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.