Restoring old Craftsman jointer

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Forum topic by bigbird posted 05-13-2009 02:42 PM 5498 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bigbird's profile


13 posts in 3332 days

05-13-2009 02:42 PM

Hello Folks,
First of all, thanks to everyone for the advice provided on my old, circa 1954, Craftsman table saw. It is up and running and seems to be fine at this moment.

Next on my list to get going is a Craftsman jointer model #103.21820. It came from my father in law missing a motor. I found a Craftsman 1/2 hp motor that I think was on the jointer at one time. The plate on the motor states the RPM is 1,840 (EDIT 1750 RPM). Does anyone know if this could be the correct motor for this jointer? I don’t know where the motor mount is but it shouldn’t be too difficult to make a hinged self tightening mount.

The 3 blades are pitted and I think should be replaced. They measure about 4 3/8”. Would Sears still sell jointer blades for this model or is there someone else that would have replacement parts? The entire jointer has a light coat of rust and gunk everywhere. I figured I would take it apart as far as practical to clean every thing. I was going to use mineral spirits, is there something better I should use?

Thanks again

EDIT: Bearings in the cutter head or motor or both? The manual was posted in the archives which will help a lot.

4 replies so far

View Toddmc's profile


30 posts in 3393 days

#1 posted 05-13-2009 03:03 PM

I have restored a couple of tools (a total of 2 so my experience is limited) I have received from family members, and I use 400 grit sandpaper to take off the rust then buff with wax to prevent any rust buildup in the future. The tool I am referring to also a 1954 craftsmen jointer. Mine is a 6 1/8 blade though. It has been my experience that pretty much all size jointer blades are still available. Just call sears to ask or search online. I was able to find replacement parts for mine (I needed new set screws since the old ones were striped) and had absolutely no problem. I am not a machine guru but that motor should be fine for a jointer.

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3698 days

#2 posted 05-13-2009 04:55 PM

Just figure out the pulley ratio to get the cutter head speed to about 4500 rpm.

Replace the bearings unless your FIL did it in the recent (15 years) past.

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 05-13-2009 05:54 PM

Good luck on your rebuild

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View BlankMan's profile


1490 posts in 3377 days

#4 posted 05-14-2009 03:57 AM

As for the rust, check out this thread:

Evapo Rust

There’s a number of Before and After pictures there so don’t give up on those knives just yet. That Before and After of that drill chuck amazes me, most people would have probably thrown it out.

I’m currently restoring a pre-1941 Delta drill press and a Rockwell/Delta variable speed drill press that dates to 1972 and all the rust is gone without attacking the paint or the good metal. The 1941 one’s column was solid rust from top to bottom, not no more. I was surprised at one point when the rust was gone in that I could even get by without repainting a lot of the parts.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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