All Replies on Problem with my Dewalt 734 Planer - HELP!

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Problem with my Dewalt 734 Planer - HELP!

by Cozmo35
posted 03-11-2010 06:40 PM

31 replies so far

View cigarman's profile


4 posts in 3100 days

#1 posted 03-11-2010 07:35 PM

Hello I would not clean with mineral spirits but would try acitone this will leave no residue on the wheels

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 3065 days

#2 posted 03-11-2010 08:00 PM

I used to service photo copiers and printers. Try using a cotton rag soaked with isopropyl alcohol. No residue and it works wonders on taking away the shiny buildup that causes them to slide.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

508 posts in 3942 days

#3 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

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3088 days

#4 posted 03-11-2010 09:48 PM

Alane! WOW! You really know your ShTuF! I WILL put this infomation to good use!! _THANK YOU!*

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 3181 days

#5 posted 03-12-2010 07:44 PM


Had the same problem with the 735. If things check and the rollers are rolling, then you may have the problem I encountered. Its simply friction on the bed. I cleaned the bed with mineral spirits and coated it with Slip IT and the problem was instantly solved. Paste wax will probable work as well. You might want to try this before you disassemble your machine.

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3088 days

#6 posted 03-12-2010 08:21 PM

mcase, Thanks! I will. I wasn’t looking forward to taking that thing apart! You LJ people are AWESOME! I appreciate it!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3088 days

#7 posted 03-15-2010 04:23 AM

mcase, The Paste wax worked!! THANKS!!!!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3532 days

#8 posted 03-15-2010 04:32 AM

Yep…the wax on the bed is the key. You will find after time the pitch and resin in the wood will cause it to start to stick. Rewax the bed and you should be fine.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View sphere's profile


109 posts in 3083 days

#9 posted 03-15-2010 04:56 AM

dull knives do that too on mine.

-- Spheramid Enterprises Architectural Wood Works

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

508 posts in 3942 days

#10 posted 03-15-2010 05:01 AM

Cozmo, I’m just as elated as you are that you don’t have to take the planer apart!!! I did have a broken sprocket at one time, and I had to fix it. I hope it never happens to you, but you’ll know how to take care of it if it does happen.

In the meantime…Hooray for you!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View hunter56's profile


2 posts in 3084 days

#11 posted 03-15-2010 05:03 AM

If your tool is on warranty never tear it apart if you are going to have a sevice center work on it. You will void the warranty. Hope the bed cleaning works but sometimes Dewalt just gets a bad batch of planers.

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

508 posts in 3942 days

#12 posted 03-15-2010 05:09 AM

OOOH! I totally apologize for suggesting that you take your NEW planer apart… Mine was far past the warranty when it needed repair, and the broken part was my own fault. I tried to plane a board that tapered in thickness (I never bothered to check). The thinner end of the board went into the planer first, and it kept getting thicker and thicker until one of the drive sprockets snapped…

Thanks for the reminder hunter56!!


-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View JCWoodworker's profile


41 posts in 2812 days

#13 posted 11-04-2010 07:21 PM

Dewalt 735 Planer- Motor ran and then stopped and will not turn back on. It’s about 4 years old, I already checked the brushes and they are still good. Any suggestions? Or is the motor shot?

-- John Cahill

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3226 days

#14 posted 11-04-2010 07:24 PM

JC: Stupid question, but doesn’t the 735 have a circuit breaker ?

If so, did yours trip (overload condition)?

If it did …. easy fix :-)

-- -- Neil

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3195 days

#15 posted 11-04-2010 07:34 PM

Just posting to say that JCWoodworker has also made his own thread for this question:

View eddy's profile


939 posts in 3416 days

#16 posted 11-04-2010 08:52 PM

Alane your post on this planer question is great and very informative
thank’s for sharing

-- self proclaimed copycat

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

508 posts in 3942 days

#17 posted 11-04-2010 09:06 PM

Anytime. I’ve had to give my planer some serious TLC, and it still runs like a champ! If you ever have questions, send a message and I’ll try to help, even if I only make things worse…LOL.

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View McLeanVA's profile


491 posts in 3486 days

#18 posted 12-03-2010 12:28 AM

This thread saved me time, money and a ton of angst. I too have a DW734 and had been frustrated with its performance over the past few weeks. It just quit pulling boards through and I was forced to use a thin push stick to coax them through to the outfeed table. I honed the blades a bit with a handheld sharpener, paste waxed the bed and rubbed the rollers with some mineral spirits (only thing I had on hand) and I was shocked at how immediate the results were. Thank you LJs. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.

-- Measure, cut, curse, repeat.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3578 days

#19 posted 12-03-2010 01:36 AM

Thank you Cozmo35 and all the rest of you! My DeWalt has the same problem and I called the company and got the same rather lame answers that didn’t help at all. I will head for the shop and get the wax out!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2975 days

#20 posted 12-03-2010 04:43 AM

I have a 735 and never had a problem…yet…thanks for the tips and I’ll know what to look for when it happens.

