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Porter No. 405 Planer

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  • Porter No. 405 Planer

    I followed a tip to this forum for some advice on a Porter surfacer/planer I purchased. I wasn't really looking for a 24" planer, but I just stumbled across the machine, and you know how that goes. Anyway - I'm looking to see if anyone here has any information on running one of these, or any experiences with Porter's planers. Their jointers have a sterling reputation.

    I plan to tear it down and restore it. Jack was already a bit of a help with it and referred me to a gentleman who has run one before.

    Here are the pics:

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  • #2

    Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

    Best to post over at OWWM, old woodworking machinery. It's an American site and there is a lot of expertise and they are eager to help. Also you can look for manuals and info on the sister site Vintagemachinery. Good luck
    I'm not getting older, I'm getting worse.
    Bob
    Member Valley Woodturners

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    • #3

      Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

      Can’t say I ever seen inside of a porter planer and it would be very interesting to have a gander. I imagine they’re bearing assemblies and machining are in line with the rest of their machines. Not quite sure what you mean by how do you run one of these things is your question electrical?
      everyone knows real machines are 3 phase. Founding member of the Wadkin blockhead club

      jack
      English machines

      http://www.youtube.com/user/tool613

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

        It sure looks like an awesome planer.
        I don't really have any answers for you but I'd love to follow along with the restore.

        Im about to start a 20" general restoration.

        Nathan
        mikeddd likes this.

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        • #5

          Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

          Originally posted by Bobmezz View Post
          Best to post over at OWWM, old woodworking machinery. It's an American site and there is a lot of expertise and they are eager to help. Also you can look for manuals and info on the sister site Vintagemachinery. Good luck
          Bob, This isn't a snowflake bandsaw, so I didn't get much help there. Partial joke aside, I did post it there months ago. No one there replied that they had run one before, and they seem to have banned all of the users that had experience with this machine, and others who have seen them don't post there much anymore. In my research I'm only coming up with a literal handful of these planers. There are photos of 4 of them online. American machine it is, but this site seems to know more about Porter equipment and higher-end planers in general.

          There's no literature on Vintage Machinery as far as manuals. I do have one tear sheet I culled from an online auction listing. I attached it here:

          Click image for larger version

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          • #6

            Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

            Originally posted by jgarrett forsberg View Post
            Can’t say I ever seen inside of a porter planer and it would be very interesting to have a gander. I imagine they’re bearing assemblies and machining are in line with the rest of their machines. Not quite sure what you mean by how do you run one of these things is your question electrical?
            Jack, My questions are mainly to see if anyone had experience using the machine. Electrical is partially solved - I already purchased the 7.5hp VFD from you, and I'll be using a separate VFD to power the feedworks.

            I do plan to document the restoration here. I'm finishing up an Oliver 270-D table saw right now, and will get started on the Porter after the saw is finished. This thing is basically a complete mystery.

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            • #7

              Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

              Looking forward getting a look inside this planer. Welcome to the Forum.
              Mike @ Buck Lake

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              • #8

                Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                Originally posted by Drewes View Post

                Bob, This isn't a snowflake bandsaw, so I didn't get much help there. Partial joke aside, I did post it there months ago. No one there replied that they had run one before, and they seem to have banned all of the users that had experience with this machine, and others who have seen them don't post there much anymore. In my research I'm only coming up with a literal handful of these planers. There are photos of 4 of them online. American machine it is, but this site seems to know more about Porter equipment and higher-end planers in general.

                There's no literature on Vintage Machinery as far as manuals. I do have one tear sheet I culled from an online auction listing. I attached it here:

                Click image for larger version

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                while not a "snowflake", whatever that means, there is one on vintage:

                http://vintagemachinery.org/photoind...l.aspx?id=3426

                I'm not getting older, I'm getting worse.
                Bob
                Member Valley Woodturners

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                  Originally posted by Bobmezz View Post
                  while not a "snowflake", whatever that means, there is one on vintage:

                  http://vintagemachinery.org/photoind...l.aspx?id=3426
                  Correct. Just one picture. That's one of the four #405's I have photos of, including mine. Here are the other two.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  Attached Files
                  nnieman likes this.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                    I like the john Deere one!!

                    Nathan

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                    • #11

                      Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                      Looks extremely bulletproof
                      everyone knows real machines are 3 phase. Founding member of the Wadkin blockhead club

                      jack
                      English machines

                      http://www.youtube.com/user/tool613

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                        I began working on the #405 yesterday. Mostly just opening it up to check it out. The downside to a rare machine - there's no literature anywhere on it and everything you do is a bit of a guess.

                        These small cast iron dials were a struggle figuring out what they were and how they were removed. Turns out they're dials that screw into the top of the pressure bar. They have a large spring under the top case that the large threaded end slides through, and two smaller springs under/inside the dial itself, that then have set screws so you can lock in the position.

                        There's a rubber washer under each dial (there are two dials, one on each side), and the dials are marked with graduations 0 - 45, with a brass pointer on the top of the case. Any ideas from the crowd? Seems like a sort of quick-set pressure bar system. I'm wondering if the numbers indicate a measurement or pressure/weight setting.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13

                          Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                          Originally posted by Drewes View Post
                          I began working on the #405 yesterday. Mostly just opening it up to check it out. The downside to a rare machine - there's no literature anywhere on it and everything you do is a bit of a guess.

                          These small cast iron dials were a struggle figuring out what they were and how they were removed. Turns out they're dials that screw into the top of the pressure bar. They have a large spring under the top case that the large threaded end slides through, and two smaller springs under/inside the dial itself, that then have set screws so you can lock in the position.

                          There's a rubber washer under each dial (there are two dials, one on each side), and the dials are marked with graduations 0 - 45, with a brass pointer on the top of the case. Any ideas from the crowd? Seems like a sort of quick-set pressure bar system. I'm wondering if the numbers indicate a measurement or pressure/weight setting.
                          I expect these are certainly for adjusting the down pressure on the pressure bar, but whether or not the numbers translate to real-world pressures in pounds or something like that, I don't know, but I doubt it. Most likely just a scale you can use for repeatability and tuning. When it comes time to fine tune it, you're not going to pay attention to those numbers per se, just the performance. I expect the resting height of the rear pressure is determined elsewhere, this is just the amount of pressure.

                          B
                          Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                          http://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

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                          • #14

                            Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                            Holy heavy pitting and dust layers. Geez, the previous owner obviously ran out of dusting rags. Looking forward to seeing what you find out, both from a research and a practical tear it apart sort of way. Those knurled knobs will probably clean up nicely with a little spin on the lathe and some material removal. Good luck on your resto.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Porter No. 405 Planer

                              Yeah - the previous owners had it stored in an open-ended lumber shed, so I'm sure residual rain and moisture had no problem getting to it. The 1000 foot view so far: the cutterhead spins freely 9But has some metal-on-metal noise to it (I'm sure bearings will be in order), and the chipbreaker, infeed and outfeed rolls and bed rolls all spin nicely. So far all of the springs are still in great shape, both in the chipbreaker and under the top cases above the feed rolls.

                              The worst pitted surfaces are those quick-set pressure bar dials and the bed/table height adjustment handwheel. Those will require lathe work, and I may purchase a metal scribing tool to sharpen up the markings on the dials.

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