Obscure planer

Has anyone seen one of these? Its an old Rockwell 167A power block plane. Seems like it would be great for rail bands. Unfortunately my dad ground a radius into the cutter years ago and I can’t find a replacement. Anyone have a spare cutter (doubt it) or an idea of were to find one. I found a place that has some parts for my big 653, but they had never even heard of the 167A.

I see lots of those on ebay, sometimes spare cutter heads come up. Also try searching for Porter Cable 167 parts (rockwell tools were bought out by them).

you might try this place -


I’ve had a few of these planers. I wouldn’t suggest them for rail bands however, but perhaps for short boards up into the deck nose rocker concave. They were not manufactured very long, as I was told by a long-time Rockwell - Porter Cable tech rep that they had liability issues with this planer. Left-handed people would cup their right hand over it as they were planing and snip a few fingers on the open side. As other post mentioned, they are often offerred on ebay.


My dad warned my about the finger nibbling. (His are still intact.) I contacted Ace tool repair but they don’t have anything available for the 167 anymore. Guess I’ll keep an eye on ebay. Why don’t think it would work for rail bands? Just curious. Thanks for the info and help. Eric

Spud, I still have one of those planers, although I haven’t used it for years. But I agree that they wouldn’t be too good for rail bands. They were made so your hand is placed under the “handle” with the thumb on one side and all the fingers on the other.

They were good for little quick edge trim jobs, and I think the design wasn’t too bad as far as getting a good feel for the planer and the material it was meant to cut. However, they are not adjustable on the fly, so going from zero to a deeper cut as you travel down the board isn’t in the picture.


Gotcha. I’ve used power planers for years, just never for shaping and I still haven’t gotten the hang of adjusting depth on the fly. I just end up making a series of shallow cuts and try to keep everything symmetric. I guess I liked the idea of the 167 just because it is so much lighter than the 653. Thanks Doug.

Aloha Spud,

You questioned why the 167 is not ideal for rail bands. Agree with Doug about the inability to adjust on the fly, but maybe even more importantly in my opinion, is the fact it has too short a soul (bottom). As you know from using hand planes and power planers, the accuracy of a long plane cut is obtained by the long bottom soul of the plane which rides over the valleys and cuts off the hills. A short block plane just goes up and down the valleys and does not produce the long end to end clean cuts that you want on rail bands. You could argue that if the deck is planed perfectly smooth and accurate prior to doing the bands, any short plane would produce the bands, but I would still want the correct tool for each sequential task.

I belive the 653 is a great planer and superior to the skil 100, but most shapers find the heavy weight to be overkill for shaping modern boards, a physical nuisance to operate for any length of time, and it will flex a board downward between the two ends of the shaping rack when making passes causing uneven depths in your passes. The 653 is good for wood or more dense classic foam on thicker longboards, or for door edges as it and the skill 100 were designed for. My thoughts anyway for what they are worth.

Enjoy the ride!

richard mccormick

PS: Any Delta / Porter Cable service center will service the 167 planer and some do have parts.

The 167 was made in an “abrasive” version too, which was the same machine with a small sanding drum in place of the cutter head. Probably even more obscure, ha ha.

PS maybe you could modify the sole on the 167 to make it a better shaping tool…oh no, it’s a Swaylock’s tool challenge!

(Where’s Herb?)

I’ve used my 167 reaching across the deck and cutting the rail crown on the opposite side one handed.

It fits right in to the nose rocker curve on shortboards where amateurs like me have problems with a longer sole. With a big plane, even turned almost completely sideways, I still have trouble in there.

Also, the spiral cutter doesn’t seem to chunk out foam as much as a straight blade.

I can hear the groans from here.