Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No crackers, Gromit! We've forgotten the crackers!

Some time during my third year of college, a friend of mine introduced me to Wallace and Gromit, claymation comedy from the U.K. It didn't quite meet up to the standards of Ren and Stimpy or the soon-to-be-released South Park, but it gave them a good run for their money. The lines Wallace had (especially about the cheese) were simply the best, though, and I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to watch a bit more if it came along.

But for now, I must placate myself by introducing you to a different Wallace. Fellow woodworkers and bloggers, meet my new Wallace 8" jointer...

This Delta-gray and slightly dusty machine comes to me by way of Craig's List, one of the best inventions of man since eBay. It wasn't necessarily what I would call a "steal", but for an 8" jointer, I think it was a pretty good price. Besides, I think the old adage that they don't make them like they used to can be most often applied to woodworking machines. This machine, coming from the late 1930's/early 1940's (most likely - I plan on researching it as much as possible in the coming weeks), is now my oldest, pushing my 1950 Rockwell Drill Press into second place.

Here's another way of looking at it... this is the epitome of "green woodworking"! I'm taking something that was made more than seventy years ago and renewing it and putting it to good use! So really, this is my way of doing my part to help save the planet.

It sits on a mobile base that originally came from a Delta 8" jointer. The previous owner (well, his dad, really) made some slight modifications to accommodate the Wallace. It seems quite comfortable there. The engine is not original - it is a Dayton 1hp single-phase (1725 RPM) motor. It is also not currently hooked up as I took these pictures after unloading it from the truck.

Due to work constraints, I wasn't able to get to the seller's house until some time after 7:00 PM this evening. So by the time we got it loaded, watched two B-1 stealth bombers fly a couple of routes overhead while making an appearance at the MLB All-Star Game, talked a bit about all of the old iron I saw around me, and finally made it back home, it was close to 9:00. While supper was cooking, I quickly ran outside to figure out the best way of getting the jointer and base from the back of the pickup without putting myself into the back of an ambulance.

In the end, I decided to take the mobile base out first and set it up. Then I could drop down the tailgate, push the base up to the gate, and slide the jointer off the gate and onto the base. It worked like a charm! It might have taken me less time to unload than it took to load!

The paint job looks good. The fence and beds seem to adjust properly.Hopefully, all I'll really need to do to get her back up and running at full speed is to sharpen the knives (or replace them).

I'll post an update or two as more information becomes available.


Anonymous said...

Check out the Old Woodworking Machines website (owwm.org and owwm.com) there is tons of info dedicated to old pieces of "arn." I just recently restored a 1937 Delta 14" bandsaw and I couldn't have done it without help from that site.

Ethan said...


Thanks for the tip! I am in fact already registered on both sites (and have added pictures of my Wallace to the owwm.com photo index). But it is always good to point them out periodically for anyone who is unaware of their existence.