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Author Topic: Old belt drive planer project  (Read 24355 times)

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Offline Tripp

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Old belt drive planer project
« on: August 15, 2009, 09:33:30 PM »
I picked up this planer today. A good miller friend of mine made it available to me. He bought it quite a few years ago and never got around to doing anything with it. The planer is a Fisher & Davis and was made in the 1880's. It was originally a 3 sided planer, but it is missing the two side heads. Other than the side heads it is complete. I am looking forward to getting this thing back in action.

I have never run or restored a planer so I see an education coming.

Anyone ever run an old square head planer?

Tripp

 






Offline farmboy1tn

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2009, 09:58:19 PM »
great project like to see pictures when you get it running :)

Offline tyb525

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2009, 10:20:07 PM »
Looks to be in good shape for the age!
LT10G10, Stihl 038 Magnum, many woodworking tools. Currently a farm service applicator, trying to find time to saw!

Offline Bob_T

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2009, 11:19:10 PM »
I have a sort of similar, but I don't think nearly  as old, 24"  planer.  It has "The Porter 24" cast into the frame.  Babbitt bearings and when I got it the feed rollers looked like they ran off some sort of twisted belt from the main drive motor.  I plan on powering the feed rollers with a separate VFD controlled motor, someday.

I'm really  not much help as I've never run mine either.  I haven't got as far as checking the bearings but all in all it looks like it's in reasonable shape.
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Offline mike_van

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2009, 06:11:20 AM »
Tripp, check out this website http://www.owwm.com/  They do old woodworking equipment as it's never been done.
I was the smartest 16 year old I ever knew.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2009, 06:36:39 AM »
Tripp,it worked then it will work now.Be very carefull of the square head knives they don't just nibble they bite,all machines have gone to round cutter heads.Are the knives in good shape? Keep us in the loop on this project Tripp.Frank C.
A man armed with common sense is packing a big piece

Offline moonhill

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2009, 06:43:54 AM »
There is no kick back mechanism on the old units, I was told not to put more than one board in at a time, the thinner one could come back at you.  I have a similar planer that I have not got running yet.  I have wondered about adapting it to the 3 point hitch on my tractor powered somehow from the PTO? 

Tim
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Offline Larry

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2009, 07:35:25 AM »
Check/replace the bolts holding the knifes in the head.  They are probably fatigued after a 100 years and you don’t want to duck a flying knife.

The knife cutting angle is better suited for softwood and may chip out on hardwood.  It is possible to improve performance by grinding a back bevel on the knife.

If the babbitt is wore check to see if a shim can be removed to tighten it up.

The advice to not feed more than one board at a time is good...even for many newer planers.

The rest is obvious...guards over the sheaves, and a little paint will make a spiffy machine.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline 4genlgr

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2009, 08:23:18 AM »
my uncle had one  similar he drove it with a really long belt from a stationary power plant said he didn't need to keep the belt tight that way because the weight of the belt did it insstead also acted as a "safety" for when we tried to take to much off a board. the belt would walk off the pulley. ours was a two sider so mosly we justed sized stuff for thickness. She'd take quite a bite out of soft wood at least a 1/4" if not more. its been awhile since i've run it we ajusted the bite for hardness the harder the wood the less wood removed per pass
maintenance wise i don't know much but we made sure every time we ran it we oiled up EVERYTHING. all the waste holders dripholes shafts that didnt have drip pockets and gears
the adjustment screws for the bed were worn so we had to measure to get the thickness we wanted
Story: Grandfather ran a lumberyard back in the 30"s and 40's never had a sawmill  but had guys with portable mills come saw on the wood yard and truck the roughlumber to the planermill he had at his lumberyard to size the wood with this planer. my dad was running the mill one day and one of the bearing kept getting hot  so he rtorn it down to find out why. grandfarther showed and asked about it dad says   needs the bearing replaced grandfather says   no it doesn't   takes out his jackknife and sticks it into the babbit and breaks the tip off his knife because there was no babbit  "hhuurrmmmp" grandfather went to call the babbit guy   good luck

Offline apm

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2009, 08:41:32 AM »
You think your mill makes a lot of sawdust? Just wait till you see the piles of shavings that thing will produce. You can bury yourself in shavings in a matter of minutes.  :D I used to have one similar made by American Sawmill Machinery. It ran off of an electric motor the size of a compact car ;D  Sure would take a bite.

