1958 Powr-Kraft Jointer Restore

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Project by blockhead posted 11-10-2009 03:13 AM 21785 views 3 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished up the restoration on this 1958 Ward’s Powr-Kraft 4” Jointer and GE motor. The motor isn’t original to the jointer, but looks to be quite old. A friend of mine at work found this old jointer at a yard sale. It was on a table with some other things and the guy told him $10 for everything on the table. I gave him a DVD for it.

Aesthetically, as you can see by the before photos, it was in pretty rough shape. Mechanically, it was surprisingly sound. I attacked the 50 year old grime with a wire brush, steel wool, pick, chisel, WD-40, degreaser, Top Saver and good ole’ elbow grease. There is a little pitting on the side portion of the top.

While looking around the internet for information on this jointer, I found a Powr-Kraft Catalog from 1958 on (old wood working machines), where I found a picture and the model # of this jointer. If you haven’t been to the site, it’s very cool if you’re into old machinery.

I built a simple base for it from some old scrap pine I had in the shop. I added a dust port in the rear and a new switch. It is surprisingly smooth but I still need to get a new belt and the knives are on order. This is my first tool restore. I had a lot of fun bringing some new life into some old machinery. I’m thinking this won’t be my last. Thanks for looking and as always comments/suggestions are appreciated.

Update: Since installing the new knives, I have used it several times and I must say, wow! It is a very impressive little machine. I may need to build some kind of extension for the outfeed portion of the fence for a bit more stability for the longer pieces.
I’ve used it on pine, myrtlewood, red oak, hard maple and walnut to name a few and it breezes right through everything leaving nice, straight, flat cuts. I still need to get a new link belt, which should only help.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

33 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5029 days

#1 posted 11-10-2009 03:26 AM

Good job Brad This looks great. glad it worked out ok.


View firecaster's profile


574 posts in 4870 days

#2 posted 11-10-2009 04:10 AM

Looks good. I have a 6” Power Kraft jointer.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View woodenships's profile


33 posts in 4621 days

#3 posted 11-10-2009 04:20 AM

Good work! Years ago I restored my Dad’s 8” Delta Beaver Table saw…it was left in the barn so it rusted etc ..but after new paint new switch and a scrub(steel wool) it came out beautiful…one day I’ll have to look at it again.

-- "Safety is habit you start and always keep!"

View ken_c's profile


339 posts in 4614 days

#4 posted 11-10-2009 05:07 AM

nice restore – how long did i t take – one thing that scares me is the decora switch – that could easily get tripped inadvertently. just something to think about it…

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5529 days

#5 posted 11-10-2009 05:18 AM

this looks A LOT like a shopsmith jointer…GREAT JOB on bringing this back to life…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 5314 days

#6 posted 11-10-2009 05:22 AM

Great rebuild. It looks very solid and stable for such a small machine. I would love something of this size for my shop, but, from experience, I haven’t had much luck with the modern “benchtop” tools. Some U.S. company ought to start re-manufacturing these and other tools that have been lost to the import vacuum.

I think I’ll do a little searching when I get a chance.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 4760 days

#7 posted 11-10-2009 06:44 AM

Thanks a lot LJ’s!
vonhagen- I’m waiting on the new blades. I used the old dull ones to try out and it cut like it had, well, old dull knives.
Woodenships-Would love to see some pics of the saw.
KenC- It took about 2 weeks working on it off and on. I hear you on the switch. After Christmas, I plan on getting one of the safety switches from Rockler or something similar. I just happened to have this one on hand.
Napaman- I’m not too familiar with the Shopsmith jointer, but from what I could gather, this one was made by Rockwell/Delta for Ward’s.
Dustynewt- For such a small machine, its very stable and weighs about 60lbs.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View nmkidd's profile


758 posts in 4625 days

#8 posted 11-10-2009 08:39 AM

My first impression of the original condition of the machine was….boat anchor! Now it doesn’t even look like the same machine. I just finished bring an old Crafstman jointer back to life…....but it wasn’t anywhere near the original condition of yours.
Great job…..enjoy the ‘older’ new toy

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4813 days

#9 posted 11-10-2009 08:48 AM

Hey Brad,
Sweet restoration…a lot of years left in that good old machine….well done.

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 4647 days

#10 posted 11-10-2009 05:27 PM

Hard to believe it is even the same machine.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5473 days

#11 posted 11-10-2009 06:25 PM

There is something very satisfying about reviving and old tool.
It get’s in you system and before you know it you are subconciously looking for orphans to brling home and repair.
I just finished an old 6” Delta/Millwaukee jointer and I am thrilled with it’s performance.
I can well afford a new jointer but the challenge would not be there.

Good luck with your new find!


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3896 posts in 4890 days

#12 posted 11-10-2009 09:45 PM

Nice job! There’s nothing like the feeling of using a machine that you’ve restored from the tool graveyard and having it work like it did when new. Especially for tools that dramatically alter the wood like a jointer. I’ve done a few.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View silverhalo's profile


12 posts in 5085 days

#13 posted 11-10-2009 10:10 PM

Excellent work! I recently restored a 1947 Delta Homecraft drill press and 1946 Delta TableSaw/Joiner combo.
It’s amazing how well these old machines were put together and how great they still run with a bit of TLC. Once you start collecting OWWM’s you can’t go back…. they just don’t make’m like they used to!

-- Robert Reznik - Albuquerque, NM -

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 4760 days

#14 posted 11-11-2009 03:42 AM

You guys are so right. Its gratifying to breathe some new life in an old machine. I am looking forward to my next one. Thanks again for the kind words LJ’s.

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View mthomp0725's profile


48 posts in 5090 days

#15 posted 12-31-2009 04:51 PM

Brad, Good looking restoration. I have an old rockwell 4” jointer that I have refurbished. I can still get most parts like blades and belts, but I am missing a blade guard and can’t find a replacement. It’s fun to use even though I have a Delta 6” Deluxe that gets most of my attention.


-- He who hesitates is lost...

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