Porter-Cable 513 Mortise Lock Mortiser (AKA: Speedmatic ULM)

I’m not sure that this fits this blog or not, but seeing that Porter-Cable is owned by the same company as Delta, I’m going to let it slide in either way.
If you are not familiar with a mortise lock, it helps to study the lockset on the door closest to you at this moment. On most doors on modern homes in the USA the lockset is what is called a bored lock. This means that the door most often has a 2 1/8” in diameter through hole that the mechanism that the knobs are mounted to is inserted. From the edge of the door another hole is bored that intersects with the large through hole. This is for the bolt, which is the little plunger that latches the door.

In most of Europe and in high-end applications in the USA, the lock of choice is called a mortised lock. Unlike the bored lock the majority of the machining takes place on the edge of the door; where a slot (or mortise) is cut. The mortise is usually around ¾” (19mm) wide, 5-6 inches long and 3 ½” deep. These dimensions vary quite a bit, and I’ve seen these lock that required a mortise that was 1 ¼” wide. The mortise permits a very complex and versatile lock box to be installed into the door, yet from the face of the door only a small hole is required for the levers or knobs and the cylinder that the key enters.

Traditionally mortise locks have been installed by chopping the waste away with a set of chisels or with a traditional mortising machine; but both methods were slow and prone to tear-out, but all that changed when Porter-Cable introduced the Speedmatic ULM. “Speedmatic” was Porter-Cable’s catch-all name for their router line, but the ULM was something totally new. The tool clamped onto the edge of the door with two integral clamps, which also automatically centered the mortise on the door’s edge. Once everything was clamped into position the stop is set for the mortise’s depth; usually about 1/8 - 1/4" deeper than the actual measurement of the lock box. The router is turned-on and then the fun begins. As you turn a crank the unit slowly climbs and then descends the length of the jig, moving slightly deeper for each successive pass. Your reward for all this is a beautifully machined mortise that is dead-center on the door’s edge.

Porter-Cable made some improvements to the tool over the years, primarily as their routers improved. The current tool is known as the Porter-Cable 513 and it comes equipped with the venerable Porter Cable 690 router motor. ¾” and 1” carbide-tipped cutters are available which allow the tool to produce the proper width mortise. Unlike standard router bits, these cutters have female threads and mount like a flycutter on the threaded end of a mandrel which is chucked into the router motor. This long and strong steel mandrel is further supported by a massive ball-bearing. These cutters are readily available online from Amazon.com for around $25 each.

The list price, which I firmly believe is only paid by fools and Government officials (but I repeat myself) is $2092.10. If you have the grey matter to read this far into a long and boring post , then you are the kind of person who will find this tool online for around $1000. Used 513's run between $400-800, depending on the age and condition of the tool. In my opinion you want to own the newer Porter-Cable 513 version; not only because of the improvements that have been made in the tool, but because of the readily available support parts which can be found on P-C’s own support site and even on Amazon.

Here’s a link to a pdf of the current owners manual: Porter-Cable 513 Lock Mortiser Owners Manual

For whatever reason, there's suddenly a lot of action on eBay with used P-C 513 mortisers! Here's a link to any current Porter-Cable 513 Lock Mortiser for Sale on eBay

Here's a link to the Porter-Cable 513 Lock Mortiser on Amazon