Got it, love it, wish I could have waited for the tilt head version....
Plenty of power, good chisels, good fit and finish and beefy hold down.
The cheeks of the mortises it cuts are smoother than other MM's I've used
and WAY tighter than I'd ever get with a mortising chisel. I'd buy it again
in a heartbeat.
The 75-050T has the tilting head (as opposed to the 75-050M1, which has
a fixed head). Also, it has a slightly different column, a slightly
wider base, and weighs about 20 lbs more. It also costs about $50-$75
more. Both have the same front and top clamp holddown mechanism.
I think the 75-050M1 has been out for a couple of years, but as far as I
can tell the 75-050T only came out this spring.
So I can assume that the T model is the little brother to the 75-075 model?
I've had my eye on the 075 model for awhile, but only because it had the
tilting option. IF the 050 T model tilts, then it sounds like the best of
both worlds ~ lower price but still tilt capable.
or one of those horrible compromises that is weak in all features.
For example, adding the tilting feature possibly weakens the upright
strength of the original tool and is not robust enough to do the tilt
Mind you, I have no opinion on this matter or any experience with this
particular tool, I'm just pointing out an alternate possibility based
on my experience with other equipment.
Yes, it makes sense to consider all variables. However, my tendency is to
buy better quality products, especially tools and that usually mandates my
researching opinions on usage as well as examining them in person first.
The 075 model is really a step up ... more comparable to the Powermatic
719 w/tilt. The 075 has better stops all the way around and handwheels
moving the bed in x and y.
The 050T is really more like the 050M1, except that the column and base
appear to have been beefed up to permit the tilt. Otherwise the 050T
looks to be pretty much the same as the 050M1.
The only place I've seen a review of the 050T is in the July issue of
Wood magazine. It's a pretty new model, just released last spring.
I picked up my new General 75-050T mortiser last night. Nice machine!
A few observations:
- It's pretty heavy for a benchtop (about 90 lbs or so). Seems a lot
beefier than most of the benchtops.
- The tilt head model is more pricey than the average benchtop at $379.
But then again it's a step up in terms of mass, appearance, and
features compared to most of the benchtops. The non-tilt was $319.
- High fence with a good clamping front hold down, as well as a topside
hold down. I love the frontside clamp and handwheel. The only
drawback I saw was that the frontside holddown and the topside holddown
cannot both be used simulaneously if the wood you are using is less
than about 2.5" tall. Could be fixed if General made the frontside
clamp attach a little lower to the table. Frankly the frontside hold
down is good enough that I don't see much need for the topside second
- The horizontal and vertical stops as well as the frontside clamp are
all done with hand knobs (no tools). Nice. The only tool required is
a chuck key, which has a holder on the back of the unit.
- The four supplied chisels are pretty sharp out of the box ... they
work well once the auger to chisel depth is set correctly according to
the manual (like all mortisers, they'll clog if the auger is set too
shallow). I'm still going to polish the sides and get the Lee Valley
- The long hand crank is very comfortable, and the top end of range
travel adjustment is nice.
- Only did about two dozen holes (mostly in poplar). No binding, etc,
with clean holes. Seemed to take very little effort and the chips were
coming out pretty cleanly. I need to test it out on hard maple to see
if it's as smooth.
- The manual is a little skimpy but a mortiser isn't that complicated.
There are a minimum number of parts to assemble and with common sense
it's no sweat. A better manual would be nice but most woodworkers will
have no problems figuring it out.
- I have yet to try the head tilt or head extension. Maybe tonight.
I bought this unit in Denver at a place called Tool Zone. Cool place
if you are in the area. They have lots of tools ... Jet, General,
Powermatic, etc sitting on the floor. Prices are reasonable and they
seemed to want to spend a lot of time cultivating repeat customers.
p.s. Usual disclaimer: no relation to General or Tool Zone other than
as a customer.
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