It is currently 09 Dec 2021, 07:31

Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Here's the place to talk about all your table saws, bandsaws, routers and dust extractors. In fact anything that makes noise and uses electrickery.

RB Drives.

Postby Vann » 28 Jan 2021, 23:34

As well as the herringbone gear drive shown above, Wadkin RB came with two other drives: flat belt drive (no motor supplied) and what became standard - electrically driven via vee-belt.

Flat Belt Drive:
Here is RB 409 (test 9969) of 1938. Somehow it has survived the years without the drive being modified.
RB 409.jpg
(1.32 MiB)
RB 409 flat belt.jpg
Note the flat belt pulley.
(1.3 MiB)

The tag is not stamped for voltage, phase, nor cycles.
wRB 409 9969 UK.jpg
(1.55 MiB)


Electric Drive via vee-belt:
Both flat belt drive and gear drive were short lived, and twin vee-belts (as fitted to nearly every other surface planer) became standard. Motors were suppiled to the customers electrical requirements, in DC or AC. And AC motors were supplied in single phase, 2-phase (whatever that is), and 3-phase.

Some AC powered machines were classified RBA, and DC machines were classified RBD - but this was inconsistent, and died out completely as AC machines came to dominate the market and there was no longer any purpose in adding the 'A'. There was a 4th classification - RBV. I don't know what this was about, as the machines appear to be the same as any other vee-belt driven RB. Possibly it was an early indication of 'Vee' belt drive... :eusa-think:

This is the tag on Guineafowl21's RBD - a 460v DC machine until repowered with a modern AC motor. RBD 212 (test 700) of 1932.
wRBD 212 700 UK.jpg
I think the person stamping was having some fun with the 'D' and 'C' stamped in the 'phase' and 'cycle' spaces.
(1.31 MiB)

Next is a single phase machine, recently refurbished by wallace. RB 256 (test 2360) of 1934. Note: 200v 50hz.
RB 356.jpg
(1.33 MiB)
wRB 256 2360 UK.jpg
(1.65 MiB)

A 220v two phase machine. RB 193 (test 9452) of 1931. I don't know if that's the original 2-phase motor but 2-phase supply must be rare these days, and this is a frankenplaner.
RB 193.jpg
(1.57 MiB)
wRB 193 UK.jpg
(1.42 MiB)

A three phase RB. RB 497 (test 25435) of 1945. A very standard looking RB - and a very standard 400v, 3-phase, 50hz motor.
RBA 497a.jpg
(1.01 MiB)
wRBA 497.jpg
(1.19 MiB)


And finally an RBV. RBV 231 (test 1041) of 1932.
wRBV 231 1041.jpg
(1010.6 KiB)

Cheers, Vann.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Vann » 29 Jan 2021, 11:31

Vann wrote:...Edit: Some brain scratching revealed a memory of videoing the RB (RB 113) running...

And here is the link (please excuse the other machine screaming in the background): https://youtu.be/rWBHMLGd1JA

Cheers, Vann.
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#1 - Base Casting.

Postby Vann » 07 Feb 2021, 12:41

So looking at the developement of the RB, I'll start with the 'Base' or 'Stand', or in Wadkin speak 'Main Frame' - which probably had more changes than any other part of the machine.

Firstly there's the Bench variety, which came without a base.

Base 1: Then there's the first design of base, as shown in this catalogue cut:

RB 105a.jpg
(846.12 KiB)


Base 2: Soon the top of the opening was lowered to allow a chute to be added, to deflect woodchips to the left-hand side.

RB 574.jpg
RB 158, of 1930.
(305.98 KiB)
The resulting arched or half-round opening in the front of the base, I consider the to be a feature of the RB buzzer.

...and with the same opening in the back.

RB 86.jpg
From the 1936 catalogue - on VM site.
(362.04 KiB)
RB 85.jpg
RB 183, of 1931.
(213.12 KiB)
This arrangement lasted until at least wallace's RB 256 of 1934.


