Powermatic Model 50 Jointer

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Blog entry by none posted 03-26-2010 02:06 PM 22425 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello all,

A few years ago I picked up an old Powermatic model 50 6” jointer. The jointer was cosmetically in very bad shape; The cutter head was very rusty, the base was pitted through with rust and, the table had a very thick coating of over spray (not sure what it was but thankful it was there as it protected the raw metal). The jointer sat in my garage for six months before I decided to restore it. I thought I would share some of the pictures of the restoration.

Jointer before restoration

I have a access to a bunch of machine tools and finishing processes which allowed me to bead blast just about everything and apply a parkerized finish to the hardware. Because the cabinet was rusted through, I bought a new cabinet from a warehouse for a model 54A. The new cabinet was painted the newer Powermatic gold color which helped me decide to paint the model 50 that color as well.

Model 54A Cabinet

I had to do some modifications to the cabinet to make it work. After reassembling the jointer here is the finished product.

Finished Jointer

I installed a new set of solid carbide knives and have run probably if I had to guess, 100 or so board feet of American Cherry across them. I am very pleased with the out come.

Here is a link to all of the restoration pictures: Enjoy

If you flip through my projects folder, you will see other projects I have embarked upon. I am currently remodeling my shop and will post pictures soon.

-- getting lots of spam from this site.

14 comments so far

View DrewM's profile


176 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 03-26-2010 02:31 PM

Nice looking machine. I’m still trying to find an older jointer to restore, maybe one day I will have a nice example of a classic woodworking machine in my shop.

-- Drew, Delaware

View PineInTheAsh's profile


404 posts in 4152 days

#2 posted 03-26-2010 02:39 PM

You did a fabulous job. It looks like a spanking brand Powermatic. Being able to bead blast is a wonderful thing. The only thing is you’ve let the world’s worst secret out of the bag. It’s becoming increasingly harder to find these wonderful “vintage” tools to restore. Those of us who pursue the classics are losing our edge.

BTW, never heard the term “parkerized finish.” Is it a hammered look? Or?

Years ago I did well with used cars; picked up some nice diamonds in the rough. Seller cars with 100,000 miles or more were nearly apologetic and let them go for a song. No more today. In the words of my mechanic…”at 100 grand, it’s just gettting started.”

This machine should serve you well for decades. Welcome to LJs, enjoy and be safe.


View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4706 days

#3 posted 03-26-2010 03:13 PM

Thomas, you did a nice restoration on the jointer. I really enjoy seeing older tools given a new lease on life, such as you have done here. This jointer is a quality tool that with the restoration should last you for years to come.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ClayandNancy's profile


527 posts in 3899 days

#4 posted 03-26-2010 05:08 PM

Loved the slide-show. You refurbed that better than new. Now lets see some dust fly!

View Dale's profile


31 posts in 4865 days

#5 posted 03-26-2010 06:53 PM

Great Job! Where did you get the powermatic paint?

-- Dale, Pittsburgh PA -

View none's profile


17 posts in 3868 days

#6 posted 03-29-2010 01:22 PM

All, Thank you for the great comments.

Peter, Parkerizing is a phosphate coating that protects the raw or painted metal surfaces. It is black in color and is very much like gun blueing however, much more durable. The only negative side to it is that it leaves the surface with microscopic pits therefor, it is not ideal for smooth surfaces such as the bed of the jointer. Parkerizing is primarily used in the firearms industry and can be used as a primer for metal so long as the coating is neutralized (with oil) and is degreased (acetone) prior to painting.

Dale, I was able to just buy the Powermatic Gold paint from Powermatic. They sell it as touch up paint in aerosol cans. I was able to get the job done with 3 cans though they were quite expensive at $15 a can.

-- getting lots of spam from this site.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4557 days

#7 posted 12-21-2010 04:06 AM

Thats a nice looking jointer, I hope to own one of those.

View Roamin_Ronin's profile


3 posts in 3913 days

#8 posted 02-17-2011 07:03 AM

Thomas, I just bought this same jointer, though it seems mine was in a little bit better condition. Though I have a question as you seem to have a bit more machinery knowledge than I do.

The jointer came from a school shop. In the dovetails where the tables connect to the base, there seems to be.. Soda Cans? in there. I have no idea what they are doing there, maybe something to tighten it up? I haven’t broken it down yet, but it does seem to be out of whack.. Would you have any insight here?

Also, do you have a copy of the manual for this one? I keep trying to find one, but I can’t seem to find the exact right one.

Any help from your experience would be appreciated.


-- Amateur WoodButcher

View none's profile


17 posts in 3868 days

#9 posted 02-17-2011 03:46 PM


It sounds to me that someone has either replaced the original Gibbs with something makeshift or they have tried to shim the table up to make it parallel with the axis of the cutter head. First thing I would do is remove the set screws (2) and remove the hand screw (1) that lock or tighten the table into place(on outer facing side of machine).

Make sure to leave the table adjustment screw or lever in place (on the underside of the machine). Next, there should be a piece of flat stock between either inside face of the dovetail (Gib). I imagine this is where the “coke can” is located. You make have difficulty removing the gib as it may be dimpled by the locking screw. If you cannot remove the gib, you will need to remove the table. This can be kinda tricky as the base or the fence will be in the way and once one side is removed the machine will want to tip over. I will leave it here for now. Let me know what you find and we will go from there.

I do have a manual. PM me your email address and I can send it your way.

I am happy to help.

Thomas Mitchell

-- getting lots of spam from this site.

View Roamin_Ronin's profile


3 posts in 3913 days

#10 posted 02-17-2011 04:46 PM

Apparently I do not have enough Posts to send a PM yet – stupid lurking! PM me and I can reply I hope?

-- Amateur WoodButcher

View Mellen's profile


4 posts in 3319 days

#11 posted 09-26-2011 03:10 AM

Wow this looks great! I am tempted to buy a local Powermatic in similar shape and give this a try now!

-- Steve, Rochester, NY

View ajthomas5009's profile


296 posts in 2501 days

#12 posted 12-25-2013 04:28 PM

Nice job and Merry Christmas, my girl friend bought me the same jointer for Xmas. I’m in the middle of the same restoration but I’m having some trouble getting the tables apart. I’m too new to send you a PM so I’m just going to explain where I’m at in the process.

I started out with with the top because it was covered in oil and rust. Ill probably end up recleaning and polishing the top when it’s all said and done but I just couldn’t work with that mess on the top. So then I began to unbolt the rear sleeve and rear table. I then proceeded to unbolt the left and right sides of the front. After I bagged and labeled all of those parts I flipped the table over and unbolted the cutter head then turn it back over and lowered both sides of the table until I could pull the cutter head out. I then took apart the adjustment arms figuring the tables would slide up or down fairly easy. This wasn’t the case and is where I am currently stuck.

Can you explain to me how to remove the left and right jointer tables? From doing a little reading I get the feeling I might have to put the adjustment arms back on and raise the tables as high as possible. I’m going to hold off for a bit now though because I don’t want to damage anything. Thank you in advance.


-- Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4461 days

#13 posted 12-25-2013 05:01 PM

This looks great ,just like new,very nice work.


View Mainerjohn's profile


2 posts in 1701 days

#14 posted 03-01-2016 04:02 AM

Thomas, nice job ! I’m looking at purchasing the same model myself that will also need some refurbishing. Where did you get the carbide knives? Did you use any particular jig to swap out the old ones? Any other comments about the Model 50? The particular model that is for sale is a 3ph motor. Is that a concern for a homeowner? My workshop is on it’s own power source.


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