A chain mortiser is a type of woodworking machine used to cut square holes in material. It is commonly used for cutting mortise and tenon joints and post and beam fittings.
Unlike other types of mortisers, chain machines can remove large amounts of material quite quickly and can plunge deeply into the wood to create deeper cuts.
If you’re looking for a simple tool to quickly and accurately cut mortises in timbers and logs, a chain mortiser is a great choice. This heavy duty, yet portable machine is perfect for both timber framing and log home construction and will save you time and effort.
A chain mortiser consists of a set that includes a cutting chain, guide bar and sprocket. The cutting chain is the part that makes the cuts, and it may be carbide-tipped for added durability and clean cuts.
The guide bar is the part that allows the cutting chain to glide as it cuts through the wood. It is typically mounted on a motorized mortising machine (stationary or portable), and the chain is run around it.
A chain mortiser can remove a lot of material very fast, and can plunge quite deep into the wood to create deeper cuts. For this reason, portable chain mortisers are often used for post and beam building construction.
When it comes to cutting a mortise into large pieces of timber, a chain mortiser is the tool of choice. It is a specialized type of power tool that cuts recessed “pockets” into the material, instead of just “slots” like a slot mortiser.
Chain mortisers are a very popular choice for timber framing work because they are fast, accurate and easy to use. This is because they cut a square-sided mortise, which is much more precise than a round-hole mortise or a hollow chisel.
There are two general types of chain mortisers: portable and stationary. The portable version is usually fairly lightweight and compact, with a user holding the machine to clamp it onto a piece of wood.
The stationary version is larger, heavier, and able to support the weight of the wood being cut. This model is generally used in a shop or on-site. It will have a hand lever to drop the bar and chain to the wood being cut, and may have a depth gauge to control how deep it cuts.
A chain mortiser is a great way to cut large square holes in wood. This is particularly true for homebuilders and timber framers who are often working with thicker wood.
A typical machine consists of a motor and a pulley system, as well as a guide bar. A small handle will usually be found on the front of the machine that a user can grip.
It may also feature a depth gauge to control how deep it cuts. The motor may have a number of speeds, and the chain itself might be variable or fixed in length, with or without an automatic chain feed mechanism.
One of the best things about a chain mortiser is its ability to impress with the accuracy and power of its cutters. Most machines are able to produce a square mortise without too much effort, and are a good choice for a seasoned pro looking to get the job done in an efficient manner.
Unlike a chisel and drill, chain mortises can be made quickly and without straining your shoulder or wrist. They can also be used in conjunction with framing chisels to ensure accurate work.
For larger jobs, especially in timber frame construction, a chain with cutters (similar to a chainsaw chain) rotating within a frame clamped to the workpiece is successively plunged into the work to mortise out the required volume. These chains are usually carbide-tipped to provide more durability and clean cuts.
A chain mortiser is a powerful and reliable tool that can be used for years with minimal maintenance. However, they are heavy and may cause injury if not used properly or carelessly.
A chain mortiser should only be operated by a competent person. Make sure that the machine is confined in an area with no slip or trip hazards and that power supplies are locked out before any maintenance, cleaning or repairs are carried out.