Is it time for new blades ??


Jul 7, 2004
Hi Framers,

I picked up a second hand Morso guillotine and when testing to see how well it cuts I get the following result.

The blades cut fine through the majority of the moulding but when it comes to the last setting to shave the end the guillotine is tearing/ripping the end.

I dont know how old the blades are but I measured from the slightly raised section that is below the bolts to the blade and it is 31mm. I spoke to another framer friend and he told me that his same measurement is 36mm.

Am I needing new blades or is the problem else where.

Once again thanks for your valuable knowledge.

Matt Lauder
I bought my original Morso used, with 2 sets of used blades. I bought a new set of blades a couple of years after that. I had to have a set sharpened about every 6 weeks to keep me happy.

When I replaced that chopper with a new one about a year ago, I received a set of "genuine" Morso blades with it. Until then, I had no idea that what I had previously purchased may have been something else. There is definately a difference--they cut better and last longer between sharpenings.

Also--blades MUST BE SHARP. I learned a few years ago that you want the blades to be "hollow ground" when you have them sharpened (thanks to someone online), and that makes a difference in the cut as well.

If you only got one set with the chopper, you'll have to get another set to use while that one is out being sharpened. I prefer 3 sets--one in use, one out being sharpened and one as a backup in case someone trims down a rail that happens to have a piece of a v-nail hiding in it. (uh, *cough*--not that I'VE ever done that before! And it WASN'T 10 days before Christmas when I didn't do that, either!!)

Good luck.
Thanks for that Barb,

I had a look at my blades and they are Morso blades.

I will get a another set regardless, but I am just wondering if the ones I have already are stuffed. Because they may have been sharpened to the point of no return.

We use a rotation that includes 4 sets of blades/knives. (three sets are genuine, one is not) When two sets are dull, they get shipped together. (to Tech Mark)

6-12 weeks is what we'll usually get between changes, in a light/medium duty environment. Back when we had them (flat) ground locally, they'd last about 4 weeks. For us, hollow grinding made a huge difference.

It was explained to me that they are OK until the blade edge no longer clears the guide where the moulding sits. If there's a gap (where the blades meet when they are down), it will be unable to complete the cut.

Here are some other previous threads that may contain some gems:;f=1;t=006915;f=1;t=000669;f=1;t=001700;f=1;t=005603;f=1;t=006349

Did you know that -
the very first Morsø mitring machine was made in 1911 - on a little island called Mors
the Morsø mitring machine was "born" in a very small roof room in Øster Jølby, Mors
in the 1920'ies 12 Morsø mitring machines were made - a year.......
the very first Morsø F were delivered to:
..Norway and Sweden in 1933,
..Netherlands in 1936,
..Iceland in 1937,
..Germany in 1938,
..England in 1938 ( machine no. 0502 ),
..U.S.A. in 1949,
the oldest machine, which we know of, still in use was made in 1949
Morsø is a "family" business. At the moment both 3rd and 4th generation is working together
in the early 1960'ies the delivery time for Morsø F was 18 months after receipt of order....
Morsø H was introduced in the late 1960's
Morsø started to exhibit on their stands as late as 1972
Morsø EH was introduced in the late 1970's
Morsø F number 50.000 was sold in 1991
throughout the years there have been made more than 70.000 Morsø mitring machines
original Morsø knives will last 6 - 7 times longer than other knives on the market
Morsø has distributors all over the world, e.g. Costa Rica, Namibia, Jordan and many more
Hope this is helpful
Can anybody direct me to a Morso guillotine source? From what I gathered from you that's in same family with a Miter Trimmer named Lion, which I purchased from United, earlier this year, sent it unchecked to Romania, just to learn that it was a piece of unusable garbage, and nobody really cares for making and/or selling such miserable tools, absolutely out of whack. I can back my words with spectacular pictures that I sent to United.

After numerous calls to the vendor and to the manufacturer I strongly recommend you avoid buying a Leon Miter Trimmer (you are better off going for a Taiwanese knock off). The manufacturer is so dishonest and disconnected with reality, and his tool is so much out of square and poorly made that I gave up on any hope to have it replaced with a better one, after being told that their design and technology was the same for last 30 yrs. Practically I've been told "too bad for you, good luck next time, there is nothing we'll make to keep you a happy customer". United Mfrs. too handled this issue poorly as if waiting for me to give up and leave them in peace, which is much, much less than what I was expecting from them.

