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Help with old Elektra Beckum HC 260 planer thicknesser

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h2h

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Hi I got a used Elektra Beckum HC 260 P/T 3 years ago but I only just made the space to actually use it today!

It's a serial no 100078, which is more a version number. I seen other people on this forum with a 100078 and theirs was 1979, mine must be about the same age.

I have a question about the cutter block, and specifically the blade height adjustment mechanism. In addition to the 4 main screws that tighten the blade in place, I see in videos there should also be a grub screw at each end of the cutterblock which is used for blade height adjustment.

Now mine does not have any such thing, either because previous owners removed them, or perhaps because mine is such an old one it never had these adjusters in the first place, maybe it was added to later revisions.

When I got it, the seller did say something about 1 issue it had, but did not stop it from working, I'm beginning to think that it was these height adjusters he was referring to....

Having removed the blades and backplates, at each end of cutterblock I do see a small spring there - may well be the remnants of the old mechanism. But tbh the spring is so puny I cannot believe it would be strong enough to push up anything like the weight of a blade, so perhaps not.

So it would be great to learn if the vintage 100078's should indeed have the blade height adjusters or not. If they do, I guess I need a new cutterblock, hopefully they come with the height adjusters.

I have never used a planer thicknesser, except I did try it once when I got it home in planer mode only, and it worked. I want to get the blades sharpened and put back in, and use it now I have the space. Many thanks, help much appreciated!

btw, it has 3mm blades in it, not disposable ones. The 4 holes are oval, which does allow for adjustment that way. I'm not against getting new disposable blades if that's the easiest way to get up and running. This is all new to me.
 

SammyQ

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Hiya. I've got one, presently in storage; but I will try to.get in there and investigate for you. Think I have a manual which I can scan and send you a copy.

Sam
 

Fitzroy

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Suggest you post a pic of the cutter block, knives and knife holders. That will really help us compare to our models and advise you.

Fitz
 

Glynne

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Fitzroy":h6kxc51r said:
Suggest you post a pic of the cutter block, knives and knife holders. That will really help us compare to our models and advise you.

Fitz
+1
I’m out today but I’ll have a look at mine tomorrow.
I don’t recall ever seeing grub screws and I have replaced my disposable blades quite a few times.
 

h2h

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Great! Thanks a lot for the replies. I took some pics here they are

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/323wguqocsmn ... 0Ogza?dl=0

Now the blades are 3mm thick with oval holes. They are totally flat both sides (no notches in corner...)
The back plates are 4mm think with round threaded holes. Again flat both sides, nothing else but the holes.
In the 2nd pic you can see that piddly little spring I was talking about. Not sure what that is, there are 4 of them. The are wired into the center of the cutting block, and just kind of hang loose.

Although I did not rotate the CB around taking pics of whole thing, there is nothing there, no evidence of grub screw, or previous mechanism. There is not really any space either for that matter.

This is the video I saw that got me confused - he has the same planer as me but it looks a good deal newer. Skip to 3:20 and see him show the height adjustment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uXh1fx6JE0&t=368s

I'm kind of working this out myself now, I think. Because that what he is adjusting is basically his equivalent of what I am calling the 'back plate' which for me is just a flat bar with 4 round threaded holes. You see his is fancier, and has the allen key height adjustments. His blades also have notches in the bottom corners, mine do not.

So I reckon more recent HC 260's have that, and my old 100078 (197x vintage - the x worn off heh) do not.

As for that 'issue' the seller did mention which i feared may be the height adjusters, it may have been nothing except the on/off switch which broke and has been replaced by a 'caravan plug', the out door sockets used on caravans. It just fires up as soon as it has power, no switch which is fine for me. Yes, it is of the earthed variety, I checked.

So I'm feeling there is no real problem here. It's just going to be more fiddly to get the blades correctly setup on these old 100078's. If Glynne changed his blades a few times and didn't see any grub screws, I should be OK. I will get these blades sharpened on Monday then for the final hurdle - trying it in thicknesser mode. Once I have the blades in straight that is...

And SammyQ, yes if you have a manual for the old 100078's that would be really fantastic, thanks :) There are quite a few differences on the old ones compared to more recent editions of same model I see on the internet.

Thanks a lof for the help every body, much appreciated.
 

