Major Manufacturing: Hit-38 Speed Mortiser

Prepping the door for a mortise lock can save time and ensure an accurate, clean installation.

Installation of mortise locks onto wood doors is a time honored and time consuming tradition. Mortise locks were introduced about two centuries ago, when doors became thick enough to accommodate the lock within the door. The mortise lock provided an additional level of security, convenience, and...

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Step 5. Loosen the mounting knobs and adjust the mortiser body so the cutter is in line with the bottom position of the template. Tighten the mounting knobs. Do not over tighten the mounting knobs; that can damage the door face.

Step 6. Rotate the crank handle to raise the cutter to be certain the mortise can be cut.

Step 7. Attach a drill motor whose speed is capable of drilling into wood.

Step 8. Drill the bottom hole to depth. Continuously clean the debris out of the hole.

Note: Maintain firm control of the carriage crank handle when drilling. I recommend having one hand on the crank handle at all times.

Step 9. Raise the cutter to the top and drill this hole to depth. Clean the debris out of the hole.

The next series of steps are to drill the in between holes, leaving a minimum of amount of webs, while having sufficient surface area for the cutter to ride on. Major Manufacturers recommend drilling the intermediate holes from the bottom up. A web is the material remaining between the two overlapping cuts.

Step 10. Drill the next hole overlapping the bottom hole. Make certain that there is at least enough wood for the point of bit seat. Clear out the debris.

IMPORTANT: When drilling the holes, do not crank up and down and in and out at the same time.

Step 11. Continue to overlap the holes until all the in between holes have been drilled. Clear the debris out of the opening.

Step 12. Move the cutter to the bottom. Drill out the webs from the bottom to the top moving the cutter slowly. Advance the cutter approximately one-half inch or less per pass. Clear out the debris.

Step 13. After the webs have been removed, clean up the side of the mortise by running the bit slowly up and down and in and out of the mortise pocket.

For this article, drilling out the mortise pocket required less than 15 minutes.

Clean out the mortise pocket and check to be certain the mortise lock body will fit into the opening. The remaining steps to the installation are to chisel out the mortise lock front and drill the openings for the trim.

Prepping the door for a mortise lock using the Major Manufacturing HIT-38 Speed Mortiser can save time and ensure an accurate, clean installation. The HIT-38 Speed Mortiser has a one year limited warranty against manufacturer’s defects.

For more information on the HIT-38 Speed Mortiser, contact your local locksmith wholesaler or Major Manufacturing, Inc., 1825 Via Burton, Anaheim, CA 92806. Telephone: 714-772-5202. Fax: 714-772-2302. Web Site:

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