As mentioned in a previous post, I was in the midst of planing quite a bit of hard maple, when my planer decided it was not hungry anymore, and would not feed the lumber under any circumstance – I tried the “here comes an airplane”... no go. I tried the “I’ll get you ice cream if you finish all the lumber” – nope. I tried “I’ll tell mama you didn’t finish your wood” – nada.
So I decided to play doctor and open it up and see what’s up. no, it was never a fantasy of mine, but I do like to fix my own things (as long as it’s within my capacity to do so).
The roller mechanism is fairly simple. 2 rods that the rollers are mounted on, 1 rod (front) is being driven by the cutterhead via a gear mechanism that reduces the RPMs (and integrates with the speed selection switch). Then, the front rod is driving the back rod by means of 2 sprockets and a chain between them. real simple.
To get to the roller mechanism, you use the supplied wrench and remove 3 set screws:
the entire side cover comes off to reveal the mechanism where I found the front sprocket broken in half:
Actually, I only found half of the sprocket – I have no idea what happened to the 2nd half, which made me wonder if it even broke recently or before I got the planer. Regardless, I ordered a replacement part for $3 from a local dewalt service center. real nice guys in Billerica, MA.
Here you can see the half sprocket with it’s replacement part:
it was just a matter of putting everything back again (with the new part obviously) and call it a day. mind you -the sprocket has a lip on 1 side, and should be installed with the lip facing inside (towards the planer) – for over excitement I installed it reversed – yup, you can probably imagine where this is heading….
So, I installed everything back together – except for the cover, and turned the planer on – lo and behold, the planer is running, and the rollers are moving ! YEAH! good stuff right there….
now the other sprocket broke in half :( I have a strong feeling it’s because the sprockets were each installed opposite (one with lip inwards, one with lip outwards) but since the other sprocket broke and fell out I can’t guarantee this. the other alternative which I really hope is not the reason is that there might be something else that was causing the sprocket to break.
So, back to ordering another sprocket (I’ll get a few just in case as backup).
This is theoretically how you’d fix the rollers, although you may want to pay more attention to which way the sprockets are put in so that you’ll actually be fixing it and be done with it. in my case – planer is still out of commission. I ended up hand planing/thicknessing the rest of the lumber for the cutting board I’m working on. not hard, but just takes more focus as you have to pay attention to flatness and thickness per board manually rather than just shoving all boards into the planer and worrying not.
On the other hand – I had success fixing my Lathe. Since it’s non woodworking related, I started my own blog for that, you are all welcome to check it out as it’s focused on machining and metal/solid material work. you can read it HERE
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.