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Machinery Photo Index
Manufactured/Badged by:
Wadkin Ltd.

True Manufacturer:
Wadkin Ltd., Nottingham
Machine Specifications
Machine Class: Wood Working Machinery
Machine Type: Jointer
Machine Size: 9"
Submitted By: John Vannisselroy
Machine Specifications
Description/Model: RB Surface Planer - Bench Type
Date of Manufacturer: ~1928
Serial Number: RB 116
Last Updated 11/14/2017 6:28:33 PM

I was sent a picture of this machine on 10th May, 2017, and by the 15th I'd paid for it.

It is one of twelve RBs ordered by New Zealand Government Railways in 1926, as part of an upgrade of railway workshops in New Zealand at the time, and was probably delivered in 1928. It is one of three landed at Port Chalmers (Dunedin, New Zealand) - all three would have gone to the nearby Hillside Railway Workshops. I believe it spent it's entire working life in the Pattern Shop at Hillside. When the workshops were closed down ~2012, the Foundry and Pattern Shop were sold to an Australian firm as a going concern. The machine was declared surplus, but unlike several other surplus machines, failed to sell. It was initially stored indoors, but by May, 2017, had spent "several" months outside. It is numbered RB 116 - and as Wadkin are believed to have started their model numbers at 105 it is just the 12th RB made by Wadkin & Co.

It has a 5" diameter round cutterblock which holds two 9" cutters on a slight skew. According to catalogue pages of later models of this machine, the tables are 5' long, but this early machine has 3' 9" tables.

The motor is 1.5hp 3 phase, and drives the cutterblock spindle through herringbone gears enclosed in a gearcase. The motor is manufactured by English Electric Co. at their Phoenix Works in Bradford, England (serial number X11328B).

The machine initially went into my rathole, but I couldn't leave it alone. It's now nearing completion. It's mounted on a temporary bench, but I'm hoping to rebuild the original bench over the coming summer. Unfortunately an issue with the cutterblock (abused) means it will still be a while before it's making chips.

Photo 1:

Comments: As photographed on 10th May, 2017.
Source: Seller's photograph.
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IMG Code

Photo 2:

Comments: As photographed 15th November, 2017.
Source: My photograph.
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Photo 3:

Comments: The motor was meggered and wired for the first time on 30th October. It's refurbish will have to wait.
Source: My photograph.
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