DeWalt 735 Planer Problems

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Forum topic by TimtheWoodRookie posted 04-26-2015 06:59 PM 3377 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TimtheWoodRookie's profile


2 posts in 1125 days

04-26-2015 06:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dewalt 735 planer planer problems oak reclaimed lumber question planer refurbishing

Hoping someone can help. Background: I have a deWalt 735 thickness planer. I have be reclaiming some oak boards that were given to me from a homestead. Some are 2” to 1 3/4” it is all rough cut. I have removed all the nails and cleaned the boards before I started running them through the planer. Earlier last week it started to not want to take the boards. I thought this was because I had lowered it to much ( I have been removing about 1/16th of an inch at a time. Two or three boards later the rollers stopped grabbing all together. Long story short the chain and sprocket on the left side looking at the front snapped and the sprocket was in pieces. I went back to where I got the planer and they sent me to a tool shop across town. The guy in the back, told me this happens sometimes when you don’t take care of your tools. (insulted a little I bit my lip and said nothing). To the tune of 100$, not cover under warranty because it was my fault. I had the sprocket, chain and bushing for the rollers replaced. Three days later, I got through 7 different boards with approximately 10 passes total, again removing even less at a time because the shop guy said i was being hard on the planer. I broke the keyway on the sprocket. After taking it apart myself this time, i notice the chain tensioner is rubbing on the chain, sprocket broke, and me without a planer.

Question? if my 700$ Dewalt 735 thickness planer can not handle old thick oak, what removal rate should i be shooting for and is there a way to prevent this from happening again?

thanks for any help

16 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile


18177 posts in 1854 days

#1 posted 04-26-2015 08:07 PM

What I’m thinking is that when planing stuff like that you may set it to a height that is appropriate for the end going in, but if the board has thicker spots in the middle, then at that point you may be taking off a lot more than you planned. I’ve had this happen with my 733 and the board just stopped going since it didn’t fit anymore. I just crank the handle up until it fits and starts feeding again. It doesn’t seem like that should kill the planer each time.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View fuigb's profile


481 posts in 2955 days

#2 posted 04-26-2015 08:24 PM

I’m not one to push limits with any of my power tools: even a hint of laboring and I back off. Better safe than sorry, I feel. I don’t know what the limit is for oak on a 735, but on mine I’ve run a lot of ash and hard maple and usually I’m just kissing it, maybe a 32nd on each pass.

Never even heard of what you’ve experienced. Could be that you have a bum machine and it could be that your tech is a prick who gets off on belittlement. But given the uniqueness of your experience I’m inclined to believe that you’ve overdone things with this combination of tool and material. Run at 1/32 and you get the fuigb seal of approval.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View BJODay's profile


526 posts in 1941 days

#3 posted 04-26-2015 08:53 PM

I think Bill may be correct. I have taken off 1/16 on white oak without and bogging down, although these were narrow pieces, <6> wide. Maybe you ran into thick middles. (I know thick middles are a common thing here in Wisconsin.)

I am not sure about oak, but I believe Douglas Fir gets harder as it ages.


View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2005 days

#4 posted 04-26-2015 08:53 PM

When I’m running hardwoods thru my 735 I dont go by “measurements”. I start by setting it to where I can JUST barely push the wood thru by hand without the motor running. (Like said above, sometimes the end fits in, but it will bind in the middle)

Then I start it up and run it thru and with each pass I only crank the handle down a tiny bit. ( I dont know what thickness that is but think of 12 to 15 minutes on a clock) If it’s anywhere NEAR flat I flip it over about every other pass-thru.

It’s slow going, but I’m still on my first set of blades and it’s been about 2.5 years.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View WhyMe's profile


1013 posts in 1559 days

#5 posted 04-26-2015 09:17 PM

What feed rate are you using?

View Redoak49's profile


3242 posts in 1986 days

#6 posted 04-26-2015 09:26 PM

I have had my 735 for quite a few years and not had that problem. I only run it on the slow speed and take reasonable cuts…pretty shallow each time

I had a 733 and broke the sprockets taking too big of a pass and it sounds like similar to the way yours broke.

Good advice about checking for thick spots when starting and slowly getting it down to planning the whole surface.

I would also think the old stuff is pretty tough. Sorry to hear of your problems and hope you can work your way out of it.

How about posting a picture of the wood?

View jumbojack's profile


1676 posts in 2622 days

#7 posted 04-26-2015 09:29 PM

Have you been pointing one face first?

