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Jointmaker Pro

Pieces too wide to cut in the miter box.

For wide pieces shown in Jameel Abraham’s “Precision Inlay, Simple Tools” (Popular Woodworking Magazine, April 2011 #189) he used the Bridge City Toolworks Jointmaker Pro. Here’s his method:

You may notice a few of the pieces in the article are unusually wide, much wider in fact than the miter box and miter jack could handle. These were cut with the Bridge City Toolworks Jointmaker Pro.

I was attending a Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event in Chicago in early 2008 when I first saw the prototype of the JMP. Bridge City founder John Economaki was demonstrating the tool and I knew immediately that I had to have one for producing these inlays. The JMP, with its precision capabilities, can make sawcuts so accurately that no shooting or planing of any sort is required to yield a perfect joint. Plus, the JMP can crosscut up to 6″, meaning you can then rip this finished log into literally dozens of individual pieces. A 6″ log can be sliced into almost 75 sixteenth-inch slices using the JMP’s 0.021 kerf ripping blade.

Jointmaker Pro

The Bridge City Toolworks Jointmaker Pro can crosscut pieces up to 6″ wide, and make multiple precision cuts with little waste.

Getting the JMP dialed in is imperative to good results. As with the miter box and jack method, make some test cuts to verify the angle. The pieces should roll up tight. Setting the fence square is also important as you flip the piece from side to side when making sequential cuts. For the same reason the book also needs to have dead parallel sides. I built a zero-clearance sub top for the JMP and incorporated a couple hold-downs. This allows me to focus on the cutting. The offcut hold-down is important. It allows the blade the cut completely through without the offcut breaking off before last stroke. When the offcut isn’t held down, it breaks off instead of being cut off, leaving a long thin “burr” attached. The burr would have to be removed with a chisel or plane, and this could introduce error into the finished log.

Jointmaker Pro

— Jameel Abraham

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Showing 2 comments
  • Jameel Abraham

    Sorry about that. It should have read, “raise up the adjacent section with a layer…” As you surmised, you’ll want to plane down the thicker areas to bring them into conformity with the thinner ones.

  • JToews

    Great article, however I do have one question: on page 39 you state, “If you find areas of the blank getting thinner than you want, raise up that section with a layer or two of blue painter’s tape”. I am having difficulty wrapping my brain around this. It would seem to me that raising up the thin areas would result in them becoming even thinner as planing continued. Can you please clarify this? Thanks!

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