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Setting knives on a PM 15 planer

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 03-04-2018 11:14 PM 578 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


03-04-2018 11:14 PM

Hey gang,

I recently scored a smoking deal on a Powermatic 15 planer and managed to rig it down my bulkhead and into my basement shop yesterday. As part of the extensive clean up (this machine was pulled out of use and put into a leaky storage trailer last summer) I pulled the chip breaker and knives, and then decided to flip the knives and put the unused side into service.

I know the former owner of this planer quite well and he used it as set up from the factory for years and never changed, sharpened or set the knives. However the factory knife setting jig was lost.

However I did receive a nice set of aftermarket knife setting jigs.

I used the aftermarket jig to set the knives, but didn’t realize until after I was done that you can adjust the height on these and the blades look quite a bit higher than I expected.

So here’s my problem… I didn’t not how high the knives were when I removed them, the aftermarket knife setting jigs are set to some random height, and without the factory jig, I can’t be sure how high the knives should be set.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam


11 replies so far

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eflanders

318 posts in 2056 days


#1 posted 03-05-2018 12:21 AM

The owners manual tells you how to make a jig. A copy of the manual can be found online.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2900 posts in 1854 days


#2 posted 03-05-2018 12:57 AM

http://content.powermatic.com/assets/manuals/1791210_man_EN.pdf

go to page 14

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


#3 posted 03-05-2018 01:35 AM

Made a pair of jigs tonight (made two clones so I could do both sides at the same time.

But this jig is used to reference the feed roller height to the blade height. The blade height is supposed to be set first with the factory knife jig… unless I’m missing something.

I guess the knife height may not be so critical…

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Aj2

1886 posts in 2004 days


#4 posted 03-05-2018 03:12 AM

The knife height is very important. So find a way to set them just like powermatic says.
It’s just amazing how a machine can be used so long with any regard to Matinence and regular knife changes.
Good luck.

-- Aj

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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


#5 posted 03-05-2018 03:29 AM

I think I’ll call the Powermatic tech support tomorrow. I’ll bet they can give me a measurement…

The planer was used very lightly and was in like new condition when I arranged for my employer to purchase it last year. The original owner set up a very nice hobby shop when he retired from our company, but then his heath failed within a few years and the shop was largely unused for a decade.

It then sat unused in a corner of our crating department until the heat of summer when the supervisor attempted to use it to plane the mold off of rough sawn green hardwood pallet deck board stock that was stored outside. I was told that the planer wouldn’t feed this stock and so they removed it from the shop and put it in a leaky storage trailer.

The serrated feed roller was totally matted with mushed sawdust. I think the moldy pallet stock was covered in saw dust and was too slimy to feed. Apparently not the right machine for that type of planing. But their loss was my gain, as I was able to buy it on the cheap.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


#6 posted 03-05-2018 03:04 PM

Called Powermatic Tech. support and got to talk to a real person (Bobby) with minimal phone tree hassle (press 2 for woodworking equipment). Bobby rattle off the knife height dimension (0.115”) and the replacement blade part number from memory.

Then I showed my knife height set jigs to our part time, semi-retired proto-type machinist at work and he came up with multiple ways to set the jig properly. We decided that the easiest way was to make a 0.115” shim (out of steel stock so it would stick to the magnet) and then to position the jig (with the shim) over the naked cylinder and to set the jig height.

Then I’ll remove the shim and set the newly adjusted jig over the knife and set the blade height.

Then I can check the roller heights using the wooden blocks I made last night and adjust as needed.

Pics to follow…

:^)

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


#7 posted 03-05-2018 05:52 PM

We have shims…

I figured I could let the 0.0003” slide for this application :^p

And here they are installed.

Hopefully I can find some time tonight to reset the blades… preferably without bleeding all over the machine this time :^o

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


#8 posted 03-06-2018 02:00 PM

Shims worked like a champ last night… The blade setting jigs have been re-set to give the factory spec. blade height of 0.115” and the planer blades have been reset.

I think this is going to turn out to be a nice machine, as the rust is cleaning up pretty easily and with a 220 v, 3 HP Baldor motor and a 3 pulley sheave arrangement, it should have beastly power. No more making 10 passes at 1/32” on the old Delta lunchbox for this kid :^)

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1886 posts in 2004 days


#9 posted 03-06-2018 03:00 PM

Bravo, American woodworker endeavors to presevere. If you don’t have a second consider some good HSS knife steel M2 or T1 for harder woods. Changing knifes is very easy when you have the right tools and attitude. :^)

-- Aj

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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


#10 posted 03-06-2018 03:25 PM

Now my question is… do I sell the Delta lunchbox? Or dissect it for a home brew 12” jointer build?

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days


#11 posted 03-07-2018 04:48 PM

Had to stay late at work last night, but did manage to get some tune up done….

1. Made a 0.040 shims out of HDPE samples I have and used it per the instructions in the manual to bump up my wooden fixture height and then adjusted the table until the blade just touched the shim when rotating it back and forth. I’m calling this “bottom dead center” or BDC height for the blade.
2. Removed the shim and used the wooden fixture to set the out-feed roller height to 0.040” below the BDC blade height.
3. Used the wooden block to set the serrated in-feed roller to 0.040” below the BDC blade height.

Both the feed rollers were high. The out-feed roller was way high… like 1/16” above the BDC blade height. The in-feed roller was ~ 0.020” below the BDC blade height.

So it makes perfect sense why our shop couldn’t get the planer to feed the wet, green, rough-sawn stock. They didn’t have it set up correctly… and if they did attempt to adjust the feed rollers, I suspect they used their shim incorrectly and set the out-feed roller above instead of below the blade.

Oh well… their screw up is definitely my gain.

Using feeler gauges, I checked that the head is parallel to the table and it was withing 0.005” at the front and 0.002” at the back… and the in-feed roller and blade are within 0.003” equal height above the table from end to end. I’m VERY happy with that and am thankful that I don’t have to screw around with the chain drive and sprockets.

Things are shaping up nicely… tonight’s mission is to check the table roller height and lube her up….

Still need to change the plug style, as I’ll be sharing a 220 v outlet with my table saw and it is not set up with the same plug.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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