Mortiser Acquired - Router Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Default Mortiser Acquired

So after much debate and trial I found, rather it found me (thanks camel camel camel) and I ended up with Powermatic's PM701 bench mortiser. Typically it sells for $599 but I was made aware of a price drop and at $405 w/Prime shipping I jumped. $195 discount easily covered the cost of the chisel set. That evening I was checking and the price was up to $500.

Anyway the hollow chisels came the following day and were set aside. The mortiser was due the next day and was to be delivered by Amazon. Sure enough on Friday morning I checked on the order because I was advised via email it would be a day late and it showed as being in route that day for delivery. In fact the tracking on Amazon actually shows the movement of their truck updating every few minutes it seemed. And it was indeed delivered in 2 days having been shipped form California. This was a sold and shipped by Amazon item.

So after getting the 92 pound box in the shop and unboxed I put this baby together. I quickly decided this baby needed a dedicated rolling cabinet although one person can pick it up although it's a bit awkward and very heavy. You young bucks can have a go at it I guess. I assembled this on my adjustable height workbench to give it a quick checkout.

I was amazed how sharp the chisels were and the mortiser comes with a cone sharpener. Assembly was quick, straight forward, and easy. I used the 1/4" mortise bit to test on a laid out mortise location on some 1" soft maple scrap. Marking out the mortise I started with a cut at each end and then spaced the cuts leaving about a 1/4 between to ensure the hollow chisel bit is biting into wood on all 4 sides. When those were done I went back and did the places in between. This left me with a nice clean mortise. I rotated the wood 90 degree and made a second intersecting mortise as if I were installing a skirt board on an end table. Nice clean intersection. The great thing is that while it does take a bit of effort it really isn't much more than if I were drilling.

What I also came to realize is that I want a sliding table to clamp the wood to. What I found ready to use online was either too small, too cheaply made, or just not fit for this. I then looked for plans and found this one from WoodSmith The hardware will set you back a few bucks but it looks large enough and sturdy enough to last a lifetime.

And with cutting into walnut, cherry, oak, and maple I'd like to make accurate cuts without making a lot of scrap. This should be an interesting project. So far finding the parts and pieces means multiple vendors but most of it should be here this coming week. Problem with living in the country is nothing is nearby which is why we live in the country.......
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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I should mention that the sliding table I'm going to build isn't necessary but I wanted a more controllable and accurate means of making these cuts. This is something that will make it very easily repeatable. The Hold down that comes with the PM701 does work but is a bit clumsy to use, at least for me. It also doesn't give an easy way to move the work in a controlled means being that it is not a smooth move.

Maybe it would be so if I waxed the table a bit but still not nearly as easy as the sliding table will allow where I can make movements in both axis very concisely and in very small increments if needed. I've already thought of a few minor improvements I can make on this table but will build it as is and then see if they warrant any changes.

Guess I'm looking for about the same control I had on the old milling machines. Fortunately I have access to both a milling machine and a metal lathe through a good friend fairly close by (30 minutes). I'll post pictures of the project as it progresses.....
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 03:46 PM
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Very nice, lucky you.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 03:57 PM
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nice score...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 04:56 PM
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Enjoy!

"Problem with living in the country is nothing is nearby which is why we live in the country..."
Words to live by!!!
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:39 PM
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Nice score, Steve...

Got a question for you...what accounts for the round cuts in the side of the mortise in your picture...?

Do you have the chisel opening left/right or in/out...?

I'm real close to getting the same machine...(closing is the 17th - new shop)

Nick

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:56 PM
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Terrific buy on a great machine. Those mortises really look good and the edges are crisp. I'm with you about the importance of a proper stand.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 09:16 PM
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You may know about this old trick bit if not here it is.

When you insert the hollow chisel put a dime between the stop and the top of the hollow chisel. Insert your drill bit and let it just touch the bottom of the hollow chisel. Tighten up the drill bit. Then loosen the set screw for the hollow chisel and move it up till the top of the chisel mount touches the bottom of the mortiser. This gives you enough clearance for chips to exit the chisel and not heat up and burn your bit.

