Guide to buying a Parks or Craftsman 12" Planer

Modified on 2011/12/18 21:28 by krucker — Categorized as: FAQ

What to look for and what to pay

From time to time I get e-mails asking questions about the Parks 12" planer and I thought it would be useful to capture some of the typical questions and the answers, at least as I know them. Anything that is set forth here applies to both the Craftsman and the Parks 12" planer. The machines are identical.

"What to look for" is a lot easier to answer than "what to pay", but let's try "what to pay" first. How much should I pay for an old Parks 12" planer?

Over the last few years I've seen these machines sell for as little as $150 and as much as $800+. Both these extremes I’d deem unusual and more typically they sell in the $300 to $600 range. Obviously condition is a major consideration so I encourage you to look at the "what to look for" section and then determine if the machine you are considering should be at the high or low end of the range. I purchased a machine that was 100% complete, but was covered with rusts from sitting unused for over seven years. At the other end of the spectrum are reconditioned machines selling for $800+. Be careful of the term "reconditioned". It can mean anything from a paint job to a complete rehabilitation with new bearings and every part dis-assembled, cleaned and polished. Other price considerations include:

What should I look for?

Take a look at the pictures in the OWWM Photo Index. There are a series of Parks 12" planer photos. You might also want to look at and print off the exploded view part sheets (available for download on the Parks Catalog/Manual Reprint Page on this site) as a guide to understanding the operation of the machine before you look at it. It will help guide you through the examination of the machine.