Grizzly G0540 Horizontal Borer/Mortiser Review

by Ed Snow

The machine is designed primarily as a horizontal borer to facilitate the doweling process. The machine is also capable of mortising. I have used much better horizontal mortisers but for the money and the space, this unit is a good compromise. I have deduced that maximum mortise width is 38" . The sliding table mechanism is tight and smooth and the hold down both versatile and very effective. Doweling is a dream.

G0540 single spindle boring machine

As far as fit and finish, this unit is pretty clean. There was one double threaded screw in the switch housing but other than that it was fine. The table is flat. Like any Grizzly machine it came out of the crate coated in a ton of packing grease. The manual was missing but there was an exploded parts view so assembly went quickly. I had no issue with any of the components. The sliding table weighed 100 lbs but I had no issues hoisting it and bolting it to the upright by myself.

Short 5Mb movie of arbor run out and mortising operations

Evaluating the machine's capabilities and learning its operation could be time consuming. This is not a heavy duty machine. The process for mortising is similar to that of using a plunge router to cut mortises. There is more control with lighter cuts—18" to 316" bites in things softer than walnut and 116" to 18" bites in harder woods.

sample mortises

Here are the results.

I feel this was a good purchase for me. I prefer horizontal mortisers and I prefer doweling to biscuiting. I feel that even this low end horizontal borer/light duty mortiser is superior to most of the sub $500 hollow chisel mortisers.

. . . Ed Snow

© 2005 by Ed Snow. All rights reserved.
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