Changing out a Jointer Cutter Head

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Forum topic by ChrisCrafts posted 05-05-2011 04:32 AM 6191 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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107 posts in 2548 days

05-05-2011 04:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer

I am installing my new Helical Cutter in my 8” Oliver Jointer and have hit a snag. Removing the bearings from the existing cutter head. Before I go buy a cheap HF gear puller, does anyone have any suggestions???

-- Chris, Washington The State!

12 replies so far

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3304 days

#1 posted 05-05-2011 04:39 AM

not from me

i ran into the same problem
on my band saw bearings

still need the puller

sometimes the fork
is still the best tool to eat with

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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philip marcou

264 posts in 2560 days

#2 posted 05-05-2011 08:09 AM

Well, you should have a few pullers if you are into machinery but it can happen on occasion that there is no way or space to work a puller, in which case (in theory) the bearing should not be seriously tight on the shaft and one can carefully tap it off. How sure are you that the bearings are very tight on that shaft?
I have had to resort to another method , a few times: use a drift or punch to break the bearing cage which causes the balls to fall out, leaving the inner ring, which you then partially cut through with an angle grinder. You don’t have to go all the way through and probably the heat helps-it usually just drops off, but a few taps with a piece of brass bar or similar does the trick.
I must mention that I think ordinary bearings like those found on average woodworking machinery are cheap so if you have gone to the trouble of dismantling something in order to rebuild it or modify it I suggest you install new bearings of good quality anyway- makes one feel better (;)

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1643 posts in 2596 days

#3 posted 05-05-2011 09:41 AM

I’m with Phil. Replace the bearings. Cheap insurance.
As far as removing the bearings is concerned, I only have experience with vintage craftsman jointers. On Craftsman machines, the cutterhead is secured to a drive shaft with set screws. The bearings are friction fitted on each end of the drive shaft. Oh, and snap rings secure the shaft and bearings within the cast iron machine base.

I removed the bearings by removing the blades, snap rings, and drive pulley. Then tapped the shaft out of the machiine with a hammer and brass punch. One bearing came out of the machine still attached to the shaft, the other remained inside the machine. I used the brass punch to (carefully) finish removing the bearing that was stuck in the machine. I then loosened the set screws that secured the cutterhead to the shaft, placed the end of the shaft on a piece of wood, and used the cutterhead as a slide hammer and knocked the remaining bearing off the end of the shaft.
Keep in mind I intended to replace the bearings when I went this route.
I use the old bearings as a punch to install the new bearings.

I have read that you can put the cutterhead assembly in a freezer for a couple hours, and it makes it easier to remove the bearings. Given that they friction fit with something like .001” tolerances, it might be feasible, but I haven’t tried it.

View ChrisCrafts's profile


107 posts in 2548 days

#4 posted 05-05-2011 10:17 AM

I ended up hitting HF before they closed tonight and picked up a new set of pullers. I had tossed mine a couple weeks ago in the midst of a crazed shop cleaning & organizing. It was foolish but easily rectified. I prefer not to tear apart perfectly good almost new bearings. Mostly because I have done it in the past and it is a pain in the butt.

-- Chris, Washington The State!

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philip marcou

264 posts in 2560 days

#5 posted 05-05-2011 11:15 AM

Excellent, Chris. As a matter of interest: how much did the puller cost and if you will let us know the bearing numbers I can cost them and we will see which was more cost effective-assuming the puller didn’t damage the shields or seals in any way haha…..

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3250 days

#6 posted 05-05-2011 04:00 PM

I used to make a trip to a machine shop to get that sort of thing done.
I tried pullers like several have mentioned, but I never had much luck. I finally broke down and bought a hydraulic press, which is what the machine shops were using. You can get rather inexpensive ones.
That turned out to be great addition to my shop, in fact, just a few months ago I changed the bearings in my old Unisaw and my Powermatic jointer. The down side is, they use a little floor space so a small shop is a problem.

You can buy one at Harbor Freight (Never thouight I would make that suggestion)


View JoelP's profile


1 post in 1781 days

#7 posted 06-05-2013 12:06 PM

Tedstor- was just given a Craftsman Jointer with what sounds like the identical construction. Its got some rust on the head, and I am having a hard time removing the blades. I wanted to remove the entire head to soak, in an effort to salvage as much as possible. The question- do you have to remove the inner clips to be able to pound the shaft out. And if so what is the best way- I can not easily get inside of the machine base to pop them off. I did get a hold of the schematic though, so that tipped me off that they were in there. Any help would be great.

View unbob's profile


808 posts in 1867 days

#8 posted 06-05-2013 12:19 PM

Always best to install new bearings. Most always removing bearings requires pulling on the outer race, never good for a bearing.
Barden has free info on bearing installation, very good tips for success.

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

109 posts in 1933 days

#9 posted 06-05-2013 09:01 PM

Buy the cheap HF puller.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1912 days

#10 posted 06-06-2013 02:42 AM

shame on you. you spent a pile of money on a Helical Cutter head and now you are wanting to reuse the old bearings!!!!! boooooo

really just spend the cash for new bearings, probably $50

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2639 days

#11 posted 06-06-2013 02:51 AM

I am thinking $50 is way overpriced. I think I can buy them cheaper at the local bearing store and get good bearings at the same time.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1912 days

#12 posted 06-06-2013 10:51 PM

The bearings I bought were offset and high quality sealed bearing. I remember the tab coming to $45, but I think there was also a bearing for my planer motor. You’re right I would guess around $25 would get a fair quality set of bearings for a jointer.

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