“The Force” Behind the Jointmaker Pro!

Conformity Breeds Mediocrity — Unknown

This weekend Michael and I attended Maker Faire in Portland. What a blast that thing is. I am going to the big Kahuna next year in San Francisco, it is that cool. I think it should be a DSN field trip of epic proportions. And I can tell you this, this was way more fun than any woodworking show I have ever attended. Virtually every single booth had something in it that was of interest to me. Way cool.
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This is Almost Unbelievable…

Last summer while demonstrating the Jointmaker Pro in Japan, I visited several artists who created extraordinary mosaics from wood tiles. This got me to thinking how I would approach this art form using the Jointmaker Pro.

The results are incredible. Using the equivalent of a 1-1/8″ cube of maple, I made 648 smaller cubes (.0117″)–with only 24 cuts! The photo below speaks for itself…aut_0192

and the quality of each cube is amazing…aut_0193

The whole process is way easier than one might imagine. The set-up for each cut is illustrated below;
All of these cuts were made by eye just to test the idea. As you can see below, it would have been smart to check that my stock was square before I started, but then again, this was just a test using scrap.

Once all the vertical cuts were made, I stuck a piece of packing tape to the end so I would not end up with little pieces of wood all over the place when I made the crosscut. This worked just fine.

This is about as small as you would want to go. This created about 8 square inches of surface area.

Using readily available software (Google: mosaic software) you can do amazing things. Briefly here’s how it works;

1) You decide on a tile size (doesn’t have to be a cube, just square).

2) You need an array of colors from light to dark. You could use natural wood tones (they all change with sunlight exposure however) or you could use one light toned species that dyes well and use aniline dyes (alcohol based) available in many colors.

3) The program needs to know what colors you are using–there are ways of scanning them in or approximating the colors using a RGB chart or other methods.

4) You scan your artwork/photograph into the program and tell it how big you want your piece.

5) The program creates a tile by number (each color is assigned a number) plan for you.

You need to have the desire and inclination to undertake such a project but none of what you need to do is hard.

I like this idea because it is a project that could involve the entire family–from kids to grandparents. Using the sizes in my example above, ONE BOARD FOOT of material would be enough material to make a mosaic 25″ x 32″–now that is almost unbelievable.

It’s a pretty slick idea and one I hope somebody embraces.


JMP Feedback and 1 Idea;

We are about half-way done shipping the Jointmaker Pro’s as of this writing and the feedback (so far) has been positive. You never know with something so new and controversial–today is a good day.

One of the changes we made to the production version of Jointmaker Pro is the ability to add user designed jigs and fixtures. Below is a quick concept of a dead man to keep from loading the linear tables when cutting longer stock. This idea would fasten directly to the front and rear plates and offers minimal resistance to stock traversing.


I would likely make this from 1/2″ baltic birch ply and design around any stiff round stock (pvc, conduit, dowel, closet rod, aluminum tube, etc). Perhaps include another brace with a lip on the down legs of the wings for blade storage. This is a seed idea for our customers–more ideas and feedback can be found on the Jointmaker Pro forum on our website.

Now here is some good news for us, we have 7 JMP’s left. (Actually we have 17, but 10 are reserved for my Silent Woodworking class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking in May). We anticipate beginning the wait-list for round two in about two weeks or less.

Monday we begin the video shoot on my secret new controversial tool that will challenge how you think about another aspect of woodworking. Silence is golden! (Stolen from that 60’s song by The Tremolos or Tremeloes…which in turn was originally recorded by the Four Seasons I believe.) Damn I am getting old.

Stay positive, engaged and enthused!


The Jointmaker Pro and FREE Food-June 19

Thanks to a gracious invite from Chris Schwarz and the Popular Woodworking staff, I will be heading out to Cincinnati for a June 19 presentation on “Silent Woodworking”. This will be an informal, up-close and personal affair centered around our new Jointmaker Pro and several new profiles for the HP6-v2 Mini Multi-Plane. These folks are passionate about hand woodworking and Chris and staff are terrific hosts. The event is F-R-E-E and includes a buffet of real food. Everybody is welcome to give the Jointmaker Pro a go before I go–you will be amazed at what can be done without a power cord.