Base 3: The third variation of the base has the rear opening replaced by an electric compartment with a "Brookhirst" switchgear door, and an opening for "Start/Stop" pushbuttons was added to the right-hand side. The earliest known example of this is RB 409 of 1938.

RB 579.jpg
RB 409, of 1938.
(1.54 MiB)

Here you can see that half the base has been partitioned off to form the electrical compartment.

RB 580.jpg
Upside down RB base stand.
(1.17 MiB)
RB 581.jpg
RB 418 - "Brookhirst" switchgear door.
(519.08 KiB)
RB 582.jpg
RB 418 - "Start/Stop" push button opening.
(338.73 KiB)
I don't know how long this variation lasted. RB 418, also of 1938 was the same. RB 497, of 1945 may have been the same (it's hard to be sure with poor or no photos of the rear of machines) but by 1946 a fourth variation had arrived.


Base 4: The fourth variation of the base has a much narrower and slightly taller "Brookhirst" switchgear door.

RB 583.jpg
RB 519, 0f 1946.
(275.97 KiB)
RB 584.jpg
Unknown RB of this period.
(1.07 MiB)
But by 1947 another modification was made.


Base 5: The opening for the "Start/Stop" pushbuttons was altered. Instead of a simple opening in the side, a boss was added for mounting the pushbuttons.

RB 576.jpg
RB 745, of 1950.
(1.23 MiB)


Base 6: The final variation is a bit of back to the future, with the return of what appears to be a standard size "Brookhirst" switchgear door, now marked "Wadkin" - while retaining the pushbutton boss.

RB 577.jpg
RB 830, of 1951.
(250.81 KiB)
From RB 830 (of 1951) to RB 1024 (of 1954).

Cheers, Vann.
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#2 - Central Casting.

Postby Vann » 20 Mar 2021, 11:53

Central Casting (for want of a better name) - the casting that mounts the cutterblock.

I've found two styles of the central casting:

First the "high arch" model...
RB 80.jpg
RB 183.
(253.71 KiB)

...found on the first RBs and up to at least RBA 231 (of 1932).

Followed by the later "slotted" central casting...

RB 81a.jpg
(71.68 KiB)
RB 81.jpg
(435.52 KiB)
...found on the other RBs in the sample, from RB 255 (of 1934), to RB 1024 (of 1954).

However the earlier "high arch" models had a variation (or two). The "standard" variety (or should I say just "stand" variety) looked very much the same front and rear.
RB 99.jpg
Rear of RB 183.
(127.92 KiB)

Whereas the "bench" variety looked like this at the rear:
RB 116l.jpg
RB 116.
(364.16 KiB)

This difference being to mount a motor shelf above bench height.
RB 116k.jpg
RB 116.
(360.87 KiB)

One other minor variation is the word "Wadkin" cast into the front of this example.
RB 98.jpg
RB 158.
(88.41 KiB)

Cheers, Vann.
Last edited by Vann on 20 Mar 2021, 22:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Mike G » 20 Mar 2021, 14:28

Blimey, Vann, this is great research, and I'm sure we'd all give up a small appendage or internal organ in return for any Wadkin planer.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Vann » 20 Mar 2021, 22:16

Mike G wrote:Blimey, Vann, this is great research...
And there's a lot more to come (I can guarantee you'll be bored to death before the end :twisted: ).

Cheers, Vann.
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#3- Tables.

Postby Vann » 20 Mar 2021, 22:33

Continuing to work through the significant components of the RB, the next item on my list is the tables.

The RB, like it's big brother the RD, and cousin the RM buzzer/thicknesser (which I believe shares the same base and other features), has "draw out" motion to give better access to the knives and cutterblock.