Occasionally use a very fine diamond stone on the four outside flat edges of the hollow chisel. Just a few strokes. Then they make a cone shaped diamond home to polish the inside cone of the hollow chisel. Hone when ever you feel a lot of resistance.

When cutting your mortise, start with the two outside edges to get a nice clean mortise. Then start on one side and drill only about half the distance of the bit width and progress to the other end. So if you have a 1/2" mortise bit then step over about a 1/4" inch each stroke. This takes a little more time but you get a better cut and a straighter mortise.

When you insert a new chisel in the mortiser, leave the drill bit out. Use a ruler to square the bit side up with the fence. Since the fence is fixed you should adjust the hollow chisel. Use the dime trick from above. After your get it square and insert the drill bit, remove the dime and recheck the squareness to the fence and tighten the hollow chisel.

With my advise you will be come a real chiseler, and can be called a dastardly chiseler.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdonham1 View Post
You may know about this old trick bit if not here it is.

When you insert the hollow chisel put a dime between the stop and the top of the hollow chisel. Insert your drill bit and let it just touch the bottom of the hollow chisel. Tighten up the drill bit. Then loosen the set screw for the hollow chisel and move it up till the top of the chisel mount touches the bottom of the mortiser. This gives you enough clearance for chips to exit the chisel and not heat up and burn your bit.

Occasionally use a very fine diamond stone on the four outside flat edges of the hollow chisel. Just a few strokes. Then they make a cone shaped diamond home to polish the inside cone of the hollow chisel. Hone when ever you feel a lot of resistance.

When cutting your mortise, start with the two outside edges to get a nice clean mortise. Then start on one side and drill only about half the distance of the bit width and progress to the other end. So if you have a 1/2" mortise bit then step over about a 1/4" inch each stroke. This takes a little more time but you get a better cut and a straighter mortise.

When you insert a new chisel in the mortiser, leave the drill bit out. Use a ruler to square the bit side up with the fence. Since the fence is fixed you should adjust the hollow chisel. Use the dime trick from above. After your get it square and insert the drill bit, remove the dime and recheck the squareness to the fence and tighten the hollow chisel.

With my advise you will be come a real chiseler, and can be called a dastardly chiseler.
That is a very good deal on the Powermatic - I paid full price but it'll be worth every penny in the long run. Easiest tool to use in my shop.

The Powermatic comes with two integrated spacers for both large and small chisel bit - you don't need a dime - keep the change!

You can also align the square bit with your stock in place too - it's how I do it on my Powermatic as I also check the plunge along the layout pencil layout along the workpiece. The important thing is to get the fence square overall so the mortice isn't 'stepped' as you go down the cut and creating a 'twist' with the insertion of the tenon.. I've had no trouble getting mine to work and ad a full 1/8" to the depth of the plunge to accommodate the waste that won't come out from the bit end. I make a centered tenon first on my radial arm saw and pare the mortise to fit.

I also pay attention to the tension on both the horizontal rollers and the vertical stop to create a snug but movable fit on the workpiece. It can be done with practice and is part of getting clean accurate cuts. Plunging into solid wood by spacing the cuts before cleaning out the intermittent spaces is also a good idea. It's all in the instructions.

Common Man Woodworking
Powell, TN

Last edited by Bstrom; 01-27-2020 at 08:09 AM.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickp View Post
Nice score, Steve...

Got a question for you...what accounts for the round cuts in the side of the mortise in your picture...?

Do you have the chisel opening left/right or in/out...?

I'm real close to getting the same machine...(closing is the 17th - new shop)
One of the instructional videos I had watched said to make the end cuts and then leaving space between them make the next cuts. It also said to have the open side of the hollow chisel positioned so the chips went into the already drilled 1st holes so I worked right to left and had it facing right. Now watching several more I see it facing toward the operator which makes more sense to me as most of the waste is outside the mortise. All went back when finished and made light fast passes to finish.
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