Sorry for venting my disappointment in here but this post reminded me of it. By the way, I paid to have that piece of evidence returned to the US, but by now, adding two way air freight cost to it, that so called trimmer became way too expensive to be worth its refund.
Has anyone experienced the end of their moulding tearing or ripping like I have.

Did they find out what caused it.

The lady I bought it off was in the country and I am not certain if she would have had the blades "hollow ground" sharpened. My concern is that my blade depth was 31mm and my friends was 36mm. What do you maake of that.

Originally posted by AuzzieMatt:
Has anyone experienced the end of their moulding tearing or ripping like I have.

Did they find out what caused it.

The lady I bought it off was in the country and I am not certain if she would have had the blades "hollow ground" sharpened. My concern is that my blade depth was 31mm and my friends was 36mm. What do you make of that.

Thanks Mike those link did clear up a few other questions.


That Lion machine has nothing to do with the makers of the Morso Guillotine/Chopper….your information is wrong……. who is the Manufacture of this Lion machine!!!!…where did you get your information!!!!....nor has the Lion Trimmer…anything to do with Lion Picture Framing Supplies…out of Birmingham England….

Stop losing sleep…….. buy yourself a real guillotine from Morso or one of there distributors…..

The blades will change in depth…..each time you sharpen them…hence the difference in the size of blades between the two machines……...send Morso the Serial number of your machine and they will send on a set of instructions……..they are a great company…


Perhaps you could fully answer my questions...what has that Lion machine got to do with Morso!!!....and where did you get your information!!! or who gave you the information!!!.... or is this just another example of you ranting!!!!......... you are going to harass a company who has nothing to do with your problem……Morso are a small family company….and it is disingenuous to drag them into an issue that has nothing to do with them…

Or is it your intention to buy a Morso chopper!!!!….

If you would fully answer my questions it may be possible to help you…..
From the MORSO web site:-

Newsletter - Summer 2004


Dan-List will be closing down for the annual summer holiday. We will be closed from Monday July 12th until Friday July 30th, and the doors to the office and factory will open again Monday August 2nd.
The Morso that I have been using since 1967 was bought by my father in 1955. I also have the original order,shipping and supply papers together with the original two sets of blades. The machine is still going strong with only a new set of the return springs for the foot pedal and new blades,of course! On set on the machine,one set standing buy and the other on its way just now to be hollow ground. It's just a fabulous piece of gear.
For Cornel's particlar attention,I should mention that my old dad told me a few years after he started with the Morso that it would allow more people to carry on in framing and more inexperienced folk to become framers.
The precision manufacture and accuracy of cut speeded up the manufacture of frames in much the same way as the under-pinner has done in recent years.
Since World War II, the labour content of the framing process has gone from being the cheapest cost element to the dearest. The advent of such machines has allowed for the production of framed pictures whether workshop bespoke pieces or factory ready-mades at prices that can be afforded by many,many more folk than ever before.
I,for one do not think that's a bad thing at all1

Yes, I've had the very last pass through the wood to "rip" or "tear". It's usually either dull blades, poor quality wood (you'd see the crushing throughout the cut, though, not just on the last pass), or either there is some wood debris that is lodged on the back sides of the blades where the 2 blades meet.

I'm strict about keeping my chopper clean, and that includes a quick check on the back sides of the blades during my cutting sessions. I'm glad to hear you have the Morso blades, but you'll need to get at least one more set pronto. And as Dermot said, they get shorter with each sharpening. (Means that with the older blades, you can chop taller mouldings! ;) )

(I love my Morso!! :D )
"The Morso that I have been using since 1967 was bought by my father in 1955."

My dad bought mine in the late 70's. I still use it and I still have the original blades. Mine doesn't have as much experience as yours but one day.......

Morso choppers are as practical and simple as a brick. It has one simple function and it does it well, every single time.

