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Holzmann HOB260NL P/T Issues

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MikeK

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This will be the first in a series of posts where I attempt to document the problems with my Holzmann HOB260NL Planer/Thicknesser (Jointer/Planer on the other side of the Atlantic), as well as any solutions or improvements. Of all the shop equipment or tools that I have purchased in the last 50 years, I regret buying the HOB260NL. At this moment, I would gladly give this to anyone who wanted to take it and save me the trouble of hauling it to the metal recycling center or taking it to the river in a pair of concrete galoshes.

I realized too late that I never took a photo of the P/T before I started on this journey. Here is a stock photo of the Holzmann HOB260NL. Aside from the red trim, mine is similar to this P/T. The HOB260NL appears to come from the same manufacturer as the Axminster AC250PT, Charnwood W583, Bernardo ADH 250P, and the Record Power PT107. If the others share a similar quality of workmanship and attention to detail, they might suffer from the same faults as I have found with mine. The smoking gun for me on each of these are the locking pins in the planer table hinges, which I will describe in detail below. Some of the more expensive models, such as the Axminster Trade versions, do not have the hinge pins and might be a higher quality machine. However, I do not expect any of those will be close to the quality of the Hammer A3-31 or SCM Minimax FS 30C machines.

HOB260NL.JPG


Here is a short list of the problems I discovered with my machine, with more details to follow:

  1. Unable to adequately adjust the planer infeed and outfeed tables so they are coplanar.
  2. Planer infeed and outfeed table adjustments require constant attention.
  3. Unable to adjust the thicknesser table so it is parallel to the cutter block.
  4. Thicknesser table moves considerably in random amounts when locking the height adjustment
I'm sure there will be more problems as I dive deeper into this machine.
 

MikeK

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1. Unable to adequately adjust the planer infeed and outfeed tables so they are coplanar

When I received the HOB260NL, I foolishly expected it to be ready to go out of the crate. After all, it is from an Austrian machinery manufacturer...or so I thought. After cleaning up the liberal amounts of oil and grease used to protect the cast iron surfaces, I noticed the planer infeed and outfeed tables had a noticeable twist from end to end. While the individual tables were flat, as verified by my Veritas 50-inch straight edge, the two tables were slightly twisted with respect to each other. As I tried to fix this, I discovered the first problem.

One side of each table was pinned to the hinge bracket with two steel pins. This made adjusting one side of each table impossible. Here is an image of the outfeed table hinge showing the pins partially removed. The two cap screws are supposed to be used to make lateral and vertical adjustments in the table, but with the pins in place, the cap screws serve no purpose and can be safely removed with no adverse affect on the table alignment or operation. The infeed table is a mirror image to the outfeed table.

HOB260NL-Pin-1.jpg



Here is an image of the inside of the outfeed table showing the pins partially inserted. I had already removed them, but put them back in place for this thread. The ends of the two cap screws can be seen between the pins.

HOB260NL-Pin-2.jpg



Here are the infeed and outfeed hinges with the pins removed. Now the cap screw adjustments work as they should.

HOB260NL-Pin-3.jpg



HOB260NL-Pin-4.jpg



One pin from each hinge was easy to remove with a hammer and drift punch, but the other two pins required a bit of convincing with a drill.

HOB260NL-Pin-5.jpg
 

MikeK

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2. Planer infeed and outfeed table adjustments require constant attention

The other side of the infeed and outfeed tables each use a pair of M6 bolts and locking nuts to set the height of the tables. There is also a M10 flanged head bolt between them that is used with the latch to lock the tables down. Unfortunately, the M6 bolts do not have a pair of locking nuts, as the M10 bolt does, and they loosen with use. After spending over three hours adjusting the tables the first time I used it, the adjustment didn't last long. I'll add another lock nut to each M6 bolt. Also, the M6 bolt tops are not flush and make partial contact with the bottom of the tables.

This is an image of the outfeed table adjustment. Both of the M6 bolts are loose from normal operation of the P/T.

