July 5, 2008

Awesome new gadget!

I have a very exciting new woodworking machine, the Matchmaker, by Woodtec. I've made a little video of it in action.

I can't write an actual review, since I've just started using it. But here are some preliminary thoughts:

It's a nice solid machine. I like it so far. This didn't show up in my video, but I was moving that control stick using only my little finger!

I've had a little slippage of the stops that limit side-to-side motion. (But I'm working with very big boards.)

The router mounts by removing the base and guide-rods of a big plunge-router, then sliding the router body onto the machine's own rods. That wasn't clear to me when I bought it. Disassembling the router was a pain; I had to call Hitachi to ask how to do it. I'm pretty sure I will never remove the router to use on other tasks. So I'd say you should budget for a dedicated router.

The manual is adequate, but not great. (My experience has always been that the more expensive the machine, the more wretched the instructions. The cheap consumer-level machine costing hundreds of $ has, necessarily, crystal-clear instructions. Then I upgrade to a big professional contraption that costs thousands, and end up wasting hours figuring out stuff that could be explained in a single sentence.)

The video that comes with it is a VHS cassette! Good grief, is that a time warp, or what? I certainly can't watch it. Uh, guys, I really really appreciate your old-fashioned inventive iron-mongering genius, but there is this new thing called the Internet. With web videos. And, may I be so bold to suggest, FAQ's. Answering questions by telephone is SO Twentieth Century.

But these are quibbles; it's a grand gadget.

Also, I mis-spoke on the video; it's not a gate post, it's the stile of a gate.

Posted by John Weidner at July 5, 2008 11:57 AM
Weblog by John Weidner