Rockwell uni-plane - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-05-2008, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Rockwell uni-plane

Years ago,in the first school shop that I taught in, I had a Rockwell rotay-jointer-surfacer more commonly known as a Uniplane. To me, It was a very good machine. Not only could you joint edges but also end grain as well. You could also plane compound miters with it. It had a good guard system and if used properly, it was very safe. I only saw 2 in high school shops and that was years ago. I'm sure they don't make them any more but I could never figure out why. Has anyone here ever used one? Don
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-05-2008, 01:18 PM
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I know that is a good machine but I never had a chance to use it
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post #3 of 26 Old 04-05-2008, 09:37 PM
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Know nothing about them...but here is a picture of one.

http://www.owwm.com/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=209

Rod in Ontario
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-06-2008, 01:20 AM
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Yep, I had the privelege of using one of those very machines myself in my high school days, more than 20 years ago now. I've never seen one in use since. The most practical application, IMHO, was making a square post into an octagon prior to chucking and turning on a lathe....greatly reduced the amount of material that had to be removed once turning began.


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smitty
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-06-2008, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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The Uniplane in my shop at the school I taught in was new in 1975. It cost $435. I just looked on e-bay and found one for $1400 and one for around $400. I guess I will show my wife that tools are a good investment. Don
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-07-2008, 04:02 AM
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Is it just me or does it seem like the tool makers are stuck in a rut. It seems like there's really not much inovation going on. if you look at some old tools it's amazing the diversity of design that used to be common. Now, every tool looks just like every other tool.
I've never seen one of these before but it looks like a good design, I can't see why it's not still made. Regardless, thank you, I love learning about cool new (old) tools. I'll bet if this was re-released it would be praised as inginuitive, and forward thinking.

Be it by finesse or force... A square peg will go into a round hole.
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post #7 of 26 Old 12-19-2008, 12:38 AM
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uniplane reply

I'm not certain why the uniplane went out of favor but I have a guess. I believe the machine was probably too expensive to manufacture for the general woodworker, in contrast to a machine like a jointer. I am the owner of one and I wouldn't give it up. I need to sharpen the knives, but even with the knives slightly dull, it's a great machine for squaring up an edge or face. With all the cutting force downward, you can push a wood piece through the machine with one finger. One of the great uses of the machine is taking out warpage. I flaten a board with the uniplane and then use the planer to do the rest of the work. I love this machine. I've seen some messages related to how dangerous it is. Bull. You'd have to ram your finger into the cutting wheel. It's not nearly as dangerous as your standard jointer.
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post #8 of 26 Old 02-10-2009, 11:48 AM
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I inherited one of these from my dad, who bought it in the 70's sometime. I recently ran a piece through that had a nail and ruined the cutters. Fortunately, he had a spare set, but I would like to have another set of backups. Anyone know where I could find some?
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post #9 of 26 Old 02-11-2009, 04:41 PM
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uniplane reply

When I first purchased my uniplane I tried to find cutters with no success. Delta no longer manufactures them. The owner/operator manual provides the cutter sharpening specifications. A good tool shop should be able to sharpen your cutters the the necessary specifications.

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post #10 of 26 Old 06-01-2009, 11:40 AM
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cutters

There is a tool grinder on OWWM.org that will grind them. "OnTheLevel" just had some made for his uni. OWWM.org also has the drawings you can download. I have ground these before. If you have an old one to go by and the drawings, it is not that difficult. You can buy the tool stock from Grizzly or any tool supplier. It is 1/4" M2 HSS. I would use a lathe tool holder to grind both ends and then cut to length with cut-off grinder.

St. Louis, MO
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post #11 of 26 Old 06-02-2009, 08:47 AM
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Uniplane cutters

I just bought the uniplane from OnTheLevel with the new cutters. The grinder did a masterful job on the cutters. He also said he had made several extra sets.

St. Louis, MO
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post #12 of 26 Old 06-02-2009, 11:56 PM
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Uniplane guard

I need a guard or at least tracing or drawing of one. Any help will be appreciated.

St. Louis, MO
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post #13 of 26 Old 06-15-2009, 10:37 AM
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Uniplane guard

I'm still looking for more info a Uniplane guard. Any info would help. From the remnants I have it appears the angle of the slots are 37.5, but I have no idea of the other dimensions or angles. A few dimensions or a picture would help. Thanks in advance. Dan

St. Louis, MO
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post #14 of 26 Old 06-19-2009, 05:21 PM
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I have a uni plane and would be happy to make a template for the guard for you.
Bob

By the way, I am in St. Louis.
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post #15 of 26 Old 06-19-2009, 11:42 PM
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Uniplane guard

Bob:

Thanks. PM is on the way.

St. Louis, MO
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post #16 of 26 Old 06-24-2009, 09:04 PM
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Good man

Well that Bob Goodman is a good man. Not only did he give me a template for the uniplane, he ended up parting with his uniplane. He had received it as part of a package deal. The previous owner didn't love it very well. I removed all of the cutters today. Six were broken or damaged. Three were loose. The pulleys were beat on so bad I had to straighten and turn them on the lathe. I'm glad he had never used it. Other than that it looks great and is starting to sound better with every step.

St. Louis, MO

Last edited by Clouseau; 06-24-2009 at 09:16 PM.
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post #17 of 26 Old 06-25-2009, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for the compliment. I'm happy that someone can use and appreciate that piece of old iron.

Enjoy.
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post #18 of 26 Old 07-24-2009, 11:17 PM
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Smile uniplane cutters

Quote:
Originally Posted by congachile View Post
I inherited one of these from my dad, who bought it in the 70's sometime. I recently ran a piece through that had a nail and ruined the cutters. Fortunately, he had a spare set, but I would like to have another set of backups. Anyone know where I could find some?
I happen to have a set of uniplane cutters with 4 scoring cutters and 4 shearing cutters that I am willing to sell. If you are interested you can contact me at joannekaus@yahoo.com
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post #19 of 26 Old 06-08-2010, 04:22 PM
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Uniplane blade can be bought here!

http://www.woodworkerstoolworks.com/.../items/show/49

I've been looking for almost five years for a set of Uniplane blades and finally found some nice folks at Woodworkers' Tool Works in Wisconsin. They have them in stock or will make you a set fro $120.00. Friendly and knowledgeable. Toll free at (800) 475-9991.

I'm a happy man - finally. I really missed that Uniplane - one of the most useful tools I've ever had.
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post #20 of 26 Old 04-20-2012, 01:49 PM
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I just picked up an old Uniplane. It had seen very little use in a school, a guy bought it and never used it and i got it for $75, in first rate condition minus a very thin layer of table rust. If anyone has a set of knives for less than $120 give me a shout. davidwiseley@gmail.com
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