Advice needed on secondhand Sedgwick 10" planer/thicknesser

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donturner

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I just bought a secondhand Sedgwick 10" planer/thicknesser (it was this one, and I followed advice from this thread and this thread). Everything checked out apart from 2 things. One I hope is easy to fix, and the other I'm hoping doesn't matter 🤞.

Firstly, the main cog is rubbing slightly on the rectangular metal bar which connects it to the small spur gear. Is there any easy adjustment to fix that? Maybe by undoing the small grub screw on the bar and moving it slightly further along the spur gear shaft?

1680295101152.png

1680295117333.png


Secondly, the infeed table edge is 0.3mm lower than the spindle on the far edge. In this post @deema says:

Verify that the infeed table edge closest to the spindle is actually parallel to the spindle on either side (not the blades the actually body of the spindle) you will need an accurate clock and stand. If it isn’t walk away, chancers are the infeed table sliders are worn.

Here's the measurements:

Near side (closest to operator)
1680296064328.png


Far side (closest to fence):

1680296113920.png


Is this within the usual tolerances of the machine or does it indicate that the infeed sliders are worn? The real question being: should I have walked away? To be honest, 0.3mm isn't a big deal for the kind of work I'll be doing but I would like to know if this is a symptom of something costly I need to be concerned about, especially if I decide to sell the machine in future.
 
I think you have worked out the way to eliminate the rubbing,but use restraint and maybe a very thin washer to hold the gear away from the metal strap,if there is no other means of preventing the gear moving in sync with the strap re-locating.

I have only used the slightly larger Sedgwick planer/thicknesser and don't remember it being of the type that uses a setting jig on the cutter block.If this machine doesn't use the cutter block for a setting reference,I would expect that the traditional method of using a straight edge from the outfeed table will give a satisfactory result.The situation that would really,really concern me would be if the two tables had a similar misalignment.
 
Wouldn’t worry about if you should have walked away, it’s a great machine just work out what you need to do to remedy. I can’t say I have ever checked how parallel the cutter block is to the tables, if you set the knife edge parallel to the table edge then it becomes irrelevant to the planer. If the two tables are not coplanar then you have something to resolve.

Id likely workout how the table comes off and see if you can shim something to get things level, mainly as I tend to take new to me machines apart for the fun of knowing how they work.
 
Getting the tables aligned to the spindle is usually an easy fix. So, the infeed table is on ramps, all you have to do is push the casting which is low towards the outfeed table, or conversely pull the high side away from the outfeed table. There is usually a bit of slop in the bolts that hold the supporting side castings down to the cast bed that the thicknesser table is attached to. There are four bolts to undo, the two under the outfeed table and the two holding the casting down to allow the side to move. In the next to worst case scenario you might have to undo both sides or worst case enlarge the mounting holes a bit. Be aware, it can take a fair bit of pressure to move, and it can be fiddly to get it correct. Lots of adjust, tighten down, measure, redo, redo, have a cup of tea, swear a little, kick the dog, redo…..or you can get lucky.

The catching is highly likely to be due to the bronze bushes being worn in the arm. Another characteristic is often the flat belt won’t run in the centre of the wheels. They are standard off the shelf sintered bronze bushes. You may well also need a reamer after pressing in replacements. To check, just take the belt off and see if it has lateral movement.
 
First off, thanks very much - what a great forum this is where knowledgable people take the time to share their wisdom and experience.

I've done some more measuring and confirmed that the tables are coplanar to within 0.1mm from end to end. I'm astonished over at how flat the tables are even after 40 or so years.

Back to the spindle alignment, @deema thanks very much for the suggestion. After more measuring I realised that both the infeed and outfeed table are out of parallel with the spindle to the same degree (0.3mm higher on the operator side). Put another way, the spindle is low on one side relative to both tables, rather than just the infeed. If I understand your adjustment method correctly, it only affects the infeed table because you're moving the side casting (which houses the spindle) relative to the infeed table.

Is there a way to adjust the spindle height relative to both tables? I spotted some grub screws around the spindle housing but unsure what they do.

Operator side
1680372559077.png

Fence side:
1680372589714.png


Or perhaps the bearings are particularly worn on one side - could that cause the 0.3mm difference?

Now the rectangular bar rubbing. The brass bushes are worn, I will replace them, however, I think there could be other causes:

#1 there's some play in the bar itself, it is not a tight fit over the main cog shaft. I'm not sure whether it's the bar or the shaft is worn, or maybe it's supposed to be a little bit loose so it can move and it's something else like...

