

and for momma ,
nothing but the best .

happy holidays charles .
 

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There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to mortise machines. This is what I do when it comes time for the tool purchase of that sort.

1. How often I am going to do that type of joint work? If it is only a few times I will then look for a less expensive option. The bead lock from Rockler at around $80 may require some fine tuning but can be worth its weight in gold. Well then there is the more expensive and more versatile option and that is the domino. From a production stand point this tool far surpasses any bench top mortiser. From an economical stand does it justify its cost to you?

All mortise machines are the same and to the same thing but offer very little flexibility as does the other tools. It essentially comes down to a personal preference and do you have the room for a one job horse to set there and take up space?

Good luck on that venture and let us know what you get.
 

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All I can add is that if you ever think you might use angled mortises there are mortise machines that tilt to give you the angle. I dont think Powermatic's benchtop does, but General makes a nice machine that tilts…I am not a chair maker, so just thought maybe it would be handy for that. Keep us posted on what you come up with.
 

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the only thing i would add is use a router and round the tenons with a file or rasp i think that would be easy cuz if u mess up it's hidden anyway just as long as u get the good glue strenth and the wood to wood contact of flat shoulders u know. i figure if u get a morticer are u gonna make alot of things with it right now or even in the near future? save the dough and buy something better like a bigger drill press there about the same price too mabee a little more change but not to much.
 

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We do woodworking to keep us warm at night, so tools take a high priority in our lives. I have found CL the very best deals all of the time. Recently seen a newer model Unisaw with 52" Biesmeyer fence for $600 and just today I found a small 1 1/2 hp older model shaper for $200, I could go on and on. I see bench mortisers a lot on CL. We never use such a machine so we don't have one. If it is just a hobby for you, I certainly would look to get it for not more then 50% retail cost off of CL, this way you will not be out much money for something you may not use much.
 

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Use a router to cut the mortises…Top of the range is the Leigh FMT… I have one ,.. but yet to use it…because I wanted one… Other wise just use the router with a fence… and held in the bench vise…
 

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I built a boot rack, needed a lot of mortises for that, My first impulse was to buy a small drill press and the mortise attatchment, then it occured to me I really should just get the dedicated mortiser, cause that was what I needed, later I got the drill press. Both are Craftsman, I know… Craftsman. But the mortiser and the drill press are good, and have held up at least 3 years now, with no sign of fading, setup is a lot easier. The decision to get the mortiser was probably my first good decision regarding tool that I made,
 

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I have almost completely abandoned using traditional M&T joinery, unless its a design point like a thru joint or something. In my opinion, floating tenons are superior for many reasons. All pieces are cut to finished length, no need to worry about trimming cheeks or cutting tenons too thin. I have a nice mortiser, and it rarely gets used, mainly just for decorative square plugs. Do what your comfortable with. On a side note, I would look at using elastic webbing for the seat, makes for a far more comfortable sit. Makes sure to post pics and good luck.
 

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I just bought a shop fox from grizzly and really like it. It is a tool i have been putting off buying for years, always did my mortises with a drill press and forstner bit but setup on this is a pain in the butt. The mortise machine makes it so much easier.
 

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Charles: Being a newbie, I had to look up "Morris Chair." Wow! Your mom has good taste!!!

Have fun with the builds! You got me thinking about ordering up a set of those plans!!

My Grizzly mortiser was just over $200 (new), but … even in my relatively small town … Craigslist frequently has some of the decent brands available for about $100 - $125.
 

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I have built a bunch of Mission style furniture over the last few years, and could not have done it without my mortising machine.

I bought a Jet JBM-5 about 3 years ago on sale at Menards ($229 with set of 3 chisels & augers), and have been happy as a clam with it.

The only problem was the factory table … it was just too small. For Christmas that year, my daughter gave me one of Rockler's after market table and fence packages.
 

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Charles,
I've got a Jet Benchtop mortiser bought used off someone on WN. With shipping, it was about $125 including the drill bits.
If you can find one lightly used, it's worth it. The big difference, imho, is the mortising bits.
Fisch bits are high quality and worth it. And, if you can get a good deal on the main equipment, that's more
for sharp cutters.
 
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