Delta 14-650 Dedicated Mortise Machine

Delta 14-650I have the Delta mortiser, and it works fine. The first job I did though, I found the limits of that fence – took a lot of time before I finally settled on being very close to where I wanted to be. Then a local WW friend told me to get a Grizzly sliding cross-vise for about $40 bucks, and modify it to use it rather than the fence.Thisis living! It allows me to grip the stock in a vise that can move intinyamounts in-out and side-to-side, or several inches if you need.

It comes with the vise jaw tightener facing you (as you have it with the stock going side to side) and the front-back motion control going out the back side – not useful. Simply unscrew the bolts that hold the flange for the screw-rod, unscrew the rod, bring it to the front, screw it back in, mark the casting for new holes to fasten the flange with, drill 'em, tap the holes, install the now-front-facing control screw. It is far easier than it sounds – two holes to drill, easy metal to tap, took about 30 minutes for me.

Then turn the mortiser around so the table is away from you, re-mount the mortising column to face you with the table behind it, mount it about 2-3/4" up on blocks so you still get full depth of cut possible above the vise, and learn a new andfasttechnique for mortising!

Before doing your first job – cut examples of all your mortising bits in one block of wood to use to size tenons with; keep by the mortiser for future reference.

Cut your tenons to length and thickness with a tablesaw or router jig (cut-one-side-then-flip-cut-other technique to center them ) to fit a hole in your mortise-bit sample board. Yes,first!
  1. Cut the tenon shoulders to width to match your design needs.
  2. Lay a tenon across the board to be mortised, and with a knife edge layout the ends of the shoulders on the board to set end-of-cut.
  3. At the end of the board to be mortised, lay the tenon down so the shoulder catches the mortise board and mark (scribe, pencil, or masking tape) the
  4. depth the tenon will need.
  5. Put the appropriate bit in the mortiser, squaring it up when doing final alignment by lightly clamping it in the vise before tightening it down. (If you normally use the same bit, you do this very rarely)
  6. Clamp the tenoned board in the vise so the tenon comes across under the bit, line up the bit to the tenon using the in-out motion controls of the vise.
  7. Clamp the mortise board in, so the end of the board is not quite under the bit, bring the bit down to the depth appropriate as judged by your previous mark, and set the depth control on the mortiser.
  8. Either by unclamping and moving the mortise board or by using the cross-sliding control, line up the edge of the bit with one side of your marked tenon hole area, start cutting.
  9. Using the cross-sliding feature without unclamping, move the mortise board sideways for each subsequent cut needed.

Takes far less time to do than for my fingers to type – and gives perfectly aligned mortises without hardly any measuring or even marking – and without test pieces! This supposedly best but tricky, time-consuming joint is now the fastest in my shop.

Neil Haugen - 4/19/98