SammyQ

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Ooops...my bad.I do not have that type of 260C. Mine is the same as Peter Sefto demonstrates in the video. I also do not have 'springy thingies' on mine AND I swopped out the older pattern blade holders for the alle key adjusted ones. Sorry, this well is dry.

Sam
 

h2h

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Yes I think I might like to upgrade like you to get the allen key height adjustment - looks a lot easier to get it setup properly.

Look like this might be the thing https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/391727449112

Will take a more in depth look around when I get home tonight.

My only concern is some kind of mismatch between HC 260 C's and a plain old HC 260 like mine.
 

Fitzroy

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As you say I think your figuring it out yourself. My prior planer a DW1150 was a clone of the HC260 and had the adjustable bars that hold the knives.

My current planer a Wadkin BFT9 has springs in the cutter block channels that lift the knives. Setting the knives is a case of installing them a bit proud with the screws lightly torqued, then tapping them back to the correct position with a fine hammer. However the springs in my channels are considerably more chunky than yours.

Fitz.
 

SteveW1000

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Yes that's an early one like mine from when EB made a number of machines that took a swappable motor. The springs are all that's at the end of the blades to help setting blades. Only problems that I've had with mine are the blade holding screws which I've replace at least twice and the plastic coupling on the motor shaft which has also bee replace with a bit of plastic and finally the toothed belt and pulley needed replacing which the Metabo rep kindly took off another machine as latter models use an under slung motor with different drive sytem. Great little machine which mine has done thousands of feet of timber.
 

h2h

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Disappointing result today!

I got one of these https://www.ffx.co.uk/tools/product/Met ... gLEx_D_BwE

And I got my blades sharpened (260x3mm) and I was pretty confident it was all going to fit! But it does not :(

The slot in the cutter block is 9mm wide, and even with no blades the new blade holder is 13mm wide at the bottom (and it tapers down as it goes up, although my cutter block slot is 9mm top and bottom.

So I messed up and purchased the wrong thing.

The basic idea here was to get the allen key blade height adjustment feature on my old 70's Elektra Beckum HC260, serial no 100078 its a real old one.

I note the Metabo 0911030845 I ordered is a 'HC 260C Blade conversion Kit', I have a HC 260, not a HC 260 C.

I see there is also the Metabo 1011670594 https://www.mtmc.co.uk/Metabo-101167059 ... 76456.aspx

No pic available and no mention of height adjustment. It takes only 1mm disposable blades, which is not a problem although I would prefer to keep my 3mm resharpenable ones if possible. I wonder if the Metabo 1011670594 has the allen key height adjustment.

If anybody has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
 

Trevanion

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Could you not drill holes and tap threads into your existing gib to allow adjustment?
 

h2h

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That's a good idea but probably a bit adventurous for me tbh.

Well I just used the planer properly for the first time. I used my sharpened blades, and existing backplates. It was not that difficult to get the blades 'kind of ok' without the allen keys to do the fine tuning.

Now as ever, my in feed table is height adjustable, the outfeed table is fixed. Both are bedded in fine with no problems. This is the issue I am having... remember this is my first time using a planer thicknesser...

I could not get the wood to A) make contact with blades and B) clear the outfeed table without it getting caught on the outfeed table on the way through. And this is with blades set to maximum height. I could to A or B, but not A and B simultaneously.

I did get the wood to plane, but not without clipping the outfeed table on way through which is far from ideal obviously. Result was pretty nice I must say! Except for part where it clipped into outfeed table...

Common sense tells me that the blades need to be exactly level with the outfeed table, else woods going to clip it on the way through. Exactly level, or just fractionally proud even.

So I reckon the only possible explanation for this is... that my blades have been sharpened so many times, and lost a bit of reach each time, that they just are not tall enough any more to reach the level of the outfeed table.

I did put the infeed table up to as close of the blades as possible, just 1mm of clearance, and that way the wood would pass over without clipping the outfeed table - but misses the blades so no good. If I lower infeed so I hit the blades and plane wood, then I catch the outfeed so it's catch 22.

I'm hoping you folks will concur that my blades have just been worn down too much by sharpening.

I took some pics of the blades at max height here https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s2ki2vrv844r ... dTlXa?dl=0
See how the low edge of the blade angle is just flush with the cutter block itself? I'm guessing new blades will have 2-3mm of flat surface before the blade angle kicks in. Hope so anyways!

