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NEW POWERMATIC PJ882

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Review by jeffk726 posted 12-10-2013 09:45 PM 2231 views 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
NEW POWERMATIC PJ882 No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After finally giving up on Delta to turn things around, I decided to purchase the PJ882 model during the Thanksgiving sale promotion.

After scouring the internet for recent reviews, I decided to move forward with this purchase as there really were no new positive or negative reviews. I deemed the lack of negative reviews as a good thing.

After receiving my jointer 1 week after purchase, I was excited to get it up and running. First came the uncrating. The packaging was adequate as their were no visible damage. After getting uncrated, I moved it to Powermatic base. While the base is expensive, it is the perfect fit and enables the user to move it around the shop if required.

Now onto the setup. While understanding product manual – “factory Set” – could still mean adjustment required. With a straight edge – I was shocked at how out of coplaner it was. I wont bore you with the setup dimensioning – I will just describe the roadblocks that I ran into while trying to set it up. Understanding that each table is adjusted with four cams which are held in place by set screws. First off, to access two of the adjustable cams, the infeed and outfeed lever hubs must be removed. Each has two set screw holes. Loosen then up and the hubs should slide off. After much frustration, I realized that one of the set screws on the infeed table hub had a double set screw in there. Why, I have no idea, I just know it took me a long time to figure it out. After removing the hubs, it was the end of day one. Onto the next day, I started loosening all of the set screws that hold the cam adjusters in place. Six of the eight are easy to access. The other two required an allen wrench to be sacrificed to get it under the table top. these would be the two in front – closest to the center. Sure seemed liked there should have been an easier way to access these. No luck there. Another thing that I noticed while trying to access the one on the infeed side, the bolts that secure the rabbeting ledge cannot be accessed by a socket. When attempting an offset box wrench, the edge of the wrench was still hitting the cast top. This being a new machine, Im not to much into chipping the paint as expect this to be the last jointer I purchase.

After freeing all the set screws, setting the tables was the next mission. While not easy, and with a lot of patience, it is possible to get this set. With still some minor resetting of the tables to be done and with the blades almost perfectly set – I decided to fire it up and give it run before I called it for the second day. I cannot tell you how surprised I was that when plugged it in – the machine turned on. Definitely an issue. I tried resetting the switches but both the on and estop button are momentary and not maintained. My full time job is in the electrical engineering field and I have a pretty good understanding that this is not wired correctly. I would fully anticipate that these units should have power applied before leaving the factory – Im assuming this was not the case with the unit i received.

One more comment about design that could be improved – the start / stop push button station is not rigidly mounted to the frame as it deflects the sheet metal when depressed.

After contacting Powermatic Technical Services, they told me that a local repairman would be sent out to review/repair/reset the tables. While this somewhat makes me happy as I truly believe that this unit is my last jointer, I am disappointed that it requires a service technician to come out and get it to the “factory set” condition.

I will follow this review up after the jointer is serviced. I just wanted to put this out there as there are no recent reviews, pro or con.




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jeffk726

5 posts in 294 days



22 comments so far

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WhoMe

1114 posts in 1909 days


#1 posted 12-10-2013 10:39 PM

Wow, that is too bad. You would think that with a name and reputation like Powermatic, there would have been minimal issues. Since PM and Jet are under the same parent company, that doesn’t bode well for either company if this is what they are putting out now. Hopefully this is not a trend and you just got a Monday machine….
Hopefully, everything gets resolved and once your joiner gets set up, you have a lifetime of good use out of it.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies and the wall gets in the way.. - Mike -

View kajunkraft's profile

kajunkraft

100 posts in 875 days


#2 posted 12-11-2013 02:11 AM

Jet/Powermatic/Meire(?) have recently been acquired by some financial entity. I have had questionable dealings with them lately and can’t help but wonder if this changing of the guard has caused a decrease in quality issues in production, customer service, etc.?