We are limited to the first 60 attendees because the Cincinnati fire marshal just does not get the concept of free food and woodworkers. Dinner begins at six and if you can make it, I would love to meet you in person (Chris too). In addition to a couple of surprises I have up my sleeve, these things have a habit of spilling over to a local bingo hall afterwards for more serious discussions.

RSVP ASAP via email to Megan Fitzpatrick; Megan.Fitzpatrick@fwpubs.com

I hope to see you there!


Jointmaker Pro by Bridge City Tool Works

The Jointmaker Pro can do things without power that are unimaginable. It is an impressive tool that you can try yourself on June 19th in Cincinnati.

Eastern Hard-Rock cut with the Jointmaker Pro

This image vividly illustrates the accuracy capabilities of the Jointmaker Pro. The material is hard-rock maple and was made with 10 strokes.

HP6v2 and the Jointmaker Pro, Silent Woodworking–Endless Possibilities

Our HP6v2 owners are a passionate group. The really smart customers take my summer classes at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking and upon completion enter the enchanted world of creativity and return home a woodworking genius. (I hope my kids are reading this…).

Take Rutager West for example. He bicycles twenty miles to work each and every day, all year long, in MINNESOTA! Yikes! Rutager also happens to be an equally dedicated woodworker who cannot stand the noise, the dust and the risks associated with power tools, particularly routers. Rutager makes boxes and cases. He recently told me in my “CAD for Woodworkers” class that our HP6v2 has changed his life–and cannot wait to receive his Jointmaker Pro. Now that is pretty cool, and speaking of cool, check out some of the things he has been making with the amazing little HP6v2 Mini Multi-Plane… these are details of the frames and components he shows prospective customers–all without sanding! And if you are as impressed as we are, I am certain he would appreciate reading your comments.

The above frame used HP6v2 Mini Multi-Plane corner bead and rabbet kits. It is stunning craftsmanship.

The multi-bead soles (available in four sizes) are a great way to add texture. These shavings in ebony and an unidentified hardwood speak volumes for the capabilities of the HP6v2.

Using the V-groove sole, Rutager plowed a recess to receive the molding made with the corner cove sole which also made the cove on the edge–beautiful work. I don’t know how he makes his laminations!

This frame detail uses the following sole/iron kits for the HP6v2; rabbet, corner bead, and corner radius–all without a grain of sandpaper.

Another view–THANK YOU Rutager for sharing your work!

If you have an HP6v2 story to share, please do!


Insomnia has its rewards…

I don’t know why, but I wake up in the middle of the night so frequently I wonder why I go to bed in the first place. Last August, while you were likely asleep, I was wide awake fretting how woodworkers tend to put their fingers at risk when sawing small stock. Then an idea came upon me…

With patents pending, we will soon introduce a completely new way to crosscut wood and make joinery entirely by hand. And although this saw really shines with small stock, it will cut hardwood or softwood up to 6″ in width and 1-5/8″ thick, which is the vast majority of crosscuts for most. It is quiet, accurate, and the cut is so smooth no further work is necessary for cleanup. It is rather remarkable because accuracy like this has never been possible without power. There is also no need for hearing protection, dust collection and it is very safe.

Many woodworkers view new ideas with a bias towards their own skills and techniques and are slow to embrace change–woodworking is the most anachronistic hobby in America. So, over the past four months I have given demonstrations to several different groups of woodworkers to determine interest in this new way of cutting wood. We also demonstrated the saw in Cologne, Germany in March. I will write more later, but until then, check out the two images below – all of these cuts were hand sawn! We think you will agree, these images are strong indicators of a tool that rivals, and exceeds in many cases, the capability of power-hungry alternatives.


Hand cut, stacked chamfers

These two boards were cut entirely by hand with a new handsaw from Bridge City. The cuts are smooth, accurate and depth is consistent within .002″ on every cut. Each board took about 10 minutes and is comprised of 88 individual cuts.

An amazing array of saw cuts made entirely by hand.

In an effort to fully understand the capabilities of our new saw, we quickly cut angled cuts into two pieces of wood and nested them. This is amazing when one considers no power was used. Each piece was cut in approximately 5 minutes and consists of 42 individual hand cuts.