HOB260NL-Feed-Table-Adjust-1.jpg



This is an image of the infeed table adjustment. I ground the tops of the bolts mostly flat, but have not installed another lock nut on them yet. As with the outfeed table, both of the M6 bolts are loose from normal operation.

HOB260NL-Feed-Table-Adjust-2.jpg
 

MikeK

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3. Unable to adjust the thicknesser table so it is parallel to the cutter block

I noticed the P/T was again out of alignment when I tried to prepare a piece of beech. There was no twist in the board, but I wanted to smooth the surfaces before resawing the board on the bandsaw. I immediately noticed the infeed and outfeed tables were no longer coplanar. With the infeed table set to the same height as the outfeed table, there was about a 2mm gap at the end of the infeed table. The four M6 bolts were loose.

HOB260NL-Infeed-Before.jpg


I decided to forget about jointing first and would pass the nearly flat board through the thicknesser to get the two surfaces smooth and parallel. After running the 55 mm thick board through the thicknesser until each side was smooth with an intended thickness of 52mm, I noticed it was not the same thickness from end to end. During each pass, I flipped the board end to end without rotating the board side to side. The difference in thickness between each side was about 3mm, which is not acceptable to me.

Thus began my journey into the bowels of this disappointing monstrosity.

The thicknesser table on the HOB260NL is supported by a center pedestal that is raised and lowered by bottom plate attached to an Acme thread. The Acme thread rod has a bevel gear on the upper end that mates with a second bevel gear at 90-degrees. This second gear is turned by the height adjustment shaft that extends through the sheet metal housing of the P/T.

Here is an image of the gear housing as seen below the thicknesser table. You can also see the height adjustment shaft and the partially threaded pedestal locking shaft to the right. On top of the gear housing and barely visible is a M10 nut that is used to hold the Acme threaded rod in place. There is a thrust bearing between the nut and the gear housing. The M8 bolt seen on the side of the housing holds the adjustment shaft bearings in place. The gear housing is attached to the pedestal base with four recessed M8 cap screws.

HOB260NL-Adjustment-1.jpg


This is an image of the disassembled height adjustment housing showing the two bevel gears and the thrust bearing. The M10 nut is not shown in this image. You might notice the lack of grease in the gear housing, the gears, and the Acme threaded rod. There is a very light film of grease on the thrust bearing. I did not clean them and this is exactly how they were when I disassembled them. I used plenty of grease when I reassembled and installed the gear housing and Acme rod. The bearings in the adjustment shaft are sealed, and they appeared to be good when I spun them.

HOB260NL-Adjustment-2.jpg


I removed the pedestal and noticed there was a M4 threaded hole next to each of of the holes for the M8 cap screws that attached the pedestal base to the chassis. This is an image of the top of the pedestal base looking down. I added the four M4 grub screws which are used to adjust the vertical angle of the pedestal and set the thicknesser table parallel to the cutter block. However, I did this before I disassembled the machine because I found another serious problem. You might notice in this image a complete lack of grease or lubricant. The pedestal slides inside this housing and makes partial and random contact with the sides. The shiny bits at the 8-o'clock position are some of the wear marks.

HOB260NL-Pedestal-Support-2.jpg
 

MikeK

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4. Thicknesser table moves considerably in random amounts when locking the height adjustment

After I installed the four M4 grub screws, I tried to adjust the angle of the thicknesser table so it was parallel to the cutter block. I used the After a lot of small adjustments and measurements, I used the Multi-Gauge by Oneway to check the measurement at the left and right side of the table. I set the left side to read "zero" as a reference point, and then moved the gauge to the right side.

This image shows one of the measurements with the left side as the zero reference.

HOB260NL-Height-1.jpg



This image shows the right side is 0.006-inch lower than the left. Initially, the left right side was 0.008-inch lower. I eventually adjusted the grub screws until the right side was also zero, but this was an involved process. For each adjustment, I had to:

  • Lower the table so I could remove the gauge
  • Raise the table so I could access the pedestal base
  • Loosen the four M8 cap screws that attached the pedestal base to the chassis
  • Make a small adjustment to the M4 grub screws
  • Tighten the four M8 cap screws
  • Lower the table so I could place the gauge
  • Raise the table so the gauge contacted the cutter block
  • Set the left side to zero
  • Slide the gauge to the right to check for parallel
  • Lather, rinse, repeat
It was through a couple of iterations that I learned very small movements of the M4 grub screws made about a 0.002-inch difference in height of the right side of the table.


