Friday, February 22, 2008


The following is a post I made to the site on February 13, 2008. The forum's moderator contacted me a few hours after I posted to inform me that she had pulled the post for failure to adhere to Woodweb's posting guidelines. Because they cannot independently verify complaints of this kind, they do not allow them on the site. Nonetheless, I feel it is imperative that information of this kind be available to prospective buyers of any machine that poses such serious health threats in the event of a malfunction. I am confident that if my former employers had access to information of this kind, they would have purchased a different molder.

Despite my criticisms, I want to emphasize that I perceive Stiles Machinery, which markets the Kentwood Molder, to be an excellent company in general. I have written very favorably about them in previous posts, and as a woodworker, I have enjoyed the use of many of the machines they sell and service. While negative perceptions like those I share in the post below may decrease the likelihood that those in the market for a molder choose a Kentwood, nothing I say could affect Stiles as adversely as a serious injury resulting from a machine of unacceptably low quality.

Lastly, if anyone reading this would like to respond to any aspect of this post, I will gladly publish any reasonable comments.

Here is the original post from Woodweb:

I had previously posted anonymously about Kentwood Molders, advising prospective buyers to contact me first. At the time, I was concerned about adversely affecting my employer's relationship with Stiles. At this point, my misgivings about the machine far outweigh that consideration.

The molder has been nothing but trouble. Spindles have spun out of their housings. Heads have locked onto spindles. Belts have disintegrated while scarcely under load. Latches and other small parts have failed, at times leaving the machine inoperable. Yesterday, the guard on #3 vibrated loose, made contact with the spinning head, shattered, and sent shrapnel flying throughout the machine. One piece of shrapnel actually pierced the acrylic hood.

I cannot overstate my misgivings about this machine. In my view, it should be taken off the market. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Be safe.

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