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Thread: 30 year old powermatic 12" planer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    51

    30 year old powermatic 12" planer

    I was browsing the adds in a newspaper, and found a powermatic 12" 3 HP planer. The retired cabinet maker said it is in fine shape, and it is about 30 years old. It's $600
    Does anyone have an opinion as to what kind of deal this is?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Baton Rouge, La
    Posts
    28
    Jan,
    I my opinion it is worthy of consideration. It will depend on the model and Condition. A 30 year old Powermatic Model 100 will be a large chunk of American cast iron. I have a Model 180 which is one the big brothers of this planer. These are well made machines and if it is complete and has no broken parts it will be a workhorse. Knives, bearings and belts will be standard off the shelf from an industrial supplier. There is plenty of documentation on how to set them up. I have seen machines of this age be totally ragged out and one step from the scrap heap. I have also seen them that almost looked as if they just can off the showroom floor. Mine looks rough from a cosmetic point but is in excellent mechanical condition.

    The Powermatic company has been bought and now the production is from overseas. There is still some parts support. The good thing is they are so well built they don't need much parts support. There are secondary sources for parts or you can shop the bay if you have the patience.

    If the machine has seen 30 years of service in a cabinet shop it will probablly need a bit of a refresh. Knives, bearings belts and adjustments. It will then be ready for 30 more years.

    ?What kind of deal is this?"
    This depends on model and CONDITION. Single phase or 3 phase. Knife grinder a big plus. Ragged out a big negative. Missing or broken pieces parts? If you shop you can get a new plug and play 12" planer for a little more than half this. If this planer is in reasonable shape it will be more than twice the planer. Think about what that plug and play is going to look like in 30 years assuming the same treatment. I paid more for less on my first planer.

    Make a trip to the OWWM.com web site for an archive of documents and machines. The forum is OWWM.org.

    Danny Buie
    Baton Rouge

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
    Posts
    1,793

    Can be a great planer

    I have one that I bought new in 1990. I paid over $2000, maybe as much as $2500. I love it. I spent a couple of days dialing mine in when I got it and it's still perfect. I see them in a local used tool store selling for between $500 (very abused condition) and $1000 (looked nearly new)....joe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    The Kudzu Patch
    Posts
    770
    If it is plug it in and start planing then that is probably a fair price. Condition is everything in old machines. I have heard (and agree) many people say they would rather have a rough complete machine than a nice one missing some parts.

    I just restored one and spent a few days getting it set up. I think I am going to really like this planner. I think I have the (most anyway) bugs out of it now and ready to start planning with it.

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...ghlight=planer
    Last edited by Jeff Horton; 09-15-2006 at 12:00 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Barberton,OH
    Posts
    100

    Pm 100

    The 100 is a very good 12" planer and usually came with a 3 or 5 hp motor. If the nameplate says just Powermatic it was made prior to the early '70's. If it says Houdallie Powermatic it was made a little later. I can't ever remember seeing a grinder for one but they may have made one. They weigh about 600 lbs. and they are a little top heavy. One thing about the PM planer is once you get them set they stay set for a long time. Byrd makes a nice head for the 100 that will not break the bank. If it's in nice shape, nothing broke, missing, or welded buy it. My 180 is dialed in and it works great.

    Jeff Singleton

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    51
    I won't be able to look at till the end of the month, it will probably be gone, so if anyone is interested it is here.
    http://tinyurl.com/js23j

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lake Charles, La.
    Posts
    986
    Danny and Jeff

    My dad bought a 180 a few months back at an auction for a local lumberyard that had gone out of business. He unloaded it in my shop and its just been sitting there since. Niether of us has had time to do anything with it yet. He paid $1000 for it. It seems to be in good condition but I am definately no authority on the subject of old machines. It has a 3 phase 7.5 hp motor but I don't have 3 phase available in my shop. I am hoping to be able to swap the motor out for a single phase.

    I was wondering if one of you could give us some pointers on where to find used parts and maybe some other places on the internet besides "Old Woodworking Machines.com" that we could find more information on it. Especially info of a possible motor swap to single phase.

    The serial number is 8180248 if that will tell you anything. It is light green with a white strip. I'm not that far from you, Danny, hopefully there is some semi-local places for parts, motors or info in Louisiana. Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to give.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    O'Fallon IL
    Posts
    491
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Greathouse
    Danny and Jeff

    My dad bought a 180 a few months back at an auction for a local lumberyard that had gone out of business. ...It has a 3 phase 7.5 hp motor but I don't have 3 phase available in my shop. I am hoping to be able to swap the motor out for a single phase.

    I was wondering if one of you could give us some pointers on where to find used parts and maybe some other places on the internet besides "Old Woodworking Machines.com" that we could find more information on it. Especially info of a possible motor swap to single phase.

    The serial number is 8180248 if that will tell you anything. ...Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to give.
    Paul:

    The serial number indicates a 1981 machine. If this is a direct-drive machine (motor attached to the cutterhead) swapping out the motor is going to be very expensive. Your other options are a static phase converter (which will cut your power by about a third, but is fairly cheap), rotary phase converter (medium price unless you scrounge a motor & build your own), or a motor rewind (expensive). If it's not a direct drive machine, swapping out the motor will be easier, but you'll be hard pressed to find a 7.5 hp single phase motor. Five hp will probably run the planer OK, though.

    Powermatic probably has some parts. Global Tooling (http://www.globaltooling.bizhosting.com/) was quite reasonable when I was looking for blades for my Oliver 399. The Old Woodworking Machines site (OWWM.com) should have a manual, though it may not match your machine exactly. There is also information on fixing & dialing in planers there which will help you getting it set up.

    Your machine will be worth every penny once you've got it running. Or, you could sell it, and buy something new that can run right away (but won't last as long). $1000 was a very good buy, especially if it's in good condition.

    Kirk Poore

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    The Kudzu Patch
    Posts
    770
    A Variable Frequency Drive is also a good option for converting single to three phase. Sure it has variable speed capability which you don't need but it's still a good option.

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