HOB260NL-Height-2.jpg


Once I was happy with my alignment, I locked the pedestal and my heart sank. At the 13cm table height the right side of the table rose 0.010-inch and the left side dropped 0.007-inch. This told me there was a problem with the locking mechanism, so I decided to tear down the machine.

When I removed the pedestal assembly, I did not know what manufacturing delights would await me. Before I forget, here is an image of the packing (seal) in the pedestal base as it was received. I had no idea if it was damaged, but thankfully, it was good and I was able to correctly insert it into the base when I reassembled and greased the pedestal.

HOB260NL-Pedestal-3.jpg


After removing the pedestal from the base, I saw the locking shoe floating in a large roughly cast opening in the base.

HOB260NL-Shoe-1.jpg


The shoe does not attach to the locking shaft and floats in the recess. When the locking shaft is turned, the end of the shaft makes contact with the shoe wherever it is in the pedestal base and the shoe is pushed into the pedestal. Here is an image of the shoe and the locking shaft in relative alignment. I made the black Sharpie marks on the shoe, but the shiny bits are from contact with the end of the locking shaft.

HOB260NL-Shoe-2.jpg



I made fresh reference marks on the shoe and inserted it in the pedestal base to see where it would come to rest.

HOB260NL-Shoe-3.jpg


The shoe can move about an equal distance in any direction inside the recess, as shown in this image. I think I can improve this, but don't know how much effect it will have on the overall operation of the thicknesser table adjustment.

HOB260NL-Shoe-4.jpg
 

MikeK

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4. (continued) Thicknesser table moves considerably in random amounts when locking the height adjustment

I have a large sheet of 8mm thick HDPE and thought I could make an insert to keep the shoe somewhat centered in the recess so it would have a consistent contact with the locking shaft.

First, I marked out the dimension of the shoe on the HDPE and cut out the center.

HOB260NL-Shoe-5.jpg


Close enough.

HOB260NL-Shoe-6.jpg


Next, I cut the insert out slightly over size since it is easy to trim.

HOB260NL-Shoe-7.jpg


Fettling complete, and the shoe with its new insert is in place. It's not the prettiest insert on the block, but it works.

HOB260NL-Shoe-8.jpg


A view of the reference marks with the insert in place. The shoe does not move side to side or up and down, but can move freely in and out when the locking shaft is turned.

HOB260NL-Shoe-9.jpg


While I had the pedestal base out, I noticed the M8 threaded hole opposite the locking shoe. This was too large for a grease fitting, so I thought it might be another missing bolt or bushing to counter the pedestal shaft movement when the lock was set.

HOB260NL-Pedestal-Support-1.jpg


I took the opportunity to insert the missing bolt, as well add two more bolts to keep the pedestal shaft from shifting to the sides when the lock was set. One of the bolts is not on the 90-degree mark because the bevel gear housing interferes with it. I located the new bolt as close to the 90-degree point as I could without hitting the gear housing. Each of the three bolts was turned in so it made contact with the shaft and then locked into place. The contact is light, and would no doubt leave lots of scoring if the pedestal operated with the speed and frequency of a piston. I can tolerate some pedestal shaft scoring if it corrects the other problems.

HOB260NL-Pedestal-Support-3.jpg
 

MikeK

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4. (continued) Thicknesser table moves considerably in random amounts when locking the height adjustment

I reassembled the thicknesser table into the chassis with plenty of grease where I thought it was needed. I noticed immediately the height adjustment was smoother and quieter and did not have that familiar sound of tortured metal. After a fresh series of M4 grub screw adjustments and checks with the table at the 13cm height, the table was again parallel with the cutter block. Now for the moment of truth with the pedestal lock.

