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Thread: Parks Planer Questions

  1. #1
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    Parks Planer Questions

    A year or more ago a co-worker offered me an old 12" Parks planer in trade for doing some wood fabrication for him. I told him I'd be interested in such a trade, but his project was delayed, and nothing materialized. He recently brought up the project again, and also mentioned again that he'd like to offer the planer in trade for my help. So now I'm again considering whether I need and want this planer. thing is, now I'm undecided.

    The biggest catch is that the planer is in pieces. I've not seen the planer, but as I recall, he says all the parts are there (although I think it might need a motor). He's got two Parks planers (one here and one on the East coast), and I think he's enough of a gearhead to know if something was missing. I'm not certain I want a major mechanical rehab project. I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to wrenchin', but it's right up there with plumbing on my list of least favorite things to do. For the most part, I'd rather make wooden stuff than rebuild metal stuff.

    Another consideration I have is space. Right now, I have a little 12" Delta lunchbox planer, and for my infrequent planing needs (maybe 2 or 3 times a tear) it suits my purposes. It stashes away either underneath or on top of my bench, so I don't lose any floor space. (I put it on top of my table saw when I use it.) I've even grafted a chip collection hood onto it, so it's pretty clean-running in the shop when connected to my dust collector. The Parks planer would take up a bit of floor space, and I don't know how feasible it is to add a collection hood to it.

    Now of course I realize the Parks is a real planer, and the Delta is a pretend planer, but for my needs, I'm undecided which way to go. Part of me says it'd be more hassle than it's worth, as much as I dislike mechanical projects and as little as I use a planer. The other part of me says I'd be kicking myself later for not taking advantage of the deal. Why should anyone opt for a noisy sheet metal and plastic buzzer when there's a old iron classic workhorse waiting to be reborn?

    I realize asking this question around here is like asking my drunken mates at the bar if I should have another beer, but I figured I'd at least pose the question here and see what others have to say.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  2. #2
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 02-27-2008 at 09:41 AM.

  3. #3
    It sounds to me like you know in yourself that you don't really want this item and are looking for permission to decline it. Permission granted.

    I don't really know the machine in question but do know the type of machine and the type of project. I would be wary of "all the parts are there" unless all the parts are also in the right place and the machine is working. I think that there are folks who enjoy the engineering of woodworking machines and there are folks who enjoy the use of woodworking machines. I am one of the latter and it sounds from your description like you are too. Ask yourself whether you really have the motivation to rebuild this into a safe and reliable machine? If so go ahead but if not....

  4. #4
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    I will probably surprise you by not telling you your a fool not to swap for it. But sounds like your not that interested and that your really don't need it.

    I agree that it is 10 times what you have. But I relate to the plumbing issue, I can but I don't unless I have too. So this may not be something you ever get done. If it is going to sit in the corner and take up space... why trade?? Only your can really answer that one.

    But, there is also a lot of demand for them and especially for the parts. Probably part one out for more than a complete running unit would sell for. I don't know that for a fact. But it is true for a lot machines. If you have parts from two of them, it might be profitable to trade and just sell the parts on EBay. That might get several old Parks up and running.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    .................But, there is also a lot of demand for them and especially for the parts. Probably part one out for more than a complete running unit would sell for. I don't know that for a fact. But it is true for a lot machines. If you have parts from two of them, it might be profitable to trade and just sell the parts on EBay. That might get several old Parks up and running.
    You know, that is what I was thinking, get it, have a look at it, and if you say "Naw" part it out, you would be doing a good service to a lot of Old Arn guys out there, and you would certainly get paid, one way or another.

    How involved is the "Help" you would be trading for?

    That would make a big difference to me, if the work to be traded for was something I enjoyed doing, what the heck, if the guy wants me to help paint his house, no thank you!

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
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  6. #6
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    If it's as great a machine as the other guys are saying and you don't really need it, I suggest doing the deal, rebuilding the planer then selling it and using the money for something spinny.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
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    I've got to agree with the general consensus here Vaughn. It sounds like You're not really looking forward to a rebuild job and you're having a little bit of a tough time turning the guy down. Just a "thanks but it's just not something that I'm looking for right now" might be in order.
    Thanks, Mark.

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  8. #8
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 02-27-2008 at 09:40 AM.

  9. #9
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    Space is an often discussed commodity here. I would be loath to give up four square feet of floor space for something I didn't use as often as I would use that space, but that's just me.

    Its funny how our mind starts to go as we get older. . . I sometimes don't get the discussions of loud machines v.s. not quite as loud machines. I always wear hearing protection anyway so, what do I care. Then it hits me; I live alone, others do not. They must be kind to family members, common-wall neighbors, the dog, etc. Does this mean I am fated to become the old curmudgeon on the block with no consideration for others? I hope not.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 01-22-2008 at 08:53 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'll see if I can get more details abut the extent of work necessary before I make any final decisions. I hadn't thought of parting it out instead of rebuilding it. That may be a viable option.

    Another thought that crossed my mind after I wrote the original post is the limitations of the 12" capacity. I've had times when a 15" planer sure would have been handy, and a 15" planer doesn't take much more floor space than the 12" Parks. I could buy a new 15" import machine with a 3 hp motor for about $800. On the other hand, spending $800 for a tool that I'd likely only use a few times a year (at least with my current types of projects) doesn't seem very wise. If I were making furniture or cabinets and using a lot of rough lumber, it'd be a different story, but as a woodturner who occasionally makes flat stuff (out of S4S lumber), it's just not practical. Someday, when I have a larger shop, I'd like to have such a machine, even if it's only for occasional use. It's just not very realistic at the present time, especially with my space limitations. (On the other hand, if it can be easily restored, it might be worth storing it off-site until I do have the room to put it to use.)

    Stu, the work involved would mostly be milling and dimensioning lumber for replacement parts on this:

    http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...5&d=1177477280

    Some of you may recall my buddy Bert and his Nor'Sea 27 sailboat. He's gotten some work done on it (the cap rail is being replaced right now), but he's still got a long list of other things he needs to repair or replace. I think any of it would be more enjoyable than painting his house.
    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    ...Does this mean I am fated to become the old curmudgeon on the block with no consideration for others?...
    In a nutshell, yes. It's never too early to start practicing for the role, either. Repeat after me:

    1. You kids get off my lawn! Get out of here before I call the cops on all of you little delinquents!

    2. No, you may NOT go into my back yard to get your basketball. It's MY basketball now. Now go away!

    3. What do you mean the Earlybird Special doesn't start until 4:00 PM? I'm hungry NOW, and I want my discount NOW!

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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