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Thread: Parks planer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Parks planer

    DSCN0037 (Small).JPG

    Here is a pic of my "new" Parks planer. There are a few issues in the transmission..a woodruff key fell out and raised heck with one of the gears.

    Anyone else have one of these machines?

  2. They are nice little planers, odd that someone would paint the cutterhead, but oh well. There is a ton of info on both owwm.org and vintagemachinery.org.


    Sal

  3. #3
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    Jun 2007
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    northern minnesota
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    Now I have two..I was out in the country fixing skidder tires today, the one customer is also a woodworker. I mentioned that I had just purchased an old planer..the customer said"want another one" Lo and behold he has the identical planer in his barn..in better shape and cheaper than the first. "Fifty bucks and its yours" said he..so I hauled it home. This one has about 50' of heavy extension cord and a nice 3 hp single phase motor!!

  4. #4
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    May 2009
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    Boston
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    +1 for OWWM.org. The WIKI page has information specifically on rebuilding the Parks.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2009
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    Williamsburg,Va.
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    Some say not so,but when I was young,Parks was one of the few relatively inexpensive planers. Their gear boxes always were breaking down. I got one that had a really Rube Goldberg substitute rigged up. Saw another that had a rather neat 3 speed floor shift old car transmission fitted to it. But,it took up a LOT of space for a 12" planer. I had no way to make a better rig back then,so just put up with the messy,strung out ersatz power feed on it.

  6. #6
    One owner: ME

  7. #7
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    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    Some say not so,but when I was young,Parks was one of the few relatively inexpensive planers. Their gear boxes always were breaking down. I got one that had a really Rube Goldberg substitute rigged up. Saw another that had a rather neat 3 speed floor shift old car transmission fitted to it. But,it took up a LOT of space for a 12" planer. I had no way to make a better rig back then,so just put up with the messy,strung out ersatz power feed on it.
    According to OWWM Parks Planer was also sold under the Crafstman name. I can't comment as to how well the power feed holds up until I get one up and running. The gear box is fairly simple..straight cut gears , sprockets and roller chain..all immersed in oil, however I'll admit the Parks takes up more room than my "modern" Delta bench top planer..I just happen to like old American made "heavy iron". Although both planers are 12" and made by the same company one is powered by the motor direct coupled by a Lovejoy..the other is belt driven. I haven't had time to find out which is original. I suspect the Lovejoy coupled one has been re engineered.

    Both of the previous owners said they bought the planer to plane all the lumber they sawed for the respective houses they built. That is how we Minnesotans used to do things..cut your own logs, have them sawed and planed locally and go to it..those days are gone forever.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Monroe, MI
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    11,220
    I had one that I restored, used for a while, and then sold when I bought my J/P. I know George isn't one but there are a lot of fans of these machines out there, and not just on OWWM. Mine was a good machine--I just wanted a Byrd head and pricing one for the Parks will give one heart failure, and I couldn't find a single person who had done it. The only minor annoyance with mine was that the transmission would sometimes slip out of gear after running a while. As I understand, thats a common issue with a fix but I never researched further.

    There's a company called DC Morrison in northern KY that sells parts, but between the 2 of them you should be able to come up with a complete one. DC Morrison is "old school" -- no credit cards, no web site. You call them and tell them what you want, they tell you the price, you send them a check, and they send you the parts when they receive it. Mine didn't need any repairs but I added the grease seal on the infeed roller that newer models had. I priced the belt guard and dust hood and decided to make my own.

    Stephen, there was a direct-drive version made. You don't see them as much--perhaps because they took up so much room?


  9. #9
    That looks remarkably like the one in my Dad's old shop. I'll have to look at the name next time I visit my mother. The only problem with it was the table was worn down in the center by too many boards being run down the middle of the cutter head and the bottom rollers weren't always adjusted high enough.

    It looks like your is missing the cover for the gear box.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  10. Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    Some say not so,but when I was young,Parks was one of the few relatively inexpensive planers.
    When were you young? retail price in 1984 with a 3hp motor was 1580--3272 in todays dollars! In 1939 the price is listed at 180, with no motor, that's 2800 in todays dollars!

  11. #11
    Mine is a late 40's - early 50's vintage Craftsman Parks planer. These are definitely contenders for best small planer ever.
    The construction is much more sturdy and rugged than modern lunchbox planers. Bed to cutterhead parallel, pressure plate, infeed roller, outfeed roller, chipbreaker, bed rollers: all adjustable. Uses standard knives.

    Haven't had any problems with mine, gearbox works fine.

    Timothy

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Pereira View Post
    DSCN0037 (Small).JPG


    Anyone else have one of these machines?
    Yep. I have one with the original sheet metal base and a 3hp Peerless motor that weighs way more than I do.

    Mine was born in the 1960's. I bought it in the early 1980's. I completely restored it 3 years ago, adding a belt guard and mag starter. It is ready for another 50 years.


    DSCN1297.jpg

  13. #13
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    In the 50's and 60's EVERYTHING cost more than the things we can get today,because we had none of the dirt cheap imports back then. I think we are a lot better off than we used to be in terms of the machinery we can now afford to have in our shops.

  14. #14
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    northern minnesota
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    good point

    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    In the 50's and 60's EVERYTHING cost more than the things we can get today,because we had none of the dirt cheap imports back then. I think we are a lot better off than we used to be in terms of the machinery we can now afford to have in our shops.
    George makes a good point..how many of us could afford the tools we have if it wasn't for "cheap imports"?

    I recall my father who dearly wanted a tablesaw..this was back in the late 60's. He couldn't afford what USA made tablesaws went for at the time..he struggled for years with some sort of hand held skill saw track device..I still have it and I marvel at the work he was able to do with this POS. If he was alive today he would be amazed at what the 'common man" can now afford.

    I have a pretty well equipped wood and metal shop..some old American iron but the majority of my shop tools and tooling are imports..some of these tools are junk but most are serviceable enough to turn out fairly nice work..so, yes, we are ALOT better off than we used to be.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Pereira View Post
    George makes a good point..how many of us could afford the tools we have if it wasn't for "cheap imports"?

    I recall my father who dearly wanted a tablesaw..this was back in the late 60's. He couldn't afford what USA made tablesaws went for at the time..he struggled for years with some sort of hand held skill saw track device..I still have it and I marvel at the work he was able to do with this POS. If he was alive today he would be amazed at what the 'common man" can now afford.

    I have a pretty well equipped wood and metal shop..some old American iron but the majority of my shop tools and tooling are imports..some of these tools are junk but most are serviceable enough to turn out fairly nice work..so, yes, we are ALOT better off than we used to be.
    I'll go one step further, if it wasn't for people buying cheap imports, I wouldn't be getting their older quality American made tools for pennies on the dollar.

    Sal

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