So Pete, his two sons, and I did the skil plane timeline at the Boardroom Show and we really learned a lot just putting the thing together. It was great seeing some of you there and I regret not getting more pictures. We just got our feet wet on this one and plan on expanding on this display as we gather and learn more. The tool is such an important part of our history and our goal is to accurately document it's origins, production, and use.
Our source for research is:
1. Original Dated Material- Brochures, instructions, sales receipts, etc.
2. First hand knowledge (shapers)- Yater, Thrailkill, etc.
3. First hand knowledge (technicians)- Casica. Hopefully some older Skil engineers. Also I hear about Pete's Hawaii and Japan counterparts who we still have to gruel.
4. The planers themselves- technical and general observations. original cases with the original contents still inside (still fairly common)
5. Photo History- Any source, personal, internet, whatever. (There's one of Able Gomes that I've seen before that seems to have disappeared from the internet, stuff like that)
6. Second hand knowledge- Not always dependable but sometimes cool stuff, a spark that always requires cross reference.
So any help is always appreciated. Use this thread to post anything you think is pertinent. Thanks!
More pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10208513581468966.1073741832.1590745339&type=1&l=0a03ebb777
Albeit briefly, it was great seeing you again Gene. Hope your trip was a success. The display turned out great. I learned a lot from it. Thanks for putting it together. Hope it all turns out to be better then planned and expected.
What you're doing is no less than a noble cause. I'm glad that you have the desire to see this thru. Pete told me about the possibility of taking the show on the road to places like Surfing Heritage, Hunington Beach Surfing Museum, SC Surfing Museum etc. It was great hanging with you guys, talking story etc. I appreciate your efforts . Lowel
It been a while since we've posted on this thread and did the Boardroom planer exhibit. We may do an updated show this year with any new information learned. So I'll start posting tidbits that we learned in the last couple years to stoke some interest for more info gathering.
Skilsaw Inc. changed its name to "Skil Corp" in 1952 which happens to be the first year the Skil Planers (190, 676) showed up in their brochures. The very first Skil planers, both models, said "SKILSAW, INC" on the badge. They printed new badges probably sometime late '52 or early '53 with their new name "SKIL CORP" and also put on the patent #, maybe for legal reasons. So the ones that say "Skilsaw" are the very first Skil planers, 1952.
Thanks for putting this information up. Very interesting and very important to record it before it evaporates.
All the best
Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. - Winston Churchill
Yes I hadn't thought about this discussion in awhile. Thanks for bringing it back up front. Wish I had some history to contribute. all I know is that they are a great tool that was adapted to something other than it's intended purpose. It was probably '64 or '65 before I had ever heard of them. I put a grit barrel on one recently and it's like a completely differant planer. If anyone is interested in acquiring a restored Skil I have several For Sale. Just haven't thought about them lately. Need to find a good home for all of them. Lowel
Hi Lowell. I still use the one I bought from you a few years back. Do you have any idea of its age and any interesting tidbits on it. I think you said Bill T did some work on it. Mike
At the time Pete wasn't doing the bead blast and repainting and cosmetics; But he did all the mechanical on that 5.5. Belt, bearings, blades and cord. He did however get rid of the fluorescent Pink paint some carpenter had marked it with. Pete or Gene could tell you more about it if you pass along the Type and serial # to them. I was going to send you some extra Phillips Screws I had, but sorry, I never got around to it. If you PM me your address I'll make sure I do. Nice to just pick up one type of screwdriver when you're working on it.
I have a few observations and questions about this photo of Able Gomes. It's the earliest photo I know of a Skil Planer in the Surfboard industry. Abel is standing above what appears to be a stack of early foam blanks with a tool that I can't make out. First hand knowledge or speculation based on first hand knowledge would be helpful. Looking for insight from the OG surfboard builders here.
- Abel Jerome Gomes (1910 to 1967)
- Abel appears to be in his late 40s or older (late 50s photo?)
- ??? The two skegs I see in the photo look older
- ? Foam Blanks
- Foam first introduced in the late '50s
- First dated material from Skilsaw showing a Skil Planer = 1952
- Is that his son Alan Gomes holding the planer?
- Where is this Photo taken?
- Any 1st hand knowledge of the year?
- Anybody have more pictures of a Skil from this era? Or 60s-70s?
a guy posting as Alan Gomes was on Sway's back in 2010-2011... his name pulls up a few threads still. I haven't had time to dig through them but there might be more photos or answers (or just interesting information) in those old threads?
for example in this thread is photo captioned Alan Gomes, to me it does not really look like the guy holding the Skil in your picture (but I could be wrong!)https://www.swaylocks.com/forums/alan-gomes-and-al-nelson
actually there is an 8 year old post showing that it wasn't really alan gomes posting here, it was a guy writing a book about the Gomes family: "Mcding.....can you think of anything else about allan? I am going to start to write a book about allan and his father abel. here is my number 909 917 8609 . Allans two girls would love to know more about allans early surf time.' mark wakeling"
Makes sense there would be a Skil planer around, based on this info from another site: "This guy Abel Gomes made the boards. He was a woodworker. Tom wasn’t that much of a woodworker. But, he had the ideas, you know. He knew what he wanted. “Abel Gomes worked for a place they called Honolulu Sash and Door and they made all this kind of stuff. He was an expert carpenter and woodworker." http://www.legendarysurfers.com/2015/06/