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Question morso chopper questions

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by samcrimm, May 20, 2019.

  1. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Hey everyone,
    I bought a used chopper and I have questions of course! I need a copy of instructions and tips on using it.
    I have watched the YouTube's, and a search here, and mainly get for sale or looking for one. YouTube was ok but just a generalization. I have done some chops but the blades are not sharp enough and I get some tears at the rabbit and I tryed some frame America mdf and it tears the paper cover on the edge and really messes with the corners. I have bought a second set of blades so I can rotate them out when they need sharpening. All the info you can share will be appreciated.

    Thanks

    Sam
     
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  2. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I got rid of my chopper for a Pistorius EMN-12 11 years and have never looked back. If you are cutting solid wood moulding a chopper is great. Just ask David Waldmann. For gessoed and paper covered frames it is the pits. I always got chipping on gesso, no matter how new or freshly sharpened the blades were. Others may have a different opinion, but for me, I don't miss my Morso.
     
  3. The Village Framer

    The Village Framer CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

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  4. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Keep them sharp.
    The sides will chip and show ragged cuts if the molding is covered with compo.
    Don't take big bites.
    Use your chop saw for moldings with heavy compo or detail on top, and use your Morso for the smooth-top moldings. Try to avoid using the Morso if you can because of the chip-out at the bottom of the sides.
     
  5. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Your blades must be kept sharp (hollow-ground), and installed with proper alignment to get good results.

    For sharpening, and tech help, contact

    Tech Mark
    7901 Industry Dr.
    North Little Rock, AR 72117-5317

    (501) 945-9393

    :cool: Rick
     
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  6. sandlot

    sandlot Grumbler

    "Keep blades sharp" - agreed. Might cost a little in shipping or driving and for the sharpening. Some guys take a lot of the cutting surface off. You might see a little brass colored line running parallel to blade edge - thats the end of your cutting edge. As the others have said, have a chop saw with a very good multi tooth blade. Some cheap finger joint moulding will chop fine one section and then crush the next section. Morso is good for precision cutting of small wood fillet moulding. If chopping old moulding watch for nails or staples as blades chip easily. Even if you decide you might not like it, keep it for carpentry.
     
  7. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As previously mentioned, it's a great tool but it does have it's limitations. Certain mouldings
    are not Morso-friendly and it has to be said that the quality of the timber has declined a lot
    in recent years. I sometimes chop a length of moulding from my shed which may go back to
    the '80s or before and without exception it cuts an joins like dream.
     
    Rick Granick likes this.
  8. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I so rarely use my chopper. Love my saw!
    Make sure to take small bites and you should be okay.
     
  9. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Doing virtually all hand-finished frames chips hold no terrors for me. As long as the basic join is sound then small (and big)
    chips and tear-outs vanish in the finishing process. Mouldings over 1" get chopped. Over 1" or ones with undercuts get sawn.
     
  10. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Was your first over meant to be an under?
     
  11. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Curiouser & curiouser.
     
  12. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I have a miter saw with a Quinn blade, put this is for in the store use and the miter is at my hanger for the dust. I noticed a lot of framer s use one.
    Thanks everyone so far for your responses!
    Thanks Sam
     
  13. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sam, I use my Morso on 99% of my moulding. The only ones I don't use the chopper on is the mouldings that are to wide or high to chop or large blockie mouldings. I have a Frame Square saw for the moulding that I cannot chop and I really believe the Morso does a better job. I get very little if any chip-outs as described by a couple of the other framers. My knives are always sharp and at the first sign of a rough cut I will switch the knives out for fresh ones. People talk about how good a saw is but the saw is not as accurate as a properly set up chopper. The bearings in the saw will always have some play, it has to or the bearing will seize up. The chopper has a solidly fixed 45 degree corner and if the the knives are properly sharpened, install onto the head, and are not worn out you won't be able to beat the chopper. The adjustment on the table portion of the chopper where the knives actually pass through should be tight against the knives and the rabbet supports are properly adjusted then you should be good to go. If I'm not mistaken, Baer Charlton, mainly used a chopper for his mitres and I've seen Baer's work and it is perfection. No, don't downplay the chopper, it is a great tool and will be able to chop the majority of your mouldings.
     
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  14. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The only time I ever had chip out problems was when I started using my Prisma double mitre saw and, worse, because of the slide action the chip was always on the top rear of the piece.

    Like Joe, I believe that, in appropriate material with a skilled operator and sharp blades the guillotine will always produce a better and cleaner mitre than any but the very best saws. It is also quieter and creates little dust. It does not give much away to a saw on speed and was always my first choice when cutting multiple frames in light moulding. Sadly, these days there are so many mouldings run on hard timber or covered with rock hard compo which simply cannot be cut by a guillotine. If I was going back into the business today I would probably be buying a top of the line double drop saw.
     
