Is Powermatic Mortiser Easier to Cut with???

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I understand the Powermatic (719A?) mortiser is a beefy machine that is very easy to use. No question there. My question is whether this mortiser makes the actual cutting of the mortise easier and if so why? So, after setting up the board and the machines are turned on and the handle is pulled, is there a difference in the cutting? I know the Powermatic has a bigger motor, but the actual cutting consists of two parts; one part is to cut the round hole with the bit and the second part is with the chisel. I would think that even the Jet/Delta mortiser would be able to cut the round hole just as easily as the Powermatic. If this assumption is true then it comes down to the cutting of the square sides with the chisel. Since this is all done with human power, why would the Powermatic be any easier to cut? Is it any easier? Maybe my assumption about the JET/Delta being able to drill the round hole just as easily is wrong? I assume the Powermatic must be easier to cut with since you can even go up to a 1" mortise. For an extra $500 I expect the Powermatic should both be easier to set up (which it is) and easier to cut (which I'm asking).
I'd like to hear from any of you that have used a benchtop mortiser AND the Powermatic. I appreciate all of you probably love the tool you bought so I don't need to hear that you love your JET but have never used the Powermatic, or that you love your Delta but have never used the Powermatic, or ...
Thanks in advance!!
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA


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Have a friend who makes a living woodworking locally and has for 30 years. His shop is pretty much all Powermatic. I had the pleasure of trying out his PM tools, including the mortiser, when he was trying to convince me to buy a Powermatic table saw instead of a Unisaw. IIRC, the difference between his PM Mortiser and my Delta benchtop is roughly the same noticeable difference between a DP mortise attachment and my Delta mortiser .. although I just tested it on scrap, to my recollection it cut mortises with noticeably less effort than my Delta benchtop.
If ease of use is your criteria, I'd say go for it ... it was just too much machine for such a dedicated task for my purposes, but if the toothfairy made a delivery of one to my shop, I'd damn sure find the room for it.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 1/12/04
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More than anything, starting off with sharp chisels will make more difference in cutting ease than the machine itself IMHO. I have the Delta and with the new chisels fresh out of the box, it cut so so. Using the inexpensive LeeValley sharpening cone and polishing the 4 out side edges, the machine and sharp chisels cut like a hot knife through butter. Just like any other new chisels, these chisels need to be sharpened properly also before an easy clean cut can be made. That said, if the PM has a longer arm to engage the chisel into the wood it may seem to cut easier than the competition.

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My previous mortiser was a Delta benchtop and I now have a General 75-075 which is pretty much equivalent to the Powermatic. I can't say I feel a big difference in how it cuts on the downward stroke. I honed the chisels on both mortisers to a high polish which is really the key to easy cutting.
The two places where you really notice the difference between a benchtop and one of the bigger models are the hold down and in speed. The bigger units use a clamp for a hold down that is rock solid so there's no binding when removing the chisel. The moving tables with adjustable stops make it very fast - especially when doing multiples. Once you get the stops set you can fly through a bunch of identical stiles.
My mortises aren't any better with the bigger unit, it's just a lot faster and more pleasant to use.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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If by easier you mean a) you can set one chisel face to parallel the fence b) quickly and accurately align the corner of the chisel to the mortise layout line on your stock c) REALLY hold the stock firmly d) move the stock quickly, easily and accurately down a mortise e) have horizontal start and stop "stops" that make doing more than one part quick, easy and accurate f) you don't have to nearly bend the pull down lever to make the cuts g) enjoy never bogging down during a cut then yes, the PM 719A and the General International 75-075M are easier to cut with.
Having an XY table common to both these units is one of the critical differences between these units and the bench top versions. The other major feature is the stock hold down/hold in - the big shortcoming on the bench top units.
The General has the added feature of a tilting head and a pivoting fence - handy if you want to do angled mortises - chairs and splayed leg tables etc..
While I've not used a bench top, I did spend many frustrating hours with the "mortising accessory" on my JET drill press - truly an exercise in futility.
Here's my url on The General. The following page has a side by side comparison of it to the PM 179A. www.wood-workers.com/users/charlieb/Mortiser.html
If you poke around on my site you'll see that I've used The General on the four drawer base unit it now rests on and on The Real Workbench, still under construction.
I've found that any tool that's a hassle to set up before using doesn't get used much. The General is used quite a bit.
charlie b
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[snip]

I've been wondering about that... does the fence pivot a full ninety degrees? Seems to me it would have to, in order for the tilting head to do any good, but I seem to recall, the one time that I looked at this unit (over a year ago) that the fence pivot was limited to about 60 degrees.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller wrote:

