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At a farm auction in Waterloo Illinois in '92 I bought 2000 pounds of wheel weights for $10.00, yes TEN dollars. All Massey Harris but one set of Oliver. If you stack them up, wheel weights don't take up that much space, so when the bid stopped at $130.00 with my finger in the air, I was then the proud owner of this deeluxe planer. I was sure glad the truck I was driving at the time had 13 leaves stacked on the rear axle !!!

This is a J T Towsley, 24" planer, adapted to run off a 5 hp motor with a 4 belt sheave. The original motor was attached directly to the cutterhead shaft by the huge cast frame you can see in the first picture. The motor shaft was cut when the motor was discarded, maybe defective or maybe an old 3 phase that couldn't be run on the farm, (who knows). The monstrous motor that had been fitted for use on the farm was an open ended "induction start repulsion run" type motor that drew 72 amps at peak during start up and right at 50 amps while planing lumber. I used it quite extensively back when making 2000 square feet of hardwood flooring (but that's another story). You can see the brass thickness guage on the right side of the planers bed.

Here you can see the 24" infeed table. Back to the motor, it was electrically reversible by adjusting a slip ring foreward or backwards which changed the way the brushes came into contact with the commutator (or armature). The start winding would stay engaged for a good 10 seconds to get it up to speed enough to drop out with centrifugal action. Verrrrrrry inefficient, but I used it anyway with different plans for the future which includes a tractor.....

There was nothing but 4x4's that the motor was lag bolted to, so I didn't even bother to bring those home. Here's a shot of the newly refined 2"x2" angle iron frame for mounting the motor much more securely. I made it to bolt up directly to the planer and welded uni-strut to set the motor on for belt adjustment. Using 'strut-nuts' or 'spring bolts' made specifically for uni strut, you loosen them tighten the belt by sliding the motor and retighten the bolts. The "D" handled lever with the notches on it is the belt tensioner for the flat belt that controls the infeed rolls.

The JT Towsley manufacturing firm went out of business in the mid '20's and their historical data on this machine says that in 1916 they changed from babbet bearings on the cutterhead to oilable bronze bearings. Mine has the bronze bearings so it is from between 1916 to 1925. They rarely serial numbered the early machinery, so no specific data can be found....whooops, 5 belt sheave, not 4 belt. The 4 belt sheave was on the motor.

Future plans include jackshafts and flat belts to be powered by pto off an old tractor, because I got rid of the electric-guzzling inefficient motor when copper was at $3.25 a pound. So to the avid antique power tool crowd I'm the guy that scraps out good stuff....You know how WE cringe when we see an old tractor lost to the junk man.....Anyway the motor was about 20" in diameter, weighed in at 145 pounds and had just at 40 pound of copper in it which netted around the original purchase price of the planer back in '92. Now I do feel bad about that now, just not TOO bad.

This copper tag is stamped W.P. & L. Co. which according to the auctioneer said it stood for The Waterloo Power and Light Co., Waterloo, Illinois. By the way the farm sale was within 5 miles or so of Waterloo Ill. I bet Steve (4imnotright) was even there that day, this is his hometown. I probably bid against him on an old Massey 44 and an old 33 with a Freeman loader....both now residing in my shed.....sorry, Steve. :D :D :D

My sister (The Alaskan) emailed me the other day and said I was ..."more loquacious than she"...well, it took about an hour for me to drag a word that big to the dictionary to find out she said I was a little bit "windy" with my story telling. So again, I apologize for the length of text. :D :D Maybe next time, just pictures.....Hope you enjoyed this one.
 

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Nice old piece of history still being used. :D Just glad the planer I bought my bride wasn't quite that heavy. :roll:
And NO, your posts just wouldn't be the same without the loquacious monolog. ;)
 

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Wendell
I might have been there, but that was 20+ years ago, and I have trouble remembering thing I did yesterday ;)
I wasn't into Massey at that time. It was closer to 2000 when Diane went through her middle age :lol: crazies and had to have a Massey Harris 333
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BigDaveinKY said:
Nice old piece of history still being used. :D Just glad the planer I bought my bride wasn't quite that heavy. :roll:
And NO, your posts just wouldn't be the same without the loquacious monolog. ;)
Yeah Dave, I really like the old stuff....if it works OR at least can be fixed within reason. What kind of planer did you buy for the missus ??...and do you guys do a lot of wood working ?? And I'm glad you don't mind reading the sometimes exhausting descriptions.....I would put in a lot more info, but my fingers get tired.

4imnotright said:
Wendell
I wasn't into Massey at that time. It was closer to 2000 when Diane went through her middle age :lol: crazies and had to have a Massey Harris 333
You sir, are a much braver man than I.... :shock: :shock: :shock:
 

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missouri massey man said:
............What kind of planer did you buy for the missus ??...and do you guys do a lot of wood working ?? ......... :
I got her an old sixteen inch Craftsman, about 40 years old, you know the cast iron frame with the green crinkled paint job. :?: but very lightly used. Older fella was selling out his shop, so I got a matching six inch jointer too.
Mostly she uses the wood shop. She likes to find old chairs along the roadside and restore them. My job is engineering, and fixin' the metal parts. Like springs and frames. The Millernmatic will make that easier. ;)
She's got quite a collection of woodworking tools, scroll, miter, and radial arm saws. A Shop jones, works for a table saw, drill press, and lathe, and a couple of other things it does. She has made a few pieces for gifts to family.
She has a degree in interior design and architecture, where she put an emphasis in furniture design, and that's about the most use she has put it to. :roll:
My wood working skills seem to be limited to fixin' something when it breaks. :oops: It's nice to have the right tools to do repairs with. Especially when your fabing up a new part to replace whats broken. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is soooo cool to have a wife that knows her way around a workshop Dave. I am duly impressed with her skills with the furniture. Good tools are most definitely a major plus when you are working on or building anything. Tell her she gets the gold star for the week !!!!
 

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missouri massey man said:
BigDaveinKY said:
Nice old piece of history still being used. :D Just glad the planer I bought my bride wasn't quite that heavy. :roll:
And NO, your posts just wouldn't be the same without the loquacious monolog. ;)
Yeah Dave, I really like the old stuff....if it works OR at least can be fixed within reason. What kind of planer did you buy for the missus ??...and do you guys do a lot of wood working ?? And I'm glad you don't mind reading the sometimes exhausting descriptions.....I would put in a lot more info, but my fingers get tired.

4imnotright said:
Wendell
I wasn't into Massey at that time. It was closer to 2000 when Diane went through her middle age :lol: crazies and had to have a Massey Harris 333
You sir, are a much braver man than I.... :shock: :shock: :shock:
Well Wendell, brave is not the word. First Diane doesn't visit this site. 2 I have told her it was her middle age crazies. I just make sure I have an escape route when I do :lol:
 
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