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  15. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Thanks Joe,

    As I searching for information about a chopper you were there helping with advice, as you are here with me. Your replies are the reason I posted about needing help. I respect your input and would really like to get my Morso tuned up and running true.
    As soon as I get my new blades in I am sending my current blades to be sharpened. And I wonder if I you would help me with information on making sure I set my new blades up right? Also if we post here on the forum maybe it will help others with there chopper?

    Thanks

    Sam

     
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  16. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    A perennial quirk with the Morso is the 'whiskers' under the rabbet. Not exactly a problem, but on certain mouldings
    they can get in between the faces unless trimmed, which can affect the integrity of the join. With a saw you don't get
    this, but you can get a hairy back edge, particularly on plain moulding. This does not bother me as I radius the corners
    after joining prior to finishing. :D
     
  17. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    I've found that my hairy "back edge" usually doesn't interfere with my framing unless I have my shirt off.:eek:

    As for those whiskers, I use manicurists sanding sticks to clean that stuff off as well as cleaning any slight overhang at the edge of the joint.
     
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  18. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I use a 180 Extra Fine 3M Pro Grade Sanding Sponge (Block) to take away those whiskers. I keep a sanding sponge right at my joining table to sand away the whiskers on the bottom of the rabbet, bottom of moulding and the outside edge of the moulding. Just a quick light brush-over will remove those whiskers and then I color my edges. The sanding sponge is much quicker and last longer than a fingernail manicurists sanding stick though the sponge is more expensive.

    IMG_1620.JPG
     
  19. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I always dealt with the whiskers by keeping a sharp Stanley knife handy. One quick slice and they were gone.

    As regards setting up the Morso rarely needs to have the mitres adjusted but it is essential to fit the blades with the smallest possible gap between the moving blades and the bottom pair. (Yes, they are blades too, as in scissors.) If the bottom blades are chipped or rough looking they should be machined to a smooth edge to avoid ragged cuts on the underside of the moulding.
     
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  20. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sam, Thank you for the compliment. I'm more than happy to help where I can but I am sure there are many others that have great information. I'll bet between all of us we will get you set up and chopping real soon. Question, where did you send your knives for sharpening? Joe
     
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  21. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Hey Joe, I haven't yet, I was thinking Tech Mark sounds the best. I am waiting on my newer set to use that box for shipping them. Do you have a company your happy with?

    Sam
     
  22. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Tech Mark is a great company. They do the hollow ground, which you want, and they are quick. Make sure your knives are marked "Morso" because Morso knives will fit and work on a Jydan or Larson but Jydan or Larson knives will not match up perfectly on a Morso and you will get some chip-outs if you use the off brand. Many people do use a off brand knife and say that works fine but I have found that Morso is the best if you want perfect corners. Tech Mark sells knives and at times may even have a set or two used that they sell very reasonably.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
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  23. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A note of caution about used blades. I always kept a couple of pairs of clapped out blades for emergencies but once they have been sharpened too many times they tend to lose their edge very quickly. Good enough to get a couple of jobs out while you wait for your good ones but not blades you want to rely on.
    My manual arts teacher from High School used to say that metal "gets tired" after being sharpened too many times and I think he was right. Some blades look as if they have plenty of tungsten left but just don't last as long on the machine as they used to.
     
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  24. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree, Tech Mark is a great company and they are the go-to place for Morso in the US.
    Hansen blades are excellent also and will fit the Morso.
    I've used a Hansen and a number of Morso choppers of many vintages, one was very old.
    They are all made in Denmark.

    I have dealt with Jill in the tech support there for many years.
    She is JJillian on the Grumble, but I haven't spoken with her for a while and I'm not sure that she is still at Tech Mark.
    https://www.tech-mark.com

    For shipping, Tech Mark has had special wooden shipping boxes for chopper blades that they sell at a very reasonable price.
    I don't know if they still offer them, but they are wooden boxes with bolts that hold the blades safely for shipping.
    Many years ago I used to ship my Morso blades in the boxes they came in.
    These were styrofoam boxes that the blades would fit into with a cardboard outer box.

    One time I got the blades back from sharpening and the very sharp tips of the chopper blade were sticking out of the box when they were delivered to us.
    This was due to back and forth motion during the shipping operations.
    This could have injured the delivery guy or anyone in the chain of delivery. (including me:eek:)
    I highly suggest getting the wooden shipping boxes from Tech Mark if they still offer them.