Morso has nothing to do with that s***y "Lion" guillotine. United Manufactures has to do with that company for I bought that Lion tool from United. Acually it is not a tool per say, but an iron sculpture with moving parts (I'm being sarcastic).
I was asking about Morso because I am disperately seeking a (different) reliable miter guillotine and Morso may very well be the answer. And I want United play no part in this transaction. I am going to buy directly from Morso or from anybody else but United.
I reread what I was saying above and I must admit that I was less coherent than usual. I wanted to say that Morso guillotine and that Lion guillotine are suposed to do the same job. One is a piece of sh**, that's Lion, and I needed to find a real, reliable tool/manufacturer/vendor (which hopefully is Morso).

But it is funny how fast words like "arrogant" and "ranting" come to explain my posts in here. I must have earned a very solid false reputation among grumblers ;)
Originally posted by American Choice:
Can anybody direct me to a Morso guillotine source? From what I gathered from you that's in same family with a Miter Trimmer named Lion,
And what is this...."same family" .........this to my mind would point towards you had a difficulty with Morso….

BTW…Morso will not sell direct…… you need to find out who their agent is in Romania….have you checked with the local picture framing supply company….in most countries in Europe Morso will distribute through two or three agents in the country….
I am pretty sure that there is no Morso representative in Romania. But hopefully we'll find one in Germany, Austria or Hungary.
Yup, I used the word "family" in a slopy manner meaning (in my mind) that both are miter guillotines, therefore belong to same tool family for doing a similar job.
Sorry. I don't shy away for saying what it is but in this specific case I had nothing to complain about Morso. Quite the opposite, I'm impressed with solid testimonies grumblers would offer in support of Morso.
Dermot, please notice the editing of my previous post in case you read its first version. Thanks.
Delicately sticking his nose into the Hornets nest he said, "Boys, boys, boys it's hot in the Sahara enough, lets cool down and get back to praising Morso and put an end to an earent Lion".

CR, sorry you had a bad Lion. I learned framing on a Lion cutter, but mine was made before WWII. I have heard that the new are junk. (That is the proper term) Morso IS in the same family in as a father and baby girl are same..... The Lion only shears the last cut to a 45 but doesn't do both mitres at same time like a Morso or Jyden (which is my choice because of the length marked rail=no math).
I was recently using a Lion knock-off from Taiwan and was impressed with the precision castings and finish. The acuracy of the cut still left that 1,000 of an inch to be desired that I remembered from the old Lion.
Don't get me wrong, I don't miss that Lion one bit. But I do long for a Jyden over my Morso.


I'm so glad you said it. This is exactly what I was telling Mr. Thorn Mead, President of Pootatuck Corp., MA (the manufacturer of that nightmare named Lion Miter Trimmer) and to Mr. Peter Ackerman of United Manufacturers: the Taiwanese knock off is unriveled (price and quality) by the original, American made Lion, which is the worst thing a manufacturer would wanna hear from the market. I know it for I have one such knock off for ten yrs now. It was probably not the nicest thing to say, but I was spelling the truth in my personal manner, that is the one that earned my infamous reputation with many grumblers (and suppliers I may add) LOL

See, when you hold yourself at so high standards of proffessional probity as I do, choosing any time good reputation over money, you find hard to swallow and let go other business people's lock of manners and greediness.
When I first opened my shop about 27 years ago I started out with a Jyden chopper I bought used. It was probably at least 5 to 10 years old at the time. I'm still using it and it is as good as ever. The best thing I ever did for it was buying a new set of blades from Tech-Mark and using them for all my sharpening now. Hollow grinding does make all the difference. They are very nice and helpful to deal with too.
:cool: Rick
Rick's right; Tech Mark is first class.

I wonder how old my original Morso is?? I was told when I bought it (in '92) that it was 40-50 yrs. old. I need to replace a couple of things for it and then it will be for sale. (I was going to hang onto it for a possible second location, but then "someone" recommended a book-- "Clutter's Last Stand"--that made me realize that it's not wise to hang onto things "in case". ) Thanks, Baer ;)
Cornell, I found this accidently on a woodworkers forum and thought you might like to read it:

Lion Miter Trimmer:
Says Spokeshave:
"I have one. I really like it, but it is a very old one. The design has not changed much in 100 years or so, and I understand that the new ones are quite nice as well.
I had to spend a fair amount of time tuning it. Several planes have to intersect just right. The plane of the blades must be exactly perpendicular to the base. The wings have to be perfectly perpendicular to the base as well, but must also fit snugly to the plane of the blades. The stops have to be carefully adjusted as well, and all of this has to be done for both sides. This takes a lot of fiddling and shimming, but once set up, you don't have to mess with it much except when you sharpen the blades. I sharpen my own, but for a small fee, you can send them to Pootatuck for resharpening.
All in all, it is a great tool, but you have to recognize its limitations. It cannot take off more than about 1/16", and that is pushing it. Generally, I use the miter saw to cut the piece about 1/16" long, and then carefully trim it to length with the Lion. With a little practice, I can slice off a piece just a few thousandths thick.
I got mine off of eBay for $79. It was ugly and I took a risk that it would clean up nicely. It did."

