Dream Machines: Mike Korsak’s 1943 Oliver 12-in. jointer
With its direct-drive three-phase motor, the Oliver isn't something that you can just plug into any old 220-volt outlet. In order to feed the beast, Mike outfitted his shop with a three-phase rotary converter, something he doesn't regret for a minute
Mike Korsak does some incredible work in his nicely outfitted shop in Pittsburgh, Pa. It’s outfitted with the usual suspects: tablesaw, planer, drill press, and dust collector. But as soon as you walk in, your eyes are drawn to a beast of a machine, a 12-in Oliver jointer made in 1943. It’s a strange dichotomy when you see something so massive and heavy–both physically and visually–yet capable of, and vital to, the unbelievably fine work that Mike produces.
With its direct-drive three-phase motor, the Oliver isn’t something that you can just plug into any old 220-volt outlet. To feed the beast, Mike outfitted his shop with a three-phase rotary converter, which takes the single-phase power found in most residential neighborhoods and converts it to the three-phase power required to power the Oliver. An expense that normally comes in under $1,000 was easy for Mike to justify because he quickly followed it up with a three-phase planer.
So, if you’re ever looking for an excuse to buy a three-phase machine, the answer may be as simple as buying two!
More on FineWoodworking.com:
- Making Three-Phase Machines Work in a One-Phase Shop
- Master the Jointer – Veteran instructor shows how to get better results and stay safe
- A Man and His Jointer – Tony O’Malley’s 1940s Oliver jointer is proof that woodworking machines can be works of art.