I was never under any delusion that having my own woodworking business would be all fun, just making stuff from wood. All in all, it’s been about 50% of it at best so far. That’s another discussion though, esp. since I am still fully adjusting.
So I finally had a significant machine failure. I was feeding a piece of maple through the planer and it slowed part way through, like it was turned off mid-feed, except that it wasn’t consistent. There was nothing unusual about the wood or the method of feeding it. I heard a strange sound from the left side so I took off the belt cover and got an unpleasant surprise, as well as the reason. The lower, motor shaft pulley came loose when the bolt washer and key came off. It didn’t appear there was much damage so I tried to reset it, but the key holes weren’t aligned properly. The 3 belts would have to come off to work on that. That was easy enough, but I tried to pull off the pulley without much luck. I reseated the pulley fully and found that it could spin with a bit of effort. Seems when the parts came off, the pulley was allowed to spin on the shaft, enough to loosen it slightly. There was a tiny bit of metal shavings and no marks on the shaft so chances are it’s from the pulley.
Once the pulley was seated and secured (using a couple blocks of wood and a clamp to keep the pulley from spinning), I put the belts back on. With the motor mounting bolts tightened, I fired the machine back up only to see it struggling to rotate very slowly and pop the internal circuit. It seemed like the start capacitor was failing so I went into town to get a new one. I soldered on the new one, but that turned out to not be the solution. There was only one more logical possibility for this problem.
I removed the fan cover from the motor as well as the fan. It became apparent quickly that trying to take off the pulley caused a misalignment of the start switch contact points. The contact point was off enough to prevent the capacitor from getting the proper charge. Once it was adjusted the motor started properly with the centrifugal switch engaging fully.
After, it was all back together, I started it up for a test run only to hear a loud ping each time it started. I took the cover off to see if the pulley had a new problem. I started it up and there was no ping. I figured the belts weren’t tensioned properly so I adjusted the motor mounts. That did it.
I ended up with a missed day of productivity in the shop. If it ain’t one thing, it’s another – all part of the deal.
-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) || http://www.birchhillwoodcrafts.com