Copyright 2019
Tidewater Woodworking GuildSite by President:Jim Francis Vice President: Scott Fell Treasurer:Greg Guertin

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June 2019
June marks the beginning of the "hurricane sawdust" season
Web Links At the Meeting Last Meeting Notes Tip of the Month Editors Notes
Product Reviews

What's In The Newsletter

  • President' Comments
  • Raised Panel Door Calculator
  • Industry News - Powermatic Machinery

From the President

Welcome to June!  The kids are now out of school, and the travel itch has struck so I'm working hard to get projects completed.  The only wrinkle in the whole plan showed up in Wednesday's mail - jury duty for the month of July!
Ken Cohen is hard at work developing this month's caning program.  As a student of Dean Derbie, Ken learned from the best, and will present on sheet caning.  He's also offered to to do a single caning program later in the year, if desired.  So, here's your opportunity:  If you have a caned problem chair, bring it to the meeting for a consult with Ken.
July also looks to be a good one; Jon Fischer will present on building a wine rack.  In addition, we'll have a summer "happy hour" before the meeting:  barbecue and watermelon!
That's about it for now.  See you at the meeting - Monday, June 24th.

Jim Francis

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Raised Panel Door Calculator

I discovered this incredible Excel program on the web a few weeks ago while exploring  It is called “Jerry’s Raised Panel Door Calculator Version 2.0.”  It is an Excel spreadsheet which I have modified slightly to fit the formatting of my Office 2013 program.  The great thing about the program is that you do not have to be an Excel genius or even a computer genius to us it!

The program allows you to generate a Microsoft Excel file that will take any size cabinet opening (remember I just said cabinet opening size) and automatically calculate the overall door size, rail and style lengths, panel size and the board feet necessary to make the door.  The program allows you calculate doors for a single door, single door – double panels or double doors – single opening.  Unique to the spreadsheet is the calculation of the panel inserts.  The panel calculation subtracts 3/16” per side for an overall undersized panel of 3/8”.  If you wonder where the 3/16” number comes in, this is the manufacturers spacing specification when you are using 0.260” Space Balls.  Another thing I like about the program is that you can input the door opening in either fractions or decimals!

In the spreadsheet you will note 4 locked cells and rows (colored in red) at the top of the spreadsheet.  Once you input your dimensions into these four cells you will not ever have to change them unless you change your door characteristics.  In the example shown below I have specified the overlay of my door, both horizontally and vertically, the width of my rails and styles and the length of the tongue on my router bit.     

To generate your material list all you have to do after selecting the type of door you need is to input your cabinet opening width and cabinet opening length into the green colored cells and press enter!  All done.  The program even provides colored drawings of your door parts and how they go together.  You can also name each door and save it as a file name such as “Upper Stove Wall Cabinet Next To Stove”.  The spreadsheet calculator will be placed on the web page for your access.


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Industry News - Powermatic Tool Company

Powermatic started out not as a machine manufacturing company but as a seller of timber and rough cut timber.  In 1921 Leonard Smith was a seller of timber and rough cut lumber in the small community of McMinnville, TN.  Leonard figured he could make more money out of the rough cut lumber if he first surfaced planed the boards.  He decided not to purchase a commercial surface planner for his sawmill but rather to make his own surface planner.  His planner was so good that an individual bought the planner and Leonard used the money to build four more planners.  Leonard sold these planners to others in the rough cut lumber industry.

The popularity of these planners soon convinced Mr. Smith that he needed to get out of the lumber industry and set up his own manufacturing plant.  Leonard was very successful with his manufacturing operations that he soon had to move to larger facilities.  In 1928 Leonard rebranded his tool operation as Powermatic.  Powermatic was then moved to an old blacksmith shop in McMinnville, TN.  During this time Leonard Smith introduced many new products including sanding machines, drill presses and the industry’s latest invention, the tilting arbor table saw.

Through the late 1920’s and into the late 1940’s the company continued to grow and required more and more larger factories but they still stayed in rural McMinnville, TN.  As Leonard Smith worked his way into retirement his sons took over the business.  In 1954 the sons built a 38,000 square foot facility tailored to the manufacturing of Powermatic tools.  Sometime in 1958 Powermatic built its own 50,000 square foot foundry, an industry first.  This foundry allowed the company to keep a very close eye on the precision of its castings used in the production of the tools.

The Smith brothers sold the company to Houdaille Industries, a Florida based foreign company, in 1966.  The machines were then rebranded as "Powermatic Houdaille.  From here it gets complicated on ownership and name changes.  Houdaille Industries then sells Powermatic to Stanwich Industries which changed its name to Devlieg-Bullard in ’89 or ’90.  Devlieg-Bullard then sells Powermatic to machinery importer Jet Equipment & Tools.  In 2002 Jet became part of the WMH Tool Group, which now includes Powermatic, Jet, Performax and Wilton.  Finally in 2014 Powermatic and its sister brands were sold to the Tenex Group and they are now grouped together to form JPW Industries.

You might ask yourself what does JPW Industries stand for?  Internet web research shows it might just mean “Just Plain Wrong” or “Just Plain Weird”.  Anyway, Powermatic tools continue to be the “gold standard” since 1921.  My first introduction to these wonderful tools was in high school shop.  They were built like the preverbal brick **** house!  They weigh a ton but they will last a lifetime.

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