Having said that, from looking at Peter Parfitts video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uXh1fx6JE0&t=368s), it's not so clear to see but his do not look any different to mine - the lower edge of blade looks pretty flush with cutter block which is ominous. Hopefully I'm wrong about that. I also now notice that the slots in peters CB are wider than mine. His are 20mm at least, mine is 9mm. That locking bar Peter has is what I just purchased and cannot fit into slot.
 

h2h

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It's seems pretty clear that the blades have been ground down so much over the years they are no longer deep enough.

But it's less straightforward than I imagined to find the correct parts. I think because I have one of the oldest hc 260's it's trickier because the is a much bigger chance the parts have changed design over the years.

Like the cutter block in mine. It has 2 slots 9mm wide and 24-26mm deep (1 side deeper than other). In later hc 260's the slots are twice as wide, and can take the Metabo 0911030845 which I purchased in error.

So I'm googling for hc 260 parts, and the stuff still does not look like it is going to fit, so I worry about buying more incorrect stuff.

That includes blades, I google for EB HC 260 blades and get loads of results, but I can see they are not the right blades for me!

Now I found these ones https://***********************/elektra ... -pair.html

25mm deep, sounds about right! Mine are visually the same as this, with the 4 oval slot holes. Mine are down to 20.6mm now. And these look good as I see the gap under the slot holes is small with a bigger gap above. Mine have small gaps top and bottoms due to many sharpenings over the years. So these ones feel good to me, I'll order some. Edit: Hmm I had realised these are HG260 blades, I hoped that was a blade product code suitable for HC260 use, but no there is actually a HG260 machine. Mines definitely a HC260. Even so these blades still seem to be the best match I can find. Pff! Will ask Woodford about it before ordering....

Seems you get HC 260 C's, M's and K's. Not sure what the difference are. This was throwing me off a little as mines just a HC 260. Started thinking mine is what you might call a HC 260 A, ie v1.0, but actually more recent machines also just labelled HC 260. I'm going to assume mine is a C.

I'm happy enough to set these blades the old fashioned way, but still have not completely given up getting the allen key fine tuning. That would be the icing on the cake, but right now I would just like to be able to do some planing! So I'm looking to find something equivalent to the Metabo 0911030845 but which fits into the smaller 9mm slots found on the series 100078 hc 260's. If anybody knows anything about that, that would be fantastic. I will also contact metabo about it on monday.
 

h2h

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Actually there is no HG260 machine as I thought there was in prev post. Reason I thought there was was because there is a tonne of adverts all over the world, all saying 'suitable for HG260', but tonight I noticed they are all ads from the same seller! I think 1 typo has been replicated all over the web.

So I'm ordering some, the blades in prev post from Woodfords. I reckon ad is wrong, HG260 is meant to say HC260.

As for the allen key height fine adjustment thingy, I'm starting to feel that is basically a non starter on the cutter blocks found in the 100078 model, but I aint giving up on it yet!
 

h2h

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Here's a summary of how things turned out, for the benefit of others contemplating making the same mistake.

Just to recap, I got an old 100078 series Elektra Beckum HC260, looked on youtube how to set the blades and fantasically found Peter Parfitt making a video on just that - and on the very same machine no less. Although his did look and was newer.

One of the important parts of the process he explained was using the grub screws on the blade locking bar to fine tune the blade height and alignment.

My old machine did not have that locking bar with grub screws, and I set about upgrading it to get that. But the whole idea is a non starter.

I ordered the locking bar found on what I now realise is only the newer machines, Metabo 0911030845 I ordered is a 'HC 260C Blade conversion Kit'. I was a disappointed when it did not fit. So do not do this!

My 100078 series cutting block has 9mm slots and looks like this (empty) https://www.dropbox.com/s/oyzmwc51ivid3 ... 3.JPG?dl=0

The newer ones have a bigger slot of 22mm+ and looks like this (loaded with blades and bar) download/file.php?id=60536&mode=view

I still searched on for something else, but it does not exist. Do not waste your time! I contacted Metabo, and they confirmed the bad news.

I then had the idea of changing the cutter block for a new style one and using the modern locking bar, however Metabo advised this is not a good idea for a variety of reasons. Which is a great shame.

I have to say hats off to Metabo, I was not sure I would get a reply for my 70's era machine but I did and they were very helpfull too, which was nice.

