Mortising Machine Query

Folks -
Okay, my home built router mortising jig is okay, as far as it goes, but I need to cut more than a few mortises in some 5" wide stock. Any recommendations for a good mortising machine?
I know delta has one that swings 180 degrees off the table for vertical work, and I kinda see how PM's machine with the x-y axis carriage would speed things up, but if'n y'all have any pointers - things to look for, things to avoid (especially) I'd appreciate it.
No, I won't buy HF's 99$$ wonder....
TIA
John Moorhead
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John,
Several years ago I made a horizontal mortising machine that works great. Since you are talking about 5" stock it sounds like we had a similar goal in mind. Now I have discovered Shopnotes has plans similar to the one I built but superior in many ways. The Shopnotes issue is #68 vol 11. Took me a weekend to build and was worth the delay in the project. If you go to Shopnotes.com and search on horizontal mortiser you will find a small photo. Good Luck!
EJ

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A couple of years ago, I got the urge to build a new dining room set, including 8 chairs. So, I went out and bought a Powermatic 719, along with a good set of chisels. The machine worked vwell but, I found that I needed to spend time cleaning up each mortise by hand. Not a big deal for a few joints but, 8 chairs equals 176 mortises! Being a weekend woodworker, I don't have the time to "tinker" with that many joints. So I started looking for a new tool :-).
I would highly recommend the Leigh FMT. It's a plunge router jig that is absolutely unbelievable in it'e ease of use, short set up time and accuracy. In one afternoon, I cut 96 mortise and tenon joints for the chair back slats; half of them were angled tenons. They all fit perfectly!
I have never before, been so impressed with a tool, that I felt compelled to contact the manufacturer to praise their tool. It's a little pricey for a jig, about $800, but even my wife thought it was worth it!
Good luck,
Dale

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I tend to mortise a lot for table legs - how would the Leigh FMT be with say 3.5" x 3.5" x 32" table lets - you know, the country style where the lower 7/8s are turned and just the top piece is square??
I've thought about the Leigh (I have their D24 jig) and wondered about it.
It would be great if you could download a video or get a DVD through the mail or something.
Brian

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I've got a Delta Mortiser now - a small unit and I forget the number - it's fairly common. It has some real limitations though - foremost being the small work surface - easily fixed via a larger wooden table.
Anyhow, I'm looking at a Delta Mortiser 14-661C. This is a much bigger unit with a sliding table with moveable clamps. It also has a much bigger motor and a larger, adjustable arm for more torque and to allow for a much greater capacity. This unit has a 1" capacity and a full cabinet underneath.
My buddy who runs Tegs Tools in Hamilton got several units in and he's selling them for $549 Canadian. A great price since the unit usually sells for around $1000.
Here's what I see as the down sides:
1) Still no chuck-lock mechanism. It would be great if these things had some kind of locking devise so that the chuck would not spin around when you try to tighten the bit up.
2) Sliding table is a little clunky - a smoother working cog / gear would have been nice
3) The top hold-down won't engage anything that is less that 3.5" high unless you either put an accessory board under your work piece to raise it up, or you replace the crappy plastic work protector on the hold-down with some 2" wooden ones (my plan).
4) Table / head doesn't tilt. That said, I've yet to actually need that feature.
All in all, a good deal for the money $549 Canadian I think. I just have to find someone to buy my smaller unit.
Brian

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