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Setting blade height on Delta 22-540 planer (without the blade-height tool)

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Forum topic by harriw posted 01-13-2013 03:12 AM 18829 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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harriw

116 posts in 1670 days


01-13-2013 03:12 AM

Hey folks,

I just picked up a used Delta 22-540 planer from Craigslist. It’s in need of a blade change (or flip at least, if the other side is good), but the planer didn’t come with the Delta blade height gauge.

I believe I’ve found the right part number and can order it from Delta for ~$7 (plus some outrageous shipping fee I’m sure), but am wondering if there’s any other way to set the blade height on these 22-540’s without that specific tool? I’m up for trying something with a dial indicator or something along those lines, but I don’t know the proper height to set the blades at, even if I could rig something up.

Anyway, just wondering if anybody has found a solution for this particular problem, as I can’t imagine I’m the only guy out there who found himself without one of these tools :) I don’t mind ordering a replacement, but thought I’d ask first.

Thanks a lot!

-- Bill - Western NY


7 replies so far

View woodchips61's profile

woodchips61

2 posts in 2223 days


#1 posted 02-07-2013 03:21 AM

Hi Bill
as it happens, I talked to the technical department at Delta today and, from what they tell me, it could be several monthe before you can get a gauge from them. They have some customers that have already waited 5 months.

They told me that the proper setting for the blade is 3mm (.118”) above the cutterhead.

If any of you folks have one of these gauges maybe you could post a rough drawing (with deminsions). Maybe we can have someone make one.

Thanks,
Roy

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harriw

116 posts in 1670 days


#2 posted 02-07-2013 03:45 AM

Hi Roy,

Funny you mentioned it… :) After doing some research and reading all the reviews I could find, I wound up ordering a set of mini Planer Pals from Grizzly (the W1226A, made by Woodstock International: http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mini-Planer-Pal-Pair/W1226A). It sounded like they might be a bit easier to use than the stock gauge, and if I had to buy something anyway…

I just got out there this past weekend and flipped the blades around (using the planer pals for alignment), and the planer now cuts like a hot knife through butter. I even checked the board with a dial caliper, and was surprised to find all 4 corners and the middle within a few thousandths.

I did find, though, that when using the gauge(s), the blade was not aligned AT ALL in the center of the 5th magnet intended to hold the blade. In fact, the edge of the blade was just barely making contact with the surface of the magnet – nothing like what I was expecting based on their little illustrations. Explaining it without a picture is tough, but the blade-holding magnet (or the jig’s locating peg) is positioned poorly for this planer model – the magnet should be shifted over more in order to be properly centered over the blade.

I was worried enough about it that I checked the spacing of both blades at both ends against a hardwood block when I was finished, and verified that they were all spaced equally. It looked like I had about 1/32” or so left between the block and the blade tip when the rear roller began contacting my spacer block. I figured that would probably allow for a decent amount of roller deformation to grip the board…

So I figured it up and put a board through… Despite my concerns, the planer seems to work quite nicely now. I’ve only put that one board (an oak 1×8) through it a few times, but the cut is much, MUCH nicer, it feeds much better, and the planer seems to handle the board effortlessly, where it couldn’t even pass this same board without jamming when I first brought it home.

Thanks very much for those specs though! I’ll definitely measure the blade height next time I’m out there and see how close it is to the 3mm/.118”. I’d like to run a bit more lumber through it before I officially recommend these Planer pals as an alternative, but it’s looking good so far.

By the way – I left my blade height springs installed, and will probably do so in the future as well.

Thanks again!

-- Bill - Western NY

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woodchips61

2 posts in 2223 days


#3 posted 02-09-2013 12:27 AM

Thanks for the tip on the planer-pal. I’ll look it up in the catalog. Gotta be quicker than trying to do it with a dial indicator (which is all I have had for a while now). Let me know what you think of them after you use them.

You mentioned leaving the springs in the cutterhead and, wouldn’t you know it? Mine are gone. I took the planer completely apart to “tune it up” and I lost them. And, I can’t get them from Delta. They’re obsolete. Any idea about spring dimensions? I suppose any spring that will hold the blade against the setting gauge will work.