On the RD and RM this is achieved by unclamping the table and wedge arrangement, and then sliding the whole assembly outwards

RB 90.jpg
The table arrangement on the RD surface planer.
(209.7 KiB)

RB 91.jpg
The toggle handle clamps the assembly to the base.
(315.29 KiB)

On the RB this "draw out" motion is achieved differently. The wedge sections (I wish I knew the correct name for them) are separate from the tables

RB 464 UK.jpg
The table arrangement on the RB surface planer.
(515.32 KiB)

RB 89.jpg
The tables "draw out" on the wedge sections and are clamped by this tee handle under the table.
(286.17 KiB)

RB 96.jpg
The tables can be removed leaving the wedge sections in place.
(329.69 KiB)

As far as I can see, the wedge sections have remained unchanged during the entire RB production period - except that they were lengthened with the change from 3' 9" length to 5' length tables (late 1920s?). The same appears to apply to the outfeed table.

The infeed table however, has gone through at least for variations - firstly to lengthen the table, then each subsequent change due to a change to the fence.

The first RBs have the fence attached to the infeed table by a dovetail in a groove (in the same way as the ripping fence is attached to the table on the PK saw). This required a dovetail groove to be machined across the width of the infeed table (including the rear extension required to support the fence when set at maximum width).

RB 98.jpg
(273.91 KiB)
RB 97.jpg
Note the rear extension - approximately 5" square.
(218.26 KiB)

I guess machining the dovetail groove was expensive, because sometime between RB 190 (mid-1931) and RBD 212 (mid 1932) Wadkin replaced the dovetail groove with a clamping bracket, mounted on the rear extension, to support a revised fence. There does not appear to be any change to the table casting - just a change to the machining processes.

RB 99.jpg
(751.51 KiB)
RB 94.jpg
Two bolt holes and two locating pins replace the dovetail groove.
(112.55 KiB)


In the last few years of production the fence was upgraded to the RD/RM fence requiring a larger infeed table extension.

Wadkin RB Buzzer-rb93-jpg Note the rear extension is bigger and now has angled sides.

While there may be some user mods in the form of bolt holes in the leading face of the infeed table, there's one pair of holes that appear on all machines from RB 876 to RB 1010 - consistently enough to be an OEM feature.

RB 36.jpg
(317.45 KiB)
Wadkin RB Buzzer-rb37-jpg
RB 35.jpg
(62 KiB)


Not quite sure what they're for - maybe for an optional pork-chop guard for the North American market?

Cheers, Vann.

Ps I'm having trouble with the site logging me out half way through posts - so I have to put up what I've got while the going is good, and complete posts later. So some pictures still coming... :?
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#4 - Handwheels.

Postby Vann » 29 Mar 2021, 12:18

Another component of the RB surface planer that evolved over the years, is the handwheels.

The first machines of 1926 had steel handwheels - small (2½" diameter) knurled knobs - to adjust the height of the infeed and outfeed tables.

RB 480.jpg
RB 116 outfeed wedge and adjustment mechanism - part way through overhaul.
(1.18 MiB)
RB 482.jpg
RB 116 during reassembly.
(1.52 MiB)

Early Wadkin PK saws used a similar (or identical) knurled steel knob on the rip fence.

PK 115.jpg
PK 115.
(641.09 KiB)

By RBA 158 (of 1930) this steel knob was replaced with a cast iron 'knobbled' knob.

RB 240.jpg
This example on RBA 418 of 1938.
(197.85 KiB)


This cast iron knob remained in use on the RB at least until RB 519 of 1946, but by RB 563 of 1947 it had been superseded by a cast iron 5-spoke handwheel (6" in diameter)...

RB 481.jpg
On an untagged RB of approx. 1947.
(958.12 KiB)

...which was last found on RB 677 of 1949.

During 1949 Wadkin changed the material used for some components of many machines, and the RB handwheels changed from cast iron 5-spoke to cast aluminium 3-spoke wheels, through to the end of RB manufacture in 1955.

RB 793hw.jpg
RB 793 of 1950.
(115.15 KiB)

Cheers, Vann.
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#5 - Fence.

Postby Vann » 01 Apr 2021, 12:02

Looking through my collection of Wadkin RB photographs, I find four significant different arrangements of fence.

