Ask any woodworker about the difficulty of fitting a square peg in a round hole, and you’ll probably get a lecture on the very real difficulty of making the hole square. And there’s really only one tool designed to give you a square hole unless you cut one by hand with chisels and that’s a mortiser.
In contrast to table saws and routers, there aren’t a plethora of mortisers out there for hobbyist woodworkers. That’s why the new Shop Fox Heavy-Duty Mortiser from Woodstock International is such a welcome addition to the tool market. It’s reasonably priced at $265 and provides twice the RPM, a large base and a deeper bore capacity than comparably priced mortisers.
And this mortiser can handle some pretty heavy stuff. The base is larger than comparable machines and it is designed to handle lumber as wide as 8 3/4″.
So, why now and why this machine? We asked Phil Spinelli at Woodstock why, of all the machines his company could be building, it decided on this one. The first reason, which most of us can understand, is that the tool designers at Woodstock were frustrated with the mortisers they were using in their own shops and had some ideas about improving them. The second reason Phil mentioned is that the level of craftsmanship among woodworkers is increasing. ” People are getting more ambitious than they used to be,” says Phil.
This mortiser isn’t up on Woodstock’s website yet, so we’ll list some of its specs for those of you who are comparison shopping:
– 1/2 HP induction motor (3,450 RPM)
– 1/2″ chuck and extra long (22″) handle
– 16″ fence with stock hold down
– 11″ by 14″ base
– Swivel base (patent pending) for off-the-bench operations
This is the first in a long line of new tools Woodstock is planning on introducing over the next year or two. Keep your eyes peeled for two new band saws, 5 new drill presses and at least one new dust collector from this company in upcoming months. All will be priced for the hobbyist market and designed with what Phil calls “common sense” features.
– Bob Filipczak