While the Darra-James table saw was my first piece of OWWM, this was what really got me going down the slippery slope of buying old machinery. It also helps that I had recently moved into a house with a two-car garage that I planned on turning into a workshop.
I had been looking for a planer for a little while and came across some Parks planers in various advertisements, which led me to research them. I quickly found out that they are hailed as the best small (roughly 12") planers ever made, blowing away anything made today easily. They're also heavily sought after by old woodworking machinery lovers and are often quest machines.
Shortly after I started keeping an eye out for these, and was even tempted to buy a couple that I came across (cost and distance stopped me), I was alerted to an estate sale near me with some "interesting pictures of tools". Right in the middle of one picture was a Parks planer. Needless to say, I went over there and scooped up this gem for $100 in January, 2010. I've been kicking myself since then for not buying a whole bunch of the other machinery there too, but I was focused on the Parks. They were selling a lot of quality Delta machines for rock bottom prices. I was also a bit ignorant at that point about what machines to keep an eye out for.
It took three men to lift the planer itself into my car, and three guys to lift the stand with the motor into the car. These things are SOLID and HEAVY, just the way I like them.
The motor that came with it is a Brown-Brockmeyer repulsion induction motor, estimated to be 1.5HP. I can barely get it off the ground by myself. It has bronze bushings instead of bearings. Due to the amperage draw, I can't currently run it in my shop until I hook up 220V service. But I plugged it into the dryer outlet and it runs nicely (after cleaning it out).
The planer came with the original blades, stamped Parks. I have had them sharpened, but they won't be reinstalled until I restore the machine. Restoration will mostly include cleaning it up and replacing all bearings. It is in operating condition.
Parks planer with Brown-Brockmeyer motor in front of it. The planer has the three hump gear box with bolts holding it on. Also notice the Allen-Bradley switch on the stand.
Another view of the planer. Notice the shop-built belt guard. Unfortunately, it didn't come with the elusive OEM belt guard.
Emblem on the motor. Not much info can be seen (a little easier in person).