The first is a short(ish) fence with a single gate.

RB 63.jpg
(236.37 KiB)

RB 62.jpg
Note that the fence is locked vertically (or at 45°) by a sliding tee handle clamping two steel slotted links, approx 10-12" apart.
(272.69 KiB)


The second arrangement is that shown in the catalogues.

RB 77.jpg
From a 1936 catalogue.
(362.04 KiB)

RB 78.jpg
From a 1941-ish catalogue.
(63.41 KiB)
The fence looks to be approximately the same length, again with a single gate. However, the fence is now locked using just a single cast iron link - a distinctive feature of the "standard" Wadkin RB.

Note that the rear view of the fence in the 1941ish catalogue shows two more bosses than shown in the 1936 catalogue, yet the first version of fence already had the two extra bosses - as shown in the photo of RB 183's fence (above). Never trust a catalogue cut - the marketing department may have photoshopped it.

RB 64a.jpg
(216.91 KiB)

RB 65a.jpg
(479.21 KiB)

RB 68a.jpg
(1.13 MiB)


The third arrangement adopts the RD surface planer fence (also found on the RM planer/thicknesser), but not the rack and pinion of the RD fence arrangement. It is longer than previous RB fences, has two gates, and is locked using twin links (like the first fence).

RB 69.jpg
(570.49 KiB)

RB 70.jpg
(167.51 KiB)

RB 74.jpg
(918.54 KiB)
RB 73.jpg
(328.76 KiB)


And finally, the fourth arrangement, with full RD fence - complete with rack and pinion adjustment.

RB 75.jpg
(125.27 KiB)
RB 76.jpg
(160.16 KiB)

Cheers, Vann.
Last edited by Vann on 17 Apr 2021, 11:38, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Guineafowl21 » 04 Apr 2021, 17:54

I’ve got another one for you:

1022F2F5-23E9-49F5-A2A0-5C08B4565A32.jpeg
(251.39 KiB)


This was bought from adidat of the other forum.

Looks early 1940-ish to me, but further info would be welcomed. More pics to follow when I’ve freed/cleaned everything up and put it back together.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Guineafowl21 » 08 Apr 2021, 16:59

Almost ready to run:

065144BD-D7B7-444F-8680-9DE36E24E36A.jpeg
(360.68 KiB)


27E8E468-632D-4AF4-9945-C563EE9644AD.jpeg
(341 KiB)
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Vann » 13 Apr 2021, 16:17

Guineafowl21 wrote:I’ve got another one for you...

...Looks early 1940-ish to me, but further info would be welcomed...
Thanks GF21. Adidat sent me pictures about the time he sold it to you.

It dates to 1938.

I'm envious that yours is nearly up and running.

Cheers, Vann.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Guineafowl21 » 13 Apr 2021, 20:24

Vann wrote:
Guineafowl21 wrote:I’ve got another one for you...

...Looks early 1940-ish to me, but further info would be welcomed...
Thanks GF21. Adidat sent me pictures about the time he sold it to you.

It dates to 1938.

I'm envious that yours is nearly up and running.

Cheers, Vann.

I had her spinning up for the first time this very evening! :obscene-drinkingcheers:

The switchgear door is non-standard, home-made out of some sheet steel.

Angle grinder with wire wheel worked like magic on the machined surfaces. I’m leaving the paint as it is - I think old machines should look like they’re used - but may lacquer over the top at some point.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Vann » 17 Apr 2021, 09:51

Guineafowl21 wrote:I had her spinning up for the first time this very evening!...
Nice! Have you planed wood with it yet?
Guineafowl21 wrote:...The switchgear door is non-standard, home-made out of some sheet steel...
It's a pity it's the "standard" door. I recently picked up a spare narrow door - but it won't fit your machine.

Cheers, Vann.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Guineafowl21 » 17 Apr 2021, 10:01

Vann wrote:
Guineafowl21 wrote:I had her spinning up for the first time this very evening!...
Nice! Have you planed wood with it yet?
Guineafowl21 wrote:...The switchgear door is non-standard, home-made out of some sheet steel...
It's a pity it's the "standard" door. I recently picked up a spare narrow door - but it won't fit your machine.

