Rigid planer will not switch on

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Forum topic by bruc101 posted 08-19-2014 06:11 PM 1222 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1075 posts in 2964 days

08-19-2014 06:11 PM

I bought our 14 year old daughter a Rigid planer in June when school was out since she was going to build her first kitchen over the summer and doesn’t care to much for the larger planers in the shop. She’s planed about 400 brd feet of soft Maple with it and had no problems.

Yesterday when she got home from school she planed about 120 linear feet of Maple to make the dovetailed drawers. She got out of school early today at lunch and came to the shop to plane the boards for the drawer fronts.

She came to me and told me her planer wouldn’t switch on. I go check it, reset the reset button and still nothing. I called Rigid and I told them what was happening. They said it could be either the reset button or the switch and left it at that and wouldn’t talk any further about it. They did say I could bypass the reset button but I don’t won’t to do that.

Anyone had this problem or can give me a clue here to get her planer running for her again? Do I need a new reset button or a new switch or something else.

Thanks in advance.

-- Bruce Free Plans

12 replies so far

View WhyMe's profile


575 posts in 983 days

#1 posted 08-19-2014 06:23 PM

It could be a multitude of things and to try to solve in a forum is really tough. You need to pull it apart and start testing the wiring and switches with a multimeter. It could be the motor has given up the ghost.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 08-19-2014 06:45 PM

It might be dust in the switch housing.Have you checked the fuse? and also is it completely dead ? or does it make any noise at all even a hum? I prefer it when it is completely dead as this is sometimes a simple problem like the electricity not making a conection ,or a short in the circuit etc Does it smell of burning around the motor could it be the capacitor? and have you checked if there are any wires loose anywhere?? I would turn off the electricity and unplug it at the wall and take the wires from the switch and complete the circuit by joining these two wires togethe in a tempory check to by pass the switch.Then when you join these wires without the switch replug it in and switch on at the wall for a few seconds if it fires up switch it off imediately and then you can rule in or out whether the switch is at fault be careful and touch nothing with your hands when the switch on the wall is back on. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View pintodeluxe's profile


4827 posts in 2236 days

#3 posted 08-19-2014 06:47 PM

Circuit breaker, GFCI plug, extension cord, reset switch, on/off switch are all places to check. Try blowing off the switches with compressed air to clean off sawdust. Hopefully it is an easy fix.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View MrUnix's profile


4039 posts in 1621 days

#4 posted 08-19-2014 07:46 PM

Electrical problems are easy to trace with a meter.. get one and start checking. Verify you have voltage at the wall outlet and switch, then turn the switch on and see if you have voltage at the other side. If those check out, just keep going down the line until you hit the motor. Somewhere along the line, you will isolate your problem and can beter determine if a repair can be made (cleaning contacts, loose wire, etc..) or a new part is required.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2113 days

#5 posted 08-19-2014 08:03 PM

won’t fix the problem but , 14 year old daughter going to build her first kitchen over the summer. You got that girl started Early didn’t you.

View hhhopks's profile


645 posts in 1800 days

#6 posted 08-19-2014 08:14 PM

Make sure the outlet that the planer plugs into has AC power (120 Vac). if not, did the breaker tripped? If the circuit goes to a power strip, is that strip’s switch reset? If you have power, then it is on your tool’s side. I would start with the reset button. The reset switch should be a thermal device. If it trips, you will have to wait till it cools down before you can reset it. It can take a few minutes. I wouldn’t mess around with the internals of the planer if it is still under warranty. Let Rigid deal with it.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Redoak49's profile


1824 posts in 1411 days

#7 posted 08-19-2014 10:17 PM

If you just bought it in June, I would think it is still under warranty. Hopefully, you registered it when you bought it and kept the receipt.

Other than check the circuit, wall outlet, I would not do anything that might void a warranty.

View Sandra's profile


6933 posts in 1497 days

#8 posted 08-19-2014 11:22 PM

I have a Ridgid planer as well. When the top cover is off (you have to remove two knobs) there is a safety switch that prevents it from starting with the cover off. On mine, the small L-shaped piece of metal inside the cover, which depressed the button on the main section, was askew. I had to give it a knock with a hammer. Sorry for the lack of technical terms.

