Delivery is good

The mortising machine, the Multico PM22, arrived a couple of days ago after just three days in transit. The Multico company of Britain is no longer in business – after relocating to France it seems to have disappeared, so I am hopeful that the machine will prove durable and fixable over the long term. I have figured out already how I will modify it to be fully tiltable, and that will form the subject of a future build thread.

So far, it looks pretty good, and I thought I’d share a few pictures with the readership. Along with that, I’ve unpacked my Hitachi CB100FA bandsaw, so I may as well throw a few pictures on of that beast, just for good measure!

First the mortiser. It was dusty, but has only seen modest use, as far as I could tell. I was surprised to find that many parts, such as the material support table, are aluminum (aluminium for those from outside N. America). Here’s a few pictures:

The handle nearest to view is for sliding the machine’s head fore and aft, while the handle up from it moves the head from left to right. Travel was smooth, though the fore/aft is a little sticky. A spot of cleaning and oiling should take care of that.

A view from the front:

The Yellow cover comes off with a half-turn of an Allen key, to reveal the chuck inside. The chuck key is missing however, so I will need to try and obtain one specific for a mortiser (such chuck keys have a longer shaft on them than a regular drill chuck key).

Let’s zoom in on the traveling mechanism for the head, which rides on a pair of hardened steel bars:

There are stops built in to fix the travel from zero to about 8″ (200mm) left/right and about 6″ fore/aft.

Another look at the machine, this time from the left side:

It comes with a drilling stop bar (a more complex repeat stop system was also available as an option). The bolts to fix the clamping mechanism were missing, as were the main bolts for attaching the table to the front plate of the machine, but they are all simply standard metric bolts and easy to obtain.

A little higher up on the left now is our vantage point:

The piece of wood on the material support table is a 19mm piece of plywood. It’s a sacrificial insert, which is a jolly good idea (as some Brits would undoubtedly say, or used to say at least). Let’s take a closer look at that insert:

Now, I wonder what lurks underneath?:

This would have a been a great place for a maniacal sprung puppet to jump out, but no such luck:

Judging by the virginal condition of the insert plate, the machine has hardly been used. I plugged it in and it whirrs away. Whew! I also think that getting a drilling attachment (once offered as an option on this machine) machined up will be pretty simple, so I’ll be looking into that. I need to locate a good machine shop with some fanatical anal-retentive machinist on staff.

The bandsaw, which has been stored now for nearly five years, and has no doubt been feeling quite lonely, is still looking magnificent and ready to tackle some more adventures:

Hitachi still makes his machine and they haven’t changed a thing on it, except for the paint color, in twenty years. Machines like these aren’t subject to fashion trends, unlike the Hitachi impact drivers, say, which are beginning to look more and more like something from a ski boot manufacturer or an Alien film. My impression is that the Hitachi product, at least those for export, are going downhill in quality.

A closer look at the control panel – this machine has Star Delta and a digital fence, along with a 4+” re-saw blade, Stellite tipped:

And here’s a look around the back:

The machine has sensors for detecting the blade position and balance, and if it gets out of whack, the machine automatically shuts down. It also has a foot-operated braking system. I’ll wire up a plug soon enough and power it up again within a week or so – I can hardly wait!

3 Replies to “Delivery is good”

  1. Chris

    I've been having your blog for lunch for weeks and its delicious! The jointmaking photos are fascinating and the trig posts have already come in handy.



  2. Tom,

    hey, great to hear from you and thanks for the positive feedback. I have a bunch more material in my carpentry drawing essay on trig., if you're interested in looking at more in that vein.


    it's an old mill building right on a river. I already have those tools in storage there, and plan to add a few more in coming weeks, and if the heavens smile upon me and a decent (paid) project comes along, I would like to set up a shop in there. The building owner is a great guy, and that's a plus, along with the 3-phase power on tap.


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