At an event held at the Fort Houston cooperative workshop in southeast Nashville, I got a look at several brand new JET woodworking tools in their element–surrounded by some of the young creative types who will be the next generation of woodworkers. Much of the machinery in the Fort Houston shop was donated by JET, and without it the artisans there would be hard-pressed to build their creations and get up and going in their furniture and woodworking businesses.
While there I spoke to a number of JET product managers, who described their brand as an "everyman's tool"–well-suited to the professional but not as pricey as sister brand Powermatic. They said that going forward one of the key design elements for JET tools could be described as "quality touches", the desire to go beyond mere functionality and produce a machine that has visual as well as practical appeal. Examples would include the elimination of visible fasteners and choosing metal knobs over plastic ones–even if plastic would serve.
Among the tools introduced at this event were a 14-inch band saw, two wood lathes, and a woodworker's bench grinder. Click the image on the left for specs, photos and pricing for the new JET machines.
For additional coverage of the event at Fort Houston see Small Shop Powermatic Table Saw and What This Shop Needs is a Bowling Ball. Jet recently changed hands but that is unlikely to have any near-term effect on the products offered by the company.