General International - 5⁄8-in. Hollow-Chisel Mortiser - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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5⁄8-in. Hollow-Chisel Mortiser

General International - 5⁄8-in. Hollow-Chisel Mortiser

$400 (As of 1/28/2011)

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Editor's Review: Sharpen a Mortiser Bit

by Roland Johnson

review date: January 28, 2011

To test the general international mortiser’s mettle, I used the 1⁄2-in. chisel to plunge a bunch of 1-1⁄2-in.-deep mortises in both softwoods and hardwoods. Then I used the other three included chisels for the same test. The machine had no problemwith these jobs, and revealed a host of user-friendly features.

Large openings in the head casting on both sides of the drill chuck make it easy to use a standard-length chuck key for bit changes. The table is large and expands even more with slide-out extensions. The cast-iron fence adjusts smoothly. However, one spacer between the bottom of the fence and the T-slot nut was just a hair too thick, preventing the bolt from locking securely. The fix was easy. A few licks with a file thinned the spacer enough to get adequate clamping with the lever handles. Two rubber rollers hold stock securely against the fence while allowing it to be moved sideways.

What’s really cool about the mortiser is that most operations are tool-free. The chisel holder, the fence, the side covers, the stops, and the hold downs all have easy-to-grasp knobs for simple and secure operation.

I had one concern about this tool: The drill chuck runout really rattled the bits in the chisel. However, because these aren’t precision drilling machines, the runout didn’t compromise performance.

The General International mortiser is a good buy. It cuts fast and accurate mortises, and all the stops and hold-downs do their jobs without moving or shifting.

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Editor Test Results:

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer General International
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 1-888-949-1161
Cutting Capacity N/A
Table Travel N/A
Vertical Spindle Travel N/A
Table Size 11-1⁄8 in. deep by 14-1/4 in. wide (32-3/4 in. with wings open)
Amps 6 AMPS
Volts N/A
Speed 1,720 RPM

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