Cheers, Vann.

No wood planing just yet - the knives will need a sharpen and set-up, the latter of which takes a good half-hour of determined patience!

I put my back out lifting the top casting onto the stand - b ugger me, that was heavy, but a few years ago I wouldn’t have even noticed. Getting old :cry:

It’s for a mate who fell in love with my 1932 RBD, and wants it for his workshop which isn’t built yet. It will sit, for now, coated in WD40 and a cotton sheet.

At least the switchgear door is at the back. I would love, if anyone has one, a set of on/off buttons to fit in the side opening. Then I can hide that clunky DOL starter in the back compartment where it belongs.

EB7EABD1-856B-446E-9E73-50C9066B42C5.jpeg
(345.13 KiB)
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A Few More Early Machines.

Postby Vann » 17 Apr 2021, 13:05

Here are three more RB surface planers:

RBA 158.
RBA 158a.jpg
(434.78 KiB)
RBA 158b.jpg
(454.18 KiB)
wRBA 158 8623 UK.jpg
RBA 158 (Test 8623), of 1930.
(539.4 KiB)

RBA 190.
RBA 183a.jpg
(644.76 KiB)
RBA 183b.jpg
(674.33 KiB)
wRBA 183 9335 UK.jpg
RBA 183 (Test 9335), of 1931.
(385.46 KiB)

RB 190.
RB 190a.jpg
(1.08 MiB)
wRB 190 9407 UK.jpg
RB 190 (Test 9407), of 1931.
(1.5 MiB)

Like the first machines, all three have the early Main Casting with arch, the first style of Fence. They also have the early base casting with arch opening front and back, and no provision for electrical switchgear.

However they have the longer (5' overall) tables, and the table adjustment handles are the second style (knobbed cast iron knobs).

All three are located in the UK.

Cheers, Vann.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Vann » 25 Apr 2021, 01:52

The next RB in my photo collection is Guineafowl21's RBD 212 - already shown on the previous page
Guineafowl21 wrote:...As you may remember, I have an RBD (DC machine, but with a replacement 3ph AC motor)...

RBD 212 (Test 700), of July, 1932.
RB 212a.jpg
(1.12 MiB)
It shares most of the features of the previous three - except for a change to the second type of fence.

RB 212g.jpg
Fence at 90 degrees.
(439.61 KiB)
RB 212f.jpg
Fence at 45 degrees.
(491.47 KiB)

This change eliminates the dovetail groove in the infeed table - and possibly involves a change to the landing at the back of the infeed table for mounting the new fence bracket.

Cheers, Vann
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Mike G » 25 Apr 2021, 08:03

My goodness, that is a thing of beauty, Guineafowl21.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Guineafowl21 » 25 Apr 2021, 09:30

Mike G wrote:My goodness, that is a thing of beauty, Guineafowl21.

:text-+1: 1932, so there’s a hint of the Victorian era about it, when even mundane items like lamp posts were given curly brackets, fair curves and finials. It’s still in regular use, and planes the wood so flat there’s a slight suction to the out feed table.

The fence bracket locates on two dowels and two bolts. The sliding rod means it sits quite far away from the wall, so the dovetail design may have been preferable, but at least you can hang things like clamps behind it.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Vann » 01 May 2021, 06:05

Guineafowl21 wrote:...The fence bracket locates on two dowels and two bolts. The sliding rod means it sits quite far away from the wall, so the dovetail design may have been preferable, but at least you can hang things like clamps behind it.

I'd have thought you'd have poked a hole through the wall :eusa-naughty:

I know a guy who has two Wadkin CC radial arm saws. Those things take up a lot of space. He's knocked a hole through the end wall of his workshop and built a protruding box on the outside. When retracted, the end of the sliding carriages sits half a metre or more outside of the wall line. Very effective (but not very practical if your neighbours garage is on the other side of the wall) :shock: .

