DELTA MORTISER MODIFICATION
A De-Sta-Co clamp is the key feature.
SHOP OWNER: John Weber
LOCATION: Richmond, IN
For the most part, I copied this Delta mortiser modification from an article in Fine Woodworking #150 by David Nastri. I used slightly different materials, but the ideas are his. The key design element is the De-Sta-Co clamp. It firmly clamps the work piece to the machine and allows for quick movement between cuts.
The base is constructed of 80/20 aluminum extrusion and some 6061 aluminum plate for the table, which measures 24" x 6". The clamp is adjustable for materials of different thickness by loosing and tightening two cap head screws. To beef up the fence, I added a T-slot aluminum fence that can hold a stop block, and some red oak to keep it level with the table. The oak and larger table also allows the fence to be clamped down if needed. The mortiser is much more enjoyable to use and operate now.
The 6061 aluminum plate was scrap I found at a company warehouse. The De-Sta-Co clamp came from Woodcraft, and the T-slot aluminum extrusion is from a company in Fort Wayne, Indiana called 80/20. Sold to industrial plants for test equipment and other fixtures, unfortunately it is very expensive. Mine came from a scrapped machine. Finally, the fence aluminum is a Board Buddy track.
I also replaced all the setscrews with cap head hardware. I enjoyed working with the aluminum; it gives the modifications an "industrial" look. After using it a bit, I am very satisfied with the changes. The original hold down is of little use; other than to assist if a chisel is stuck occasionally. The clamp system is positive and fast. I clamp every cut and it works great.
It is also part of a multifunction workstation where I combined my mortiser, compound miter saw, and air compressor in a single location. The tables for the mortiser and miter saw are the same height and the mortiser fence can be adjusted parallel and inline to the miter fence. Now that I've had it configured this way for a time, I don't really have any complaints. The mortiser clamp takes little time to remove and reinstall. When doing compound cuts, I need to remove the mortiser fence, but other than that, it works great. The mortiser fence also does double duty when I need to clamp stops to it for the miter saw.. . . John Weber
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