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.
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
to Houtbewerkingsmachines->Merken ->Vierkante gaten steekmachines
and here is the powermatic link
well thats my 10c
and goodluck with your choice
This one is about the General International 75-075M I've got
and there's a subsequent comparison of it to the PM 719A.
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)
If you have any questions about the General feel free to
ask away and I'll try to answer them.
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?
Most of your questions are answered on this page, which I guess you
get to from the previous page on just the General.
Aside from the tilting head feature, which has yet to be used but I'm
will be, there were a few things that I noted. The locking lever for
In/Out movement was a small metal tabbed "flip" handle on the PM and a
ratcheting handle on the General. The small flip handle was
to turn snug and, in some orientations, difficult to grab. PM uses
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
octagonal rod. The latter lets you "lock" the stop in several
while the former requires that you get the locking bolt on the flat
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'
so it isn't that big a deal.
Paul K wrote:
Most chisel/bit sets don't come polished. The outside faces of the
typically has grinder scratches, some at an angle to the direction of
As on any other wood chisel, a polished surface cuts cleaner and
than a rougher surface. Polish, done "sharpen" the outside faces of
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)
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.
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.
I forgot all about the dime method. Easier then eyeballing it for
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!
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
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
Scott Post firstname.lastname@example.org http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /
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