Woodworking Equipment from Old Pattern Shop

The company I work for (Federal Equipment Company) has an old pattern shop full of very nice old woodworking equipment that they are currently in the process of downsizing or eliminating.

Here is an album with pictures of the equipment:

I have found some sales and technical documentation for some of the pieces, most of them were built/purchased in 1926, and have been in use in the same facility since they were new. The jointer and planer have plain heads on them right now, though compatible helical heads are available. The jointer is either a 16" or 18" width capacity, the planer is 24" width X 8" thick capacity, and the bandsaw is a 36" bandsaw with massive resawing capacity. All of the equipment is in good shape, no corrosion, good bearings, and functioning, but in need of calibration, sharpening (planer and jointer), and replacement of consumables (guide blocks, tires, etc.). The planer does need a new starting relay (stop button doesn’t function, have to cut breaker power to stop).

The owners are open to the idea of donating the equipment to a nonprofit, and I mentioned Hive13 to them. The equipment is large and requires 3-phase power, but would be a massive increase in the working capacity of the wood shop. Is this equipment something the community would be interested in? If so, I can attempt to lobby the owners for the donation of some or all of the equipment.


Kevin McLeod


Thanks for the info and potential equipment offer.
Of course I’d love to say “we’ll take it all”, some of it looks truly massive. :slight_smile:
I think we would need to think about what would be useful and practical for us at the Hive.
Since we don’t really have 3 phase power we would have to think about how we would power any of it. I think there are converters around that decrease the available power by a percentage.



I completely agree that space would be a significant limiting factor. Completely neglecting the 3-phase power question, space would probably limit any donation to selecting which pieces of equipment would be most used in the Hive.

That said, the large jointer and planer open up pretty incredible possibilities for furniture making, cabinet making, and sculpture. You can plane entire countertop slabs after glue-up to ensure they are perfectly flat and smooth, you can face join large slabs into blocks for bowl turning or carving, etc.

As for 3-Phase power, I thought someone had mentioned there was 3-Phase in the building, and we could potential have it run to the Hive? The motors on the jointer and planer are 5 hp for the cutter heads and 1 hp for the feed rollers, which does allow the possibility of buying a comparable single phase motor and and adapting it.

Oh, but I do covet the band saw. That’s awesome.
As to 3 Phase? Do we need the 3 phase torque? Or instant reverse? Or in this case is 3 phase just a 1927 way to develop horsepower?
If we know more of the motor spec like HP, shaft and frame we can more intelligently discuss alternatives.

Do we need to reverse the saw? Probably not.

3 Phase isn’t always available in industry and phase converters are tremendously expensive. For this reason, many factories replace 3 phase equipment with 1 phase or DC motors. Though is some cases where you need the HP there is no other good alternative.

I’ve been yearning for a big capacity band saw ever since I left a shop with a big old DoAll.

I know that the Planer and Jointer were originally sold with a single phase motor option, so 3-phase is not necessary, it was just available at our site, and chosen for the efficiency gain over single phase.

I do not know anything about the Bandsaw’s motor, but I agree that a massive bandsaw is INCREDIBLY useful in a shop, whether for resawing lumber, signmaking, or even milling small logs.

The Jointer is a Porter 300-C:


The Planer is a Porter 402:


The Bandsaw is a Tannewitz GH model:



If space is an issue I’m happy to offer my garage as a long term home. I’ll take good care of them.

Hi Kevin (+):

I’ll join the discussion on this thread. I agree with Brad and folks and add my thanks to you and Federal Equipment Company for bringing this potential opportunity to the Hive’s attention. It deserved serious consideration and ‘due-diligence’ to see if we can make this work.

Do you know FEC’s timing? Are they looking to move these machines out in the next few days, weeks, or months?

Could we schedule for a few key Hive members to visit to see these machines on-site at FEC, sometime soon, perhaps one day next week around the lunch hour?

The Hive will need some time to digest this offer. I think this represents a major opportunity to take the Hive to a next level, with all that that may involve. I think the Hive should strongly try to find a way to make this happen.


Yes I think a quick visit would be useful.
Some basic footprint dimensions so we can do some homework.
I think we could figure out the drive, probably convert to 220V single phase, but I don’t want to just take them and find out we just can’t use them because they don’t fit.
Realize moving them would not be trivial. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I should be extra clear here, they have not yet decided what to do with the equipment, and they are not getting rid of it immediately, it will still be a few months.

Donation is just one option they are considering, so there is no guarantee that this equipment is available to the hive yet.

I started this thread to gauge interest and discuss the factors like space and power constraints, so that I know if I should even bother to try and persuade the owners to donate.

The equipment is in the space neighboring my office, so if additional measurements beyond what is in the links I shared earlier are necessary to evaluate if these are good for the Hive, I can grab them.

I'd like to have a solid idea of what specific pieces of equipment the community would benefit from most before I go to the owners and advocate for the donation.

To be honest, I bet they could sell the equipment on an auction site and get some coin from collectors.
If they are interested in donation (and maybe a tax write off) I think we would be happy to work with them.
My thoughts are that we could probably support one of the monster machines. :grinning:
I would lean toward the Godzilla band saw.


I am in a nearby building for work. Apparently the storage fees are reasonable. Worst case, get the tools, figure out where/how to use them later, if there is a really big need/desire to have them. But, powering up any one of those guys would likely eat up the floorplan at the hive. There is a opportunity cost to good stuff like that, it does not come by every day. And modern replacements would likely be tear your own arms and legs off and eat them level pricing. I’m certain I can work a deal on a large three phase motor at the local recycle shop to me, manager keeps trying to get me to buy 50 plus hp monsters, sometimes brand spanking new, never installed. I had thought the hive did have three phase. but hey, it’s just capacitors (really big) and some wiring! I’d almost rather go the route of several mini mills and printers than one big woodworking machine… but hey, if you had a full service large large wood size shop, that would draw people. Gigantic planers and saws just don’t seem to gravitate to everybodie’s garage :slight_smile: