Building My Work Shop #8: Belsaw Molder Planer or Another Craigslist Bargain

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Blog entry by Crushgroovin posted 12-14-2010 09:51 AM 9427 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: CL Wood & Tool Gloat!! Part 8 of Building My Work Shop series Part 9: The Dangerous Side of Cheap Power Tools »

As some of you may know I like to browse craigslist from time to time. Mostly in the morning during the two or three hours it takes to get my body to the point where I can walk without too much pain. Well while browsing for Planers I happened upon a 5 HP single phase Belsaw Molder Planer. The add said it was in working condition but needed some work, the guy was moving shops and didn’t want to move it so it could be had for $300. Now that got me curious about what kind of work it needed so I sent the guy a quick e-mail asked him what was going on with it. I included that I had rebuilt a 30 year old Jet Bandsaw & Shopsmith so I was serious about it at the right price.

Boom an hour later he calls. Tells me that some idiot in his shop started it up without securing the blades and the inside got trashed. Hearing that I started to fade out but then he said “But I fixed all of that so there are all new gears rollers and guts, the only thing that needs fixing is the kickback guard and the hinges on the top” I brightened up significantly!! But that’s not all, what he said next floored me “Really I just want to get this out of here, I’d take a hundred bucks for it really” BOING!!!!!!!!!!

What’s your address I will be by in an hour! LOL

Yep so that is the story about how I got a Powermatic/Belsaw Molder 12” Planer Molder for $100. True I will likely be sinking some more money into it for molder blades but hell man ya just can’t beat that deal.

Not knowing exactly what this machine was the wife was upset about me spending $100 today. So I had to appease She Who Shall Be Obeyed, I sold my Shopsmith Telescoping extension legs that I have never used for 70 bucks. LOL I didn’t mention that I was already planning on selling them ;)

I would be GREATLY interested in hearing from anyone who knows anything about the capabilities of this machine. I bought it because my Harbor Freight Thickness Planer Sucks. But browsing the owners manual I see that it is a bit more than your standard planer. But really I am such a novice I don’t even know what I don’t know! LOL We have all been there at one time haven’t we. ;)

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

10 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3769 days

#1 posted 12-14-2010 11:07 AM

Great, and a true political tactic employed.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 5000 days

#2 posted 12-14-2010 01:22 PM

Aren’t these the folks that advertise that you can make a fortune selling custom made molding?

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View REME's profile


26 posts in 4226 days

#3 posted 12-14-2010 04:32 PM

That machine makes custom mouldings. You can have knives made to your design (bout 150 bucks) and make your own moulding. It s great if you work on older homes and want to match existing moulding that isnt in production anymore. Nice Score, Me jealous

-- - Mike

View kevinw's profile


199 posts in 4652 days

#4 posted 12-14-2010 06:11 PM

I have a sears planer that was made by Belsaw. It works but has roller issues, so I will be interested to hear what you find out about it. I haven’t been able to figure out what to do about mine. How did the guy know how to change the rollers and where did he get them?

-- Kevin, Blue Springs, MO

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4641 days

#5 posted 12-14-2010 07:00 PM

we need pictures my friend.

View Crushgroovin's profile


234 posts in 3836 days

#6 posted 12-14-2010 09:22 PM

Thanks for all of the responses!!! I will get some pictures up just as soon as I get this behemoth out of my rig. It is a a 2 man job so it won’t be until later today.

For parts and knife purchases you can go to LOL yep amazing. They have information on there about the Sears model.

I did quite a bit of research last night. I am going to get a set of HSS planer knives and a thickness sander attachment. I don’t think I will be running out and buying any molder knives, maybe a set of tongue and groove would be nice, or crown molding maybe.. I may however put an add on cragslist offering custom molding 4 hire. There are plenty of old homes in Seattle and more and more people are getting into “Do it Yourself” now that the economy is really hurting everyone. I know that molding can be a tough one.

Watch for pictures in a few hours!

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View Crushgroovin's profile


234 posts in 3836 days

#7 posted 12-14-2010 09:39 PM


Here is a link to a pdf that lists a Roller Repair kit

Hope that helps!

-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

View restored's profile


55 posts in 3005 days

#8 posted 01-08-2017 07:27 PM

I’m curious about home made guide systems members have made for this machine. The Belsaw 12 5/8”. I realize there are various model #’s but all are basically the same in concept. I was lucky to pick one up, that had about 30 cutters, most never used, for under 300.00. I didn’ tintend to use for planing but making moldings with all the cutters. I did plane a few boards trying out the machine before I purchased, and it worked fine, except very dull knives. The feed rolls appear to be in excellent condition, the motor is a beast, no problem with lowing and raising the table. Came with 2 knive setting gauges, a ton of extra jibs,a rosette cutting system with 2 cutters. I owned a Jet 13 planer molder and sold for more than double of the belsaw cost. The Jet is way under powered. And the knives from Jet, will bankrupt one. Can anyone post photos and give any advice on making the necessary molding guide jig, necessary to make moldings. With all the knowledge and experience here on LJ’s I don’t want to waste time trying to be creative beyond what is necessary. The largest knive I currently own is 6.5”. I can’t imagine needing a jig for anything wider. What is the best material to use, the best for the cost. Make with fixed dado’s, or adjustable fences, since only one knife is used in the 3 knife cutter head. The 3/4” knifes , are 2 and 3 cutters combined, scotia, 3/4” 1/4round. basecap. I can’t see competing with the large stores or the need to mass produce any of the smaller stock. The basic’s in various species yes. In central NH the closes supplier is in Boston, and it’s not cheap. The material is the material. All input ideas, issues to look out for appreciated. The one thing I need to do is cut a 4” dust collection port. I saw one that was done on the side. Any input? Thank you. Is it worth keeping?

-- KRT

View itwoodwork's profile


1 post in 688 days

#9 posted 01-06-2019 04:54 AM

Great story, and really like Jamie’s quote. Can you tell me the width and thickness of the knives used in this model?
Thanks! Stu “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” -William Paley

-- Stu

View KuhShise's profile


12 posts in 844 days

#10 posted 01-06-2019 06:46 AM

restored: I have been running a Belsaw 910 for about 8 years. Parts are available at I had a local fabricator make a dust collection chute that attaches to the hinged top on the output side. It works really well if connected to a dedicated dust collector. I tried running it with my shop Jet 2 HP collector, but when running pine paneling, all I was doing was emptying the Jet and shaking the filters. Had the wife sew a sheet from a single bed into a bag (Long ways) put a hem in the top and thread a boot lace into the hem. Tied that to the output of a dust collector blower and was able to run about an hour before emptying. One bag of shavings can be packed into a 55 gal. contractors bag for taking to my local farmer for bedding. (I get manure for the garden in return) Making a guide is simply a matter of clamping a couple of pieces wood on the input and output table in the correct location and start bringing the head down to determine the correct positioning for alignment with the cutter. Trying to read between the lines in your post, with a single molding knife, you must use the correct balancing weights in the other two slots. I hope the counterbalance weights were marked to match the cutters. I don’t consider myself an expert with this machine, but to date I have run 11,000 bd. ft. of pine paneling, trimmed out the kids “Pool Room” with cherry including casement mold, crown, chair rail, wainscot, mop board, 1/4 round, cove molding, etc. With the 5 hp motor you will need a dedicated 20 amp 220 volt outlet. Send me an email at [email protected] I’ll send some pictures of the dust collector set-up.

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