Morticers

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Doug Miller says...

Well, you could grind down the knives so that it cuts a dado. Did I just invent a new tool? But, yeah, I meant rabbet.
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By the time you're done you could just buy a thickness planer and a simple attachment for a drill press. That's basically all the attachment for the planer is.
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woodworker88 wrote:

Probably even one of the better benchtop mortisers would be no more expensive.
The picture looks as if the base/attachment is quite solid and the moving bed would be nice but I'd have to see one in action to decide about how well it would actually be to use, I think.
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Yes Duane, info from someone who had actually used one would have been great. Visiting a dealer who has a mortising attachment to try is out of the question. The nearest is a 12 hour ferry trip or an hours flight away and very expensive. Thus my request for information from the web. I already have a thickness planer and a bench top mortiser but could do with the extra space the option would allow.
Cheers Oldun

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Oldun wrote:

Did I understand there's a right-angle gearing to drive a mortising drill?
Do you know if the depth is tied to the planer head drive as it seems? If so, I think it would be quite awkward...
But, I'm kinda' guessing as I couldn't really tell from the picture I saw.
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Nope - the Euro-style slot morticers use the end of the driven shaft with a router collet. It's a slot morticer, and they are superior in most respects to vertical machines.
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George wrote:

Ah! Makes sense but the info at the link was somewhat confusing and the picture too small to see what was going on...and while I read it, I didn't register "slot" even though I knew...
Thanks...
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give would be great. I don't want to buy one and then wish I had kept the bench mortiser.
I would visit a dealer to see for myself, but living in a remote location means the cost of going to see one is much more than the cost of buying it.
Remove oxo from my address if you want to reply personally.
Cheers
Oldun
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Keep the bench. It makes square holes. The slot types are certainly precise at edge slots, and lend themselves well to hold-downs and such for longer pieces, but with a bit of jigging and a good router, everything is possible without them. I think the persistence of the slot morticer may have more to do with the short arbors on tablesaws than absolute utility in the age of good plunge routers. Folks here have dado sets which plow grooves and make square tenons easily.
If you're driving, look at a good all-purpose router. Set it up table-capable, and use it either way. If you have to mortice ends on long stock, make a jig. I've used 'em when I had to stand on a stool to get my eyes above the router. Even slotting, what the machine is best at, can be accomplished fairly well with a tall-fenced tabled router and a couple of featherboards. Larger stock can be handled by a three-point jig.
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Thanks George, I have now decided to forget the slot mortiser. Too many disadvantages and not much space saving it seems.
Also thanks to all those who responded. If nothing else a few more woodworkers over the pond are now aware of slot mortisers.
Cheers
John

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George wrote:

The Robland X-31 has an opposing V chuck on the end ot the jointer/planer cutter head and an XYZ table that attaches to the side of the unit. The XYZ table has Left/Right stops to set the ends of the mortise and a depth stop as well. The planer/jointer has its own 3 hp TEFC motor that turns the head at 5000 rpms - low enough to do the job but not burn the mortise.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/X31pg3.html
If you want to see a great example of how to build a four panel door using all five functions of the X31 with plenty of loose tenon joints in mortises cut on the horizontal mortising attachment. Click on "continue" at the bottom of each page to get o the next page. This guy is very methodical and there are many ideas shown which will probably come in handy for your future projects.
http://www.geocities.com/PicketFence/5276/shop/page16.html
And here's a great jig to enhance the slot mortiser's capabilities.
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/RaysMortiser1/RaysJIG1.html
Note that the mortising bits for these units are much longer than a router bit.
charlie b
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