It’s entirely possible that the same thing has happened from the vibration. Now, even with the button on, the safety feature is engaged which would explain why it won’t turn on.

Let me know if you think this is the issue, and I’ll take some pictures.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

69 posts in 1392 days

#9 posted 08-20-2014 02:25 AM

Motor brushes, check them. Also unplug and spin the head with your hand to a new position and try to turn on again. I know it is dangerous to grab the head with your hand, so please unplug it and use a glove.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2964 days

#10 posted 08-20-2014 12:11 PM

Thanks guys for all your suggestions. We finished planing her boards for her so she could get back to work and stay on her schedule she made.

We’ll get started today trying to find the problem and fix it for her and I’ll let you know how it goes. She’s down to making the drawers, making 6 glass doors and lining the insides with melamine and then it will be install time.

I’m also going to put up a pic of a popular board she found in a new load yesterday. Is now hanging in her office.

Richard, I’ll answer your comment tonight.

Have a great day guys and gals.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3008 days

#11 posted 08-20-2014 01:55 PM

She sounds like a very lovely young intelligent lady which any Dad would be extremely proud to be the father of. I had all boys three of them all grown by now, but I still adore them everyone ,and they make me more and more proud everyday.So I know what youi must feel. Kindest regards to both of you and I hope you get it sorted soon. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View bruc101's profile


1075 posts in 2964 days

#12 posted 08-21-2014 04:10 AM

Problem solved and thanks to all of you for your replies.

Punky is the one that found the problem after reading your replies today. Much to her happiness she didn’t have school today so she came bouncing in the shop this morning about 7:30 with her usual greeting
yee haw howdy boys and good morning. About the same time we heard one of her 18 year old twin sisters yell you white trash redneck punk thug cnc you’ve done it to me again. Punky looked over at her laughing and yelled I know yo pain sis. And so the work day begins as usual for us.

She went to her work area and started dovetailing the drawers for her kitchen project and I got busy trying to help her sister start her cnc. Seems like start up is not our friend lately. Late this afternoon we heard her planer start running.

Everyone in the shop walked over and I asked what did she do to get it to working. she told us I read the replies on LJ you told me about and gave it a try at the most simple solution for me. I whacked the head with a rubber hammer, turned the cutter head over a few times, plugged it in and you know the rest. All we could do was stand there and laugh at her. I always think electrical and it never crossed any of our minds to turn the cutter head a few times.

Thank you Alister and Richard for your nice replies about Punky. We adopted Punky from Russia at age 7 and she has been a joy in our lives since the first day her mom and me and her four older sisters went to meet her.
Our family business is now managed by her two oldest sisters ages 40 and 37 and they’re the ones that gave her the go ahead on her fist kitchen build. Punky can design and draw anything she wants to in Autocad, can pretty much run anything in the shop and has helped do most everything but build a kitchen by herself. At age 14 she’s 5’6”tall and weighs 116.

She was in on the design of this kitchen with her sisters and asked them if she could give it a try by herself. They knew her experience in the shop and asked her no questions. They told her they would make her a set of construction plans and have them ready for her the next day when she got home from school which was the last day of school for her.

This is an average size kitchen going in a log house on the top of a mountain. We use no mdf for anything and very little plywood and let no plywood show anywhere. All the end panels look just like the doors. Punky built her face frames first, then her finished end panels, all the wood doors then built the boxes. We build everything first and then put the boxes together using mortise and tenon joinery. She told us today she used about 390 brd feet of Maple and 30 feet of Popular and 2 sheets of Maple plywood. The cabinets are now in the paint room and will be returned to her Friday to install the drawers, doors and then line the insides of the base cabinets with white 1/4 inch melamine. She has 6 glass doors to make and then she’s done. She set goals for her daily work and pretty much stayed on schedule with them. We had to help her with some things but we all have to help each other.

I’ve enclosed a photo of what her construction plans for the sink base wall looks like. She puts the plans up on her monitor and not use paper plans. I hope I didn’t bore you guys but I’ve got bragging rights on all of the girls and know I’m bless to have this one the 6th generation that will one day be sitting where her oldest sister are and after the twins take over and then one day pass it on down to her.

sink base wall construction plans

-- Bruce Free Plans

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