I think the thing is that woodworkers seem to like to fool around with their tools until they make them work right. In fact a lot of the tools sold to woodworkers like planes, chisels, miter trimmers and such need to be tuned to work properly. I don't think there is a single plane that comes out of the box ready to go, they all need tuning, and some of them are very expensive. The Lion Mitre Trimmer actually has a pretty good reputation in the wookworking trade but have to tune it to make it work. Us framers expect our tools to work right out of the box and are upset when they don't.

As Romania will most likely be part of the EU one day very soon 2006 I think it is that they will join….you should consider that the Lion trimmer would not/may not…I would say will not/does not meet EU safety laws…….which could leave you open to prosecution under the EU health and safety regulations in the work place…if someone sold you the Lion trimmer knowing that it was to be shipped to Europe….it is possible that they broke the law…..ignorance is not an excuse under the safety law in Europe…..if you are using it in Europe you are possible breaking the law also……..….the new model Morso will meet EU safety requirements….some of the older models of Morso may not….this is one of the reasons I bought a new Morso earlier this year… old model did not meet with safety regulations….

Is the Jydean still made!!!...

I got great service from my Lion-Taiwanese-version. No complaints there. But I assure you that this new "original Lion" that I possess ought to be toured around the States. I suspected the workers were either drunk or sabotaging their Pootatuck Comp. when the company's prez told me that that was Pootatuck's 30 yrs. proven design and standards. And, believe me, this work of art is made of unmatched parts and nothing is or can be made to work squarely. How would you cut with a guillotine which knives are gaped 1/8" in average, its handle hits the main frame when pushed down to make a cut and stops are too shalow to hold wings at 45 degrees? It's like applauding with only one palm.
The worst part of it was that despite my proving with pictures their failure, the manufacturer simply turned his back on me, and couldn't care less for the pain his product gave me, while the vendor was secretly hoping I'll never be so foolish as to bring that pile of iron back to him (12,000 Mi back and forth trip by plane) in order to get my $300 back.


Well, I begin to be disenchanted with EU. As if Euro #3 norms for auto vehicles were not enough tough to meet already, now my chopper must pass EU norms of safety?... :(

With Euro stronger than US dollar I am already burned all over... Guess I need to take my production facilities out of Europe. Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine would be my best choice for nobody there seems to care if people blow themselves up in the street, much less if they cut their fingers with a Lion Miter Trimmer, at work.

On the other hand, if I threatened Bruxelles with importing a bunch of Lion Meter Trimmers into Romania, and voluntarily endanger Romanian workers' safe working sites, I might force the Europeans into erasing those laws, pulling back their troops from Afghanistan and exchange ambassadors with Ossama Bin Laden, right?
Morso dates etc. I am sure Dermot knows the site that shows year of manufacture correspondong to the serial number on the machine. Mine is on the flat semi circle just in front of the blades.(Sorry about the technical terms but you know what I mean) My machine is 1807 (1955). One of the original sets of blades carries the machine number and the other spare set bears a date 05-55.
My newer sets have date numbers in the same format.
Thanks, Dermot! Mine appears to have been manufactered in 1942. Between this and the old "frog eyes" Seal hot press, I suppose I have some of the oldest equipment that's still hanging on.

Maybe I should set up a frame equipment museum.

Will you please try “funny” next time instead of sad or sick?
I was kidding. Why am I using all those smiling faces if they are not given any consideration? Sad or sick humor aside, "better red than dead" is an old West-European political tradition of "peacefully" addressing every imminent danger that I was alluding at. But let's not get into serious political arguments for you are too far to the left from where I am sitting. Better tell me a good political joke that you love best. Hope it’s going to be a political incorrect one.