Got up around 4:30 Saturday morning and headed out to an auction in Fort Wayne Indiana about 200 miles away. The auction started at 9:00 am Eastern time (I live in Central time) and was advertised as a pretty good size tool auction. In the auctioneers brochure was a particular machine which I have been hunting for a couple of years. Figured now was the time to act. My quarry was a Rockwell Delta Uniplane (Model 22-300). This auction advertised two of them in addition to a lot of other machinery.
Got to Ft. Wayne a little after 9:00 and the auction was in progress. A lot more people were there than I expected. After registering I tracked down the two Uniplanes against a wall alongside a couple of Delta scroll saws, an old Craftsman TS, a Delta shaper, four nice Powermatic lathes, and a huge 24" Powermatic planer plus several other pieces. A quick look at the Uniplanes showed them to be intact. These machines were part of a school shop program that shutdown, I assume locally. It's a shame but more and more schools are terminating their shop programs. Don't know if it's due to lack of interest on the part of the students or liability fears by the school boards. Probably a little of both.
The auctioneer soon made his way to this part of the room and the bidding got started on the Uniplanes. There wasn't much interest from the crowd in these machines and it turned out there was one other guy besides myself bidding on them. He won the first one at $140 and I won the second for an even $100. Seems there was more interest in the various power hand tools than the stationary machines, which suited me fine. I watched the Powermatic lathes each go for $140, the old TS for $25!!! and both Delta scroll saws went for $40 each! Definitely some bargains to be had. But all I was really after was my Uniplane which I got for 1/3 of what I came there ready to spend for it.
I got it loaded up, helped a couple of folks load their plunder, BS'd with some very friendly and nice people for a spell, and was on my way back to Illinois by 11:00. Here are some pics of my new toy:
The thing that makes the Uniplane unique is it's vertical rotary cutterhead
The bed needs a good cleaning and some wax. It snowed part of the way home.
It came with a 3/4HP 3ph motor. I replaced it with a 1.5 HP single phase this afternoon.
A rather blurry shot of the name plate. Model number is 22-300.
Hope you enjoyed my saga. It was a fun trip and I'm looking forward to putting my new toy to use.