Reply by Alex Lane

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Posted on Problem with my Dewalt 734 Planer - HELP!

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Alex Lane

500 posts in 3855 days

#1 posted 03-11-2010 09:38 PM

I have a DW733, which is practically identical, except yours has one more knife in the cutterhead than mine. I’ve done extensive overhauling to mine, and pretty much know it inside and out… So then, try this if the above suggestions don’t help:

First, put on some safety glasses, turn the planer on and look at the feed rollers while it’s running. Are the feed rollers turning? If they are, then likely the problem is what you stated above—they’re just not grabbing the wood. If this is the case, there may be a problem with how the rollers are mounted in the planer. There are springs that force the rollers down toward the bed of the planer, and if the springs are faulty or worn out, the rollers will not exert enough downward pressure on the wood to pull it through.

If the rollers don’t spin while the planer is running or if the rear roller only is spinning, you may have either a broken chain or a broken sprocket in the “drive section” of the machine. HERE ARE SOME EXPLODED DRAWINGS OF THE PLANER. REFER TO THESE AS YOU GO THROUGH THE FOLLOWING STEPS. YOU MIGHT WANT TO PRINT THESE OUT: Main Assembly, Motor Assembly, and Base Assembly. I’ll be referring to part numbers that relate directly to the drawings.

To check for drive sprocket/gear problems:

1. Make sure the machine is unplugged, and raise the planer head as high as you can (Make sure you have some snap-ring pliers handy for later, in case you have to remove a sprocket. Also, I FIND THAT METRIC ALLEN KEYS WORK BEST on this planer, as well as medium and small Phillips screwdrivers).
2. Take off the crank handle [part #101 and #97]
3. Remove the 4 bolts [part #96] from the top cover [part #95]
4. Remove the four small screws that hold the planer sides to the cover [part #1]. Then lift off the cover and set it aside, and lift out the planer sides [part #3 and #19].

Your planer should now have only the base, the 4 guide posts, and the cutterblock.

As you face the front of the planer (the side that says DeWalt), you want to look on the left side for a plastic cover [part #36] between the two left-hand guide posts. This is covering the sprocket & chain assembly.

5. Toward the left side, there are two screws [part #35] threaded upward into the bottom of the cutterblock. Remove these and remove the plastic cover [#36].

6. Examine the chains and sprockets. Are any parts broken? Are all the teeth on the sprockets?
7. If there’s no visible damage, turn the planer on, and observe the feed rollers and the chains/sprockets. Do they turn? If not, use the snap-ring pliers to remove the snap rings [part #37].
8. Remove the chains and sprockets [#32, #38, and #178]. Be patient and try to remove each chain with its two sprockets all at once. Check the sprockets for broken keys. If they have been broken, you’ll need to get new sprockets.

Hopefully you will have found the problem by now. If not, bolt just the top cover back on without the sides, put your crank handle back on, and try to plane a board. While it’s going through the planer, watch the left side of the planer to see if the feed rollers raise slightly away from the planer bed. If not, they may be jammed in an ‘upward’ position.

To remove the rollers:

1. Find a board of wood that is long enough to be under both feed rollers at once, and about 6 to 7” wide. Put it on its thin edge on the planer and lower the planer (with the POWER OFF) down onto the edge of the board.
2. Rotate the cutterhead so that knives are won’t push into the board.
3. Then crank the planer down onto the board as solidly as you can. It might be good to remove the crank handle and use Vise Grip pliers on the crank shaft.
4. Then remove the screws that hold the roller brackets in [part #35 which is the same type of screw that held the plastic sprocket cover on].
5. Take the brackets off [part #56].
6. Gently raise the planer head up and the rollers SHOULD come out of the bottom of the planer. If they don’t, they’re probably jammed up and won’t “float” over the wood you put through the planer.
7. See if you can check the springs [part #73 and #58] for being faulty, and lubricate the roller blocks where they fit into the planer head. I noticed that on the DW734, the springs are configured differently than on my DW733. On your planer, there is a different spring on the right-hand infeed roller than the rest of the springs. On mine, the left-hand outfeed spring has TWO springs—one inside the other for added force. If you need to, order the springs for the DW733 and put them in your planer. This should work just fine.

Go to Dewalt Service Net and register a free account with them to order parts.

Put the rollers back in using the same method as you removed them, and run another test board through the planer. You may end up needing to order new rollers or springs.

I hope you can get this fixed. I’ve only ever had trouble with my feed rollers when I put a board through that had a shellac finish on it. That made the board slippery and the rollers wouldn’t grab it.

Sorry for the long tutorial, but DeWalt doesn’t put this kind of instructions in the owner’s manual.
Let me know if you have any questions or need more help!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

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