“The Gold Standard” Marks 100 Years

“The Gold Standard” Marks 100 Years

Powermatic first emerged in 1921, when Leonard F. Smith, Sr., a McMinnville, Tennessee, vendor of timber and rough-cut lumber, set out to upgrade his product by building a planing machine in the workshop of the family farm. He designed and built a planer that cleanly cut flat boards of even thickness from rough lumber better than any other tool of the day. As word spread quickly about the innovative planer, Smith filled orders to build four more of them for local woodworkers. Not long afterward, he decided to enter the manufacturing business full-time.

1980s model Powermatic stationary planer
Stationary planers, such as this model from the 1980s, became cornerstones for the brand in its early days of manufacturing.

In 1928, Smith moved his shop to larger quarters in town and named the fast-growing business Powermatic Machinery Company. He introduced several new products, and soon the brand became known as “The Gold Standard.” By 1954, the business was managed by Smith’s sons who constructed a 38,000-sq.-ft. factory on the outskirts of McMinnville. Then in 1958, the company took the bold step of building its own 50,000-sq.-ft. foundry to ensure the precision and quality of its castings.

Working with a Powermatic jointer in a mill
This green Powermatic jointer, manufactured sometime in the 1960s, is still used by a millworks company in Nashville, Tennessee.

Fast-forwarding to the present, Powermatic has joined forces with JET Tools, Wilton Tool Company and Edwards Manufacturing to form JPW Industries, which is owned by Gamut Capital Management. The company operates out of its innovation and durability will remain paramount. Woodworking professionals and hobbyists across America depend on Powermatic, and it’s that level of reliability and support they expect from ‘The Gold Standard.’

Special edition Powermatic 100 year logo
To commemorate Powermatic’s centennial, several stationary tools will feature a black finish with gold stripe. Premiums will be bundled with every Powermatic commemorative purchase.

Learn more about Powermatic’s full line of woodworking machinery by visiting powermatic.com.

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