12″ AMERICAN 505

This is my largest molder. And the only one not currently running. It runs good, but I just haven’t yet completed the installation. It’s weird, but it sometimes aspects of life require a distraction from running anachronistic machines.

Just recently positioned the machine in it’s final resting place. Once the line shaft is up, I may need to budge it around a little.

Last Winter, I removed the rust that had been created by a leaky roof while I was away with the railroad for a number of years. This Winter I plan to make it go. Next Winter some blow pipe is on the agenda.

This is the knife setting gauge. It rides in the jointing bar. The bar and the setter also fit the bottom head at the rear of the machine. In this picture the mircrometer adjusting bearing cap and clamp are clearly visible. On the left are the hold downs for the forward end of the pressure bar. In the bed, still rusty, is the bed plate. It has a smooth side and this trenched side. The trenches allow knives to cut clear through the work.

In this picture, all three bearings of the top spindle are visible. The spindle is five feet long. The near bearing slides of in order to remove the cutter head. On the jointing bar is the jointer. The 505 is designed to do single knife work or perform as a “fast-feed” machine, in his case, 75 feet a minute. Good performance at high feed speeds will require four jointed knives.

This jointer is designed to follow a template if desired. The little thumb screws pinch the template in a slot.

This picture shows more of the same. I include it because it’s a pretty picture.

This is the jointer for the side heads. Shown here at the outside head. The spindles on the 505 are 1 13/16″. The machine is equipped with a host of matcher heads for the usual matched products. The swing and traverse is the typical Houston thinking on the subject. I kinda think I like the Rowley and Hermance system better but it may have advantages I haven’t yet discovered.

This was taken with the upper feed rolls removed for de-rusting and pitch removal. I am standing on the bed. The point is to illustrate not only the double hinge of the feed drive but also the lead. Good molders have lead to drive the material to the fence or machine frame. The 505 also has a paralleling device. On my Rowley and Hermance patent machine, feed rolls can also be skewed to create more lead. You can see that the 505 has quite a bit of lead designed into the works.

These are the upper roll drive works. The two speed “transmission” is on the left. The covers, removed here, do a nice job of protecting the gears. The feed power goes belt, with two speed step pulleys, the chain drive, and finally gear drive to the rolls.

This is the belt tensioner for the top head. This head has a continuous leather belt. The tensioner takes up stretch and slack. I am of mixed minds on tensioner. Many that I have seen are disabled or burned up.


Thanks to the gift of a motor and starter, the 12″ is running again.

And another movie about the first set up since 1988. It has been a while but I finally get to use this fine machine. 2012.


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