Knowledge of General stationary mortisers???

Hello:
I hate writing a "what do you think of" post, but sometimes it's necessary. I'm looking to purchasing a stationaty mortiser and my research has pulled up 3 machines, a Powermatic for 699.00, a Jet for 799.00 and a General for 799.00. Reviews on the Powermatic are favorable, but it does not tilt and it's relatively short.
If anyone has any experience with the Jet or the General, I would really appreciate an email describing your thoughts.
Many thanks, Richard Hollingsworth
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snipped-for-privacy@boeing.com says...

I was looking for a mortiser and found a dealer who tried to sell me a Jet mortiser,so I thought I check it out on the USA site and guess what the powermatic 719A is painted in Jet livery and sold here or is the other way round,anyway it turns out it is made by our far eastern friends so I opted for the heavey Multico.the Multico is a lot more versatile as its the head that moves and not the material thus allowing for doors and other wide material here are the links spot the difference one link is in dutch but navigate
http://www.vdhbv.nl/product/index.html
to Houtbewerkingsmachines->Merken ->Vierkante gaten steekmachines and here is the powermatic link http://www.powermatic.com/PMWood/Tools/Mortiser/719A.html well thats my 10c and goodluck with your choice Russell
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posted the pics in a.b.pictures.woodworking have a look
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Richard Holliingsworth wrote:

This one is about the General International 75-075M I've got and there's a subsequent comparison of it to the PM 719A.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/Mortiser.html
Note that the General International has a tilting head so if you plan on doing chairs or splayed leg tables ...
Gave this thing a work out on the workbench I've been building for what seems like forever. From the photos on this page you can see it got a workout - M&T joints in copious quantities. (all one line so watch the line wrap) http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MT/CBbench17.html
If you have any questions about the General feel free to ask away and I'll try to answer them.
charlie b
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If you don't mind, the approximate cost? Can I assume you examined the tilting and non tilting models and decided the tilting model was worth the money. Now that you've had it awhile do you feel that it was worth spending the extra money? Did you feel for some reason other than the fact that it doesn't tilt, that the non tilting model was lacking in some fashion?
Thanks
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Upscale wrote:

Most of your questions are answered on this page, which I guess you didn't get to from the previous page on just the General.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MortisersComparison.html
Aside from the tilting head feature, which has yet to be used but I'm sure will be, there were a few things that I noted. The locking lever for the In/Out movement was a small metal tabbed "flip" handle on the PM and a large ratcheting handle on the General. The small flip handle was uncomfortable to turn snug and, in some orientations, difficult to grab. PM uses the same flip handles on the Left and Right "stops" while the General used one inch diameter knobs. These "stops" ride on a rod, the PM using a round rod with a narrow flat face to lock into while the General used an octagonal rod. The latter lets you "lock" the stop in several orientations while the former requires that you get the locking bolt on the flat face. I prefer to have options - even if they're not all that significant.
One feature on the PM I wish I had was the quick release on the "hold down/hold in" threaded shaft. Flip a lever and pull out or push in the "jaw" on the PM, turn and turn and turn on the General. In actual use however, you only set the "jaw" once per parts' width/thickness so it isn't that big a deal.
Paul K wrote:
snip

Most chisel/bit sets don't come polished. The outside faces of the chisel typically has grinder scratches, some at an angle to the direction of cut. As on any other wood chisel, a polished surface cuts cleaner and easier than a rougher surface. Polish, done "sharpen" the outside faces of the chisel.
The drill bits sometimes have burs on the outside of the long "spur", typically, due to the way they're ground. When you polish the cutting edges of the bit remove any burs. If you don't, they will bias the hole to the outside, leaving scalloped edges on the mortise.
Any slop in the collet that holds the chisel to the unit can cause the chisel to tilt off of vertical, either left/right, fore/aft or some combination. That could put more stresses and strain on the chisel though I doubt it would cause much flex unless you were feeding too fast and really haning off the handle.
Getting the back flat face of the chisel exactly paralleling the fence will give you nice straight. parallel to the fence face cuts. Any other orientation will give you a saw-toothed edge (see ASCII diagrams below)
+--+--+--+ + + + | | | | / \/ \/ \
You may also have the chisel/bit gap too big. That can allow the bit to wander a little before the chisel reached the wood. Once the bit has found its path it wants to follow it. The symptom is a round scalloping on the mortise edges (as opposed to the saw tooth scalloped edge described above).
I suspect that several of these factors are happening - the chisel face not paralleling the fence and the chisel/bit gap being too great. Here's the url for The Forty Cent Method of setting the chisel/bit gap (all one line so wathc the line wrap)
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/MChiselBitSettingTrick.html
Yet another possibilty is that your piece is moving just a little, bacause the face against the fence and the face against the hold in/hold down aren't parallel OR not square to the face in which you are cutting the mortise.
More than you ever wanted to know?
Contrary to how it seems on The New Yankee Workshop, the devils in the set up details - AND the stock preparation.
charlie b
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<snip>
I did polish them and even put a micro-bevel on the inside. I think I could do a slightly better job though, and will revisit it. However, I haven't touched the drill bit. I have never sharpened a drill bit...time to break out lee's sharpening book.

Been there, done that :) I have developed a routine to stop this from happening...I register the edge of the chisel on a scribed line for the edge of the mortise.

Been there, done that too :) I think I have made almost every mistake possible. OTOH, it means I have it generally down pat.
<snip>

I forgot all about the dime method. Easier then eyeballing it for sure....

I let the hold-down be a little less the 0.005" above the piece...had problems with that in the past too. Now I set it using a piece of paper...the hold in is probably the problem. On the Delta rig they really aren't very good. Maybe it is time for me to develop a jig to clamp it to the fence; wouldn't be very hard really, a screw, a handle, a pad and something to mount it to the press...

Can never know enough :) Actually, the chisel does visibly flex on occasion; almost always in the direction of the chip ejection opening though (hence why I orient it in the long direction of the mortise). Occasionally you can observe the drill bit grab on entry and go to a side. Usually grates against the chisel a bit. My theory, though only theory, is that this could cause my problem; though it is probably the hold in. The mortises look like this on occasion: _____-----_____ | | |_____-----_____|
Which means I must then pare the sides, which means a wider mortise, which means a custom tenon, which is a major pain in the butt.
Thanks for the help!
Paul Kierstead
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Wow, that is one awesome write-up! Great job and at least I for one would like to thank you for the work.
I do have one question: Chisel flex. I have one of the junky mortising attachments for a drill press. It isn't the prettiest thing in the world, but it does work. My major complaint about the results (not the set-up) is that the mortise is sometimes a little ragged because of what appears to be chisel flex. I use the chisel with the opening to the side to make sure major flex doesn't happen to the sides of the mortise, but it still affects things. This is with the 3/8" chisel (the only one I have used extensively). I looked at stationary mortisers, but they all appeared to use the same chisel/drill bit sets. Does the General suffer from this? Or is this just a "feature" of a lon, hollow and relatively thin chisel..
Paul K.
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I've had the General for about a year (replaced a Delta benchtop). I was able to compare it side by side with the PM 719A. Both are excellent machines. The tilting head and swinging fence swayed me towards the General. Angled mortises aren't common, but I have a need for them once in a while so the ability is nice to have. It's not really that big a deal though - you could make an angled shim to support the workpiece and accomplish the same thing on the PM.
I'm completely happy with the General. I'd have been completely happy with the PM too. Both are much more pleasant to use than the small benchtop units.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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