AMERICAN SAW MILL MACHINE CO. MODEL 885 MORTISER

The other American Co., American Saw Mill Machine Co, of New Jersey, built this nice little hollow chisel mortiser. I am not a fan of hollow chisel machines but there are a few applications in which the chain machines are not capable. So I have been adding these into the mix.

American made hollow chisel machines but I have not yet had one available to me. Meanwhile, this one works rather well so far.

Like here for instance. Bar morticing for insulated glass sticking in a door stile. No clamp needed with true stock and hold downs. Real easy to hit the mark with hand control and no clamp to deal with. I do have to lift the pedal by foot to help withdraw the chisel from a four side cut. Pops right out on the two side. I suppose I can play with the spring tension, or, swage the chisel a hair? It’s not a real problem, but I would like to experiment with swaging a beat up chisel.

Here is the fulcrum that drives the ram. The columns bring the boring spindle along for the ride. The mechanics here are not genius, but, it works fine when in the cut. I will probably be adding a back fence in order to have more of the table on it’s support column. Putting the chisel 1/2″ from the fence requires the table to be rather extended.

The bevel gear is leather. The machine is fairly quiet. The auger bit runs at 2400 rpm. It cuts better than my Greenlee at 3600rpm with the same bit and chisel which are interchangeable between the two machines.

I purchased this machine from a guy who had restored it but hadn’t used it. I have been getting the bugs out. The spring is inadequate to withdraw the chisel without a little toe lifting of the foot pedal. I will try a fresh grind on the chisel and if the problem persists I may come up with a hand lever to assist the withdrawal.

The table is not perpendicular to the stroke. So I shim under the fixture on the table. There appears no other way to adjust this. So I will likely make a full surface table of hardwood with compensation and make it permanent. Fortunately the stroke appears parallel to the table bracket ways.

I remain pleased with the machine in spite of its shortcomings.

Blind mortises for bars on a sash bottom rail. You want no clamp on a table that does not traverse. But you do want well jointed parts and fixtures so that the parts fit the fixture with no variances.

The chain mortisers are much faster at this, but I have no 1 1/8″ bar.

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At work beside a chain mortiser.  The hollow chisel makes the small blind mortises while the chain mortiser cuts the larger through mortises on these window sash stiles.

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Using risers and stops to increase accuracy with different sizes of sash parts.

One Response to “AMERICAN SAW MILL MACHINE CO. MODEL 885 MORTISER”

  1. Ian Says:

    Hey, back in the day we only had the hollow chisel rig. We didn’t need no chain mortiser! First time visiting your site, it is most excellent. Like disneyland for dudes who dig old machines.

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