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Planning Mill Tables and Lathe Beds - Manual

Richard King

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Location
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Hello all.
I received this letter and want to share it with you. I will attach his manual for all to share. I also copied his email address if anyone would like to thank him or ask him about planning. I sent a copy to Keith Rucker of Vintage Machinery and Adam Booth - You Tubers so they can share in the years of wealth. I hope Keith will put it on Vintagemachinery.org . for future generations to read Rees is a good friend of Warren Jones the class coordinator of The Gear Works in Springfield VT. Below is a letter he wrote me. He has 18 YouTube shows too, showing his planner. I hope Charles make his booklet a sticky too for future generations on PM members too.

He wrote me this email:

Dear Richard,

My name is Rees Acheson and I recently planed a lathe bed for David
Gardell. He had been directed to me by you on the Practical Machinist
form. Thank you for the reference.

I am retired and I do not think that I will be planning much longer. My
mind is becoming foggy and it has become difficult for me to keep my
wits during a job. However, several years ago I wrote a paper on planer
use for my son. I had just transferred my machine shop to him and the
planer is the one tool that he had little experience with. So now he
owns the machines but his job at Climax Machine Tools does not give him
much time to gain planer experience.

I would like to disseminate the planer paper to people who might use
it. I am not an much of an internet user and yet I suspect that the
internet is the easiest way to do this.

My guess is that you know where the planers are and who operates them.
I am hoping that you would be willing to accept the document I wrote
and, unless you disagree with its contents, pass it on as you see fit.
The idea would be that operators might like another person's perspective
on how to use the machine. It contains a section on planning lathe beds,
another on milling machine ways and it covers subjects such as general
setup and the flat-tool.

I want nothing in return, I just want to share the document. Planer
operators are becoming increasingly rare and I believe in sharing what
we know. The paper is meant to explain planer work from my perspective,
and I think that it is reasonably accurate.

As background I used my first planer when I worked for Coulter McKenzie,
in Bridgeport, CT in 1973. They made machines that made automotive leaf
springs. But about half of their planer work was as a job shop, taking
in long work from outside. They had four planers and I was responsible
for the two smaller ones, a 6' and 12'. The other two, an 18' & 21',
were run by Leo Angers who was getting close to retirement and had been
running those planers for most of his working life. I learned a lot
from him and we became friends. I also learned to love planers. I
bought my current planer in 1973 while I was working there.

Incidentally, you and I met in Springfield, VT at one of your scraping
classes. For me that meeting was a bit awkward in that Warren Jones had
invited me to come to see the class and to meet you. But when I arrived
I began to figure out that Warren had not mentioned to you that I was
coming, nor did he introduce me to you. The result was that it took me
quite a while to figure out which one of you was Richard King and by
that time it would have been embarrassing to then introduce myself. I
apologize in that I should have done so anyway and explained why I was
there.

I hope that the attached paper is interesting and useful to somebody.
If it is neither, I will not be offended.

I also would like to say that it pleases me that there seems to be so
much interest in scraping and machine rebuilding, as evidenced by your
class attendance. Congratulations on your success with your efforts in
that regard.

Sincerely,
Rees Acheson [email protected]
 

Attachments

  • PlanerWork_Acheson (2).pdf
    412.9 KB · Views: 147

hope

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 19, 2008
Location
mebane n.c.
Yesterday I had a job on my planer that I struggled to do and ended up having to switch off and do the job on a mill because the part was flame cut and would only tear up my tools Thank you for sharing this Richard and Rees Acheson
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
I was watching a video the other day of a guy setting up a pretty old planer. He was setting up the columns on the base. To do this he used a box level to set them up true and then the video ended. I would have liked to have seen some mention as to how the columns were set up true to each other. We used a big straight edge across the front ways of the columns. On the bigger machines the column ways were relieved in the middle so effectively you had four ways to work on. If you could trap four cigarette papers with the straight edge you weren’t far out.

Regards Tyrone.
 
Last edited:

johnmontrose

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Thankyou for this.

May I make a suggestion?

Perhaps remove Mr Acheson's email address from the document. If he is retired, as soon as the document is disseminated more widely, he will be plagued forevermore with questions and comments. Give him some peace to enjoy his retirement.
 

Ben

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 3, 2001
Location
Boones Mill, Va
Richard,
Thanks for posting this it looks like great Info on Planers. I still have a little one I want set up. Keith has my big one in his shop, now a museum piece.
Thanks to Rees for writing this up.
Ben
 

Richard King

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Location
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
I had 2 planners over the years; a Pond and an openside Cleveland (Rick at A&D Machine Rebuilding in Roberts WI has it, Bob Lang a vintage machine collector bought the Pond). The Cleveland came with boxes of big 1" x 12" HSS tools many with curved ends. Many were flat with a slight radius on the leading corner. It was amazing how nice they cut cast iron. I would take the last cut and move over 1/4" and I got that beautiful look seen on many old vintage machines. Know every thing is ground. The old farts will know what I'm talking about :-)

I would remove his email address, but I think he needs some cheering up and tribute for being so generous with his craft and wanting to pass it on.

