Morso fence alignment

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Morso fence alignment

Postby anthonycarey » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:53 pm

Morning all. I am brand new to this forum & brand new to framing. I am not a commercial framer, simply framing my own work, but who knows where it may lead! I have a Morso guillotine & an Alfamachine underpinner, both bought used but beautiful condition. I am having a problem that I know has been talked of on this forum but wondered if there was anything else on the subject. Having adjusted the fences as prescribed by Morso, the gaps at the inside joints of the frames were not good. To get it anywhere near right I have had to pull the left fence (as you look at it) toward me by quite a bit (see pic). I have just had the blades sharpened by Mainline, although the problem was there before the sharpening, & I'm confident that I fitted them back well, with no dirt behind the blades. The alignment seems good with the bottom blades (judging by visual & the cutting paper test). Any thoughts or ideas? The underpinner has a fixed fence by the way. Good to be here.
Morso fence angle.JPG
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Re: Morso fence alignment

Postby David McCormack » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:59 pm

Welcome aboard :D

I would start again with the fence setup and your newly sharpened blades. Place a long steel rule in contact with your measuring scale and also up against the RIGHT fence. Both should be inline, adjust if necessary. Now slide the rule over to the LEFT fence and adjust so it is inline with the RIGHT fence. The measuring scale and both fences should all be perfectly inline.

Now cut a square test frame from a WIDE FLAT moulding and cut upside down so you don’t have to use the rebate supports. Lay the frame on a flat surface and you should be able to see if the joints are open either at the front or back. A band clamp is handy to check your corners.

If there are obvious gaps then make a LEFT fence adjustment. Moving the left fence towards you will close a gap on the inside of the mitre and away from you for a gap on the outside. If you have to make an adjustment, then reduce the size of your square frame and cut all the corners again. When you think the corners look right go ahead and join the frame to make a final check.

I often get mixed up/forget which way to move the left fence :oops: but you'll soon work it out!
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Re: Morso fence alignment

Postby anthonycarey » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:09 pm

Thanks for your welcome David and your advice. However, I set the fences up as you describe (as per the Morso specs) but I still have to adjust the left fence as per the photo. I will try the square frame though...sounds like a good exercise. Thanks again.
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Re: Morso fence alignment

Postby poliopete » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:07 pm

Welcome to the FF :D

Let us know how you get on with the test.

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Re: Morso fence alignment

Postby prospero » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:36 am

You seem to be doing all the right things Anthony. But the deflection of the left fence you illustrate is very extreme.
Usually a gnat's whisker is all that's needed. If you overcook the tweak then you will start to get a gap.
You say that the blades were ground by Mainline, so they should be good.
You could try removing them and check that they are seated correctly - no bits between the blade and block and also
that they are at the same height.

What moulding are you using? Some moulding can be a bit ropey and can deflect the blades. :?
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Re: Morso fence alignment

Postby John Ranes II, CPF, GCF » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:07 pm

I am following this thread with interest as we have a 40 year old Morsø that I recently "tweaked". Attempting to get better mitred corners. We used this machine since we purchased it new in 1978, and cut a fair amount of moulding in the 80's-90's. We actually went through three sets of blades (one was also being sharpened with a third set on stand-by). We now rotate between two sets of blades purchased new about 15 years ago. Our use is much less today.

I appreciate David McCormack's adjustment recommendations, which we typically have done from the beginning. Straight edge running from the right fence to the measuring scale and so forth. I will add the following information to consider....

  • I recently replaced the position handle for the third time in the life of the machine. The previous two handles had completely worn down the "clicking" flared edge that locks the blades into each step - 40 years will do that! :D

    I believe that without those locks functioning on the position handle, then the blades will tend to pull backwards on a downward cut and thus create a minor gap on the inside of the moulding.

  • This same thing can happen slightly when you trim a piece of moulding inserted from the left side, where you have no material being cut on the right. It is difficult sometimes to hold that moulding secure, especially if it is a hardwood. Sometimes it is wiser to sacrifice a bit of length material to the scrapheap and get a better mitre so I will extend the moulding in a bit further, so that both blades are functioning.

Keep us all posted Anthony.

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Re: Morso fence alignment

Postby anthonycarey » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:19 pm

Many thanks for your replies & very useful information, I'm very grateful to you. I will try some ideas but I think it just might be worth having an engineer take a look at both the Morso & the underpinner to make sure that all is well. A professional setup might just save time & money in the long run. Then at least I'll know that I'm battling my own inexperience & not the equipment! I'll let you know how I get on.
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