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DeWalt DW734 Planer issue

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Forum topic by Robin1 posted 06-20-2014 02:00 PM 557 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Robin1

81 posts in 143 days


06-20-2014 02:00 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dewalt planer dw734 feed issue roller thickness planer benchtop portable problem

I’ve owned a DeWalt DW734 for a little over a month. I did a lot of research and posted questions here before deciding on it. When I first set it up, there were a few things I didn’t like: the dust shoot makes it impossible to lift the outfeed table for storage (the flipside of which would be not using the shoot) neither of which makes me really happy. And, while the cutterhead lock is a positive for eliminating snipe, I am constantly worried that I’ll damage the machine by forgetting to release the lock one time and cranking the adjustment lever. Also, prior to this, I had a JET combo unit that was easy to adjust and actually always worked perfectly- I know this is the exception and not the rule for these JET units. I found the DeWalt depth setting to be more fussy. All this aside, the machine seemed solid and I’d gotten a good deal so I decided to give it a little time…then I had a problem:

I’d been using it to dress the faces of some pine boards and it had been working fine. Yesterday, I was taking a 1/64” cut off a 2” wide board and after 4” fed into the machine, the board got stuck- really stuck. I had to turn the machine off and raise the carriage to get it out. The board had two large black marks on it (roller marks.) This particular board may have had more pitch in it than the ones before. I started looking at the posts here to see if this happened to anyone else and I found it was a common issue and there were various causes/solutions. Most said to solve it you need to clean the rollers and wax the table. The bigger problem seemed to be all the other issues that I hadn’t seen before: the rollers not working in cold weather, the blades going dull in a hurry, screws seizing and stripping, T-wrenches breaking, cutting pine or other woods with a lot of resin creating continual problems, the vertical posts rusting and seizing, etc.

Now I started doubting the purchase. First off, I’m wondering if what happened yesterday has damaged the machine in any way (the roller marks were pretty pronounced.) Beyond that, reading about other issues has me a little concerned. I do not have a heated shop and I live in upstate NY. I mostly work with pine. The posts make it seem as though I may not be able to use the tool during a fair portion of the year and that the materials I work with are problematic and will create continual issues. I thought upgrading to a floor jointer and dedicated planer would be a big step up from the benchtop combo I was using. I still think that’s true but this machine has me wondering if I chose the right one. I’m still within the return window. If it were you, would you keep this one, exchange it for the same model or return it and buy something different? I know- it sounds like a Dear Abby letter. I wish I was rich- then it wouldn’t matter!

Thanks for any help.

-- Jim, Upstate NY, JT Perri Custom Woodworking


14 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3447 posts in 2612 days


#1 posted 06-20-2014 02:10 PM

Take it back. Something is not right with the machine, and you’ll always be afraid of it. You know…..that little gnawing feeling every time ya turn it on.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Robin1's profile

Robin1

81 posts in 143 days


#2 posted 06-20-2014 02:22 PM

Thanks for the reply. I think that’s really the issue- I keep waiting for it to jam again- or worse. Can anyone recommend a different model? I mainly use it to dress the faces or to reduce thickness of already surfaced boards. At this time I don’t work with much rough cut stock.

-- Jim, Upstate NY, JT Perri Custom Woodworking

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1317 posts in 1021 days


#3 posted 06-20-2014 02:31 PM

Jim,
I live in NY as well, and own the 734. I’ve been using it year-round without issue for 3 years now. I don’t know why you wouldn’t be able to use it in the cold weather. My garage is usually around 45deg in the winter. One time, I did have the boards stop feeding partway through. This was after 2 years of use, and coincidentally after planing down some scrap pine from an old refrigerator shipping container. I cleaned the rollers and waxed the tables, and it worked like new. I assume your tables are adjusted and the board isn’t fighting them on the way in/out. I see that you’ve already seen that advice.

The 734 has worked great for me, I wax most of the surfaces (table saw, band saw, jointer, etc) after the completion of a project, and that goes a long ways, I think. I just flipped the knives a couple months ago because I was starting to see little lines from miniscule knicks in the blades (still on side one of the originals), and I didn’t have any issues with getting the screws off. They were a little tight, but I was careful and they all popped loose. The outfeed table not folding up is somewhat annoying, but I tuck it in a corner when not in use and it doesn’t bother me.

I haven’t had an issue with rust, and my garage is far from humidity-controlled. I’ve seen rust on other tools, but I use a dry lube on the internals of the 734 and it keeps them rust-free and doesn’t attract dust.