    I found this picture but, as I mentioned, I don't know if they still sell them.
    If they do, you can send your blades in the existing box and they can send them back in the safer wooden box.
    Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 7.52.20 PM.png
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  25. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If you want a really cringeworthy story there was a post on here years ago about a framer who posted a pair of blades which were wrapped in bubble wrap and paper. A postal worker was seriously injured when he picked it up and sued the framer. I guess most of us can imagine what a nasty surprise that would have been for the guy:eek:.

    By the way, until you are really familiar with the guillotine be extremely careful when handling the blades as they are possibly the most dangerous things in your workshop and will give you a very sharp reminder if you get it wrong.
     
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  26. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When my Morso was brand-new and straight out the crate, I was playing around with it and managed to slice halfway through
    a fingernail. Took about six weeks for the cut to grow out. :eek:
    It made a good boy of me tough. 35 years later and haven't cut myself on it since. :D
     
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  27. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    The worst is that if you cut yourself with one of these blades, odds are that you won't even feel it!!!

    First hand knowledge.:eek:
     
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  28. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sam, this is an auction on ebay with a Morso set of knives that are just about full sized (minimal if any sharpening). Good price - ebay auction #273762218964. Just in case you have an interest. Joe
     
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  29. Keith L Hewitt

    Keith L Hewitt SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I was very friendly with Agner Pedersen until he sadly passed away 2006. He was Mr Morso 1971 - 2003. He took Morso from 17,000 machines sold up to 1971 to 70,000 at the end of 2003. It was his stories of his many Asian trips that fascinated me, as we were frequently visiting the same distributors but not at the same time. He always told me " I can spot a Morso user as soon as I meet them - its the missing finger that gives them away. ":eek::D
    And why is t still called a MORSO ? The Danish for island is "O" ( with a line through it)- good word it even looks like an island. And the first machines were made on an island called MORS ISLAND or in Danish MORSO
     
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  30. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well, I used a Morso and a Jyden and a Hansen from about 1987 to 2012 and I've still got all of my fingers...:D
    Actually, I was never injured with a chopper.

    One thing that I always did, and I hope all other chopper users do, is a method when removing and replacing blades.

    Some folks might wear gloves or whatever but I always just loosen and remove the top and bottom bolts first.
    Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 8.18.54 PM.png

    Then I loosen the middle bolt and while holding the blade by a couple of fingers at the top (the fat not sharp part) I make the blade vertical, remove the middle bolt and pull it up and put it in the box without ever touching or putting my fingers under the sharp parts.


    To install the new blade, just the opposite.
    Hold the blade by the top (the fat not sharp part) and position it vertically on the chopper face and put in the center bolt loosely.
    Then swing the blades to align with the bolt holes and put in the top and bottom bolts and tighten all of the bolts and check for alignment.
    You never have to put your hands on or under the sharp part this way.
    Sometimes you have to loosen the bolts and then re-tighten them for proper alignment so that the blades don't bind when you chop.
    Watch those fingers!....;)
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
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  31. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Spot on. :D That's how I do it anyway.

    I have a little brush that I use to brush chips away. It's an ex steam railway engine flue brush. Wrapped the metal parts in tape so I don't nick
    the blades. NEVER reach in with your finger. That's how I cut myself. Brushing a little chip out the way. Snagged the edge of my fingernail
    on the blade. As soon as I felt it bite, reflexes made me jerk my hand back. Result - it dug in further. I was lucky, I could have easily sliced the
    end of my finger right off.
     
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  32. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Crazy. I use Neil's method, too. Exact same. Gotta respect those knives.
     
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  33. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Same here - been doing Neil's method for the last 16 years - even a dull knife is still sharp enough to shave with:eek::eek:
     
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  34. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Hey everyone,
    I got my new/used blades in and install and yes I didn't drop them or cut myself! So love the input and I have more questions, but I will post pictures with them tomorrow when I am at work.
    Thanks everyone
    Sam
     
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  35. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Another hazard with the Morso is 'Framer's Shin'. It's when you have the pedal travel adjusted too high and your
    foot slips off the pedal at the bottom of the stroke. You can work out what happens. :confused:
     
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  36. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    And that is exactly the reason I installed non-slip stair tread tape on my pedal.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  37. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I give you a "like", Peter, not because I enjoy you or I getting whacked in the shin with the metal pedal, it's because we all know these things even though we can be thousands of miles apart.;)

    My Hansen chopper came with a non slip ribbed rubber piece on the pedal.
    I googled this Hansen picture and then I realized that it is actually a picture of my Hansen chopper that I sold a couple of years ago...:cool:
    Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 9.30.03 PM.png

    I always chop "lefty" even though I'm right handed.
    I v-nail lefty also.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
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  38. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The Jyden has an open front (which makes cleaning out the wood chips easier), and a narrower, "non-skid" pedal, so no "framer shins".

