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Richardson, Meriam & Co.
Wood Working Machinery
24" x 4"
24" planer matcher
Date of Manufacturer:
2/7/2007 10:50:28 PM
It sports a brand new set of 24 inch knives, two sets of side heads, a wonderfully ornate infeed table and very appealing overall design. Several, if not all, of the cutter head bolts need remanufacturing by someone qualified and one of the side head yokes is cracked and needs welding. The sidehead bearings may need to be repoured as well. Overall though the machine is in nice shape for its age.
Shown is a Richardson, Meriam & co 24 inch planer matcher which I rescued from a field in 1990. I began restoring her to working condition but ran into a few safety related road blocks which has mothballed the project for now. Most notably four of the blade retaining bolts are in terrible shape and a couple of others leave something to desired. The originals are forged and of a non standard pitch.
Of note is the fact that this machine predates the use of expansion gearing on the feed roles (by this manufacturer at any rate). Power is transmitted to the top feed roles through the use of splined shafts and bevel gearing. The machine came with a set of brass two wing side heads and a pair of Shimer tongue and groove heads. Patents are MARCH 27, 1866----APRIL 23, 1867-----NOV. 5, 1867.
I was fortunate enough to find an 1875 Richardson, Meriam & CO catalogue which had a very similar machine except for the improved addition of their "new patent expansion feed gearing". The machine is listed as their "No. 4 planing and matching machine." Weight 4,300 pounds. Counter shaft to run at 825 revolutions per minute.
An 1865 catalogue refers to it as their Union Planing and Matching Machine and shows that at that date they were using feed gears with nice heart shaped cut outs. The weight of this machine is given as 3500 pounds yet the cut looks very similar to the 1875 engraving.
feed role gearing and rack and pinion to lower side head shafts
The 1865 version sported gears with heart shaped cut outs.
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