Wadkin FM24” Planer Restoration

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ScottyT

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I have got around to getting some photos of my glorious Wadkin FM 24” Planer before I strip it and rebuild it.
I have recently finished my Robinson ET/E dimension saw, and the Wadkin is next up. My working circumstances are due to change in the not too distant future, and very sadly I will no longer be employed as a bench joiner and will be going it alone instead.
I have nearly got my workshop sorted, I’ve been picking up all sorts over the last 5 years in the knowledge ‘the day’ would come, and the FM will be right at the heart of the workshop.
Unlike the ET/E, this will be getting a full nut and bolt strip down by myself and built back up to the best of my ability. It’s taken a while to get hold of one, but I got it in the end.
It’s a real beauty, circa late 50’s/early 60’s I think, 27” top tables, and capable of 24” width underneath by 9” deep. Our Bursgreen UOS is an 18x9 and says yes to anything, so I’m excited to get into this one.

25C8B560-443C-407C-9B33-BB82FBBEB6CD.jpeg


I’ve removed the bridge guard and bearing cap in the above shot, it’s pretty much complete and is braked for 10 seconds. I’m hoping I can get the brake in the guts of the machine but I’ll have to see on that.

27C6F23E-6F51-450D-A495-DD61A8BB9A24.jpeg


24” capacity under here, lovely for the bigger stuff that occasionally comes my way.

0DB0DB33-2FE1-4596-91CE-7D065E710D64.jpeg


Drive side with the 3 speed gearbox for the feeds, 25 35 and 45 ft. per minute I think. It’s uses a brooks 7.5hp motor to run the block and the feed in unison. I think the RM (predating this) had one for the feed and one for the block? The motors running outboard on the RM, with this one having one motor tucked in on the left hand side of the infeed table! Fundamentally the same machine, this one will also take moulding cutters in the block for T&G and the like.

1249D38C-F9E3-4490-82D1-6ED44B33F260.jpeg


An awful start/stop switch fitted, I’ll see what I can find to replace this, and the rise and fall wheel has taken a real pasting and been repaired agri style.
All in all though it’s in super shape, it all works and was in use until very recently. The infeed table stabiliser roller has been replaced at some point, but it all lines through and is for for purpose. The fibreglass rear cover is in great nik too, all original with no repairs or damage.

5527F2F8-B277-4229-9B3A-E619E442F231.jpeg


The fence weighs some, but it’s so well engineered just a tweak on the wheel effortlessly moves it in and out. I’m looking forward to this one.
It’s obviously an imperial machine, whitworth will be used heavily throughout no doubt but I’ll get into that soon.
This will be a drawn out thread, I’ll post up progress as and when i can get at it.

Scotty
 
I presume you don't lift the tables to use the thicknesser? then I'm curious as to how chip extraction works on this machine.

On my 16" SCM I have to lift the tables to thickness with chip extraction, which is no mean feat.

And I hope it all works out for you.
 
On my 16" SCM I have to lift the tables to thickness with chip extraction, which is no mean feat.

And I hope it all works out for you.
no you don’t touch the tables at all. There is a fabricated steel hood that is used above or below depending if your going under or over. It’s very good and simple to set up. I’ll show you on the Bursgreen tomorrow, it’s exactly the same set up.
Thanks for the interest.
 
Now that’s a machine! Will follow with interest, none of my work needs a machine like that but I am very envious!
If they could do chip extraction like that back then why are we all lifting tables up I wonder?

Are you going to put it on castors lol.
 
Now that’s a machine! Will follow with interest, none of my work needs a machine like that but I am very envious!
If they could do chip extraction like that back then why are we all lifting tables up I wonder?

Are you going to put it on castors lol.

It is a superb piece of engineering. My dad has a Bursgreen that I use nigh-on daily which is an 18” model, and at times it hasn’t been wide enough so that’s the reasoning behind such a size.
I am only familiar with vintage machines so I don’t know the thinking behind removable tables for extraction???
It weighs in at 1.5 tonnes, I am looking forward to getting into it, and as soon as I make some meaningful progress I’ll update here.

Scotty
 
Nice. I've not seen one of these in the flesh, but a friend has an RZ, which is the surface planer only version (no "under").
It's a beautiful machine.

I think you'll find this even nicer the Bursgreen UOS.

