Vintage Craftsman 306.9121 planer restoration #1: Planer restoration. The beginning.

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Blog entry by Don W posted 07-22-2012 01:24 PM 10713 reads 2 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Vintage Craftsman 306.9121 planer restoration series Part 2: OK moving right along »

So I won a planer on ebay for $39. I bid the starting bid never expecting to win. I figured for $39, the 3hp electric motor would cover it. This was the only picture supplied.

Last weekend I drove to pick it up.

Once home I gave it a systems check. Does it work? The description said “In working condition”, but what exactly did that mean.
Since the motor was not attached, I rewired it for 110V just to test it (will be put back to 220v for regular use). Plugged it in and it purred like a kitten.

I could see the bladed needed sharpening but wanted to make sure I could buy the parts that were needed. Doing some research I found that according to the 306 in the serial number meant it was a Foley Belsaw, or now just Belsaw.

I called the number on and talked to someone very helpful. The Belsaw #9103 was branded under a lot of different names and numbers, the guy told me if it looks the same, it probably is the same. He admitted through company splits, a lot of the information was lost.

So other models seem to be
Craftsman 9123
Belsaw 910
Belsaw 9103

With optional components, this can become a molding machine as well.

Some other helkpful links were

Most parts are the same as 9103

He also said a lot of the parts like the rollers and primary drive components are still in use on their models today.

He also gave me a list of common failures for the machine. He said sprocket #37 is the one that seems to wear the quickest. He also said another common problem is teeth missing on the raise assembly sprockets. After knowing I could get parts I turned my attention to the machine. I looked over all of the bushings and rollers. They look sound and I could not find any worn parts. This machine didn’t seem to have any of the above mentioned problems.

Next I cut some angle iron for motor mounts, made a new platform out of doubled 3/4” plywood and clamped it down, measured for a v-belt and ran to the parts store to pick up a new v-belt. They only had one, the other is on order.

Next I jerry rigged an extension cord and plugged it in. A few expected rattles, but nothing unfixable came from the sounds.

The blades were in dire need of sharpening. I took out my trusty makita horizontal grinder and sharpened the blades. While they were out I gave the cutter head a good scrubbing. According to the manual, you just loosen the set screws and tap down on the retainers. This proved to be true and the blades were removed with out any incident. A thorough cleaning of all parts before re-installation was performed as well.

The blades then went back in.

Next I cleaned the bed, wire brushed, sanded, and de-rusted until it looked respectable again.

With the motor still clamped in place, I ran a couple of board through it. How sweet. Compared to my Ryobi lunchbox this is going to be a charm.

The original motor mounts were held on with J hooks. I decided to make a few metal clamps. These will be painted.

The some dust collection. This isn’t complete, but you may be able to see where its headed.

So last night I picked up some hinges for the dust collection, bolts for everything, primer and paint, a length of 10-2 power cord, switch, box and plug and a few other misc parts needed.

Next up will be some painting. The closest color I could find was a dark grey machine paint. I don’t plane to totally strip it and paint everything, so I’ll deal with the variation. I’ll work on the dust collection.

So that’s it for part one. Thanks for looking. I hope to see you on the next installment.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

39 comments so far

View kevinw's profile


189 posts in 3244 days

#1 posted 07-22-2012 01:37 PM

I own one of these almost exactly the same if not identical. I paid $85 for mine. Weighs a ton. Overall works well. Sometimes the roller feed is a little reluctant, but if I keep the bed waxed I have run a lot of stuff through it with good results. Never been brave enough to take it apart much, so will watch your work with interest to learn some things. Good idea to make the dust hood.

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#2 posted 07-22-2012 01:43 PM

Kevin, I ran the first board through without anything to contain the shavings. My shop is 24 foot wide and it shot the stuff all the way across the floor. I knew it had to be!

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


13824 posts in 2123 days

#3 posted 07-22-2012 02:56 PM

Looks like beast! Love old Craftsman iron. Congrats, Don!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2385 days

#4 posted 07-22-2012 05:37 PM

Great find and restore is looking good.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4167 posts in 2361 days

#5 posted 07-22-2012 05:48 PM

Don, this is great

Cant beat the old heavies

I’ve a 1939 planer purrs like a kitten. :)

Looking forward to this build

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View bhog's profile


2235 posts in 2195 days

#6 posted 07-22-2012 07:45 PM

Those are very good machines Don.With a little love you will have a life long (and maybe kids too)tool there.Some of them had an atachment for ripping also.Pretty cool.Also if you ever do any moulding with it dont forget the counter weights….... lol…...

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2656 days

#7 posted 07-23-2012 03:10 PM

Looks interesting, Molding and Ripping Attachments? Are you planning on hunting those down Don? Would be pretty neat.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#8 posted 07-23-2012 03:23 PM

Mauricio, I am not going to actively look for the Molding and Ripping Attachments. If I happened to stumble across a set though, I won’t walk away from them.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Dave's profile


11409 posts in 2344 days

#9 posted 07-24-2012 11:34 PM

Don now that is going to be one hum dinger of a refurbish. Grats on the catch.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Brad's profile


1129 posts in 2245 days

#10 posted 07-25-2012 12:45 AM

Don I had to laugh when I read this:

“I rewired it for 110V just to test it (will be put back to 220v for regular use). Plugged it in and it purred like a kitten.”

By contrast, had I ”rewired” it, I would have plugged it in to be greeted by a popping sound followed by a mini-mushroom cloud of smoke billowing to the ceiling.

That said, I was hesitant to take on my drill press rehab and I’m happy how that turned out. So, you’ve inspired me to expand my rehabbing horizons. Looking forward to some planer action shots.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View steviep's profile


233 posts in 2151 days

#11 posted 07-26-2012 12:31 PM

thats great Don, I’m with Smitty- Love old Craftsman iron. congrats!

-- StevieP ~ Micheal Tompkins - you were not here on earth long but left a giant mark on us. RIP Brother

View Mike R.'s profile

Mike R.

209 posts in 2150 days

#12 posted 09-19-2012 10:25 PM

did it come with a craftsman motor ? i just got one that cam with craftsman badges and a craftsman motor and im trying to figure out how to wire it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#13 posted 09-19-2012 10:27 PM

sure did. I snap a picture of the diagram and post it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Don W's profile

Don W

18049 posts in 2072 days

#14 posted 09-19-2012 10:46 PM

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Mike R.'s profile

Mike R.

209 posts in 2150 days

#15 posted 09-19-2012 10:54 PM

ok that is totaly not what i have , if i took a pic you wouldnt mind taking a look and helping out would you ?

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