I’ve also forgotten on a few occasions to release the lock before I tried turning the depth adjustment. No problems resulted from that. It will be really tough to turn. As long as you don’t try to strong-man it, and realize the lock is on, you probably won’t damage anything (I haven’t).

If you’re having a specific problem with the rollers and it’s relatively new, I’d get it replaced. It sounds like you might have had one problem with it, and worked yourself up about other potential issues that either haven’t happened yet, or are preventable.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View NiteWalker's profile

NiteWalker

2710 posts in 1229 days


#4 posted 06-20-2014 04:16 PM

My experience with the 734 is pretty much the same as Ed’s.
Unheated, uninsulated detached garage shop. No iiues with my 734, but I don’t work if it’s below 45.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

93 posts in 213 days


#5 posted 06-20-2014 05:25 PM

I have the DW734 and have had no real issues with it. But, I don’t use pine much at all. I’ve run hundreds of board feet of oak through it and only remember a couple of times the rollers slipped. I cleaned the rollers and waxed the table and all was well. I can’t say I’ve used it in temps below 50 because my shop is heated.

View Robin1's profile

Robin1

81 posts in 143 days


#6 posted 06-20-2014 05:35 PM

From the replies I feel like as a model this is a good planer but there might be something wrong with this particular one. Maybe I will just exchange it for a new one. I can use Johnson’s Paste Wax for the beds. What does everyone use on the rollers? Ed mentioned a dry lube for the spindles- recommendations?

-- Jim, Upstate NY, JT Perri Custom Woodworking

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1317 posts in 1021 days


#7 posted 06-20-2014 05:39 PM

for lubricating the internals, I used this.

Others have mentioned other products, this is just what I was able to get locally.

I also use Johnsons paste wax for everything. And mineral spirits on a rag to clean the rollers.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1317 posts in 1021 days


#8 posted 06-20-2014 05:42 PM

Jim,
I looked at your projects gallery, very nice work. With that amount of pine, though, you’ll want to clean your rollers, table, and blade more often than some others.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Robin1's profile

Robin1

81 posts in 143 days


#9 posted 06-20-2014 06:08 PM

Thank you for the compliment, the info and your time. Thanks to everyone for your input.

-- Jim, Upstate NY, JT Perri Custom Woodworking

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1558 posts in 1079 days


#10 posted 06-20-2014 07:10 PM

First off I never store my 734 so the dust chute thing is never an issue, it has seen a lot of use, I am on my second set of blades, I am sure a lot of guys out there have used the 734 to the point where they can’t remember how many sets of blade they have gone through. I like most am completely satisfied with the 734. Once or twice I have had the problem with the rollers slipping, only to find that the board was twisted, my stupidity trying to get the 734 to take the twist out instead of using my joiner.
Life before my 734 was so limited. I was always shopping and paying through the nose for dimensioned and planed wood that was never the exact size I wanted.
My 734 has completely transformed my woodworking experience!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

3447 posts in 2612 days


#11 posted 06-20-2014 08:40 PM

I based my previous post of the fact that I’ve had a 733 for longer than I can remember.
It was dead on outa the box, and has only needed 1 set of knives, waxed beds, etc.
Sompin’ just ain’t right with the OP’s planer.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View Robin1's profile

Robin1

81 posts in 143 days


#12 posted 06-22-2014 10:48 AM

I took it back to the store no questions asked. They didn’t have one in stock so I have one coming on will call. Thanks for all the help!

Jim

-- Jim, Upstate NY, JT Perri Custom Woodworking

View Sawdust4Blood's profile

Sawdust4Blood

348 posts in 1673 days


#13 posted 06-22-2014 11:24 AM

I’ve had a 734 for about 5 years now. The only time I had problem with the rollers slipping was due to insufficient suction from the dust collection causing sawdust/shavings to build up on the rollers.

Since I upgraded the dust collector, I’ve had no problems and I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the rollers or waxed the table but I also don’t work in pine.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1317 posts in 1021 days


#14 posted 06-23-2014 12:40 PM

Jim, let us know how your replacement works out for you. I think you’ll be happy with it. Normally when people here ask for lunchbox planer recommendations, the 734 is routinely one of the few top recommended solutions.

P.S. I am jealous of your proximity to Woodcraft. Here in Binghamton, the nearest woodworking supply store is 1.5 hrs away.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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