General International has introduced a new 5/8” hollow-chisel mortiser, model 75-040 M1, featuring a 1/2-hp, 110-volt single-phase motor with start capacitor for smooth startup. General product manager Norman Frampton says the basic function of the machine is to drill square or rectangular holes in wood for mortise-and-tenon joinery, making it a perfect addition to any custom furniture shop.
“Mortise-and-tenon joints are very strong and stable and that is why they are so commonly used by all types of furniture manufacturers for table and chair legs, bed posts and other situations where you have a vertical workpiece that needs to be joined to a horizontal one,” says Frampton.
The stable machine features a full cast-iron head, column and table for vibration-free performance. It has a large 14-1/4” x 11-1/8” table with telescopic extensions that can add an extra 22” of workpiece support, according to General.
“The telescopic workpiece supports can be used whenever a wider work surface is required. It also comes in handy with workpieces such as bedposts, which can be thicker and heavier at one end than the other. The extension can be used to support the heavier end to prevent it from tipping off the table,” says Frampton.
The mortiser also has a 14” x 3” cast-iron fence and an extra-long multiposition feed handle that can be installed on either side of the machine and set to different start angles.
“This means that regardless if you are a lefty or a righty, short or tall, you will be able to adjust the handle position for maximum leverage, ease of use and operator comfort,” says Frampton.
The head slides on dovetail ways and the maximum 5” stroke is controlled by a gas head cylinder. There are adjustable stops to control both downstroke depth and upstroke travel.
“The user can adjust the upper stop so that the bit comes back up just enough to clear the top of the workpiece. Due to the economy of motion, this can save lots of time, not to mention wear and tear on the operator, particularly when a lot of mortises are being done at one time.”
The 75-040 M1 sells for about $400 with 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8” and 1/2” mortising chisel/bit sets. A chisel adaptor bushing is also included to allow the machine to be used with all 5/8” or 3/4” shank chisel/bits sets that are available from aftermarket sources.
Contact: General International, 760 Jessica St., Murfreesboro, TN 37133. Tel: 888-949-1161. www.general.ca
This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue.