Tuesday, April 17, 2012

As it happens, it is Doomsday Wood.

Ipé may or may not be good for people, but it has just broken my mortiser.

The splined hub that connects the handle to the shaft that drives the head up and down has stripped out. No more splines means no more leverage. And no way to even move the bit up out of the wood. Thankfully it's just a test piece.

I've been less than pleased with this machine already, but this is just obnoxious.


Chris Schwarz said...


I personally stripped out two of those in white oak with that model of mortiser. Ridiculous. It was like pot metal.

I'd complain to the seller and Powermatic. They know it's a problem and should fix it.

JW said...

Well, as it happens, I was working for the seller at the time, so I'll have to go to the mirror for that one.

I've also been having issues with gib strips sliding out, so I had to really clamp them to keep them in place, adding more friction to the setup. Yeah, not the greatest machine.

In powermatic's defense, I then tried using a regular mortise chisel from Ashley Iles. If the mallet could have stripped out, it would have. This stuff is just brutal.

We have a machinist in the building, I may try to brainstorm a fix with him. But I'm also going to take out the spring loaded bolt and just fix the handle in place on the next round. I think this is partly due to the hub not seating properly. (Based solely on similar experiences with splined crank arm interfaces on bicycles.) We'll see if that helps.

Chris Schwarz said...

I have the Powermatic 719A and have mortised stuff as metal-like as Ipe and the machine has held up.

I so rarely say the following: The benchtop Powermatic mortiser is one of the biggest pieces of junk I have ever encountered. The two models I used were ... unusable. The company makes many great machines. This is not one of them.

JW said...

Good to know!

Next time I'm in the market...