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Putnam Planer with pics


Nov 8, 2011
Pacifica, CA
I recently purchased this Putnam planer. The platen is about 40" long, about 16" clearance between uprights. Its not in my shop yet, but I'm hoping to generate some discussion here among those who own planers or have used them. Especially what projects you've used it for, and how you set up the drive system. I have a couple antique texts that I will use to learn about proper operation, but feel free to suggest any suggested reading material or past threads that may help me. Pictures of your setups would be great. One of the things that appeals to me is the relatively inexpensive tooling. Anyway, I have lots of detailed pic for those interested.


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It's great you got one with a feed rod, too. Not that it is used everyday, but it is very handy for planing angles, and even straight down, when the work configuration does not permit turning it on the table conveniently.

Can't really make out in the first picture, did you get all the belt shifter linkage?

Most drives end up being overhead. Most of us don't have line shafts, but a motor in the rafters to a jack shaft with the proper reduction is a good first stage. You probably don't need much more than 2HP, 3HP at the most (Good usa motor, real HP) So it might be possible to fit the whole shebang up on top of the columns.

I posted so much on my planer that people here are probably tired of it. Then the photo hosting service moved shop and all the picture links are broken. But if you are just interested in pictures, I did put them up on a euro old machines site:

Raboteuse ou étau-limeur ?

"Then the photo hosting service moved shop and all the picture links are broken."


That's still there.

The pictures are, and can be re-accessed. However (read my post :) ) the _links_ are broken to all former posts from when they were "metalworkingdropbox". They sold the name, converted to MWetc, and that was that for previous links. Since I cannot edit posts older than 24 hours (other than in woodworking where Don has granted me omniscient powers :D) pictures do not show up in my old posts. This is actually the 3 incarnation of that drop box. They broke previous links making some minor change to the address a few years before the last glitch.

E.G: Can you see pics with this (not so) old post? (I can't). If you can or there is some magic I'm not aware of, I'm open to hearing it.



Thanks for your comments folks.

Stephen, I was hoping you would chime in as I have read some of your posts on planer work. Any recommended resources, old books etc that may help me understand the operation of this machine?

Here's a few more photos, some of what I believe is the belt shifter linkage. Does it look like anything is missing? Also some close ups of the power feed mechanism (apologies for any mistaken nomenclature)

It may take a long time as this is hobby work for me, and there's a couple parts that will need repair or replacement, but eventually I'll get it up and running.


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Wow!. Sideshaft engine running lineshaft to belt slapper planer machining parts for soon to be erected steam engine! Does it get any better???:cool:

I see the belt shifter now. Looks like you are all set except maybe a large flat belt drive pulley for the jackshaft? Could be made of wood.

As far as books, I pick up ideas everywhere, including online, but never bookmarked much. As a basic starter, "Machine Shop Practice" (vol 2) by Moltrecht has enough good information on planers and shapers to get started. The Cincinnati Planer Company put out a book called "Treatise on Planers" which has a lot of fascinating stuff and good ideas, if you can kind of "miniaturize" some of the processes. Mine is 3rd ed, 1944 They are obviously showing off their big machines doing big work, lots of tool porn, but useful hints and ideas, too. One of the best books I ever read many years ago, was put out by the (IIRC) Ford training school. It was an older, large format book. Sorry I can't recall more. But it had a lot of stuff not commonly seen, like ganged form tools for planing the whole top (all the ways) of an engine lathe bed, straight down, in one set up and some other intricate tooling set ups.

Engine Bill, how wide a belt does your machine carry? I think mine is under belted, trying to figure out how to get it a little wider. But W-B was stingy with the throws on the belt shifter. I guess one more bit of speed & efficiency.

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The engine that runs my shop is a 6 HP Domestic. The belt on the planer is only 1 1/2" wide. I have a 2" belt on the countershaft with tight and loose pulleys.

I was looking at this pic and got an idea. On one of my older Putnam planers, the shift rod is modified and the original small diameter "S" pulleys are replaced with larger straight spoke pulleys. The pulley's above are pretty clearly original and the shift rod is neatly forged/bent to accommodate. I notice the belt will slip easily on those small diameter "S" pulleys used in the prior years. Problem solved, bigger pulleys.

Here is a nice pic of enginebill machine. Same 18" class Putnam from an earlier generation, with "S" spokes.


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