You are correct, the bolts are all British Standard Whitworth - hard to find these days, should you need replacements.

If you put up a picture of the "Wadkin Ltd" tag I'll find the year it was made, for you.

Cheers, Vann.
 
Nice. I've not seen one of these in the flesh, but a friend has an RZ, which is the surface planer only version (no "under").
It's a beautiful machine.

I think you'll find this even nicer the Bursgreen UOS.

You are correct, the bolts are all British Standard Whitworth - hard to find these days, should you need replacements.

If you put up a picture of the "Wadkin Ltd" tag I'll find the year it was made, for you.

Cheers, Vann.
CF6B89C6-BE4C-4FD9-ACA5-12791E03498E.jpeg


Thanks. I hadn’t seen one in the flesh before I got this one. It’s a real quality piece of kit, everything on it is buttery smooth and it just works, it looks fairly tired but they were built so well back then looks count for nothing.
I am fortunate to have a cache of Stainless Whitworth fixings, so I’ll probably swap it all out. We shall see though…..

Thanks for the interest Vann and I look forward to hearing back on a manufacture date.

Scotty
 




This is for HOJ, proper mare trying to get videos on here. Apologies
 
I have got around to getting some photos of my glorious Wadkin FM 24” Planer before I strip it and rebuild it.
I have recently finished my Robinson ET/E dimension saw, and the Wadkin is next up. My working circumstances are due to change in the not too distant future, and very sadly I will no longer be employed as a bench joiner and will be going it alone instead.
I have nearly got my workshop sorted, I’ve been picking up all sorts over the last 5 years in the knowledge ‘the day’ would come, and the FM will be right at the heart of the workshop.
Unlike the ET/E, this will be getting a full nut and bolt strip down by myself and built back up to the best of my ability. It’s taken a while to get hold of one, but I got it in the end.
It’s a real beauty, circa late 50’s/early 60’s I think, 27” top tables, and capable of 24” width underneath by 9” deep. Our Bursgreen UOS is an 18x9 and says yes to anything, so I’m excited to get into this one.

View attachment 176258

I’ve removed the bridge guard and bearing cap in the above shot, it’s pretty much complete and is braked for 10 seconds. I’m hoping I can get the brake in the guts of the machine but I’ll have to see on that.

View attachment 176259

24” capacity under here, lovely for the bigger stuff that occasionally comes my way.

View attachment 176264

Drive side with the 3 speed gearbox for the feeds, 25 35 and 45 ft. per minute I think. It’s uses a brooks 7.5hp motor to run the block and the feed in unison. I think the RM (predating this) had one for the feed and one for the block? The motors running outboard on the RM, with this one having one motor tucked in on the left hand side of the infeed table! Fundamentally the same machine, this one will also take moulding cutters in the block for T&G and the like.

View attachment 176263

An awful start/stop switch fitted, I’ll see what I can find to replace this, and the rise and fall wheel has taken a real pasting and been repaired agri style.
All in all though it’s in super shape, it all works and was in use until very recently. The infeed table stabiliser roller has been replaced at some point, but it all lines through and is for for purpose. The fibreglass rear cover is in great nik too, all original with no repairs or damage.

View attachment 176265

The fence weighs some, but it’s so well engineered just a tweak on the wheel effortlessly moves it in and out. I’m looking forward to this one.
It’s obviously an imperial machine, whitworth will be used heavily throughout no doubt but I’ll get into that soon.
This will be a drawn out thread, I’ll post up progress as and when i can get at it.

Scotty
Wadkin FM 24 planer is sure a beauty. it's cutting capacity is 26". Sheartak makes a helical cutterhead for it. https://www.sheartak.com/helical-head-wakin-24inch-combined-surface-planer-thicknesser-type-fm
 
Wadkin FM 24 planer is sure a beauty. it's cutting capacity is 26". Sheartak makes a helical cutterhead for it. https://www.sheartak.com/helical-head-wakin-24inch-combined-surface-planer-thicknesser-type-fm

Holy Mary I’m not sure what Canadian dollars are to Sterling but that’s crazy, what kind of a difference does this make to the two knive block i am familiar with?
I have never even seen one of these before, since joining this forum at times I’ve felt like I’m back in the dark ages, never heard of an ‘MFT’ or a track saw before hitting this place and a wide variety of other things!!!!
Looks like a ton of scribers out of my rebate blocks or tennoner?
I can confidently say I’ll be sticking with the original block 😄
 
$1.00Cad = £0.59 so the cutter head would be £2772 plus whatever import fees applicable of course.