Rich
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
I had 2 planners over the years; a Pond and an openside Cleveland (Rick at A&D Machine Rebuilding in Roberts WI has it, Bob Lang a vintage machine collector bought the Pond). The Cleveland came with boxes of big 1" x 12" HSS tools many with curved ends. Many were flat with a slight radius on the leading corner. It was amazing how nice they cut cast iron. I would take the last cut and move over 1/4" and I got that beautiful look seen on many old vintage machines. Know every thing is ground. The old farts will know what I'm talking about :-)

I would remove his email address, but I think he needs some cheering up and tribute for being so generous with his craft and wanting to pass it on.

Rich
Yes you can’t beat a nice flat tooled finish on cast iron. We used to put a 0.0015” or 0.002” feeler under one edge of the tool so you had a series of very slight ridges. It enables you to move stuff around on things like tables easier.

Regards Tyrone.
 

Richard King

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Location
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
I had a vendor Northfield Machinery here in Minnesota plane my straight-edge casting a few years ago and I told them to use the 1/4" step over on the final cut because for me it looked better and was cheaper then the .002" feed they were using. They refused as their operator was clueless on how to run a planer in my opinion This is what many old factories look like. A mess...lol. . Scroll to 5 minutes mark to see the plannershttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLWVLeebWBU
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
I had a vendor Northfield Machinery here in Minnesota plane my straight-edge casting a few years ago and I told them to use the 1/4" step over on the final cut because for me it looked better and was cheaper then the .002" feed they were using. They refused as their operator was clueless on how to run a planer in my opinion This is what many old factories look like. A mess...lol. . Scroll to 5 minutes mark to see the plannershttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLWVLeebWBU
Depending on the size of the table we’d have a step over of at least 1/2”. Bigger tables had more of a step over, smaller tables had less. You can’t beat that pinstripe look.

Regards Tyrone.
 
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eKretz

Diamond; Mod Squad
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Location
Northwest Indiana, USA
Yeah I almost always used ½" stepover and about a 1½" wide tool when broad-nosing cast iron. Left a very nice pattern. I did my tools similar but a little different than Rees. I liked that ½" center section to be dead flat, then a very slight lead-in at the entry side and a very slight lead-out on the exit side. By very slight I mean maybe .001" or thereabouts. Needless to say, these are for very fine shaving finish cuts only. He wrote a nice little guide there.
 

lucky7

Titanium
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Location
Canada
I had a vendor Northfield Machinery here in Minnesota plane my straight-edge casting a few years ago and I told them to use the 1/4" step over on the final cut because for me it looked better and was cheaper then the .002" feed they were using. They refused as their operator was clueless on how to run a planer in my opinion This is what many old factories look like. A mess...lol. . Scroll to 5 minutes mark to see the plannershttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLWVLeebWBU

I’d bet, with the way training programs have gone in last few decades, that the planer operator has little experience grinding HSS tools. Wouldn’t want the first tool I ground to be a finishing skive tool either. It would be too bad if a company with as many seemingly good condition manual tools doesn’t have an old hand still in staff who could teach the young ones...
 

Richard King

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Location
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
I suspect as the owner is the only employee in the shop as shown in the video that knows how to run them. He puts the machine on slow feed and walks into the office to do more important work. It's sad now-a-days it's hard to find people to work and get their hands dirty. Also I bet when he retires or passes away the planners will be sold at auction or scrapped... :-(
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
I’d bet, with the way training programs have gone in last few decades, that the planer operator has little experience grinding HSS tools. Wouldn’t want the first tool I ground to be a finishing skive tool either. It would be too bad if a company with as many seemingly good condition manual tools doesn’t have an old hand still in staff who could teach the young ones...
We used brazed carbide tools when we were flat tooling tables. You had to watch out for inducing chatter into the finish. Once it’s in it’s not easy to get out.

Regards Tyrone.
 

lucky7

Titanium
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Location
Canada
Have no planer time but plenty on a 26” stroke TOS shaper- understand how much faster carbide will cut and have frequently used. Won’t the slower speed with HSS give less chatter on finishing a large piece of flat cast iron? Is it because HSS wears faster?
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
Have no planer time but plenty on a 26” stroke TOS shaper- understand how much faster carbide will cut and have frequently used. Won’t the slower speed with HSS give less chatter on finishing a large piece of flat cast iron? Is it because HSS wears faster?
If you’re planing a 20ft by 8ft table you need carbide. We wouldn’t be using HSS on a job like that. Even with carbide you get tool wear on big jobs.

Regards Tyrone.
 

Richard King

Diamond
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Location
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
I received this email from Rees today. I think I am going to start a new thread on people and companies in the North America that have planers or openside shapers..

Rich,

Last week I found some video of two lathes I planed last summer. One of
them was suitable for making a video and I posted it on YouTube last
Thursday. This was probably a mistake because I had already decided
that I was not going to take on any more planer work.

Since posting it I have had 15 requests for planing - about 10 would
probably actually materialize. I have not yet figured out how to handle
this or what to say to them. One option I thought of is to assemble a
list of planers and refer these inquiries to them.

Looking, I found a thread on Practical Machinist that you started with
the goal of creating such a list. That was about 5 years ago and I was
wondering what progress you have made.

Further, it seems to me that in one of your emails to me you mentioned
that there is another planer in New Hampshire other than mine. If so,
perhaps I could contact them and see if they would like any of this work.

Rees
 








 
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