No announcement yet.

New to me NIB HF Mortiser. Fence question.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New to me NIB HF Mortiser. Fence question.

    Okay I couldn't pass it up. The regular price on these with the coupon is pretty cheap to begin with, but I came across a deal with a coworker for a NIB Central Machinery #35570 bench top mortising machine for $75.00, how could I say no?

    Only one problem...

    The bracket that holds the fence, and hold down has a long side and a short side. The long side is shown in the manual as being pointed down as to act as the slide for the fence. However, when installed in this configuration, the hold down gives less than 3" clearance to the table.

    How is this fence / clamp supposed to be oriented?

    Any owners that figured this out, can you please post pics?

    I'd like to get this going soon. I am in a project I could use it on...
    My personal workshop blog is My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel

  • #2
    dbhost --

    I have the HF S35570 mortiser. I bought it a few years ago for $79 on sale + coupons. Here's my 20-min answer to your 2-min question.

    You're right, the hold-down does not go up very high. I removed mine and use two quick clamps as a hold-down. I believe that the quick clamps do a better job than hold-downs on most mortisers. Remember how Norm's hold-down seemed to allow the square chisel to wedge in the workpiece as he withdrew it.

    Here are the tweeks that I made to my HF mortiser:

    > Sharpen the chisels. I use Lee Valley cone sharpeners 77J81.20 & 77J81.22

    > Mount the mortiser onto a plywood base if you don't screw it to your bench. Makes it more stable. The back tends to lift as you lower the handle on the mortiser. Clamp the plywood base to your bench with bar clamps. You can clamp the front and at least one side of the plywood in back to your bench.

    > Take some time to get the chisel square to your work. Otherwise your mortises will have a saw tooth look. I clamp something like a 12" ruler from a combo square to the chisel, then eye ball the setup.

    > Here is a link to setting up a mortiser by Tom Hintz.

    > The plastic depth stop is useless. I ended up cutting a piece of PVC to the length needed to stop the cut. Then I sawed it down the middle. Wrapped the two pieces of PVC around the right column (the one without the return spring) and taped them together. You can see it in the photo below - it's shiney because I used metal duct tape to reassemble the pieces.

    > You may need to make a wooden spacer between the fence and the workpiece to position the workpiece correctly if the fence does not move far enough to the front. UPDATE: The spacer is not needed because the fence does not move far enough. It is needed when cutting deep mortises that are close to the fence because the top of the chisel hits the mount for the hold-down.

    > Use two bar clamps to lock the fence to the mortiser table.

    > Use quick clamps to hold the work to the mortiser table instead of using the hold-down that comes with the mortiser. One end of the clamp is on the workpiece, the other end is under the workbench, thereby holding the workpiece to the mortiser table. Keep the clamps within the width of the iron base of the mortiser. If beyond, the clamps may distort the MDF mortiser table.

    > Use a quick clamp to hold the workpiece to the fence. All three quick clamps must be loosened each time the workpiece is moved to make the next cut. But I don't mind it because it keeps the cuts dead-on. And I work at a snail's pace anyway.

    > You can see all of the items discussed above in this photo. (3/8" mortises, about 2-1/2" deep into maple.)

    This sounds like a lot of effort, but it takes only a few minutes. I am very pleased with the results. Good luck with your new toy.

    - Lonnie
    Last edited by Lonnie in Orlando; 08-10-2011, 01:40 PM.
    OLD STUFF ... houses, furniture, cars, wine ... I love it all


    • #3
      Excellent suggestions, Lonnie.

      My fence tends to be a bit loose. In my experience this is more likely to cause the sawtooth result you mention, however I would absolutely support your suggestion to take a few minutes to set up the chisel properly.

      I have in mind a concept for a hold-down of some kind to solve the wiggly fence problem. It would be a stick of wood behind, and parallel to, the fence. It would have tight-fitting groove set onto the arm that locates the fence. Hold-downs on either end of the stick (idea: set into your plywood base?) would keep it in place. I haven't implemented this as I haven't used my mortiser in quite a while.



      • #4

        Your quick clamp trick is along the lines of what I was thinking of... Thanks for the verification...
        My personal workshop blog is My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel


        • #5
          Got in and snapped a pic of it last night. Still need to shove some wood under it and try it out, but at least it powers up and the bit turns...
          Might just try some M&T when I throw together the new clamp rack I have been working on designing...

          A trivial bit that has me somewhat confused. My mortiser, as well as Lonnie's and the demo model in store are all black. The previous demo model in store, and the picture on the web site, the main body is green. Anyone know if they are different machines or just a variation in paint?

          I explained this elsewhere, and this almost qualifies as a gloat...

          A while back I snagged a Delta 10" non slide CMS, I am guessing a less than 10 year old Shopmaster series. The blade was trashed, and I asked the guy that was throwing it out why he was tossing it, he said it didn't cut worth a (expletive). Okay that is an easy fix...

          I had an Irwin Marathon blade that I originally bought for the BTS-21 that didn't go with that saw. I used it maybe 3 times, an 80T crosscut blade. I tossed it on the Delta, polished the aluminum up with some Mothers, and was getting ready to toss it on CL for $75.00. The mortiser was a straight trade for the little Delta. (Hence the $75.00 price tag). I guess you could look at it this way. I got the saw free, put a blade on it that was going to go to the trash otherwise, and used a little bit of polish. I guess you could call it free...
          Last edited by dbhost; 08-11-2011, 11:11 AM.
          My personal workshop blog is My camping / hunting / outdoor blog is |My DIY / Woodworking Youtube Channel