#2 The retaining collar won't hold the bar snug to the cog because the grub screw which holds it in place, when tightened, screws into a small detent on the shaft, presumably made by previous screwings, which pulls the collar backwards slightly. I hope that makes sense, photo below. Maybe I should file this out, so the grub screw doesn't gravitate into the existing hole? I'm concerned that maybe this detent is supposed to be there to stop the retaining collar being pushed too tight against the cog?

Attached is a video of the machine in action, just in case it's useful - you can see the belt wobbling all over the place.
 

Attachments

  • planer.mov
    22.7 MB
First align the outfeed to the spindle, and then the outfeed is adjusted. There is either some form of adjustment in the form of bolts to adjust the height or it’s a case of shimming. You have to take a good look at the outfeed to find out which, there have been a few systems employed. @Sideways and I like to use beer cans as shims, they are brilliantly consist in thickness.
I think the arm has bushes in both ends, it’s been a while since we last did one up. From the video you have the classic wandering flat belt because the arm is out of alignment. The retaining collar is just that, the bar itself should maintain its alignment.
 
@Sideways and I like to use beer cans as shims, they are brilliantly consist in thickness.

Our beer comes in bottles here, and they don't work very well as shim stock. :D

When I was struggling with my other P/T, I bought a bunch of inexpensive stainless steel feeler gauge sets from Amazon. This gave me a wide range of thicknesses in small increments. In most cases, I didn't need the entire length of a particular feeler gauge, so I cut a piece to fit and still had shim stock for the next job.
 
Oh I've got plenty of beer cans 😄

Any tips for getting those brass bushings out? I'm thinking a punch and some brute force should do it.

Also, is there any specific place you'd recommend for buying new ones? Would these do? Oil Filled Sintered Bronze Bushes - Plain - WychBearings.co.uk
Simply Bearings are good, and despite the name supply all sorts of other stuff too. And if you weren't already aware they are commonly referred to as oilite bushes, might help in your search. When you fit them initially they should be on the tight side, as they wear in. If you ream them to the clearance you want Initially then after a few hours running they will be loose.
 
Getting the tables aligned to the spindle is usually an easy fix. So, the infeed table is on ramps, all you have to do is push the casting which is low towards the outfeed table, or conversely pull the high side away from the outfeed table. There is usually a bit of slop in the bolts that hold the supporting side castings down to the cast bed that the thicknesser table is attached to. There are four bolts to undo, the two under the outfeed table and the two holding the casting down to allow the side to move. In the next to worst case scenario you might have to undo both sides or worst case enlarge the mounting holes a bit. Be aware, it can take a fair bit of pressure to move, and it can be fiddly to get it correct. Lots of adjust, tighten down, measure, redo, redo, have a cup of tea, swear a little, kick the dog, redo…..or you can get lucky.

I'm very much in the "swear a little" phase at the moment. I've tried adjusting both side castings, one pulling towards the infeed, and the other away from it but have only been able to reduce the gap to 0.15mm. Now, no matter how hard I push or pull, I can't close the gap any further. It's not because the side castings won't move - there's still space around the mounting holes, it's because that when one side casting is fixed to the base, the other just won't skew any further. I feel like I'm skewing the spindle and it's resisting my efforts.

There are four bolts to undo, the two under the outfeed table and the two holding the casting down to allow the side to move.

By "the two under the outfeed table" you do mean the 2 bolts which attach the outfeed table to the side casting? Fearful I might have missed an obvious bolt to undo.

Any other tips, or should I just accept that it's not going to get any better than this? Not a big deal but slightly frustrating that I haven't been able to get it bang on.

Aside from the above, I have made good progress today. I was able to shim the thicknesser table to be perfectly parallel to the spindle, and the same with the outfeed table (needed 0.4mm shims across the whole mounting area on one side). It's just the infeed which is now causing me problems.
 
Its your machine and your time,but wouldn't it be simpler just to set the knives accurately and forgo the frustration involved in trying to move the castings?It is entirely possible that they have "settled" a bit since they were machined.If one knife will need to project a little more than 0.15mm to bring this about,will it make such a difference?It shouldn't affect the balance of the cutter block as the opposite knife will also be projecting to match.

I would be interested in knowing if the shimmed thicknesser table is now parallel to the surfacing table.I have distinct memories of a Sedgwick MB where it was critical to set the knives to the surfacer outfeed table if the scale on the thicknesser was to be depended on.
 
Yes, fair point. I just like things to be set up accurately. Setting the knives to compensate for a misaligned spindle would mean I'd need to re-shim both the outfeed and thicknesser table to align with the knives, rather than the spindle. I'll do this if there's no other way.
 