    :cool: Rick
    -1.jpg
     
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  39. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    You guys are making me feel good. Back in the '90s, when I was just getting into framing, my distributor found me a used Morso that was pneumatic. 25 years later it's still going strong, and my bad leg has never had to be abused by a manual Morso.

    If you ever find one, buy it!
     
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  40. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I know exactly what you are talking about. I purchased a frame shop that went out of business and that was the morso that was in the basement along with the saw. My back still hurts from dragging that stupid machine up a full flight of steep stairs:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:. I used it for awhile, my legs didn't work after injuring my back dragging that monstrosity out of the basement, then I sold it but will say it worked sweet. I still like the manual a little better because I can control the speed of the cut which can make all the difference when cutting a moulding that chips out easily. If my legs were weak, I wouldn't hesitate purchasing a pneumatic morso.
     
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  41. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    The first chopper that I ever used was a Jyden in about 1988.
    The pedal was set up for "lefty" chopping although I think that it could be relocated to the right.
    Lefty chopping always worked for me because I'm leaning to the right to hold the moulding so my left leg works better for the chop.

    I actually put locking wheels on the Morso that I used for many years.
    The wheels were recessed so that the chopper was only about 1/2" off the floor.
    This made it easier to clean out the back by unlocking the wheels and rolling it out.

    My Hansen chopper had a slide chute in the back that went into a box to collect chips and scraps and that made it easier to clean out.
    UFE-1542b_large.jpg


    As a result of chopping "lefty" for 25 years, my left leg is my strong leg but I still kick a ball with my right leg...;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  42. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    The minute I run into a chippy molding, off I go to the Dewalts.
     
  43. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Have you got a case of picture framers calf where just one of your calf muscles is the size of a small truck and the other is like a deflated balloon?

    I have two of those Hansen machines, they are a great tool :)
    But we mainly use the CS939
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
  44. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A handy place to keep your tools, using rare earth magnets :)
    rps20190601_122112.jpg
     
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  45. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    1 tore.jpg 2 great.jpg 3 cracked.jpg Thanks for post all the information, I have read everyone, So I have my blades on and have cut a few moulding getting the hang of it. I have these pictures of what I did. 1. is a mdf paper covered 2 is a good old wood one and 3 is a fancy one.

    1. did fine on top put the last cut and I put a piece of mat board at the end to have something for the blades to dig thru, didn't work.

    2. It worked great

    3. this one did great I had the mat board there too, except for the inside corner, it chipped out, or just cracked?

    So I am looking for pointers on if you can cut 1 and 3 on the chopper any better?

    Thanks
    Sam
     
  46. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    How large of cuts are you taking? Who sharpened your knives? Who ever did, I know you said you were sending them to Tech Mark, but looking @ #2 it appears the knives are dull. Look at the pictures I have posted and you will see that the cut is clean with no ragged edges and my knives have been on for about 80 plus frames now. I do touch up the wood hairs on the bottom of the rabbet, bottom of the moulding, and outside edge of the moulding with a fine/extra fine sanding blosck. It is very important to take small cuts, if you aren't getting a clean cut it is because you have dull knives, bad moulding but usually it because it is rotting and to soft, or you are taking to large of a cut. With your #3 it appears you took to much of a cut on you last couple of cuts. With decorative moulding I take only 1 click cuts, takes me a little longer but the cut is usually good but on some I have to take it to the saw because there is just to much compo, that is rare though. With that #3 it also looks like the knives are dull - they appear to be crushing the moulding instead of cutting it, same is true of that paper moulding. I interested in hearing back from you.

    IMG_0546.JPG IMG_0547.JPG
     
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  47. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I agree with Joe, those cuts do not look like they were done with a set of sharpe blades.

    Check that the tips of the blades are going through the back edge of your moulding by enough as to make a clean cut, there's an adjustment for it underneath the machine.
     
  48. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    There are certain mouldings that have a sort of synthetic 'gesso/compo' that the Morso will struggle to cut.
    Not only that, it will dull the edge in one cut. It's a sort-of gray color and as hard as h#lls door-knockers. o_O

    It's usually on ornate mouldings and No. 3 looks like a contender. :confused:

    For paper wraps you need very keen blades. ;)
     
  49. samcrimm

    samcrimm CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Ok, I am guessing the newer blades I got in were sharp, they are sharper than the ones I took off for sure. I take one notch cuts too. The paper one I didn't but it was really narrow. Thanks again on the input, I really appreciate it a lot. I will ship the blades off tomorrow and report back to you guys.

    Sam
     
  50. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    You should NEVER cut in one chop, no matter the size. If you notice, the final increment is smaller than the preceding ones
    and this is the final finishing cut that 'planes' off a slice with minimal resistance.
     
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