The head pivots on the vertical axis left/right +/- 30 degrees and the fence pivots on the horizontal axis to +30 degrees. Not sure why the fence would have to pivot a full 90 degrees. For that you could just clamp a piece of squared MDF or wood.
charlie b
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OK, maybe I'm being dense here... but I don't see how the tilting head can be of any use at all in cutting an angled mortise in a chair leg, given that the head tilts in the left-right plane. With the long axis of the leg running left-right, the head would need to tilt in the fore-aft plane to cut an angled mortise. And if you clamp a squared piece of MDF to align the leg in the fore-aft direction, how the heck do you clamp the leg?
Like I said, maybe I'm being dense, but I just don't see how it helps in making a chair to have the mortise head tilt from left to right, unless you can pivot the fence and clamping mechanism a full 90 degrees to put the leg into the fore-aft direction.
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller wrote:

Sorry about not responding sooner - still trying to come up with an illustration of some examples. An integrated chair leg/ chair back is an example. With the feet of the chair outside the outline of the front and the back of the chair seat, the mortises need to be angled
| | / +------+ / \ +----------+ / \
The ASCII diagram below, though the angles are too extreme, shows a rear leg part being mortised before being shaped on the bandsaw.
Mortising Chisel & Bit / / / / / / / / +--------------+-+------------+-+---------------------+ | | +-----------------------------------------------------+ chair leg chair back bottom
Make sense? Trying to convey 3-D info in 2-D when angles other than 90 degrees gets tricky.
charlie b
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[snip]
Hey, no problem -- thanks for responding. If you hadn't, I'd still be wondering.

Ahh, now I see the cause of the confusion -- we are picturing two entirely different types of chairs. Your picture is of a chair with non-vertical legs, having the same horizontal separation between the left and right sides at both front and rear. *My* picture is of a chair with *vertical* legs, having a wider horizontal separation between the front legs and the rear legs, e.g.
Side View Top View
| +-------+ back | / \ | / \ | / \ +---------+ +---------------+ front | | | | | | | |
I understand clearly how the tilting-head mortiser can cut the angled mortises needed for your picture of a chair. But how on earth can it cut the angled mortises needed in *my* picture, unless the fence and leg can be pivoted 90 degrees?
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Doug Miller wrote:
snip

So many ways to use M&T joinery and so many ways to do them. If you combine the chair example I did with the one you did things really get harry and things get really interesting. A horizontal boring/mortiser machine can do a bit more than either a fixed or tilting head chisel and bit mortiser. Add the jig described by the url below and you can cut mortises at almost any angle or compound angle. A guy in the Yahoo Robland X31 group came up with this slick jig. With its two T-slots you can cut just about any angle on any axis, assuming your mortiser has the throw and the bit long enough.
www.wood-workers.com/users/charlieb/!RaysMortiser1/RaysJIG1.html
The horizontal boring/mortiser is the fifth function on the Robland X31. The pictures on the lower half of the following page shws the XYZ table and the bit in the chuck on the end of the joiner/jointer - planer cutter head.
www.wood-workers.com/users/charlieb/X31pg3.html
Between roof rafters and chairs the old high school trig class finally starts coming in handy. Sometimes I even use the analytical geometry I learned in college. Now calculas and differntial equations ...
Fun and intersting this woodworking thing.
charlie b
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[snip ascii art]

Thanks for the great links, Charlie!!
-- Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
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Seems like there is no overwhelming feeling that the Powermatic actually cuts any easier. As I said in my OP I know the Powermatic is easier to use (set up), but I was questioning whether the actual cutting of mortises is any easier. Most posts had no opinion one way or the other, one said it wasn't any easier and one said it was. So my unscientific conclusion has to be that the Powermatic is much easier to set up, but doesn't necessarily make the cutting any easier. If it does cut easier it doesn't seem to be a huge difference over a benchtop model. Thanks for all the replies!
If anyone cares, while I think it would be very cool to have the Powermatic (or a General) I think I'll have to save the extra $500 for another tool and just get a benchtop mortiser.
Thanks again.
--
Larry C in Auburn, WA

"Larry C in Auburn, WA" < snipped-for-privacy@noWhere.com> wrote in message
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Read my post first!! Research this good man! How much is accuracy and dependability worth to you? Right now Id gladly pay the extra cash to get something that works properly, is dependable and will last me years and years.
Jim

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James D Kountz wrote:

This is the first post with that name to show up in this thread on my verizon.net newsserver. :-( Please post again, at least for my benefit. (I'm lurking and learning.)
Thanks.
-- Mark
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I have another post, different thread but related topic. Sent them just minutes apart so maybe try refreshing and see if the works.
Jim

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James D Kountz wrote:

And that thread is named _____ and started on ____ ? Thanks. There's lots of stuff here... ;-)
-- Mark
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Ok here ya go ( holding Marks hand) its called "Already cussing new mortiser" . Started 10:12pm Eastern Time today 1/15. Just minutes after Larry C's post entitled "And the concensus is..."
Jim

lots
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Tried sending an entire copy to you via email but it bounced back to me.
Jim

lots
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