You need to slacked and adjust the side with the sprocket (driven side) when it moves it needs to twist, as the bearing is fixed, the other side has a floating bearing, ie the spindle can twist within the bearing. If there isn’t enough movement, you then adjust the position of the other none driven side, fasten it down and adjust again the the sprocket. We usually take off the outfeed table, it’s just easier.

There are also two bars which if you need a lot if adjustment also need slackening.
 
Yes, fair point. I just like things to be set up accurately. Setting the knives to compensate for a misaligned spindle would mean I'd need to re-shim both the outfeed and thicknesser table to align with the knives, rather than the spindle. I'll do this if there's no other way.
I don't know if you have ever replaced a set of knives,and I suspect the answer is in the negative.They do have adjusting screws solely for the purpose of aligning the knives with the outfeed table.

I have a suspicion that you may henceforth find the thicknesser cutting out of parallel across the machine as a result of the work you have done.I won't be unhappy if I'm mistaken,but suggest you investigate.
 
@worn thumbs the adjustment should only affect the infeed and not the thicknesser, it depends on how well machined the pads are that the two side castings sit on, if they are accurate, the thicknesser is unaffected. However, if the tie bars are slackened it can affect the thicknesser as the sides can be tipped ever so slightly when they are retightened. Getting the thicknesser back into parallel is just a quick shimming job.
 
You need to slacked and adjust the side with the sprocket (driven side) when it moves it needs to twist, as the bearing is fixed, the other side has a floating bearing, ie the spindle can twist within the bearing. If there isn’t enough movement, you then adjust the position of the other none driven side, fasten it down and adjust again the the sprocket. We usually take off the outfeed table, it’s just easier.

There are also two bars which if you need a lot if adjustment also need slackening.
Aha! That explains why the spindle was resisting my efforts. Will have another attempt later today. Thanks.

I don't know if you have ever replaced a set of knives,and I suspect the answer is in the negative.They do have adjusting screws solely for the purpose of aligning the knives with the outfeed table.

I have a suspicion that you may henceforth find the thicknesser cutting out of parallel across the machine as a result of the work you have done.I won't be unhappy if I'm mistaken,but suggest you investigate.
You are correct in your suspicions :) I've also never worked with an old machine like this. I'm finding it mostly a joy to work with, everything is rock solid. The challenge is figuring out how it works and what needs adjusting/replacing. Grateful for all the advice thus far.
 
I doubt you can set the planer blades to better than 0.3mm anyway

and they rarely seem to be perfectly flat when tightened in the block

maybe Im just used to working on old machines without easy adjustment
 
If there isn’t enough movement, you then adjust the position of the other none driven side, fasten it down and adjust again the the sprocket. We usually take off the outfeed table, it’s just easier.

There are also two bars which if you need a lot if adjustment also need slackening.
Armed with this knowledge I was able to align the infeed table to within 0.1mm. It's still not bang on though and it feels like I'm at the limit of skewing the side castings.

You mentioned two bars which need slackening. I slackened this one, but couldn't see another one. Which is the second bar you're referring to?

1680560313958.png


Just had a thought, I'm doing all this alignment without the fence fitted, is that a mistake or won't it make any difference? (sorry for all the questions, real noob here).
 
There is another tie bar under the outfeed table, it has the anti kick back fingers on it if the machine has the. It will have a tie bar regardless. the fence just makes it harder as it’s more weight to overcome
 
Gotcha. I've taken the outfeed table off and it does make it easier to move. Whilst it was off I noticed that the bearings on the spindle are pretty worn and could do with replacing. I've been following the instructions from this thread on stripping down a PT255 for removing the spindle:

Removing the drive belt to the cutter block first, and remembering to remove the grub screws already mentioned, begin by lightly tapping the head of the bolt securing the pulley using a piece of hardwood between the bolt and the hammer. Despite the poor condition of my machine, this was enough to start to get the cutter block slowly moving.

Unfortunately when it came to tapping the head of the bolt securing the pulley, my spindle didn't budge at all.

1680643866607.png


I confess to have gone slightly harder than "lightly" in attempt to get it moving and it seems like it's properly stuck.

I figured that if I could get some penetrant spray in there it might loosen it, the problem being that it's vertical. My solution was to carefully lie the machine on its side supported by 4 pieces of 2x4, then spray penetrant spray around the area where the spindle meets the casting. I'll leave it overnight and hopefully it'll be more willing to move tomorrow. Any other tips for unsticking it greatly appreciated.

1680644573125.png
 

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