The machine works well enough still, great in fact. I am now able to plane and thickness finally! I am getting lousy results, but it only my first try. Need to a good deal of tinkering. The planed finish is great, but results out of whack, one side of wood thinner than other, and length ways the wood is thiner at both ends, and tapers out a thick point in the middle. I guess that is table alignment and/or blade height issues. I have a lot of fiddling about to do yet, I hope I can get it true.

I can see though that getting the blades really spot on, wihtout those grub screws, is going to be very very difficult indeed.

The machine is super for its age, and has no microswitches and very little to go wrong with, but my advice is if your buying a HC260 make sure you get one of the later models with the different cutterblock style which can accomodate the locking bar with the grub screws for fine tuning.

Btw the blades it takes are 25x3x260, found here confusingly lablled HG260 https://***********************/elektra ... -pair.html
 

Trevanion

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I know you said that it might be a bit adventurous for you tap a couple of holes in your gibs to accept Allen grub screws but I would seriously think about it, it would be less faff than changing out a cutter block like you considered.

All you'd need is a set of M4 taps, a 3.3mm drill bit and a small tap wrench to hold the taps. Since you're only tapping 4 holes you don't need to buy a really expensive set of taps or even a set, a single taper tap should do it but it's worth having the 3 just in case one snaps. You could get a set for about £5 or even get one with a wrench for a little more with some extra different sized taps. And then the 3.3mm drill bit for drilling the holes in the gib. Total cost would only be around £10-15 for all the bits to do it.
 

h2h

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Hi everybody, I started this thread last summer. Sincere thanks for all your help last year :)

I was a novice with an old machine, I had quite a bit of frustration getting true results out of my old 1979 Elektra Beckum HC260. Unfortunately something happened around that time that took precedence, and then after that the good weather was gone for the year - I wheel it outside to use it. I did not make any further progress with machine.

Today I have had another session with the machine, spent most of the day attempting the finicky art of setting the blades manually. I got a lot better at it throught the day. The other important thing I did was to get the new blades level with the out feed table - so no more of that downhill-uphill nonsense.

Now I am getting nice flat results - I got a test piece with a noticeable bend in it and surface planed it. After a few passes is was totally flat :) This was a first for me, felt great finally to put the piece against something else flat and see it fit perfectly flush and straight :)

So surface planing went great. Did not do any jointing yet but that will be fine, I'll use a square to set the fence.

Then on to thicknessing. As mentioned I had never got a flat result last year, so I had no flatness to begin with from the surface planing. So thicknessing rater pointless.

But now I have my flat results from planing, I put that through the thicknessser it it all worked great also. Really happy about that!

I knew I did not have the blades spot on, it was just my best attempt so far. One end of the blade is a bit higher than the other and catches the wood more, just a little bit.

So I was not surprised when I got my micrometer and measured the thickness of my test piece on the left and the right and they are different. one side is 10.5mm the other 11.4mm, and the test piece is only 76mm wide so that's quite a lot.

The problem can only be 2 things - me setting the blades out of alignment, or the thicknesser bed itself is out of alignment.

My first thoughts were of my setting of the blades, as I knew they were not spot on. I set them by using a steel rule on the outfeed table, and getting the blade to very lightly touch the rule.

Having said that, 0.9mm error on 76mm wide test piece with 260mm blades, that kind of suggests to me the blades must be 3mm higher at one end, or the combined effects of both blades anyway. I would like to think I did not set them more than 1mm out of alignment but could not be sure of that. I hope I am, else it is the thicknesser bed itself which is a bigger problem. I am aware you can take the chain off and do something about that, shift it 1 chain link on 3 corners, something like that I have read before.

Either way, I need to get better at setting the blades even if the thicknesser bed does turn out to on the cock. I wanted to ask you all about these :-

https://www.charnwood.net/products/prod ... athway-119

So what I'm going to do is, buy the above knife setting jig, remove both tables from machine, put the jigs on each end of cutter block with the black square magnets (taking care to get them central to the blade, and in line with each over at both ends of cutter block), then use the silver magnet in the middle to pull the blades up. I'll set the depth on each jig to be the same, then tighten the blades up. When I have it correct, I'll leave the jigs at their current setting for future use.

That would be correct wouldn't it?
 

h2h

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Yes that would be correct! Now I see it being used that way in one of the pics on the charnwood site. Apologies.

I'm going to get a pair of these jigs.
 

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