After a planned absence from AWFS rumors were flying suggesting the demise of Jet and Powermatic, however nothing could be further from the truth. We were invited to a media event in Nashville to see the new direction the Walter Meier Mfg. brands will take. One thing was clear, the brands are safe and sales are solid for both Jet and Powermatic. One disappointment was that Powermatic has not moved forward on the safe saw front however their new saw is a beauty. We could see that Powermatic belongs in the discriminating home woodworkers shop today more than ever.
Not to be out done, Jet has a great new 14 inch steel frame bandsaw that has all the best design features. It was so nice I was a bit surprised it was not gold instead of white but it was a thing of beauty. The only down side of the event was we didn’t get to use the machines. This event was a great move by Walter Meier. They really pulled out all the stops and this was good news for the people who could not make the trip to Vegas for AWFS. Instead of spending a huge amount on attending the show WM Invited all the magazines and top woodworking websites to Nashville for 2 jam packed days of woodworking. It was great to hear the input of top editors from every realm of woodworking, building trade sites and magazines.
Walter Meier has new ideas that will change the face of the tools we see from them over the next few years. Tools that are built to an even higher standard removing cheap plastic knobs and streamlining designs. This is a great new direction for them. I suspect that Powermatic will move further to the high end and that we will see some of the nicest tools ever made coming from them. It really is a great time to be a power tool woodworker or a hybrid woodworker like most of us are today. Hopefully we will get a chance to test some of these tools from Jet and Powermatic over the next year but until then keep your eyes open for several new tools that we were asked not to talk about yet. There are some great things coming in white and gold.
Lance The Dude Granum