I've finally started playing with the mortising machine I got around
Christmas (Delta 14-651), and it's been great. I'd like to share one
setup trick that I found helpful, and also ask for ideas on clamping.
This first tip is one that I think I saw in a magazine, but I thought
I'd share it here for those who don't get that particular publication
(maybe Wood? Don't remember). To align the chisel square to the
fence, after you've used the coin/$.40 method to set the bit/chisel
spacing: Get a shortish (4-6") ruler, and attach it to the fence side
of the chisel using a flat rare earth magnet, so it looks like an
upside down "T". This gives you a lot more area to align with the
fence (or workpiece), so it's quite easy to see if it's out of
square. I used the 4" ruler from my LV "Double Square," as my thinner
6" metal ruler was a little bent.
Next, I'm wondering if anyone has any particularly good ideas for how
to improve clamping of the workpiece, both in against the fence and
down against the table. The factory hold-down is not very useful.
Ideally, this clamping solution would be quick and easy to release and
re-clamp, so moving the workpiece back and forth for a longer mortise
wouldn't be difficult. The table and fence of my machine are cast
iron instead of MDF, so I'd rather keep drilling to a minimum if
possible. I have a few ideas involving toggle clamps, but I'm
wondering if anyone has suggestions (with pictures?) they'd be willing
Thanks in advance,