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A comment on the old Craftsman (Belsaw) thickness planers

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Forum topic by Planeman40 posted 825 days ago 4553 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Planeman40

470 posts in 1386 days


825 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: belsaw planer

Yesterday a friend and I finished up cutting up some hardwood logs (pear wood) and running the boards through my old (early 1970s) Craftsman 12” planer which is simply a Belsaw planer with a Craftsman nameplate. I have had this planer since I bought it new. In those days there were no thickness planers made for home workshop use other than a little 6” one and the 12” Belsaw. Belsaw advertised every month in Popular Mechanics and Popular Science magazines for many years so I was familiar with the brand name. Also, Belsaw planers have the appearance of a crudely made machine, but it was all that was available unless I wanted to pay out big bucks for a huge cast iron industrial monster that I couldn’t afford. Reluctantly, I bought a Belsaw and found to my surprise and delight that it worked beautifully! Now after 40 years of use I thought I should comment that it still works beautifully. I do take care of my machines and clean and lubricate them often.

So I thought I should say to all of you that are looking for a used 12” planer, don’t dismiss the Belsaw because of its looks. Its a good machine that holds up and does a nice job. I would love to hear comments here from other Belsaw owners.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!


16 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7390 posts in 2273 days


#1 posted 825 days ago

I have a Belsaw and really like it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View kansas's profile

kansas

152 posts in 2327 days


#2 posted 769 days ago

I just bought a belsaw. Mine is 5hp 12” model. Looks to be in good decent shape and was made by powermatic. It needs planer knives but came with a few molding cutters. Previous owner had a catalog from www.belsaw.com so I went ahead and ordered the knives. I’ve only tinkered with it a short time and would really appreciate any tips on adjustment, operation, etc.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

470 posts in 1386 days


#3 posted 768 days ago

Not much to say about adjustment.

Planer and jointer knives should all have the same depth of blade measurement (cutting edge to back of blade) even after they are sharpened. This allows you to easily replace the blades as long as you don’t alter the blade height adjustment. So leave the blade height adjustment alone unless you have an unusual problem. Also, when changing blades be sure to put a few layers of masking tape along the cutting edge to keep from slicing yourself while doing the blade change. Other than that, blade changing is easy.

Be sure the infeed and outfeed extensions are carefully bolted on to make for a smooth transition of the wood through the machine. For what its worth, I haven ever had any problems with “snipe” due to the long extensions on my machine. I do support long boards on infeed and outfeed by hand though.

I can’t think of any other adjustments that are needed. Just keep the machine clean and well lubricated and all should be well.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Don W's profile

Don W

14829 posts in 1193 days


#4 posted 767 days ago

I just picked on up yesterday. http://lumberjocks.com/topics/39731
The plate says its a 306-9127
I can not find any information on it. It looks a lot like the 9123. http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=8872

I want to make sure i can get parts before I start putting her back together.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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Planeman40

470 posts in 1386 days


#5 posted 767 days ago

That’s the same Sears/Belsaw planer I have. Looks to be in good shape except for a little surface rust that will quickly clean up with a wire brush in a drill. Nice haul!!!

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Loren's profile

Loren

7390 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 767 days ago

Parts are going to be pretty much the same as the Belsaw
machines. One thing you can say of them is that once
they figured out how to build the machine right they
didn’t hurry to try to improve it. They are simple
mechanically and you can see everything easily.

The machine makes some noise when running due
to the feedworks. Still quieter than a benchtop
planer but has kind of an old-fashioned rattle and
clack vibe about it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

470 posts in 1386 days


#7 posted 767 days ago

Here is what the Belsaw planer has become . . .

http://www.woodmastertools.com/712

I’ll bet a number of parts are still available.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Don W's profile

Don W

14829 posts in 1193 days


#8 posted 767 days ago

Planeman, any chance I can get some close up pictures of the motor mounts. I’ll need to make some new ones as mine are missing.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

470 posts in 1386 days


#9 posted 767 days ago

I’ll see if I can find my camera.

The motor mounts couldn’t be any simpler. Just two 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” pieces of angle iron bolted atop the horizontal braces of the legs of the stand. The motor just bolts on to the angle irons.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View richardwootton's profile

richardwootton

1152 posts in 581 days


#10 posted 489 days ago

Sorry to revive such an old thread, but there’s a 12” Belsaw on CL right now for $375 and I don’t know if that’s a good deal. Used planers so rarely become available in my area, and very rarely for an affordable price. What do y’all think?

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Don W's profile

Don W

14829 posts in 1193 days


#11 posted 489 days ago

it depends on condition. If its in top notch working condition, its probably worth that. I wouldn’t sell mine for $375.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

470 posts in 1386 days


#12 posted 489 days ago

I agree with Don W. Just make sure its all there and not damaged. You can probably knock him down to $325 or so, but I would take it at $375 if its all there and in good condition.

Surface rust can easily be removed with a wire brush in a hand power drill. When you get it cleaned up, Spray it all over with WD-40 and let it sit overnight, then wipe it down. WD-40 leaves a coating that seeps into the pores in the metal and displaces any moisture. It then leaves a thin coating that inhibits rust. The coating will not come off on you work once its dry. And be sure to put some light oil in the little oil dimples of the Oilite bearings. You will find these easily.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Loren's profile

Loren

7390 posts in 2273 days


#13 posted 489 days ago

With a 5hp motor and the rollers in good condition, it
would be a fair price. I paid $250 for mine and I have
seen them on Craigslist for less, but I’m in Los Angeles
and there’s a big supply of used machines here.
It’s a really good planer.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Gary Scoville's profile

Gary Scoville

21 posts in 150 days


#14 posted 37 days ago

Hi guys! I just finished repairing and updating my Craftsmen (BelSaw) 12” planer/shaper with nice new knives and in-feed and out-feed rollers and two new Power Twist V-Belts. They are on the 5 hp motor with dual pulley’s. Now all I need to do is get some help setting it up to work! That’s were I hope you guys can help me out. I think I got it for a fair price but I’m new to this trade and may have payed a bit to much. Anyway, if any of you fine folks out there can help me out, that would be awesome! Thanks again in advance….

-- Gary Torrington, CT

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3404 posts in 2586 days


#15 posted 37 days ago

You guys are makin’ me crazy(er). I don’t know why I can’t find treasures such as those here in Mississippi.
Here, we always used an axe for trim/finish work. :)
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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