In my last post, I mentioned my planer seizing up entirely. I couldn’t move the belts, and I couldn’t spin the knife wheel. I also talked about how insanely built the Craftsman 13” is, and I still stand behind that. I think taking apart my Toyota pickup’s engine might be less involved. I finally found the secret under the black slide-in plastic caps that the top rods sit in. There were access ports that let me undo some hex screws and finally lift off the top shrouds (one required several hammer blows to loosen) which in turn released the side panels and opened up another world of hurt inside. I took apart the gear box to get in deeper, and about a dozen rods fell out. The gear box isn’t held together on it’s own. You have to balance a dozen rods between two plates while installing the whole thing into the box. That’ll be fun to reinstall.
It didn’t get any easier once inside, and I’d say it even got harder. I’ll save you all of that, but suffice it to say that after giving up on it for 3 weeks (I can’t believe how fast time is flying by this year), I spent the last 2 days on it and finally found the issue. As I said, Jimi_C got it right in my last post. The bearing was blown out on one end of the knife wheel.
Here’s the good bearing on the knife wheel:
And here’s the one that blew out. Note that it’s all streaked with black, and the cap is popped out. You can see the retaining ring inside the cap, too:
Next up, I have to figure out how to pull it. I’ve already used my gear puller on several pieces to get in this far, but it’s about 3/16” too short to reach the bearing with that long rod sticking through it. Also, because it’s a 2-arm puller, instead of a 3-arm, one sits nicely in a flat, and the other would bang into one of the knife edges, if it could reach. I’m not super keen on removing the knives just yet. I tried to torque one of the hex screws out, and couldn’t get it to budge. There are a bunch of them on each knife, and these were lined up very nicely and still sharp enough. I just want to pull that bearing, pop a new one on, and probably spend 2 days fighting it all back together. That reminds me. I’m going to have to find a new bearing somewhere, too.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator