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Powermatic Model 160 15" or Parks Planer 12"

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Forum topic by Kyheadhunter posted 12-11-2013 12:06 AM 3695 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Kyheadhunter

40 posts in 1102 days


12-11-2013 12:06 AM

Getting into woodworking, and I have a lead on a powermatic 160 from around 1969 for around 300 (not sure of working condition) and a Parks Planer for about $800 (working with a spare set of blades and a blade setter). The Powermatic is local and the Parks is about 350 miles away.

Not sure which one to go after, looking for some advice.


25 replies so far

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Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#1 posted 12-11-2013 12:17 AM

Oh, Powermatic definitely… if you’ve got the means to
move it. That is not the sort of machine you can
put on a mobile base and wheel out of the way when
you aren’t using it.

That Parks is overpriced. They have a good reputation
but that was made before the portable planers were
invented. They were sort of collectible for awhile among
woodworkers who didn’t want to deal with heavy iron,
but that was before the decent quality Asian imports
started gnawing away at the prices of planers.

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Kyheadhunter

40 posts in 1102 days


#2 posted 12-11-2013 12:35 AM

Appreciate the input, the only thing I left out was that the powermatic has a 3 phase motor on it, but I have an electrical background, I guess that I see a VFD in my future.

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,

2387 posts in 3009 days


#3 posted 12-11-2013 01:01 AM

I agree that the Powermatic would be my choice. I don’t personally have any experience with either model, I do know I would prefer 15” over 12” capacity and I respect the quality of equipment Powermatic produced many years ago. I did actually pick up my ‘new to me’ Powermatic Model 180 with a 5 hp 3 phase motor just today, it is still on the trailer as I ponder how to unload a 1200 lb piece of equipment. I only bought my powermatic planer as a fun toy to tinker and play with as I have seen them in school shops but never had the honor of actually using one.

As for the 3 phase motor, since you are of an electrical background, maybe you could shed more light on the subject. We have a 10 hp rotary phase converter I could run our planer on but I am tempted to try and run it on a simple static phase converter. I will be running 2 of our table saws on static phase converters soon.

Well, have fun deciding, hopefully you get the Powermatic and it will be fun to hear your experience with the planer.

-- .

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Kyheadhunter

40 posts in 1102 days


#4 posted 12-11-2013 01:14 AM

I didn’t write this, but this makes it easy to understand and shows the con’s of a static phase converter:

Static phase converters are a startup device for three phase motors on single phase power.

Static phase converters operate the three phase motor they are connected to on single phase. The static phase converter does not actually generate three phase power continuously as a does a rotary phase converter, but only long enough for the motor to start up. Once the three phase motor has started up the static phase converter circuitry disconnects itself and the motor continues to run on single-phase power but because only two of three windings receive power during running, horsepower output is reduced down to between two-thirds and one-half the rated motor horse power. A 15 HP motor will start with the power of a 15 but run as a 7.5 for example.

The high starting torque with reduced running power is an important factor when considering the use of a static phase converter. In some situations this can work out very well but the static converter does have limitations. Static phase converters are not well suited for machines that operate continuously close to the maximum rated horsepower of the motor that operates them. This type of continuous full power loading can be seen in equipment such as water pumps. The pump is sized to use all of the motor’s power while pumping. Lathes are another good example of this need for full power. Although the static phase converter appears to work well on lathes in the slower speeds, in the higher speeds the converter is able to start the lathe turning but the lack of rated horsepower makes these higher speed settings useless.

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,

2387 posts in 3009 days


#5 posted 12-11-2013 01:45 AM

I will probably run our planer on a rotary phase converter we own. But I do plan to run 2 of our table saws on static converters as we now have a 3 phase Unisaw and a 3 phase PM65 I need to get in service in our shop.

You mentioned the VFD idea and I have thought about that in the past but just do not have enough info or knowledge about that to consider it as an option.

