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Boice Crane Jointer? How does it stack up to Powermatic?

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Forum topic by RubberDuc posted 01-02-2017 04:16 PM 2713 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RubberDuc

45 posts in 360 days


01-02-2017 04:16 PM

Hi all,

In my search for a great vintage jointer I came across a Boice Crane jointer that I can get for 100 bucks. Can’t find much on them so don’t know if I should stay away or jump on it? I posted a while back that I’ve been talking with an older guy on a Powermatic 50 that has finally come down to 200 (was at 250) so I’m seriously considering that, but this Boice Crane model looks really nice and for half the price I’m really considering pulling the trigger on it. Advice really appreciated by you guys that know these machines, thanks! Pics below of both:


28 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

9606 posts in 3482 days


#1 posted 01-02-2017 04:24 PM

snap it up. I doubt it will last long at $100.

Either machine would be satisfactory. BC was
a good maker.

http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=7497

View yvrdennis's profile

yvrdennis

34 posts in 911 days


#2 posted 01-02-2017 04:34 PM

I had a Boice Crane jointer which looked identical to the one pictured except that it was on an open metal stand. I used it for years. My fence was twisted so I had a plywood fence that I shimmed out to eliminate the twist. The motor had some issues that caused it to trip the thermal overloads very easily. Eventually it got to the point where I frequently had to give it a spin to get it to start. I eventually gave it to someone who knows more about electrical stuff than I do and he was planning on restoring it.

It worked well and for $100 probably a great deal, but it might need some work.

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summerfi

3684 posts in 1521 days


#3 posted 01-02-2017 04:42 PM

Last year I restored both a vintage Boice Crane and a Delta. The Delta was a far better built machine IMO. I suspect the Powermatic would be too. I got $200 or $250 for the Boice Crane fully restored, can’t remember for sure. I think it depends on what you plan to do with it. If your use will be light to moderate in a home shop, you’ll be OK. If it’s going to be a heavier use I would look for a heavier machine.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html

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MrUnix

5980 posts in 2033 days


#4 posted 01-02-2017 06:00 PM

Boice Crane actually pioneered a lot of stuff that other manufacturers like Delta and Powermatic then copied. I restored one a few years ago (can be seen here). Easy machines to work on and built like a tank. The double locking fence is a nice feature as well. Wound up selling mine for $400 to a guy from out of state (who drove 8 hours one way to get it).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4491 posts in 3077 days


#5 posted 01-02-2017 08:53 PM

Being a tool junkie, I would buy both machines, as they are both good machines and worth saving from the scrap yard. Before you do anything, take a straight edge and check if the tables are coplaner. If there is any deviation from FLAT, it may not be a good deal.

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Loren

9606 posts in 3482 days


#6 posted 01-02-2017 08:58 PM


Boice Crane actually pioneered a lot of stuff that other manufacturers like Delta and Powermatic then copied. I restored one a few years ago (can be seen here). Easy machines to work on and built like a tank. The double locking fence is a nice feature as well. Wound up selling mine for $400 to a guy from out of state (who drove 8 hours one way to get it).

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Brad, are the tables 1/2” steel plate or cast iron…
looks like steel plate. I’ve seen some jointers
made that way.

BTW, the 8” B-C jointers have an interesting appearance,
like they’re not all cast parts.

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MrUnix

5980 posts in 2033 days


#7 posted 01-02-2017 09:44 PM

The model 1400 is all solid cast iron. If you click on the link to the restoration, there is an ‘exploded’ picture that shows all the parts involved. They did start using plate steel at some point for another model jointer, but I don’t remember the details (can probably find it over at owwm or the vm site). Might have been the 8” one. One other interesting thing about the model 1400 is the way the tables attach to the wedge base, making them trivial to adjust/shim if needed.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

29102 posts in 2700 days


#8 posted 01-02-2017 09:55 PM

I like powermatic machines but I don’t think that you could get hurt on either one provided they look ok and run good.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Loren's profile

Loren

9606 posts in 3482 days


#9 posted 01-02-2017 11:09 PM

View RubberDuc's profile

RubberDuc

45 posts in 360 days


#10 posted 01-02-2017 11:33 PM

Thanks guys! What would I do about the base? How do you all put them back to looking good when they come on these horrible diy bases? I was thinking like a metal rolling tool chest base cabinet painted to match? Is there other things you guys use? Thanks again!

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MrUnix

5980 posts in 2033 days


#11 posted 01-02-2017 11:50 PM

Thanks guys! What would I do about the base? How do you all put them back to looking good when they come on these horrible diy bases? I was thinking like a metal rolling tool chest base cabinet painted to match? Is there other things you guys use? Thanks again!
- RubberDuc

Sky is the limit when it comes to finding a base… from pre-made ones, to building your own and everything in between. I was lucky enough to find my BC on its original factory stand, but if it wasn’t, I’m really partial to making faux cast iron stands out of MDF/wood. Check this thread over at OWWM for some really great examples, like these:


(both of those were made out of MDF)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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RubberDuc

45 posts in 360 days


#12 posted 01-02-2017 11:52 PM

Man those are beautiful. I was also thinking about buying a small little 4” delta jointer on a closed stand if I could get it for like 50 bucks (he’s asking 100) and then reselling the small jointer for the same amount and keeping the stand and painting it (it is not in great shape).

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RubberDuc

45 posts in 360 days


#13 posted 01-03-2017 12:04 AM



Boice Crane actually pioneered a lot of stuff that other manufacturers like Delta and Powermatic then copied. I restored one a few years ago (can be seen here). Easy machines to work on and built like a tank. The double locking fence is a nice feature as well. Wound up selling mine for $400 to a guy from out of state (who drove 8 hours one way to get it).

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Is that the color the one I’m looking at is supposed to be? Or is the gray a factory color too?


Being a tool junkie, I would buy both machines, as they are both good machines and worth saving from the scrap yard. Before you do anything, take a straight edge and check if the tables are coplaner. If there is any deviation from FLAT, it may not be a good deal.

- MrRon

I know flatness but what is the procedure for checking “coplanar”?

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RubberDuc

45 posts in 360 days


#14 posted 01-03-2017 01:42 AM

Also can I still get blades/bearings for these?

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MrUnix

5980 posts in 2033 days


#15 posted 01-03-2017 01:56 AM

Also can I still get blades/bearings for these?
- RubberDuc

Yes and Yes… standard off the shelf stuff. And as for the original color of the BC, best I could tell, it was a very, very dark grey, or black. The one you are looking at appears to have been re-painted at some point.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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