Graphical Construction Glossary >> Tools. >> Power Tools >> Chain Mortiser
I can remember the very first time that I saw one of these portable chain machines. In 1966 I was hitch-hiking around Japan and I wandered onto a building site in Kyoto. The guys were building a traditional Japanese timber frame house, with the frame being about 6" thick. All the joints, studs to plates were mortise and tenon and while the guys did a lot of hand work, they had one of these portable machines that was built by Making. In the time span between then and now, I have no doubt that Making have improved their mortise no end and also that there are now a large amount of other companies that make them.
At that time I had never seen a portable machine like this in either the UK or Australia. I had seen and used very heavy solid cast iron framed workshop machines, but what amazed me was the fact that the portable mortise was performing as good as a workshop machine in respect of the cutting, but it has the advantage or being portable.
While chain mortises are a lot faster than hollow chisel mortises they are slightly rougher. The downward side of the chain leaves a clean cut, but the other side, the upward cut leaves whiskers or sometimes splinters.
The trick to stop this is to do a shallow cut first so the the upward end is angled say 45deg. then cut to it but not quite. So that maybe 1/16" of the bevel is left showing.
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