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Parks wood planer - replacement bearings

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Old 01-01-2013, 01:55:09 PM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default Parks wood planer - replacement bearings

I have an old Parks wood planer and want to replace the cutter head bearings. Right now they are open ball bearings set in babbitt with grease cups for lubrication. I don't like the grease cups because they force some grease out and specks of it sometimes get on the wood. Would it be OK to get same size replacement bearings with seals and set them into the babbitt without re-pouring? I'd think modern sealed bearings should stand up to this duty and not need maintenance.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:43:35 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Parks wood planer - replacement bearings

I would go with the sealed bearings. Automotive transmissions used to use open bearings, later trans use sealed bearings although they are running in oil. I think it helps to keep the iron and grit out, bearings last longer.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:37:40 PM
s100 s100 is offline
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Default Re: Parks wood planer - replacement bearings

The sealed bearings will almost certainly be superior in every way to the open bearings you will be removing. The bearings will be sealed and so will, obviously, keep out the crud that might otherwise enter the open bearing. The sealed bearing will have the proper amount of the proper CLEAN grease inside (over-greasing and/or using improper grease leads to premature bearing failure) and even inexpensive modern bearings are usually better made and more precise than stuff made 50 years or more ago. I hate to say it, but we've learned some things along the way. So what you are contemplating is a win all around. Go for it!


I too owned an old Parks planer some decades ago. I too had a problem with lubricant getting onto the finish planed wood. In my instance at least the cause of this was not the cutterhead bearings but rather oil was leaking from the feed roller drive housing. One shaft (I THINK the infeed roller, but can't remember with certainty, it's been easily 30 years) is able to move up and down in relation to the housing so it protrudes from a vertical slot not a sealed hole. It was from this slot that the oil was coming. This was an issue on earlier Parks machines. Later they realized the error of their ways and made a seal of some sort to catch the oil. Parks was still in business at that time and I could have bought the seal as a retrofit item but I was (and still am) cheap so I visited the local dealer who sold the Parks line and stole with my eyes. I then went home and made my own seal, copying what I saw. It worked great and I never had any problems with oil contamination again. If I did it you can, too, assuming this is the source of your problem.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:51:49 PM
DustyBar DustyBar is offline
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Default Re: Parks wood planer - replacement bearings

That could very well be the source of some of the oil. I'll have to see if I can come up with something to cover that open slot. I realize you did this long ago but can you describe how you made that seal?
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