A hammer in search of a nail…

P-C Plate Joiner broken?

I started a new project this last weekend (a console table with a bubinga top, which I’ll write about later). Got through jointing and planing two boards for the top. Unfortunately, when I used my Porter- Cable plate joiner (ie, biscuit cutter), it worked fine for the first two biscuit cuts but went dead before I could cut the third. Bummer!

So I pulled out the owners manual to see if there was a fuse or something that may have failed that would be easy to fix. Found out the troubleshooting section just had a single entry referring me to their service center. Double bummer! End of project work for the weekend.

The joiner was purchased in April 2009, and the warranty is only one year. Triple Bummer!

So now I need to take it into the service center (one bright spot is that there is a service center within 10 mins from work). I’ll let you know how it works out as I’m sure you’re all riveted 😉


I took the plate joiner into the P-C service center.  The way they work is that you pay a certain amount (based on the tool’s price) that is the “upper limit” to get the tool fixed.  If they fix it for less, you pay less, if it costs them more to fix it, you still only pay the maximum amount.  Either way, the tool is fixed.

For my plate joiner, the “upper limit” was $112 (I paid $220 originally 2 years ago).  As it turns out, there was a loose wire they had to reattach.  So my bill was only $29.50.  While I’m not happy that I had to take it in for service within 2 years of the purchase, I was expecting a bill closer to $100 so $30 was much better.


Comments on: "P-C Plate Joiner broken?" (4)

  1. It’s always a pain when something breaks or stops working while you’re only part way through that part of the job!

    How much use has this tool had in the last two-years? If it’s had a lot of work then, I wonder whether the carbon brushes may need replacing (assuming this is a universal brush-motored tool)?

    There’s plenty of information already available on the internet on how to inspect and replace carbon brushes. First, you’d need to locate the caps (generally, one either side of the motor). They’re black, round and have a slot for a flat-head screwdriver. With the plug disconnected (!!!), remove the caps and there, you’ll find the brushes.

    Hope this helps. I also hope that it doesn’t get to the point where, at the service centre, you realise that the bill for this repair is almost on a par with purchasing a brand new jointer…! 😕


  2. Olly,

    Thanks for the feedback. Yep, I’ll make sure that the cost doesn’t rise to the point where I would rather have spent the money on a new tool. As a part-time hobbyist, the tool hasn’t seen a whole lot of action. I do use it pretty regularly, but, for me, that generally means for maybe 30 minutes every couple of months.

    I saw in the manual about the brushes, but figured I’d ask at the service center before I disassembled it to inspect the brushes.

    Do you happen to know what the symptom is if the brushes need replacing? It was rather odd to pull the trigger for the first biscuit, then the second, and then pull the trigger for the third and … nada … no reaction at all from the tool. It was just suddenly dead (and between uses). Was just weird.


    • Normally, I’d expect to find the tool working but at a much slower speed and sounding quite rough as it’s running. If there’s no power coming through at all then, I’m not sure what to suggest, as you say you’ve already checked the plug for a fuse.

      Hope it works out alright! 🙂

  3. Finding the right biscuit joiner can be hard, especially when there are so many available. However, the Triton TC9BJM 9 amp Biscuit Joiner is one that can fit almost anyone’s needs. It’s a very versatile instrument that can be used in many woodworking projects.

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