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Thread: Benchtop Mortiser

  1. I used to have a Jet benchtop mortiser and I sold it because I hated it. The hold downs never stayed put, it was underpowered and the top of the table was, bizarrely, made of MDF. In retrospect I think part of my struggles may have been that the chisels that came with it were not very good. I got by cutting mortises by hand for a while but eventually bought a Powermatic benchtop mortiser and some good Fisch chisels and have been fairly happy with it. I still cut them by hand unless they are long or I have a lot to do.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by cob garner View Post
    My next large project is replacing my overhead garage doors with carriage doors. I can buy a Delta mortiser and tenon jig on craigslist for $225, never been used. Most of my woodworking is cabinetry. I've thought about the Festool Domino XL700 for the carriage door joinery, but with accessories to utilize smaller bits I'm looking at $2,000ish. That would be the most expensive tool in my shop. Would the Festool be more useful for the extra money? I will have to save up to buy the Festool and delay the project.
    Cob

    You brought up a slightly older thread, and there was another in the past year very close to this. Here is the link.
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....chtop-mortiser

    Whether or not a Domino would be more useful than a bench top mortiser is a question that each individual would have to answer based on project types.
    Other than the fact that each make a "mortise". I don't really see them as performing the same function. The domino is a true "floating tenon system with a size limitation. ( There is only so deep a mortise that can be made with a Domino. The bench top, or floor standing mortiser can make a much bigger, deeper, mortise. If you were making deep, structural, load bearing M&T joints, like interior and exterior doors, the dedicated mortiser would be the better choice. For cabinets and furniture project where overall size is a limitation to start with, the Domino can make very strong floating tenon joints,relative to size. It can do these fairly quickly and in place.
    I have a Bench top mortiser, an older Delta 14-651, and would not be without it. I do not own a Domino only because I have made too many router jigs through the years that replicate it's core function. It's just a matter of economics for me, but you can be certain that if someone ever gave me one, I'd use it instead of a router with edge guides and jigs in a skinny minute.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; Yesterday at 9:15 AM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  3. #33
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    I prefer free standing equipment over handheld whenever possible. If you have positioning systems on your equipment it's easy to move from part to part with accuracy. That can be done with handheld tools as well but as the work gets larger the positioning near the center of the work becomes more difficult with handheld tools. Unless a work piece becomes really large and immobile, then you're back to handheld tools.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #34
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    Sep 2013
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    The tables I'm building right now require lots of 1/2" by 1/2" and 3/16" square mortises. Hard to do with a Domino.

    I fought with both a drill press attachment and a benchtop mortiser for years (after first learning with a big industrial horizontal mortiser in the Palo Alto high school woodshop) and wasn't very happy with them. The sliding table with its secure clamping system on the bigger General International mortiser makes a world of difference and is well worth the added price if you use the machine much at all.
    Last edited by roger wiegand; Yesterday at 10:50 AM.

  5. #35
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    May 2008
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    MA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Wilson View Post
    it is a set of tables with through tenons that has had me thinking of the tool.

    I would be concerned with tearout or breakthrough on the back side. A number of things might help. Sharp sharp sharp (a learning curve). Clamping the workpiece tight, with a backer board. Or go part way through and flip.

    I have only used the drill press version and it now sits in a drawer. For through mortise and tenon I prefer the router (or to be honest sometimes clamp it into the metal milling machine). A two flute, sharp bit rotating at a high speed seems to give me pretty nice through cuts.

    (yes I have a Domino... its not obvious that it is the best tool for through mortises unless within certain dimensional limits - just my $.02. Not trying to bash Domino. Please dont beat me.... )
    Last edited by Carl Beckett; Yesterday at 9:12 AM.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Northern Virginia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cutler View Post
    Cob

    You brought up a slightly older thread, and there was another in the past year very close to this. Here is the link.
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....chtop-mortiser

    Whether or not a Domino would be more useful than a bench top mortiser is a question that each individual would have to answer based on project types.
    Other than the fact that each make a "mortise". I don't really see them as performing the same function. The domino is a true "floating tenon system with a size limitation. ( There is only so deep a mortise that can be made with a Domino. The bench top, or floor standing mortiser can make a much bigger, deeper, mortise. If you were making deep, structural, load bearing M&T joints, like interior and exterior doors, the dedicated mortiser would be the better choice. For cabinets and furniture project where overall size is a limitation to start with, the Domino can make very strong floating tenon joints,relative to size. It can do these family quickly and in place.
    I have a Bench top mortiser, an older Delta 14-651, and would not be without it. I do not own a Domino only because I have made too many router jigs through the years that replicate it's core function. It's just a matter of economics for me, but you can be certain that if someone ever gave me one, I'd use it instead of a router with edge guides and jigs in a skinny minute.
    The domino xl can do a 2.75" deep mortise and really fast, (its no maka though) width is only limited by the loose tenon stock.

    I dont recall what the max depth the jet benchtop mortiser could mortise but i dont recall it being much more than the domino. I replaced it with a midsized oliver hcm that only has 3.25" depth (before i raise the table)

    Benchtop mortisers are nice, but after owning the jet i wouldnt get another without a integral clamp and xy table.

    I would personally go with the domino xl if i only had to choose only one mortising machine.
    Last edited by Jared Sankovich; Yesterday at 9:52 AM.

  7. #37
    Back when I was looking for a mortiser, the X Y table was a must feature for me.

    I would be leaning toward the Rikon. Would like to see a bigger motor on it. At a fraction of the cost of a Domino XL, this would be the way I would go.

    A few years ago, I was going to pull the trigger on the Rikon which was on sale when the night before I found a PM floor mortiser on Craigslist. The ONLY one I have ever seen in years of persuing CL. I stuffed called the guy immediately, stuffed 500 bucks in my pocket, loaded up and drove 1 hour, hoping I would be the first one there.

    Ended up getting it for $400 along with 5 Jet bits and a mobile base [gloat].

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Coastal Southern Maine
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    119
    I have an old Delta bench top unit. I haven't used it in years because the hold down clamp broke. When I remembered to check online for the part I could never find it.

    Recently I have seen a few arrived and post about attaching a cross vice. I have the after market chisel set and sharpening kit so I probably sould.

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