Cheers, Vann.
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The List.

Postby Vann » 01 May 2021, 06:14

To cut to the chase, here's the full list of the 51 Wadkin RB surface planers I've found photos of (or reliable information on) so far.

RB 105, test 4351, of Oct. 1926;
RB 106, test 4355, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 107, test 4357, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 108, test 4358, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 109, test 4359, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand (RIP in 1987);
RB 110, test 4360, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 111, test 4362, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 112, test 4365, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 113, test 4367, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RB 114, test 4370, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 115, test 4372, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand;
RB 116, test 4374, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RB 117, test 4375, of Oct. 1926 - New Zealand - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RB 118, test 4544, of Dec. 1926;
RB 119, test 4545, of Dec. 1926;
RBA 158, test 8623, of Sept., 1930, - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RBA 183, test 9335, of May, 1931, - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RB 190, test 9407, of June, 1931, - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RB 193, test 9452, of July, 1931, - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RBD 212, test 700, of July, 1932 - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RBV 231, test 1041, of 1932 - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RBV 255, test 2359, of 1934 - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RB 256, test 2360, of 1934 - United Kingdom - Wadkin & Co. tag;
RB 409, test 9969, of 1938 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RBA 418, test 10699, of 1938 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RBA 422, test 11103, of 1938 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RBA 464, test 14604, of 1940 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RBA 485, test 19730, of 1943 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RBA 497, test 25435, of 1945 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 512, (test no. unknown) - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 519, test 27047, of 1946 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 563, test 29408, of 1947 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 567, test 29231, of 1947 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 611, test 30332, of 1948 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 620, test 30372, of 1948 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RBA 666, test 32855, of March 1949 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 677, test 32956, of 1949 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 733, test 35300, of 1949 - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 734, test 35301, of 1949 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 745, test 35560, of 1950 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 763, test 37585, of Sept. 1950 - South Africa - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 793, test 38322, of 1950 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. tin tag;
RB 830, test 39773, of 1951 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 839, test 41647, of 1952 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 876, test 42337, of 1952 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 884, test 42634, of 1952 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 886, test 42636, of 1952 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 921, test 45225, of 1953 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 994, test 47891, of 1954 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 1010, test 50380, of 1954 - United Kingdom - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag;
RB 1024, test 50316, of 1954 - New Zealand - Wadkin Ltd. cast tag.

Edit: I find it interesting that, of these, 24 are in the UK, 22 are in New Zealand, and 1 in South Africa. I've not seen nor heard of a single one in Australia, and the only two I've seen in Canada had tags missing (and I know of two more in NZ with missing tags).

Cheers, Vann.
Last edited by Vann on 01 May 2021, 18:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Research.

Postby Vann » 01 May 2021, 09:25

Vann wrote:...a further document dated 17th September, 1930, summarises all new machinery received.

RB 1666d.jpg
(227.62 KiB)
Included is that the 12 Bench Planers - High Speed were shipped as follows:
- 3 to Auckland (nearest port to Otahuhu workshops) – value £176 6s 9d;
- 3 to Wellington (nearest port to Hutt workshops) – value £176 6s 9d;
- 3 to Lyttleton (nearest port to Addington workshops) – value £176 6s 5d;
- 3 to Port Chalmers (nearest port to Hillside workshops) – value £176 6s 5d.
an average value of £58 15s 6d each...


In an attempt to identify just which RB surface planers make up these twelve, I've consulted the test sheets for the first 15 RB surface planers off the Wadkin production line.