-- Life is good.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3700 days

#21 posted 12-03-2010 06:57 AM

I had a DW734 – It’ important to keep the beds clean of pitch and
waxed. Watch for pitch build on the rollers too.

I broke a drive sprocket for the chain eventually. It’s a sintered sprocket
which is cheap and prone to break, but it does perhaps prevent motor
burnout by breaking. The part costs about $12. Taking the planer base
apart to fix it is a pain but once it’s apart the fix is pretty easy.

I ran a lot of feet through that planer. I still complained when the
sprocket broke, but, realistically, the maintenance costs of the machine
were pretty low.

Setting up your infeed and outfeed supports is important with lightweight
planers for a good cut and smooth feed. Also make sure your cuts are not
too deep (variable according to wood density and width) and, for optimum
performance, use dust collection.

View conwaydog's profile


42 posts in 3821 days

#22 posted 12-14-2010 12:43 AM

My dewalt planer is trying to break down on me before I finish a Christmas present, so Im asking the LJ pros for help. It is pulling the material thru but the motor is making random clicking noises and it will stop feeding for a second and will continue feeding. Is it possible for the drive chain to be stretched and allowing it to jump the sprocket?

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3700 days

#23 posted 12-14-2010 01:29 AM

These planer do that. Clean the feed rollers with mineral spirits,
wax and buff the tables.

View Jenine's profile


146 posts in 1775 days

#24 posted 11-10-2013 02:23 PM

I just had this problem, and of course there was a solution on lumberjocks! For me, cleaning the rollers AND cleaning the infeed and outfeed tables plus applying paste wax fixed my problem, so thanks to the guys who posted those solutions! Alanealane – WOW, if I ever have the sprocket issue, thanks for posting that amazing description of how to fix it! I am sure it will come in handy some day!

-- - Montana sucks. Tell your friends.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3532 days

#25 posted 11-10-2013 02:44 PM

I agree with Jenine. The issue is usually the table has resin on it from the wood. If you use a paste wax which is silica free, and wax the table, you will find that the wood will glide right through.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Jenine's profile


146 posts in 1775 days

#26 posted 11-10-2013 03:06 PM

I know I said paste wax, but I actually used a beeswax mixture. I use it for EVERYTHING from finishing wood to lubricating and protecting hand saw blades to waxing my cast iron tops. I am sure everyone has heard it before: double boiler + beeswax + mineral oil. Melt, adjust proportions to suit the task at hand. I usually start with 60% beeswax to 40% mineral oil and switch it up from there. Couldn’t think of a better use for my double boiler… :)

-- - Montana sucks. Tell your friends.

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3523 days

#27 posted 11-10-2013 03:45 PM

I use a can of cleaner I got for my cordless nail gun. It doesn’t hurt rubber etc and takes off grease and oils pronto. It cleans off sap and buildup from wood on the rollers. The I also use silicon spray on the deck and wipe it down…I know some her are gonna have a cow….but Ive used it for decades and never had a finishing issue.

View jbjornling's profile


3 posts in 1018 days

#28 posted 10-04-2015 03:01 AM

i spray my tables with WD40 on my 735, and also fill the channels in the cutter head with the stuff every 2 hours. i clean it ALOT. i clean the rollers with dish soap.

I happen to have a peice of knot jammed in my rollers, its a 735, any one have any ideas about getting it out? seperating the top from the bottom would do it if i knew i could get it back together. also popping the rollers out would PROBABLY do it, provided my rollers werent jammed too tight. spockets look fine. hoping the gear box is too.

View Eric's profile


83 posts in 3028 days

#29 posted 11-07-2015 08:37 PM

Hi guys, I also have this planer and I really enjoy it a lot. I have owned it for about 6 years now and it runs like a champ. However, when I was planing some boards recently, I noticed some squeaking that started to occur and I’m not sure what it’s from. I was wondering if anybody that owns one here would know? It doesn’t squeak the whole time, just when I feed a board through it. And when the squeaking does occur, it only happens once every second while the board is passing through.

I did wax the bottom of the planer, but the problem still exists. I haven’t had any trouble with the board not pulling through, so I’m a little worried that one of the barrings are wearing out. On the other hand, I haven’t cleaned the feed rollers though. Has anyone had a problem with the planer squeaking?

-- Eric

View tomsteve's profile


792 posts in 1271 days

#30 posted 11-07-2015 11:29 PM

eric,instead of asking the same question in 6 different threads it would probably be more effective to start one thread of your own.

View WhyMe's profile


1030 posts in 1613 days

#31 posted 11-07-2015 11:33 PM

eric,instead of asking the same question in 6 different threads it would probably be more effective to start one thread of your own.

- tomsteve

Yeah…. I was seeing that question so much I thought I was having deja vu. :)

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