Greg
Timberking 1600 now

Offline Tripp

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2009, 01:25:56 PM »
Thanks for all the input.

I plan on cleaning up and painting the machine first. That way I can get myself familiarized with all the parts on the planer.

All of the babbit looks great. It was all replaced just prior to my friend purchasing it. The knives are good too. It came with several extra sets.

I will also be taking the advice on replacing the knife bolts. One of those hunks of steel flying off the head would be major problem.  Safety advice is always appreciated.


Tripp

Offline StorminN

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2009, 02:27:17 PM »
Hi Tripp,

Great looking old planer you've got there! Did you get the countershaft with it? What size is it, 18"? What do you plan on powering it with? I've seen them powered from everything from a water wheel, to a steam engine, to a tractor, to electric motors...

If the two side heads were directly opposed to each other (instead of staggered) then this machine is what they call a "matcher"... used for making t&g flooring, siding, etc. I can't tell from the pics... are the side shafts still there? If so, you might have some luck finding some old heads, either here or through the owwm.org site. The owwm.com site has two other planers like yours listed in its registry: http://owwm.com/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=1076&tab=4

You could also buy new side heads, but they're a little pricey, depending on how big... the shafts are probably 1-13/16" diameter? Just a guess. Try a place like Schmidt:
http://www.cggschmidt.com/

Do you have pictures of the knives on this square head? Larry has it right, you want to make sure you have good bolts to hold the knives on. Take them off and inspect them, make sure they don't have stretched threads or show any cracks. I hate to tell you, but real purpose-made square head knife bolts are hard to come by, there's only one place I've found that's still making them, that's Wisconsin Knife Works, and they want $26 each for the bolts and $14 each for the nuts!! :o :o

I've heard of plenty of people using t-slot fixture bolts as knife bolts, though... the only size I've researched is 5/8-11... cheap ones run $4 a piece from Travers, MSC, etc. but the good ones made from 4140 steel (like Jergens) run about $10-$15 each, depending on the size. I'm currently going through this whole hardware search because I inherited a four-sided moulder, about 1900 vintage... and it needs all new knife bolts. I still have not found a source other than WKW for the nuts, they're 5/8-11 nuts, but 1-1/4" on the flats, a weird size. Good luck with your restoration. Be sure to post plenty of pics, if you would... and let me know if you find any other good hardware sources...

Thanks,
-Norm.



Happiness... is a sharp saw.

Offline Tripp

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2009, 06:55:54 PM »
Here are a few more pics. Did not for see cutter head bolts being a problem. I know where some more square heads are. Maybe I can scrounge some. I would sure feel better with new ones.

All of the side head stuff is missing except for the screw in the second pic. I have not looked at any other old planers so I am not even sure how they attach.

Thanks for the links Norm. That 4 sided machine you have is a monster. How is that project going?

 








Offline StorminN

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2009, 04:12:51 PM »
Hi Tripp,

Your planer certainly looks good, for ~130 years old! They don't build them like that anymore... (can you imagine what a new 2009 planer will look like in 130 years??)

I'm not sure on the side heads, either. One might have been fixed, and the other moved on that screw... but all the journals and everything are missing, so you'd have to find a donor planer, or cast new parts to bring this one back to three-sided use. Sounds like a lot of work. But heck, one-sided use is great, too! You might email one of the guys that posted pics on the owwm.com site, and see if they have pics of how the side heads are mounted in there.

