By Daniel Allan — Resident Wordworker of Katz-Moses Tools
The year has come to a close — and it’s time to put the last layer of finish on 2023.
To send it off with style, I sat down with Jonathan Katz-Moses to reflect on what was and what’s to come for Katz-Moses Tools.
Can you summarize 2023 in a few words?
This was the first real full year post-pandemic. So it was interesting to try and figure out how to do business in a post-apocalyptic world.
It was very challenging. But also, you know, we learned a lot.
What did KM Tools accomplish in the past year that makes you the most proud?
The router table was such an amazing feat of manufacturing and engineering.
To produce tools that compete with the largest brands in the world is an uphill battle, but we were able to find manufacturing techniques and materials that worked and I think produced a very affordable, high-quality product.
And it was pretty neat when we balanced our Dually F-350 on two of them!
I'm also really proud of the No BS video series. We created actionable content you could use in the shop today without fluff or sponsorships. And I think that really resonated with people.
As for the charity, we gave away close to half a million dollars in tools. We'd set a goal of a million that we didn't hit. But the fact we were able to give away as much as we did and all the people who supported us was really incredible.
How about the biggest surprise from the past year? Any lessons?
The biggest surprise for the past year is something I've been preaching forever, which is buy once, cry once.
You know, I bought a CNC last year that was a great introduction into CNC manufacturing. But within six months, we bought three new ones to replace it.
I realized when you are using machines to make money, it pays to invest in your company because the end result is going to generate not only more revenue, but be more profitable when you're able to do things in a more efficient and accurate way.
What new products are you planning to release in 2024?
This is an exciting one because I have to choose my words carefully and can’t say exactly what they are.
I have filed a patent for a product that will eliminate the five cut method in sled making and jig making. That should be out early this year.
We also have another product coming out with Tamar from 3x3 Custom and several other big creators.
Also, we're going to be rapidly expanding the Katz-Moses Flat Pack line, which means we'll be able to bring you a line of quality, affordable flat-packed jigs you can assemble at home.
And they’ll be cheaper than it will cost for you to buy the materials to make them yourself.
What was your favorite video from last year?
It has to be the making of the router table.
That was a new style video for us, sort of a behind the scenes look into what we do here.
We make instructional content about woodworking, but that has become a small percentage of how I spend my time. Creating, designing tools, and running an ecommerce company is what we focus on.
It was really fun to see the positive feedback on that video and we look forward to bringing a lot more “making of” type videos to you in 2024.
How about your favorite build?
My favorite build this year is actually one I just finished.
It's a sort of armoire costume station for my daughter. It's real cute.
It's got a rack to hang all her princess dresses, shoe shelves for her high heels, a shelf for her crowns and tiaras, and a place for hanging her jewelry. As well as a shelf and a mirror so she can do her little play makeup and sit on a stool and get dressed in the morning.
She is a very girly-girl and really likes to dress like Elsa and all her favorite characters. I can't wait to give it to her. I think she's gonna be really excited about it.
What do you hope to have achieved by this time next year?
By this time next year, I would like to have a robust line of Katz-Moses Flat Pack jigs. Most for the table saw, but you know, some things for the drill press and other tools.
I also hope to release another 15 to 20 products under the Katz-Moses Tools line and another 10 or so with other content creators.
I think we are going to focus very strongly on product development here. It really is something I enjoy, and I really like bringing creativity and new tools to the market.
Any new year's resolutions?
Well, my doctor would want me to say “eat less salt and lower my blood pressure”.
But I'm gonna say take a break, go fly fishing, and try to create as many new things as I can. Because that's really one of the things I love most.
I'd also love to spend more time with my daughter in the shop. She's really developed a love for making things.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Yes. After eight years in this business, it is never lost on me how special it is that a group of people watch the content we create and buy the tools we make.
So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.
And if at any time during this year you’re feeling charitable, the Katz-Moses Woodworkers with Disabilities Fund is doing wonderful things and your donations would go to a very good home and help people in need.
So Happy New Year, and thank you for all your support!
From the Katz-Moses Tools team to you — Happy New Year!
We wish you all the best in the year ahead, and hope you get to keep pursuing your passion for woodworking!