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  • Writer's pictureChuck Hess just another sponge in the sea of knowledge

Oliver Model #361, 30" Heavy Planer

Updated: Jan 2

Oliver # 361 30" Planer & Porter 30" Facer
Oliver # 361 30" Planer & Porter 30" Facer


Hey all, we have just finally received these 2 awesome machines from a trade deal that started over 3 years ago. Yep that's a long time, sort of another casualty of covid, because this started right before that happened. It has been a series of delays since then, including us moving the shop to Texas 1100 miles further away. I had started getting used to the idea that I might never actually take possession of these. But all the sudden things started moving largely due to a friend of ours that was willing and able to pick these up and deliver them to us. Thanks again Smitty (let the smack talk begin)! The planer is 8000 pounds, according to the brochure, so loading, transporting and unloading, took a little extra consideration. That is a 16 foot wide door in the above pic for scale. Here are some arrival pics;

Now we are evaluating these new acquisitions and finding out that there is not a lot of info around about either one of these. I guess that's the pitfall of rare machines? I had basically bought these sight unseen, because they were in the very back of a loaded container and previous owner couldn't get pics, so seeing them on the trailer in essence for the first time was pretty exciting, I'm not gonna lie! This planer is big, it makes our 299 planer look like a lunch box! Initial inspection reveals machines cutter heads are spinning freely, that's a good sign! The machines look a little rough from storage but seem solid. We got 2 grinders with the planer, neither of which are the correct one, so I am just starting to solve that mystery. If anyone reading this can help me figure out the grinder thing that would be great! A friend of ours has the grinder from a model 261 planer so we are trying to see if that is the same. The planer has a straight knife cutter head, 4 knives. We are also missing the jointing bar, and the previous owner forgot to load the dust hood, so we have some loose ends to tie up. That's it for now, I'll post updates as we move through the restoration process. Thanks for looking and hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

12-30-2023 Hey All, I have been working on a little history to try and figure out which was first, the Oliver 261 or the 361, the biggest difference between the 2 is the 261 has jack screws for table movement and the 361 is a wedge bed. I have narrowed it down by going to the brochures. So the last Oliver 61 brochure, the previous model planer, that I have is from 1931. The oldest brochures I have from the model 261 is 1937, as well as 1937 for the 361. So there was also a little thing going on called the great depression and I think it is unlikely that Oliver rolled out a big, new, expensive planer model right then? With Oliver Machinery Co. you never know. The oldest machine I have seen was a 361 from 1938-39. I did order a Manual from Jon @ but have not received it yet. Oliver manuals were mostly pretty bare bones, so we'll see if it teaches me anything. I am thinking the top end of these two models might be the same or at least use the same grinders. The reason I want to know that is I have located a 261 planer grinder in Georgia and my spidy senses tell me it will fit.

Happy New Year everybody!

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