Thanks again,
Roy
thewoodwrks@gmail.com

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harriw

116 posts in 1670 days


#4 posted 02-09-2013 12:40 AM

Hi Roy,

I’m not sure on the spring dimensions, but they looked to be roughly the same size as a ball-point pen spring, but only 3/8” to 1/2” or so long. My only concern with them was whether the planer pal’s magnets would have enough strength to hold the blade in place without them, given how poorly positioned the magnets are for use on a 22-540. Like I said though, those planer pals seem to work just fine anyway.

I’ll measure the springs for you if I need to pop the blades out again, but given how nicely it’s cutting right now that probably won’t be for a while :)

Thanks.

-- Bill - Western NY

View reeb's profile

reeb

1 post in 828 days


#5 posted 08-31-2014 02:36 PM

Goodday fellow lumberjocks,

I too just bought a used Delta 22-540 and spent many hours figuring out how to replace and adjust the blades without a factory adjustment tool. I believe this inexpensive method is sufficient to achieve the limited level of precision this tool was designed for.

1) Raise the cutter about 4 inches and use something handy, like a 4” long screwdriver bit on its end as a feeler gauge to compare the clearance between the blade roller core and the base deck. Equalize the difference by using the jam nut on the left side lift screw. Mine was about .030 off.
2) The blade roller is about 1.88” inches in diameter, the same as the ID of a 1.5” PVC schedule 40 coupler or elbow etc. Cut off the female ends of the PVC coupler, about 1/2” and with two cuts remove 2.125” from the circumference of the rings, leaving a tool looking like a Capitol “C”. Mark the outside center and shave approxamately 1/3rd of the “meat” from the parallel outsides to allow clearence with the deck as you push them on to the roller, midway between the outside lock screws, the center mark directly over a blade edge.
3) With the set srews just loose enough for the blade to move freely against the base springs fit a piece of 3/32” plain welding rod or other stock between the roller and the PVC “C” tool just above the ground side of the blade and use a 12” length of wood to apply equal pressure to the tools as you tighten the 8MM head set screws COUNTER-CLOCKWISE outsides first and then inward. This will leave a blade height of about .110”, and very equal.

Further Discoveries:
  • Do not remove the holder bar if you don’t have to., loosing the 7 set screws (CLOCKWISE) just enough to free the blade, blow out debris and slide in a new one. Holder bar, left in place, will insure the adjustment springs won’t fall out and eliminate the need to turn the self-locking set screws extra turns to clear the 18 degree taper in the cut “way”.
  • If one of the springs below the blade is missing they measure .150 OD and are .5” long. A typical ball point spring (.170) can be cut to length and worked in with a small needle nose or hemostadt.
  • The pilgrem before me stripped out one of the set screws on my unit, necessating a weld fill and re-tap. The bar is mild steel but the screws are hardened with shallow cut threads (6MM) for self-locking. Due to the 18 degree wedge of the way cut I don’t believe a loose holder or screw can fly out so you don’t need to tighten the blades like your life depended on it. Torque the screws no more than you would a 1/4” bolt in a mild steel nut.
  • If you remove the holder bars take care to return them to their same slot and location so the set screw heads match their slight compression dents in the wall of the “way”.
  • I found it impossible to measure the blade exposure consistently with a slide caliper for several reasons including a slight taper in the depth of the way cut.
  • I think Delta made a very good product for the money but their shop manual is scanty except for the helpful shop drawing of the roller, holder, blade assembly which should be consulted in case a previous pilgrem assembled it incorrectly, as was mine. (Blade with ground edge against trailing side of way, blade holder bar against blade with offset screw heads against and closest to outside of the leading side of way).

Thanks to previous contributors for their helpful information,

Bob—Northern Minnesota

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smaberry

2 posts in 769 days


#6 posted 10-28-2014 07:04 PM

Bob,

Do could you post a picture of your home made planer setting tool?

Thanks,
Shane.

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smaberry

2 posts in 769 days


#7 posted 10-29-2014 03:33 PM

nevermind. I figured it out. was pretty simple after cutting the couplers.

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