Very old jointer on CL - what problems to look for?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by JeffP posted 07-10-2015 10:11 PM 797 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 1293 days

07-10-2015 10:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer

I’ve been negotiating with the owner of a circa 1905 12” jointer (American WW machinery co).

I haven’t gone out to look at the machine yet. It is in need of a new motor, so I won’t be able to see it actually joint some wood.

Claims the bearings (“babbits”) have been “re-poured” (near as I can tell from my googling, this basically means the bearings have been re-manufactured to more or less new).

Supposedly has a 3 knife cutter head. Don’t know what condition the knives are in. Anybody know if I would be able to retrofit some new knives into this ancient beast without replacing the whole cutter head? Also, would it require major machining to take a modern helical head and make it work in such a machine?

If/when I go out to look at this thing, what all should I do to thoroughly kick the tires? (as I said, won’t be able to run it)

thanks much!

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

4 replies so far

View Kyheadhunter's profile


40 posts in 1542 days

#1 posted 07-11-2015 07:30 PM

Look for a level table. Is the jointer a direct drive or belt driven. You should be able to convert to belt driven if needed. Is there rust on the table, how bad is it. Its a heavy beast, you have to be very careful moving it, not to tip it over. You could disassemble, but I moved mine in one piece. Does the cutter head turn smooth? New knives shouldn’t be a problem.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4868 posts in 2395 days

#2 posted 07-11-2015 07:38 PM

Knives shouldn’t be a problem, and you could have a helical head made if you want and money allows. As kyheadhunter said, the weight of the thing may be a challenge…but really, these old machines are built for the long haul, so if the visual inspection is good, it’s likely a worthwhile candidate.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 1293 days

#3 posted 07-11-2015 11:30 PM

thanks all. I spent an hour moving and removing stuff in my shop this morning…and eventually gave in to the reality that I simply don’t have room for this wondrous beast right now.

Mostly, I came to realize that I need to ignore these CL ads for huge vintage iron until after I build my new shop building (circa 2017).

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View HerbC's profile


1721 posts in 2761 days

#4 posted 07-12-2015 04:33 PM

If you don’t buy it when you find it, you’ll never find it when you think you have enough room…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics