I love to buy used tools, fix them up better than new, and use them in my woodworking business. This is my first attempt at a blog entry, so we will see how it goes.
The “new” tool is a Powermatic 15 planer I picked up off C’s List for $500. A great deal according to my former Shop Nite buddy who states “hey the older tools are better anyway.” After extensive investigation (read the s/n plate) I found that the tool was manufactured in Taiwan during the older tools are better era of 1995. The woodworking I do occasionally involves planing up to 100 board feet of something…the latest is a stairway conversion from carpet to Jatoba. My previous planer (DeWalt 735) which gives a great finish just isn’t quite big enough to handle 10 foot boards of 5/4 anything running an hour at a shot. Enter the 15” Powermatic..I call it “the beast”....since I nearly ruptured my spleen moving it from my trailer to my shop, despite the aid of my hysterical wife when I responded to her “why can’t you wait until your shop buddies get here in 3 hours?” with…”I have important woodworking to do NOW.” ...but hey that is a blog of an entirely different nature.
The Beast came damaged, which is why the price was a mere $500. After quick examination the only “real” damage is the table itself. The front of the table has been snapped off where the bolts holding the infeed rollers attach, rendering this feature of the machine useless (picture to follow.) Curiously when asked how the machine was damaged the previous owner responded ”.....I don’t remember.” I don’t recall the last time I damaged a major piece of shop equipment which involved breaking a cast iron piece where I couldn’t remember how it happened…so I guess we have that in common we both can’t remember things….
During Shop Nite, my particularly clever shop buddy Rex (proud new owner of a used DeWalt 735) noted that by attaching an auxillary piece of steel to the side of the table (there is room for holes and a bracket) we could attach a new piece of steel that could emulate the front of the table that was snapped off during the earlier non-memorable table destruction event. Or I could spring for the $275 part, but that would make it a $775 planer and eat heavily into the coveted $600 budget for the new Byrd Shelix head I want to upgrade the Beast with.
As it stands the Beast is fully operational and is currently chewing on 5/4 Brazillian Cherry while I contemplate pulling the blades and re-setting them up for optimal performance.
I will keep you up to speed on my progress. Any pointers or suggestions are welcome.
-- Palmer Divide Woodworks--Where steel collides with wood