JointMaker Pro

Lie-Nielsen had a Tool Event this last Friday,  the 9th of January, 2009.    I took the day off and my wife and I drove to Austin.

It was a very small show, but totally worth it. I got to see and touch all sorts of wonderful tools made by Lie-Nielsen! I also got to see the folk at Homestead Heritage. I would love to someday take a few classes from them, Paul Sellers made a very nice impression on me.

For me though, the real nifty was a little tool that John Economaki, from Bridge City Tools, demonstrated. The Jointmaker Pro is a pretty sweet tool. It does have a few limitations, for example it only cuts wood up to 6″ wide and 1-5/8″ thick. That being said, it is an amazing tool. It quietly, with astonishingly little mess, quickly makes perfect, easy to setup, smooth, precise finished cuts. It also does not have a plug.

I fell in love with the thing. I really, really want one! Did I mention that the first run of them will probably sell out, well before it ships? It is slated for shipping at the end of this month, so if I do get one, I probably won’t get it soon, since I will be close to the end of the line. It is however a rather big chunk of money for a fellow like me.

Another advantage is that the tool is going to be quite a bit safer than a power saw. No kickback or invisible spinning teeth. The teeth on the stationary blade are going to be frighteningly sharp, and could certainly hurt a person that did not work safely, but It will not kick up the same dust, throw things back at you, or slowly make you deaf. Since it is so much quieter, and cleaner, I will be able to stand, working it, while I watch movies with the wife and kids.

Fortunately my wife is a wonderful person. She can produce delightful meals inexpensively. If you have studied Indian or Korean foods, you can do amazing things with food at a very low cost. She treasures my safety and would like for me to spend more time watching movies with her and the kids. She just told me to call in the order. ^_^ We will be eating simple fare for a while.

🙂 I was a bit wicked when I ordered it. I asked if I could get one sooner, since I would blog and advertise it. Sadly these folk have integrity and operate on a first order get the first shipment basis. Very disappointing, hardly American really. OK, maybe far North American, but apart from folk like Lee Valley, you don’t see much of that these days. It gives me hope for our Nation.

Anyway, I will be using one to make things in a month or so, when it comes in. It will be fun to see what the new tool inspires me to make. I think some of my art may just go up a notch or two in quality. I may even work a bit faster.


8 comments to JointMaker Pro

  • Bill Satko

    My wife and I took a week long woodturning class at the Homestead Heritage. I had many opportunities to talk with Paul. You are correct in your impressions. I do want to take more classes from them. A very relaxing and pleasant experience.

    I will be interested in how you incorporate the JointMaster in your shop. It is a lot of money, so will be looking forward to your final impressions of the value it provides you.

  • Thank you for for feedback on Homestead Heritage, Bill! If I ever have the money and the time, that is high on my list of activities. I would love to learn from and get feedback on my methods from an expert that apprenticed in England.

    We who are mostly self taught or got our education from books and online articles, often have large random holes in our knowledge and skills. An opportunity to get those holes noticed and filled by an expert, I suspect would be quite valuable.

    I suspect that I will review and comment on the JMP in excess, I come up with another four or so plans for it, every single day.


  • I can’t comment on Homestead Heritage in particular, but I’ve found that classes can be a lot more informative than they seem to be when just reading the syllabus.

    By immersing yourself in a class for a week and being with the instructors that long, you not only learn the primary subject in the class, but also how the instructors do things efficiently.

    Also, if you can stand the commute, I highly recommend the Advanced Furnituremaking taught by Micheal Colca at ACC, right in the room where Lie-Nielsen was. 16 weeks @ 5 hours per week, you’ll learn a lot and get a nice side table made out of it.

    We met there – I was wearing the lost art press shirt (again, I have no affiliation, just bought their shirt).

    I’m also a future Jointmaker Pro owner, trying to figure out what sort of cool addons might be needed to add capabilities to it.

  • Yes, I remember you, Cory! Thanks for the feedback! I really do need to find a mentor or go to one of these classes I think.

    On the subject of the JMP, A height indicator would not hurt. One idea would be if John sold a blade, for a touch more, with an etched height indicator on the side of the blade. If the mark and number could be read by reading just above the slot it projects through. I have a few ideas for aftermarket height indicators, the best would be driven by the same gear that raises the blade. It would have to be set to zero when you put in a new blade probably, but this way it might could be read easily from where you are operating the saw!

    The first ‘jig’ that I plan to make will probably be for cutting gears. The JMP will be perfect for making wooden clocks, I suspect.

    I have a ‘few’ 😉 other ideas for aftermarket modifications that are crowding my brain for attention. I don’t even have it yet and it is seriously inspiring me.

    With this level of precision, the precision jigs are going to be easy to make.


  • Skip J.

    On an entirely different track, I note from HH’s map that they are located on the north side of Waco, only maybe 20 minutes from our project on Lake Waco. If we get another contract up there, we will likely office out of the facility there. There mite be a way to work in a class if we were up there for the long term.

    Soo.. thanks for the link!


  • Paul Sellers

    I am no longer at Homestead Heritage so please don’t look for me there. Anyone wishing to contact me should let me know.

  • ron

    Im in a wheelchair, I would love this tool but from what i can see the operator has to be able to look over the fence to line up the cut.
    Maby i just mount it lower…Anyway, looks great, who knows

  • Bob Strawn

    There is also a good deal of body movement I have to put into it when I use it. When my back was really bad, it was not a usable tool for me. If you play basketball, then I suspect this tool might be an option for you. If your injury precluded such activity, I don’t think this would be a good tool for you. The tool can be tilted a bit more and set lower, but I have the handle touching my belly in normal use, so you need to be close to it as well.


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