The Powermatic model 160 I would suspect to be a very heavy and very well built piece of machine. And the asking price seems more than fair. I do think that 800 is just too much for the Parks planer.

-- .

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Kyheadhunter

40 posts in 1102 days


#6 posted 12-11-2013 02:01 AM

I appreciate the input on the parks, in addition I have to drive about 750 miles round trip which would run me almost 150 in gas so that makes the purchase $950 total. I have the option of an 8” foley belsaw just up the road for 350 or a 12” belsaw just down the road for 500 also??

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Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#7 posted 12-11-2013 02:07 AM

Belsaws are great little planers but if you can handle
the mass, the Powermatic is the one to get.

A 12” Belsaw is priced fair at about $250-$350,
more if it includes moulding knives. You won’t
go far wrong buying a Belsaw. They aren’t
great for dust collection and the chain-and-sprocket
feedworks can wear, but they plane consistently
with a good surface finish and they can do mouldings
too if your work runs to making mouldings.

The 8” Belsaw combo jointer/planer is not a bad
machine for jobsite use but I don’t recommend
it if you have the space for separates as the
jointer design is rather crude.

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Kyheadhunter

40 posts in 1102 days


#8 posted 12-11-2013 02:17 AM

The 8” for $350 comes with the moulding knives, the 12” is $500 but I”m not sure what comes with that one.

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Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#9 posted 12-11-2013 02:23 AM

There was an 8” planer/moulder made by RBI (no jointer),
which makes the Woodmaster machines and the Belsaw
planers I think too. If it’s that, it’s like an older Woodmaster
but 8” instead of 12” or wider. I’m not sure at what point
they introduced the separate DC gearbox motors for
the feed rollers, but that’s a cool feature for a planer/moulder.

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,

2387 posts in 3009 days


#10 posted 12-11-2013 02:34 AM

We have the 12” wood master and we love that machine for cutting moldings. The 8” belsaw might be good to just leave set up as a molding cutter similar to what we do with our smaller woodmaster. I have no experience with the belsaw but I believe they are similar to the woodmaster. I would still go with the powermatic if planing is your primary goal, but if cutting trim is a need then get both the PM and the 8” belsaw. Both seem to have reasonable prices.

-- .

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Shawn Masterson

1297 posts in 1410 days


#11 posted 12-11-2013 02:46 AM

I would have the PM unloaded in the shop by know. I have a 20” 5hp 3phz planer. It came with a static converter. Don’t waste you time. I know have a 10hp rotary converter and I only have $300 + – invested in it. I posted here a while ago.. I went this route so I had the option to run other machines if the opportunity came around. I am not familiar with how a vfd work, but I know they only work on 1 machine at a time.

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unbob

718 posts in 1365 days


#12 posted 12-11-2013 03:04 AM

I picked up this PM 160 just a year ago, very happy with it.
Though a bit sensitive on adjustment, the knife height has to be just right, so as the chip breaker and pressure bar contact the wood in the center of their radiused faces. When set up like that, zero snipe.

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,

2387 posts in 3009 days


#13 posted 12-11-2013 03:12 AM

That is a nice looking PM160. The motor looks fairly new, looks just like the new Leeson we put on our compressor a month ago.

-- .

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unbob

718 posts in 1365 days


#14 posted 12-11-2013 03:21 AM

The single phase 5hp Leeson motor and controller came installed on the machine. It also came with the original 3phase motor.
This 1959 planer was out of a Montana school, very little use.

On these planers there are 3 drive types.
Direct-the motor up high right on the cutter head 3600 rpms
Low mount motor 3600 rpm, fully enclosed belt guard.
Mine above, 1750rpm motor, large pulley on motor, guard open at bottom-4500 rpm cutter head-that is what I was looking for.

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MedicKen

1610 posts in 2924 days


#15 posted 12-11-2013 02:44 PM

If you dont buy the PM, I will. $300 is a killer deal even if it needs work. The Parks is a good planer but, unless it is the 20” model, $800 is about double it value.

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

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