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mantwi

312 posts in 562 days


#3 posted 12-11-2013 02:27 AM

You could have bought a Grizzly with a spiral cutterhead for around $1200.00. You would have saved how much, maybe a $1000.00 and the frustration you must be feeling about now. The Powermatic brand just changed, the Walter Meirer group sold it to New York private equity firm Tenex Capital Management. Meirer is a Swiss conglomerate with facilities in Taiwan and China as well European and American manufacturing operations. Guess where your jointer was probably made. I’d venture to say it wasn’t the foundry in McMinnvlle and definitely not the former corporate headquarters in Lavergne Tenn. More like it is was someplace where rice is on the menu for lunch. Powermatic has been taking advantage of the Taiwanese production facilities for many years on their smaller products like 6” jointers and Artisan contractor saws. The new breed holding the reins are in it for a quick buck and fast turn around and guess who the losers are. Us. If it’s possible I’d send it back, there are many brands today which though they couldn’t equal the old Powermatic products now surpass the quality of this once great brand.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4022 posts in 1045 days


#4 posted 12-11-2013 02:45 AM

Too many things these days designed for the assembly line and not the end user.

Keeps us up to date on what happens Jeff.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View RobWoodCutter's profile

RobWoodCutter

111 posts in 1895 days


#5 posted 12-11-2013 05:08 AM

That’s a shame. I bought one over 5 years ago through Woodcraft and when it arrived the tables were dead on aligned, the blades set perfect and even the fence was dead on 90 deg to the table. It has run perfect. The only issue I have had was the motor shaft pulley came loose and the pulley shifted to the rear and began scraping against the rear belt guard making a horrible noise. Once it was readjusted and tightened it has been great since.

Rob

-- Rob-Yorktown "Shop's still not done, Tools are bought, Wood is bought, need to find time to start a project.."

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mbs

1440 posts in 1605 days


#6 posted 12-11-2013 02:59 PM

I would be comfortable purchasing the OLD PM, Delta, and Porter Cable US made products but not their new stuff. Maybe their specialty equipment is still made in the US but the commodity type equipment is made over seas and the quality isn’t the same is it was before. The Delta mortiser I purchased a few years ago is very poorly made. The Europeans still make good equipment.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

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mantwi

312 posts in 562 days


#7 posted 12-11-2013 04:26 PM

Check out the review posted today on the Grizzly G0490X 3HP 8 in jointer w/ mobile base. What a difference. It verifies everything I said about the decline in quality in the old standbys and the rise in quality in many of the import competitors.

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

499 posts in 1983 days


#8 posted 12-11-2013 08:41 PM

mantwi, you have been pretty emphatic in this thread as well as the Grizzly thread about the motivations of the new owners of Powermatic. You included a pretty broad statement: “The new breed holding the reins are in it for a quick buck and fast turn around and guess who the losers are.”

Do you have evidence other than the experiences of the OP of this thread that the new owners are “in it for a quick buck?”

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4022 posts in 1045 days


#9 posted 12-11-2013 09:20 PM

Honestly I doubt the problems with this lathe have anything to do with the new owners, they haven’t been in charge for very long. You never know the motivations of a group like Tenex but typically they save companies from bankruptcy then turn or divide them up for a quick profit. Companies like Delta and Powermatic have lost their way and stagnated while other companies like Grizzly and Sawstop are taking away their business. Maybe new ownership will be good in the long run, I don’t think it can really be worse.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View jeffk726's profile

jeffk726

5 posts in 294 days


#10 posted 12-11-2013 10:12 PM

I guess the good part about this discussion is that it makes all aware that – in my opinion – that Powermatic is not a flawless product. I always viewed Powermatic as a step up from Delta. All of my current – life time tools – as I tell my wife – are 10-12 year old Delta tools which i have had zero problems with. The local service representative is coming tomorrow morning to review my problems with the jointer.

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Rick M.

4022 posts in 1045 days


#11 posted 12-12-2013 02:48 AM

Above I meant to write jointer, not lathe. I’ve always viewed Powermatic as an overpriced Delta wannabe. They make excellent lathes (really I mean lathes this time), once upon a time made excellent radial arm saws and drill presses, and the rest of their machinery is good but doesn’t justify the premium and never has. This is what put them near bankruptcy… when you consider that you can buy a Grizzly with near the same quality for half the price, most people are not going to spend the extra for yellow paint.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View mantwi's profile

