Adjusting feed rollers on DW734?

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Forum topic by Mark Whitsitt posted 06-21-2010 12:16 AM 6943 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 2403 days

06-21-2010 12:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer milling modern

I searched LJ and found posts that almost answer my question, but not quite…

I recently bought a used DeWalt DW734, and it seems to be working ok, but I’m having some sniping and chatter problems that I believe are due to roller problems.

the unit I bought was filthy and caked with dirt, so I disassembled it, including removing the rollers, cleaned it, and put it back together, no problem… almost… I’m now getting some excess snipe and chatter. Part of this is outfeed table adjustment, but I really want to eliminate infeed/outfeed roller problems.

(Note, the rollers DO need replacement, and the current ones could use a cleaning, and the table could use a waxing/polishing, but I’m still looking for help with roller set up.)

The rollers are on springs held in place by brackets that go over two steel blocks, with two screws each. I’ve found that I can change the roller compression and height with these screws/brackets, but I’m not sure how to set these up properly.

So the questions include: Is there a specific orientation for these metal blocks; is there a “right side up”? How much compression/tension should I set on these rollers? how far below the cutting head should the rollers sit?

thanks, everyone… if I don’t get this thing working right, my better half is gonna be really annoyed that I spent the money grin


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

9 replies so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2506 posts in 2861 days

#1 posted 06-21-2010 12:32 AM

I have the same planer. Purchased new and about a little over a year old now with lots of Red oak put through it. I’m having no issues yet but will watch this thread. Thanks for asking the question. I have no answers but I might have the same question in the future.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 2403 days

#2 posted 06-21-2010 02:24 AM

I contacted Alex (alanealane), who is pretty knowledgeable about DeWalt planers based on some of his posts, and he said he didn’t know of any type of compression adjustment available.

I’m beginning to think he’s right, and I’m making some assumptions about the reassembly of this puppy…

The way these rollers are installed, the axles of the rollers are held on each end in metal blocks, which in turn, slide up into “slots” and press on the springs. The blocks are held in the slot by a bracket and two screws. Here’s a picture:

DW734 Feed Roller Springs Mechanism

It’s clear that the depth of the screws, determine the depth of the brackets and metal block in the slot and will affect the compression of the springs.

What I have assumed is that this is an adjustment mechanism for the tension on the springs. Since Alex’s comment to me directly, and my inability to find ANYTHING on the net about roller adjustment on the DW734, I’m beginning to understand that I simply run the screws in tight (but not too tight), and don’t worry about adjustment or alignment…

Am I beginning to see the light? (I think I just over thought the whole thing… not uncommon for me…)

Thanks, y’all!


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View ajosephg's profile


1878 posts in 2985 days

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

I think you are right. What you have shown was/is used on the Delta benchtop planers and they were not adustable per a factory technician. The Delta tech said that all you could do was to make sure the blocks were free to slide easily in the slots.

I suppose you could add washers under the brackets which would have the effect of dropping the rollers slightly. But I doubt that any benefit would accrue because the spring tension would be reduced, and the feeding would not be helped. (If you do this the screws may need to be lengthened or they could strip.

-- Joe

#4 posted 06-21-2010 02:11 PM

Hey! Nice drawing of the roller assembly! I’m a CAD Designer for my day job, and that’s some nice looking work.

I remember giving you the advice to put washers or shims behind the springs inside their housing (above the springs in your drawing). This will certainly increase the holding pressure of the rollers on the boards you send through the machine, but I’ve thought of another way that might work, although it might also be a little more risky to the integrity of your feed drive.

Instead of putting washers/shims behind the springs, shim the mounting screws out away from the main casting of the planer, making the roller blocks ride lower than usual. When I replaced my cutterhead with a custom helical head (which didn't work the way I expected...), it ended up having a smaller cutting diameter than the original head, so I needed to get more pressure onto the boards I fed through. This method of lowering the entire roller worked well until I reinstalled the straight-knife cutterhead. Then I had too much down-pressure, causing the planer to really bog down, so I took ALL the shims out and I’m back in business.

Look into that DeWalt ServiceNet and see what new rollers would cost. Also search around and see what others have done to clean the rubber on the rollers. I have never yet cleaned mine, but some have had success with various solvents.

Being the occasional woodworker that I am, I think I’ve spent more time with the machine taken apart than I have spent actually using it. But that’s OK, because I love tinkering and engineering!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

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Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 2403 days

#5 posted 06-21-2010 02:24 PM

Thanks for the compliment on the drawing… used Visio and took about 5 min to put it together… it’s obviously not to scale, but it helps describe the situation.

I’m already planning on replacing the rollers (~$32 each), but I was also assuming that assembly was more than it is. I’m also going to have to spend a little bit more time adjusting the in/outfeed tables to minimize snipe, as per your earlier suggestions.;

I’ll have a chance this evening to tighten the screws and run a few boards. I’ll let you know how it works.


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 2403 days

#6 posted 06-26-2010 10:47 PM

Ok, everyone! I finally got a chance to get back to the planer for adjustment… running the bracket screws snug and spending a fair amount of time adjusting the in-/out-feed tables did the trick! It’s running very nicely now, and I’m in no danger of chastisement from my wife anymore… I just have to build her a couple of things she’s asked for and tell her I couldn’t have done them without the planer… (which is mostly true!)

Thanks to all, and a special thanks to Alex!


-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

#7 posted 06-26-2010 10:53 PM

Very happy to help!!

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View Eric's profile


82 posts in 2399 days

#8 posted 11-07-2015 09:02 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


393 posts in 643 days

#9 posted 11-07-2015 11:24 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.

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