There aren't many used portable chain mortisers offered for sale in Denmark, and the idea of forking out $2400 for a new Festool or $4000 for a new Mafell is out of the question. Even I have to be realistic once in a while.
I have regularly checked the various classified home pages in Denmark, and one day while looking, I spotted something on a stationary mortiser that made me take a closer look.
In addition to the lever type handle, this chain mortiser also had two smaller handles. Now those would only make sense if the machine could be used as a portable unit.
I enlarged the pictures and could see that part of it looked like aluminium castings and not cast iron. I also managed to decipher the designation of the machine which is cast into the front cover: KKF 15
A quick search and I found a page from an old catalogue that listed the features of the machine. To me the most interesting thing was that it could be used as either a wall mounted or a portable machine.
Whenever I find a machine that I would like, chances are that it is situated far from where I live, but this machine was being sold just 20 miles from our place. So I arranged with the boys that we would drive down and get it, Gustav had to be picked up at the train station after a trip to Copenhagen with his class, so first I picked him up, and then went for the machine
Originally I had intended to do a bit of haggling just as a principle, and my argument for a lower price would be that there was only one chain , and it even needed sharpening. It turned out that the chain mounted on the mortiser was in excellent condition, and besides there were two brand new chains to go along with it as well. Knowing that a new chain can easily reach 200$ on its own it seemed pointless to haggle, so I paid the guy the $200 he was asking for the machine and he helped me load it in the back of the car.
Once home, I checked the machine, and it was in much better condition than I could have hoped for. I tested it on some pieces of scrap, and it is a joy to use.
The only problem is that even though it can be used as a portable chain mortiser, it is designed to work like that in another way than the one that I borrowed from Olav.
Olavs chain mortiser is a 100% portable machine. It is designed to work with the chain running along the grain, and it has got a clamping fixture that is perfect. Once the machine is clamped, you can slide the sword lengthwise, and make a nice long mortise that is only the thickness of the chain wide.
My machine is heavier and works across the grain when used as a hand held mortiser. That means that the width of my mortises are limited by the width of the sword and chain combined. The good thing is that You don't have to clamp the machine to the work piece. The action of the chain will ensure that it packs the fence close to the work piece all the time.
Now if I only made one size of tenons that would be OK, but I would like to be able to use the machine on different sizes of timber, so I have to figure out a way to make a clamping fixture so my machine can also work like Olavs.
A good thing about the current set up is that it is perfect for making mortises in e.g. work bench tops. Because it only requires one flat face to register to in order to make a mortise. So I don't have to invent a longer clamping fixture to span across the width of a work bench top just to make the mortises for the legs.
I guess I should make a workbench just to use the new machine..
Haffner KKF chain mortiser mounted on a stand.
Plunged into an imaginary piece of wood.