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Belsaw 9103 Refurb #1: Disassembly and painting

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Blog entry by jbswearingen posted 09-17-2012 02:18 PM 4815 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Belsaw 9103 Refurb series no next part

I picked up this planer a few weeks ago along with several other pieces of equipment; it was what was left from a deceased cabinet maker’s shop. All the “little” stuff—hand tools, routers, bits, etc., had been pilfered and given away to friends and family, but nobody wanted to take the stationary equipment, which makes no sense to me. It sat in storage for eight years. His widow gave it all to me and actually thanked me for taking it and putting it to use again. I was stunned.

I’ll start a thread for each piece from it that I refurb. Some of it I sold to buy other tools; some I traded for tools I needed.

The first “refurb” is the Belsaw 9103, circa mid-70’s. From what I’ve read on line and at www.owwm.org, it’s a beast and a real workhorse. Parts are still available for it today, surprisingly enough. It was sold under many labels, including Craftsman. It came with motors ranging from 2 to 5 horses. The three cutter head apparently can hog off 1/8” at a time and ask for more. Dust collection is its weak spot, due to its open design, but there are some work arounds, like adding a hood across the exhaust. It won’t be as clean as my benchtop 13” Rigid, with its form-fitting plastic dust shroud, but it’ll be quieter and better, I think.

Here it is as I picked it up:

And just before I started tearing it down:

I was surprised at how simple this thing is to take apart. There aren’t many pieces or many bolts holding it together. I did find that the belt that drives the cutter head is shot beyond repair. The two motor belts appear to be fine. I’m not sure about the cutter head’s bearings, so I’ll replace them just to be safe. The rubber foam on the infeed roller is distorted badly, so I’ll replace that—it’s only available as a whole assembly, which is about $50. I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled the motor out, though. I was expecting the 2hp motor, but found it’s the 5hp monster.

More images to show its simplicity:

Here it is torn down to just the bed, stand, and columns:

I got the stand painted, along with a few other pieces, like the uprights (not shown) and the bottom of the table.

Once I figure out how to disassemble the cutter head I’ll continue on and post up more pics.

-- Semper fi, Brad



13 comments so far

View Bigrock's profile (online now)

Bigrock

239 posts in 1615 days


#1 posted 09-17-2012 04:17 PM

Hi:
Are you thinking about changing the cutter head to a Byrd Tool cutter head.http://www.byrdtool.com/.
I put them on my Thick Planner and Jointer. I wish I had heard about them a long time ago. The machine is quieter, uses less electric current, and you have way less chip out boards like oak and curly maple. If your cutter head and bearings are the right size Grizzly may have it and they are cheaper there. I would put new bearings in the cutter.
Once you get it cleaned up and wired for 220, you will have a great machine.

View jbswearingen's profile

jbswearingen

87 posts in 812 days


#2 posted 09-17-2012 04:24 PM

I’ve thought about the Byrd head, but my budget is pretty tight for now. Just replacing the bearings and feed rollers are close to getting me in trouble with SWMBO. For now I’ll just get it running and then later on swap it out.

I doubt that I’ll ever use this tool as a molder, so eventually it will have a Byrd (style) head.

-- Semper fi, Brad

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4985 posts in 1495 days


#3 posted 09-17-2012 05:07 PM

Looks like a well built pretty agressive machine? linked chain vs, belts? I’ll bet that old cabinet maker had “a lot” of respect for this tool. Gained new respect for the 800 pound gorillas when I had to dissassemble the 12 year old grizzley table saw so I could get it off my truck.LOL. ( woosie me…LOL)

As long as you can find parts for it it will definitly outlast a new one.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jbswearingen's profile

jbswearingen

87 posts in 812 days


#4 posted 09-17-2012 05:56 PM

There are conversion kits to change the chain drive over to belt, and even one for giving you variable speed on the feed rollers, though that’s done along with the addition of a DC motor that drives the feed rollers.

This planer isn’t light by any measure, but it’s nothing like a Powermatic 100 or something similar. The table is the only really heavy part on the planer; I’m betting it weighs 50#. The motor feels like it’s similar. I may weigh them just to find out.

In use, all that finger-eating stuff was covered by the hood.

Yeah, I hear ya on the weight. When I got my ‘66 Unisaw home I had to disassemble it to get it off my trailer by myself.

-- Semper fi, Brad

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4985 posts in 1495 days


#5 posted 09-17-2012 08:05 PM

What are you using for rust removal? hydrolisis?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jbswearingen's profile

jbswearingen

87 posts in 812 days


#6 posted 09-17-2012 08:14 PM

Nah, I only do that when there’s a lot and a huge area. The only real rust on this is the table, and that’s light surface rust. It’ll come off with some WD-40 and a steel pad.

-- Semper fi, Brad

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2115 days


#7 posted 09-18-2012 04:35 AM

Those are nice planers, but as you said dust collection does leave a bit to be desired. Nice job so far. Replace the bearings while you are in there and have it torn down. Its much easier to do it now than to wait and then have one go out and have to tear it down all over again. I would also change the motor bearings. Is the motor single or 3 phase?

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View jbswearingen's profile

jbswearingen

87 posts in 812 days


#8 posted 09-18-2012 12:38 PM

It’s a single phase motor. I hate tearing single phase motors open…

-- Semper fi, Brad

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2115 days


#9 posted 09-18-2012 01:52 PM

I know the feeling on single phase motors. Seems like I always have some issue when going to reassemble them after cleaning and bearings. I hope you have the power available to run the 5hp. FLA has to be about 25A on 220V?

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View jbswearingen's profile

jbswearingen

87 posts in 812 days


#10 posted 09-18-2012 01:57 PM

I just installed a 30amp line last night; I only had to wait until today to wait for daylight so I could cut the power to the house and attached it to the breaker.

-- Semper fi, Brad

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1738 days


#11 posted 09-18-2012 02:05 PM

Beautiful old beast, I got to use one for a couple of months on an office remodel that covered the walls with
old pine, fir, and larch boards that were weathered, used the planer to save the best side as slightly weathered
and then take them all to same thickness. Did all the work in the Big Sky garage with a nice breeze so the
dust collection was not a problem. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View OnlyJustME's profile

OnlyJustME

1562 posts in 1029 days


#12 posted 09-21-2012 12:41 AM

Lucked out on the motor being single phase and 5 hp. Are you replacing or sharpening the knives?

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View jbswearingen's profile

jbswearingen

87 posts in 812 days


#13 posted 09-26-2012 06:50 PM

I have a guy I ship my TS blades to; he also does planer and jointer blades. I’ll send these to him and then buy an extra set.

-- Semper fi, Brad

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