Oliver 91-P Hollow Chisel Mortiser Restoration.
· Repair ·
This mortiser was used at Northern Illinois University in
DeKalb, Illinois. Although it is covered with several coats of
paint, the mortiser looks to have received very little use.
I purchased the mortiser at a government surplus auction in
Springfield, Illinois early May 2005.
Like many of the older machines, this mortiser is made of cast
iron. I estimate this machine weighs around 900 pounds and is
awkward, although not as awkward as a large bandsaw. The
auction was run in the evening and the forklift operators were
not working that evening so I had to pick it up the next day.
Well as usual, when you leave something behind at an auction
something always turns up missing when you arrive to pick it
up. There was an extra handwheel on the pallet with the same
yellow paint when I purchased the mortiser, and not there when
I picked it up. Of course I couldn't get it out the door the
evening of the auction because of security so you leave it
behind and hope for the best... not this time. The auction
house workers loaded it into my pickup with a forklift and off
I went. The only problem I had was getting it out of the
truck. Since I do not own a forklift and there are none in my
neighborhood to borrow, I was stuck. Usually I get machines on
a short tilt trailer and am able to slide them out onto the
ground. So, I started disassembling the machine. I removed
every major component except the plunge mechanism housed
inside the base.
My neighbor Ron cam over and gave me a hand
tipping the base over and sliding it out of the truck and onto
a pallet. From there, I was able to get everything into the
This mortiser needs no repair that I can see. The only item
that may need work is the motor and the pushbutton station. I
only say this because the motor is filled with sawdust from
being idle for so many years and the pushbutton station was
removed. My guess is that the previous owner needed it for
some other machine and robbed the mortiser. This, however, is
good news for me. The less this machine was used the more
likely I will find no trouble with it.
The restoration of this machine began almost as soon as it was
unloaded. I stripped several parts the same evening that I
unload it from the truck. This aggressive restoration is only
out of need for shop space. I have other items to be worked
on, but they are not currently in my workspace.
first new item is special
thanks to Jeffrey McVey for diagrams of a complete 92-D unit.
This will help in reassembly, and as it stands, I will need
it. Every part on this mortiser has now been removed.
have cleaned up, primed and painted the fence. I used the new
'Hammered' paint since the back of this fence is the rough
cast iron. It came out pretty good. I guess we will see how
this paint holds up over the next couple of years.
week I stripped the base. Aarg! This machine is covered with
body filler. Now I will have to get some filler and fill my
Well, it happened. I had a fight with the bandsaw and lost. Restoration will resume after healing and therapy.