Advantages would be a better finish on wood with grain direction changes or in some cases rowed grain. Being carbide the inserts stay sharper longer but are not as sharp to begin with as HSS blades and if you get a nick you can rotate the inserts to a sharp edge rather than resharpen the blades. If the machine has a square head or has damaged parts no longer available the change can make the machine safer or run on rather than be scrapped. You would have to be the one to best decide if the change had merit for you and it seems like you wouldn't need it.

Pete
 
$1.00Cad = £0.59 so the cutter head would be £2772 plus whatever import fees applicable of course.

Advantages would be a better finish on wood with grain direction changes or in some cases rowed grain. Being carbide the inserts stay sharper longer but are not as sharp to begin with as HSS blades and if you get a nick you can rotate the inserts to a sharp edge rather than resharpen the blades. If the machine has a square head or has damaged parts no longer available the change can make the machine safer or run on rather than be scrapped. You would have to be the one to best decide if the change had merit for you and it seems like you wouldn't need it.

Pete
Thanks Pete, in context I paid considerably less for this machine than that block, and in my line of work I don’t think I would need to consider it. It’s horses for courses though, I imagine if you needed the finished finish straight off the machine this would be ideal, and that’s a great illustration from you about rotating or replacing just one section if it takes a knock, what I usually do with my knives on the planers and thicknessers if they take a knock (certainly if they are newish) is just slide one one way and the other one the other way (only a touch) so the blemish isn’t in line with both knives and all is well. I use TCT for iroko as it’s savage, but use HSS for a really sharp finish on most other timbers.
i appreciate you taking the time to enlighten me Pete, thankyou.

Scotty
 
@ScottyT said ."I have never even seen one of these before, since joining this forum at times I’ve felt like I’m back in the dark ages, never heard of an ‘MFT’ or a track saw before hitting this place and a wide variety of other things!!!!"
You and me both, felt a right numpty when I had to ask what an MFT was after a lifetime of working wood. Can’t say I need one really either, lol.
 
Holy Mary I’m not sure what Canadian dollars are to Sterling but that’s crazy, what kind of a difference does this make to the two knive block i am familiar with?
I have never even seen one of these before, since joining this forum at times I’ve felt like I’m back in the dark ages, never heard of an ‘MFT’ or a track saw before hitting this place and a wide variety of other things!!!!
Looks like a ton of scribers out of my rebate blocks or tennoner?
I can confidently say I’ll be sticking with the original block 😄
Jack Forsberg knows a ton about these machines and has restored and improved quite a few. He has an RM. He's a really nice chap and I'm sure would be a good source of advice as you undertake the project.
You can find him here:
https://www.instagram.com/jackenglishmachines/

Good luck and keep us updated as you progress.
Mark
 
Had a quick look at the planer this afternoon, initial tear down stuff, removal of the fence, access door for the rise/fall gubbings, some platage in the guts of it to gain access to a few things etc etc.

86AA016F-F2CF-4402-A158-A69C0BBB2E4F.jpeg


The fence is substantial on the FM, and unlike my Robinson ET/E it has a canting fence that has machined faces for both 90 and 45, they didn’t mess about. (The ET/E has lock nuts on threads for the user to set)

2C20BB8F-3539-4D53-B265-225C5101E065.jpeg


I removed a cover plate from here to reveal the gear linkage (just out of shot) and revealed grease lines going from a two way split to feed the table threads, superb.

C896D4DC-5C39-4BC1-8677-726A02233DD2.jpeg

BB5E33CB-774C-4C36-8FFC-D8E0284527A7.jpeg


Gearbox is superb.

6B0D3F8A-A22F-4214-BF25-2F46ED802956.jpeg


Link belt and rubber bands removed, I shall get the pulley free from the motor to enable removal.

C46CF8CB-F78B-4FF5-BE88-7BE17FBEF537.jpeg


Door removed by unscrewing two 3/8 whitiworth nuts holding the hinges to the main casting.

20FCD72D-5AE1-42D9-A961-34570195A49B.jpeg


Note the immense skewed block on this machine. I shall remove the motor and the top tables next, then I can really get going on it.

Scotty
 

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