Dave Heinlein's American jointer

AMERICAN 8-in. JOINTER
Big iron sings again.

SHOP OWNER: Dave Heinlein
LOCATION: Chichester, NY

    It took four of us to get this machine out of the basement where I found it almost completely buried under a pile of scrap ceramic tile. The owner was a tile worker.
       The bottom right-hand photo shows about how much of the machine I could see poking out of the debris.

      The extra wide outfeed table misled me to hope it was a 12-in. machine, but it turned out to have a four-knife cutterhead with 8-in. knives. I'm not complaining -- the guy said it was too big to use, so I traded him a no-name import for it.

      The detail photos show the big "American" nameplate, which dwarfs the little Rudolf Bass sticker adjoining it. Tucked up near the front of the infeed table is another plate -- Frank H. Clement, from Rochester, which is several hundred miles west of here. I wonder where this machine has been to down the years?

    The handwheel and lever right over the switch are something I hadn't seen before. They allow you to adjust the plane of the outfeed table, to tilt it front to rear, and thereby make it parallel to the infeed table or not. It's curious to think of such a hunk of iron having subtleties like that, but there it is. Operators in the old days must have taken advantage of the feature to make "sprung" glue joints when they wanted them. Full bed length is 84 inches.
    The lower left-hand photo shows the latest fad in vibration-free drive, a PowerTwist Plus V-belt. When I got the machine, its original belt was exactly the same interlocking design, but canvas (and pretty well shot).
    When the belt I have on it now wears out, the machine should still have a few generations of work left in it.

...Dave Heinlein


    CLICK HERE to see an old engraving of an American jointer from the 1800s.
(Thanks to William Kerfoot for sending the information.)    

 

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