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When we have work that has parts that are too big to take to the machinery, we take the machinery to the work.
In this case, we were building some large driveway gates out of some 5-1/2" Western Red Cedar we had surfaced. The stuff was manhandled thru the jointer and planer - enough of taking the wood to the machine. The mortiser we use for this is a Makita - not often imported into the US. It is available from Timberwolf tools, along with other models and tools for timber work. We have a large Maka mortiser and a hollow chisel mortiser, but they both require lots of handling of the parts.
The Makita has a swivel head, so once it is locked onto the timber a mortise up to 3-1/2" long can be made in 3 drops. The head is released and it cuts in quickly and easily of its own weight. About 15 seconds to go 4-1/2" deep. Hitting layout lines is a little hit or miss, and they need to be scored to prevent blowout.
The quality of the mortise is first rate - better than I expected. It makes a 3/4" wide cut with the chain, and other sizes are available. The machine also has a side shift so you can make a 1-1/2" wide by 3-1/2" long mortise in 6 drops.
A surprise as a machine and surprisingly accurate and quick. The joints are perfect.
Nice looking gate David. I've been eyeing one of those for a while wondering when the right job would come along that required it.
I've got an old Powermatic stationary chain mortiser, which has a little oil drip cup for the chain. Does this have some kind of oiler?
How was that gate hinged?
No oiler. This eliminates the problem I have seen with chain mortisers - oil dripping on the wood. No lube suggestion in the manual other than blowing it off. We have done about 300 plunges and I can tel it is about time for a sharpening.
The company that sells these us for sells the job, makes the masonry posts, sets the activators and performs maintenance. There is a 1/2" steel plate let into the outer stiles with two large hinges. There is a mating piece set flush into the masonry. They set up the gates with everything level and plumb, an correct gaps, then well the hinges to the plate. They come out very nice. Perfectly aligned.
My son uses one of these in his timber framing business, He manually oils the chain periodically with light machine oil to forestall link wear.
I have the Protool version of that machine- actually a part of the Festo/ol company.
How are you cutting the tenons?
The tenon shoulders are cut all at once (for one side) with a Festool track saw. Even the curved rails are lined up on the bench in their proper locations, along with the straight rails, all held with battens. The cheeks are then sawn off on a 14" Delta band saw. Some fitting was required with a wide rabbet plane, but only about 1 m/hr per gate for a dry fit. Mostly a chamfered entry "ramp" for the tenons to slip into place.
This was all surfaced stock that we sized and squared, so dimensions were accurately predictable, unlike rough sawn. Much more trial and error (time) on rough sawn.