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Mortising Machine...Worth it?

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Forum topic by CRAIGCLICK posted 04-18-2018 04:16 PM 862 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 492 days


04-18-2018 04:16 PM

Hi All

I have a line on a Jet JBM-5 benchtop mortising machine that is being sold for reasonable coin with various size chisels. I think I can pick it up for 200 bucks. Is that a decent deal?

I definitely want to get deeper into joinery.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.


10 replies so far

View PPK's profile

PPK

1433 posts in 1228 days


#1 posted 04-18-2018 04:54 PM

A motising machine is DEFINITELY worth it. Unless, of course you’re wanting to spend huge money on a domino machine or you’re the “hand-tool-only” type of guy.

I personally own the machine you reference, and it’s a very decent machine. I think $200 may be a little steep, but close to the rance for used. I suppose it depends on how MUCH it’s used. I think they go for $350 new. I’d pay $150 for it used in a heartbeat.

-- Pete

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edapp

283 posts in 1848 days


#2 posted 04-18-2018 06:40 PM

I picked up a powermatic bench top mortiser or craigslist last year. I have only used it for one project, but now that I have, i will be planning on using it more in the future. I really enjoyed it! I have many craftsman style pieces in my “to do” list that include through tenons, and like I said this thing really works well and leave a clean cut. Definitely a one trick pony, and for that reason i do not keep in my shop, but when you need it it does the job very quickly.

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#3 posted 04-18-2018 08:29 PM

I have that mortiser too. I turned it 180º on the base in order to increase its capacity for my residential door stiles that are up to 6” wide.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 492 days


#4 posted 04-18-2018 08:54 PM



I have that mortiser too. I turned it 180º on the base in order to increase its capacity for my residential door stiles that are up to 6” wide.

- Rich

I was wondering…It looked like the most you could fit in it was 4 3/4 inches, which wasn’t enough for my needs. Thanks for the workaround.

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

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Rich

4555 posts in 1008 days


#5 posted 04-18-2018 09:16 PM


I was wondering…It looked like the most you could fit in it was 4 3/4 inches, which wasn t enough for my needs. Thanks for the workaround.

- CRAIGCLICK

One thing to be cautious about is the strength of the metal that the post that the hold-down attaches to sits in. It doesn’t go very deep into the base metal, and that metal is kind of weak. Drilling 2 1/2” deep mortises and relying on the hold-down to keep the board in place was too much for it and the metal cracked. I wound up bedding it in a deep well of epoxy and it’s held just fine since then. Mine is about 20 years old, so it’s possible they’ve addressed this weakness since then.

Still however, I don’t just raise the handle and let the hold-down take the full force of extracting the chisel (which gets pretty intense plunged deep into very hard wood), I hold it down with my hand, and I also use a pattern of starting with maybe a 1/2” deep plunge, then move the board over three-quarters of the width of the chisel and go 1”, then come back and go deeper on the first one and so forth. That prevents the chisel from being embedded in a tight deep single-width mortise with all that friction. Remember too, when you make a single deep plunge like that, the wood fibers all are bending downward around the chisel and holding it even tighter — the same way wood holds a nail tight.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View verdesardog's profile

verdesardog

171 posts in 3030 days


#6 posted 04-19-2018 12:29 PM

A mortiser is nice to have if you need it… LOL since I don’t do many I have one of those kits that fits on a drill press . It’s a pita to use but works.

-- .. heyoka ..

View LesB's profile

LesB

2126 posts in 3862 days


#7 posted 04-19-2018 04:53 PM

If you have extra funds and want to invest in a more versatile machine that does both mortises & tenons in one setup plus, dove tails, box joints and other things in one tool take a look at this at: hybridpantorouter.com
I recently got one and I’m very impressed with it. I posted a review on this a few weeks ago.

-- Les B, Oregon

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pintodeluxe

5951 posts in 3232 days


#8 posted 04-19-2018 05:32 PM

It’s a must have tool for me. In fact I have two – one is a Delta benchtop unit, and the other a Jet floor model. The benchtop models do have some limitations both in the size chisels they accept and the width of board you can mortise. I only found that a limitation for making doors, where the bottom rail can be up to 10” wide.

I will say the floor mortiser requires a lot less effort, but the benchtop model is a good place to start.
I say go for it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CRAIGCLICK's profile

CRAIGCLICK

117 posts in 492 days


#9 posted 04-19-2018 06:32 PM



If you have extra funds and want to invest in a more versatile machine that does both mortises & tenons in one setup plus, dove tails, box joints and other things in one tool take a look at this at: hybridpantorouter.com
I recently got one and I m very impressed with it. I posted a review on this a few weeks ago.

- LesB

Unfortunately, extra funds are pretty limited. That is a beautiful setup, though. Maybe someday!

-- Somewhere between raising hell and amazing grace.

View Andre's profile

Andre

2668 posts in 2225 days


#10 posted 04-19-2018 08:07 PM



A mortiser is nice to have if you need it… LOL since I don t do many I have one of those kits that fits on a drill press . It s a pita to use but works.

- verdesardog

LOL! Me too, works okay especially on my 17” General DP but usually quicker to chop them out by hand?
Maybe on day I will find a good used machine fo a reasonable price?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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