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View pintodeluxe's profile


5658 posts in 2811 days

#8 posted 04-26-2015 09:38 PM

It sounds like the root of the problem is that the planer is trying to mill rough stock. Lumber should be jointed flat on one side with a jointer. Then the flat edge is placed facing down against the planer bed, and planed to uniform thickness. As others have said, one end of the board may read 1/16 to be removed, but by the time you get to the other end it is hogging off 1/8” or more. I usually try to eyeball which end is thickest, and send that end through the planer first.

My apologies if you are jointing first, but it wasn’t specified. The sole purpose of our comments is to help you achieve success with your project. I have found the 735 to be pretty robust, so it is surprising. Sorry to hear you are having issues with it.

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

View jak77's profile


18 posts in 1940 days

#9 posted 04-26-2015 11:16 PM

As pinto suggested. Are you jointing one side then skip planing until parallel? Or are you running an old rough milled twisted and uneven board through the planer?

If you are breaking sprockets, chains and keys excessive shock loads are probably to blame.

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2444 days

#10 posted 04-26-2015 11:29 PM

Long pieces should be supported on both infeed and outfeed sides of the planer, the weight of the lumber should not put any strain on the blade/rollers as it’s being planed.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View TimtheWoodRookie's profile


2 posts in 1125 days

#11 posted 04-27-2015 03:55 AM

Thank you all for the help. First of all the boards are pretty straight to begin with. These were all from a building on our old homestead. No big twists in the boards. Not sure if this is the right way to do it but i have been cranking the head up to clear the lumber that i am putting in. Then i slide the board of choice into the feed side, and i slowly crank down the cutter head until the rollers grab the boards. So the first pass is just enough to take a little off the whole board. Most of the first passes are hitting just the high spots as the board come out the other side they are barely touched. I then turn the crank a little more than a 1/4 turn lowering the cutter again and run the board through again. I have been doing this on one side until i get to some good clean lumber. After this I have the board flipped over and start the process all over again.

So far I have run approx. 200 different boards through the planer. so its not like this was a new thing. I have a good pile of shavings all over in the shop. But it happened on a board both times that you can not see much of a difference in thickness post blades and pre blades when it quit. I know that I am not taking off to much at a time. I had just never heard that old lumber is bad for a planer because its hard on them. I will say that I replaced the blades not that long ago, well i flipped them just before this all happened. However I looked at them and they are still very sharp. I am wondering if i got the bad egg that made it thought QA or if Dewalt is not that good at planers. However I have seen so many posts and review that is why I got it. I do have a buddy that I make website adjustments for him that is a cabinet builder and he came by and took the remaining lumber to run through his planer at work. I just know that i can not afford and Oliver like he has.

I do not have pictures but i can get some if you think it will help get a better felling for the topic. I have been running the planer on the setting that is not the finish one…I for get what it is. 89 cuts per inch compared to 127 cuts per inch….or something like that. Sorry I’m in the living room now and the planer is in the shop.

Again thank you all. I will look the planer over. See if taking it back to the DeWalt shop has something that plays out. Ill keep posted for those that care.


View TheFridge's profile


9460 posts in 1484 days

#12 posted 04-27-2015 04:19 AM

Sounds more like the board is sticking to the bed while rollers keep trying to push it through. If you’ve never waxed the bed, this may be the prob. Just throwing that out there, I’m prob wrong.

Just planed some 8-10” rough cut white oak and I keep the passes to 1/32” or whatever keep the motor from overworking and keep the feed rate at 172? Or whatever it is so it feeds slower.

I pretty much run whatever speed and depth that keeps the motor from really being taxed. I’d rather replace knives than the motor. Or any other part.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View greenacres2's profile


320 posts in 2166 days

#13 posted 04-27-2015 10:47 AM

Waxing the bed and wiping the rollers every now and then sure makes a difference on mine—especially the waxing.

View MrFid's profile


874 posts in 1902 days

#14 posted 04-27-2015 12:01 PM

Do you own a jointer? If not, that might be part of the problem. When you run a board through without jointing one face first, whatever small twist or bow you do have will not be planed out. If you’re not in the market for a jointer right now, there are workarounds (I know because I operated for a little while with the 735 and no jointer). See this video for a solution. Apologies if you know all this already.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View WhyMe's profile


1013 posts in 1559 days

#15 posted 04-27-2015 01:27 PM

Unless you are in a big hurry to plane the boards trying using the slower feed rate with the highest cuts per inch. The slower feed rate puts less stress on the machine. Actually speed “1” is recommended for hardwood.

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