mantwi

312 posts in 562 days


#12 posted 12-12-2013 04:53 AM

Mark Davisson: Just making an observation based on the facts. WHM Group purchased Powermatic in 1999 and introduced their new improved version of the machinery in 2001. Over the years since they acquired the company I began to see something pop up I’d never seen before. Negative reviews. I put a lot of stock in the experiences of the owners of these machines and either the happy ones don’t share it or there is an inordinate number of disappointed customers. It looks like WHM cut quality, lived off the hard won good reputation the brand had then dumped it rather than addressing the issues others have reported. That looks like a fast buck and quick turn around to me. Perhaps the Tenex people will bring the Gold standard back but I have my doubts. My first table saw was a Powermatic model 63 Artisan (made in Taiwan by the way) I bought in 1992 and it was a pleasure to use. It came perfectly set up and with a decent blade cut as smooth as glass. I loved that saw and used it for years til I upgraded to a Jet Exacta Left tilt cabinet saw in 1996. Why is Jet getting better and Powermatic floundering? They were both owned by WHM. Just saying. I have always dreamed of owning a Powermatic 66 but it was out of reach financially, someday I hope to purchase a good used one. The old 66 is the undisputed king in my book but from what I’ve seen and read Powermatic no longer makes anything that’s it’s equal.

View RobWoodCutter's profile

RobWoodCutter

111 posts in 1895 days


#13 posted 12-12-2013 05:14 AM

In all fairness:

The OP dis-appointment is about the setup QC and maybe about service.

But the fact is, this jointer is still built like a tank and should last a lifetime once aligned.

A couple of years ago, I spoke with a tech in Tenn. The only tool that is still manufactured in the USA is the PM 511 vertical panelsaw. All other of the Powermatic tools are manufactured elsewhere.

Rob

-- Rob-Yorktown "Shop's still not done, Tools are bought, Wood is bought, need to find time to start a project.."

View Daniel's profile

Daniel

3 posts in 294 days


#14 posted 12-12-2013 06:41 AM

I hope you have a better experience with “Powermatic’s service representative” than I did. I bought a new Powermatic helical head planer. Five minutes into the first planing job, while taking at most 1/16” of an inch off of a flat piece of mahogany, the motor began to smoke. When I hit the red shut-off button, it wouldn’t shut off. I unplugged it and called the seller, a national woodworking chain. He refused to take it back and exchange it, and referred me to the local rep, who listened to my story and then referred me to a serviceman.

The serviceman came out the next day and immediately confirmed that the motor had burned out, and the starter contactor circuit was faulty. He called his contact at Powermatic for further instructions. I could only hear his side of the conversation, which went something like this: “It’s burned out.” Pause. “No, I’m sure it’s burned out.” Pause. “Look, I know these Chinese motors. This thing is fried.” Long pause. “OK, if that’s what you want.” He hung up, rolled his eyes at me, and said, “They want me to remove the motor, take it back to my shop, and try to repair it.” I was speechless. This was a brand new $3,000 tool which hadn’t lasted five minutes into its first use. But the manufacturer wouldn’t even accept his own rep’s diagnosis, if there was even a hair of a chance of salvaging a few more dollars of corporate profit.

The rep took the motor back to his shop and performed the required autopsy, called Powermatic and told them the motor was really, truly dead, and called me to tell me the “good news” – Powermatic had agreed to replace the burned out motor! In about 10 days. What about my cabinet project, for which I had purchased this expensive tool? Should I call my clients and tell them I’ll be ten days late in delivery? Woodcraft and Powermatic didn’t care about any schedule. Why should I?

Ten days later the rep returned and put it in a new motor and starter unit. He told me that he isn’t actually an employee of Powermatic, but an independent technician who has repair contracts with multiple manufacturers. “Powermatic is the worst”, he told me. “They make me buy the parts.” He had to pay for my replacement motor and starter out of his own pocket, and then wait for Powermatic to re-imburse him. “That’s how they do it…I guess they don’t trust me,” he said with a wink.

I think that says it all.

That’s what we’re up against anymore: Chinese workmanship and American corporate greed…such a winning combination.

-- Daniel, Washington

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

499 posts in 1983 days


#15 posted 12-12-2013 10:42 AM

Just making an observation based on the facts.

mantwi, Tenex just (60 days ago) bought the Jet, Powermatic, Wilton lines. Your statement, The new breed holding the reins are in it for a quick buck and fast turn around and guess who the losers are. is based on what “facts?”

Daniel, you shared your negative experience with Powermatic and then made the statement, That’s what we’re up against anymore: Chinese workmanship and American corporate greed…such a winning combination. Did you experience American corporate greed while Powermatic was Swiss owned?

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

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