Vintage Craftsman 306.9121 planer restoration #1: Planer restoration.

So I won a planer on ebay for $39. I bid the starting bid never expecting to win. I figured for $39, the 3hp electric motor would cover it. This was the only picture supplied.

Last weekend I drove to pick it up.

Once home I gave it a systems check. Does it work? The description said “In working condition”, but what exactly did that mean.
Since the motor was not attached, I rewired it for 110V just to test it (will be put back to 220v for regular use). Plugged it in and it purred like a kitten.

I could see the bladed needed sharpening but wanted to make sure I could buy the parts that were needed. Doing some research I found that according to the 306 in the serial number meant it was a Foley Belsaw, or now just Belsaw.

I called the number on and talked to someone very helpful. The Belsaw #9103 was branded under a lot of different names and numbers, the guy told me if it looks the same, it probably is the same. He admitted through company splits, a lot of the information was lost.

So other models seem to be
Craftsman 9123
Belsaw 910
Belsaw 9103

With optional components, this can become a molding machine as well.

Some other helpful links were

Most parts are the same as 9103

He also said a lot of the parts like the rollers and primary drive components are still in use on their models today.

He also gave me a list of common failures for the machine. He said sprocket #37 is the one that seems to wear the quickest. He also said another common problem is teeth missing on the raise assembly sprockets. After knowing I could get parts I turned my attention to the machine. I looked over all of the bushings and rollers. They look sound and I could not find any worn parts. This machine didn’t seem to have any of the above mentioned problems.

Next I cut some angle iron for motor mounts, made a new platform out of doubled 3/4” plywood and clamped it down, measured for a v-belt and ran to the parts store to pick up a new v-belt. They only had one, the other is on order.

Next I jerry rigged an extension cord and plugged it in. A few expected rattles, but nothing unfixable came from the sounds.

The blades were in dire need of sharpening. I took out my trusty Makita horizontal grinder and sharpened the blades. While they were out I gave the cutter head a good scrubbing. According to the manual, you just loosen the set screws and tap down on the retainers. This proved to be true and the blades were removed with out any incident. A thorough cleaning of all parts before re-installation was performed as well.

The blades then went back in.

Next I cleaned the bed, wire brushed, sanded, and de-rusted until it looked respectable again.

With the motor still clamped in place, I ran a couple of board through it. How sweet. Compared to my Ryobi lunchbox this is going to be a charm.

The original motor mounts were held on with J hooks. I decided to make a few metal clamps. These will be painted.

The some dust collection. This isn’t complete, but you may be able to see where its headed.

So last night I picked up some hinges for the dust collection, bolts for everything, primer and paint, a length of 10-2 power cord, switch, box and plug and a few other misc parts needed.

Next up will be some painting. The closest color I could find was a dark grey machine paint. I don’t plane to totally strip it and paint everything, so I’ll deal with the variation. I’ll work on the dust collection.

So that’s it for part one. Thanks for looking. I hope to see you on the next installment.


I never planned to take everything apart and repaint. So I dismantled the hood and a few misc parts, painted them up along with the new dust collection.

Made a few rubber grommets to deaden the rattles.

The put it back together.
Added a 30’ length of 10-3 power cord, connected to a new switch.

Took on last look at old unreliable.

And set the new girl in her new home.

Attached the dust collection

I’ve now planed several rough sawn boards. The ability to take more than 1/16” is exceptionable. This one is so much quieter than the lunchbox too.

All that’s left is the extensions and i want to make a small box that fits underneath to hold any related items such as extra blades, allen wrenches and such.