RB 105.jpg
(586.04 KiB)
RB 106.jpg
(770.06 KiB)
RB 107.jpg
(649.86 KiB)
RB 108.jpg
(579.54 KiB)
RB 109.jpg
(696.19 KiB)
RB 110.jpg
(634.47 KiB)
RB 111.jpg
(574.08 KiB)
RB 112.jpg
(701.61 KiB)
RB 113.jpg
(551.87 KiB)
RB 114.jpg
(544.27 KiB)
RB 115.jpg
(472.88 KiB)
RB 116.jpg
(494.69 KiB)
RB 117.jpg
(644.4 KiB)
RB 118.jpg
(649.23 KiB)
RB 119.jpg
(481.46 KiB)

These test sheets have enabled me to pick out the twelve machines with certainty as being RB 106 to RB 117. A quick summary of the 15 machines follows:

RB 105, test 4351, of 9th October, 1926;
RB 106, test 4355, of 11th October, 1926;
RB 107, test 4357, of 12th October, 1926;
RB 108, test 4358, of 12th October, 1926;
RB 109, test 4359, of 12th October, 1926;
RB 110, test 4360, of 13th October, 1926;
RB 111, test 4362, of 13th October, 1926;
RB 112, test 4365, of 14th October, 1926;
RB 113, test 4367, of 14th October, 1926;
RB 114, test 4370, of 15th October, 1926;
RB 115, test 4372, of 16th October, 1926;
RB 116, test 4374, of 18th October. 1926;
RB 117, test 4375, of 18th October, 1926;
RB 118, test 4544, of 14th December, 1926;
RB 119, test 4545, of 15th December, 1926.


It is rumoured that Wadkin started each model at #105 - and so far that appears to be the case (with the exception of their MN). RB 105 therefore is likely to have been the first off the production line - and the test page would tend to support that in so far as there is a lot more detail on that sheet than the others, and that machine was test run for 6 hours, whereas the following 14 machines were only test run for between 2:30 and 4 hours.

RB 105 was flat belt driven and had a stand (the NZ Railway dozen were/are “bench” planers). RB 118 also had a stand, and RB 119 was also belt driven. In addition both RB 105 and RB 118 have "F.S.cutter blocks" (if I read that correctly)...

RB 105c.jpg
RB 105.
(85.53 KiB)
RB 118c.jpg
RB 118.
(70.31 KiB)
...whereas RB 107, RB 109 and RB 111 are noted as having a "plain cutter block". Both RB 113 (in Christchurch) and RB 116 (in my garage) have plain cutter blocks.

I would guess that RB 105 was retained by Wadkin for their showroom - and was probably used for this artwork:

RB 105a.jpg
Catalogue cut from Melbourne Matty.
(846.12 KiB)
Whereas the "railway dozen" came in this format.

RB 314.jpg
RB 116 during overhaul.
(152.1 KiB)

Cheers, Vann.
Last edited by Vann on 01 May 2021, 18:31, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Guineafowl21 » 01 May 2021, 10:30

:text-coolphotos:
I wonder if any modern wood machine gets 3-6 hours of testing before release?

@Vann your list is missing RBA 422, test 11103, 1938 Wadkin Ltd. tin tag. Currently sitting under a cotton sheet, covered in WD40.

And no, I won’t be drilling a hole in the wall to accept the fence rod! Lucky I didn’t, since I’ve just had to move the machine to the right to enable planing of 2.5m, 63x200mm redwood baulks: RBD 212 (1932), Wadkin and co. cast tag, is currently helping me produce some custom architrave and picture rail mouldings for an estate.
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Andyp » 01 May 2021, 12:20

Vann, do you think the contents of this thread would be better saved for prosperity in a book?
cheers

Andy

2 wrongs don’t make a right but 3 lefts will
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Re: Developement of the Wadkin RB Surface Planer.

Postby Vann » 01 May 2021, 18:09

Guineafowl21 wrote:...@Vann your list is missing RBA 422, test 11103, 1938 Wadkin Ltd. tin tag. Currently sitting under a cotton sheet, covered in WD40...
Oops! Now rectified :oops:

Guineafowl21 wrote:...And no, I won’t be drilling a hole in the wall to accept the fence rod! Lucky I didn’t, since I’ve just had to move the machine to the right....
A-hah - maybe a slot in the wall then ;)

Cheers, Vann.
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