I am curious to hear of anyone's development of good tweaks, modifications, or otherwise novel developments in the field of timberframe tools. Not having a lot of money to spend on fancy German tools, I have instead focused on tweaking less expensive tools to suit my needs--- and in some cases, I feel that I have hit upon a superior design to what is available commercially.
A good example is my LinearLink chain beam saw, which I outfitted with a wide aftermarket base and a 1/4 aluminum shoe for extra stability. A quirk of its design turns out to be one of its best features-- the depth adjuster lets you rake the bar forward 10 deg or so and back about 30 deg. Raking the bar back allows one to cut mortises for wedged half-dovetails and tongue and fork joints very accurately and effectively. I can;t think of any better way to do it actually. The German saws look nice, but they are incapable of this feature which I seem to use all of the time. Having recently visited a SIP shop and seen the ultra-thin kerf (1/8") chains they are using on their LinearLinks, my next move is to get a couple of these chains.
I've managed to acquire a set of three Rockwell beam saws-- a 8", 10", and 12". Having never used one of the German saw I can only say that I can't fathom a circular saw being more robust and accurate. Depth is set precisely with a worm gear-- which is soooo nice. I've outfitted the 8" with a dado stack for cutting braces and lap tenons-- a huge time saver. It seems like a 12" saw with a dado stack could be used much like the tenon cutters sold by the German makers. There used to be a company that sold dado kits for skil worm saws--- I think they were deemed too dangerous. Anyone use one of these for timberframing?
I am envisioning some modifications to the makita mortiser in the near future as well. It seems simple enough to outfit it with an adjustable fence for crosscutting, and perhaps even create a setup that allows you to plunge at an angle other than 90 deg. Has anyone on the forums modified their Makita in such a way? It seems that it already has some advantages over the German machines. If it were able to crosscut, it could really be a hot ticket. I suppose you might have to change the angle of the teeth for it to work well though.