I'd be curious to see pictures of your knife bolts when you take them off... I'm curious which shape they are... stepped or not, and what size. How wide are the knives? Yes, you definitely don't want one of those knives coming loose... could make for a very bad day.

My moulder project is on hold for the time being, I'm in the middle of moving, from a place I've lived at for nine years or so. It's amazing how much stuff I've accumulated!

I hope to move the moulder to its new location in about a month and a half, before the fall rains start here... after it's moved and under a new roof, I should have more time to work on it. In the meantime, I'm collecting parts and still trying to source good, cheaper knife hardware. I'm off to the local knife shop tomorrow, to see what they have for old Zamboni knives and such... we'll see...

-Norm.
Happiness... is a sharp saw.

Offline Larry

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2009, 06:10:00 PM »
Looks like you may be missing a couple of bolts in the head right now.  Those knifes are really high dollar today.  A popular trick was to get wore out paper knife blades from the local newspaper and adapt them to the machine.

Picture of a old Crescent planer before I tore into it.




I bought an old American planer at one time that let a knife fly...the cast iron housing turned into shrapnel...and the operator was quite lucky.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline mayor

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2009, 07:19:18 PM »
Tripp.....
  I have two of them...one in original clothes and working correctly...other needs restored.
One is a National 24" belt.  We just ran it in its first antique machinery show.  Ran great.  You will really like the results of what these old planers will do.
Now then.....with that said.....here's some of the stuff that happens and why!
Kickback......dull blades and trying too feed too fast with improper blade installation.  Set the blades so you have about 3/16" of cutting edge protruding from the head.  You'll hafta look under the sharp side of the blade and you'll see what I mean......  If the blades are dull, they tend too grab instead of cut.
make sure the counterweights are moving up and down properly and everything is well oiled.
Its a good idea not too feed more than one board at a time into any planer.......but if you are planing 4" or less, you can use both sides of the planer without worry of kickback....just dont run boards side by side toward the center.

Did I mention too make sure the blades are sharp!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
Dont overtighten the belts as this will wear the babbit quicker.....but make sure they are tight enough not too touch when planing.

I was quite surprised at the quality of this planer I have....and its only a two blade!  Very little snipe and a near glass finish on the boards.
I turn mine with a farmall M belt pulley so I cant reccomend what size power plant you'll need.......the ole M doesnt even bog enough too kick in the governor when planing 20" boards.

Remember......its very easy too have fun and become displacent with the fact that there are open gears and pulleys and sharp blades all around you when running.........so be careful and have fun!.

Offline StorminN

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2009, 07:34:24 PM »
Hey Larry,

It looks like the knife bolts on that Crescent planer screw into holes in the head, rather than the head having t-slots in it... is that the way it is? Do you have pictures of that planer after restoration? Are you using new or vintage knife bolts?

thanks,
-Norm.
Happiness... is a sharp saw.

Offline Tripp

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2009, 08:55:45 PM »
Wow! what a bunch of helpful info already.

Here are a few more pics of knife bolts and blades. The bolts are 1 inch long by 1/2.

I hope to run the planer off of my sawmill engine. (110 hp.) I can run it off of the 2 wheel drive output on the transfer case. Independent of the sawmill.

The last two pics are of some belting and a blade sharpener I picked up. The sharpener needs cleaning and freeing up. Another project.

Tripp





 










Offline Larry

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2009, 06:28:28 AM »
Hey Larry,

It looks like the knife bolts on that Crescent planer screw into holes in the head, rather than the head having t-slots in it... is that the way it is?

Yes

Quote
Do you have pictures of that planer after restoration?

No...all I did was clean it up, adjust and put it to work.  Traded it off a few years ago.

Quote
Are you using new or vintage knife bolts?

I used over the counter bolts...think they were grade 8.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline StorminN

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Re: Old belt drive planer project
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2009, 11:43:35 AM »
Thanks for the reply, Larry... alway good to learn how other guys have done things...

-Norm.
Happiness... is a sharp saw.


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