Another disappointment. When I tightened the lock, the left side dropped 0.0025-inch and the right side rose 0.004-inch. When I loosened the lock, the table went back to zero on both sides, plus or minus 0.0005-inch. This combined movement of 0.0065-inch is about 0.165mm, and I think I can live with this. Maybe.

HOB260NL-Height-3.jpg


HOB260NL-Height-4.jpg


After setting the thicknesser table parallel at the 13cm height, I checked it at the 17cm and 20cm heights. The difference between the left and right side was 0.002-inch, or 0.05mm. The values changed when the pedestal was locked, but was about 0.001-inch at the 17cm height and barely noticeable at the 20cm height.

With my limited dial gauges, I don't have any way to check the table closer than 13cm from the cutter block. I'll have to make some test cuts after I sort through the planer table alignment.

Concerning the table changes when the pedestal lock is applied, I am ready to remove and discard the locking shaft and make a compression fitting for the height adjustment shaft. There is very little gear lash in the bevel gears, so if I can effectively lock the shaft and prevent it from turning, the table will not move. This will make me a tiny bit happier, or less frustrated with this machine.

More to follow...unless I get fed up with this and make a midnight trip to the river.
 

Cabinetman

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Mike that really is a tale of woe, and I rather shamefacedly say I haven’t had to adjust my SCM minimax in ANY way in the last 10 years, and embarrassingly it’s had hardly any maintenance either, ok it’s only used a few minutes a month. Time for your trip to the river I think! Ian
 

MikeK

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Ian, the SCM is on my short list for a replacement. I asked the dealer where I bought my Minimax SC2C to start looking for one. I would still have to take it apart to get it into the basement shop, but I had to the the same thing with SC2C.

The HOB260NL was the first shop machine I bought when I was planing to use my garage as the shop and it sat in the crate for several months. I didn't have a point of reference on what to look for or what to avoid because hobbyist woodworking is not as popular in Germany as it is almost everywhere else. Now I know and I don't mind letting this machine swim with the fish if I can't beat it into submission. I never confuse cost with value. :)
 

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Ian, the SCM is on my short list for a replacement. I asked the dealer where I bought my Minimax SC2C to start looking for one. I would still have to take it apart to get it into the basement shop, but I had to the the same thing with SC2C.

The HOB260NL was the first shop machine I bought when I was planing to use my garage as the shop and it sat in the crate for several months. I didn't have a point of reference on what to look for or what to avoid because hobbyist woodworking is not as popular in Germany as it is almost everywhere else. Now I know and I don't mind letting this machine swim with the fish if I can't beat it into submission. I never confuse cost with value. :)
Mine is undoubtedly heavy! Difficult enough moving it at all so I can’t imagine getting it down steps lol. Hope you have better luck with your new one. Jfyi, mine is the 350mm wide with 3 Tersa blades. The finish it leaves is incredible. Ian
 

Fergie 307

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One idea you could try with the locking shoe would be to machine a bore in it, and a corresponding spigot on the end of the locking screw so it doesn't wander around. But as you say overall a pretty shocking state for a supposedly quality machine.
 

RobinBHM

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The first planer thicknesser I bought was a brand new Electra Beckum - and although it’s locking mechanism for the outfeed table was a bit crude, it did work and was adjustable.

the thicknessing side was excellent, nice stainless steel clad base and the rise and fall pretty repeatable.

It was a diy machine so it needed constant adjusting to maintain accuracy, but it dI’d work well.


Im sorry to hear about the troubles with your machine - it’s horrible when a new machine turns out to be a dud.
 

clogs

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Mike
what a pile of junk.......shame u cant get ur money back.....
it also a shame that the rest of the world doesn't know how bad it is......
to me it looks like it was designed, machined and built in a shed....as a prototype....

the expression we use is a "Boat anchor"........sorry.....

out of interest what does one pay for a new machine of this type/make.....?
 

Sporky McGuffin

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There's a lot shared between that and my Axminster AWH106PT2 - the bolts for setting table height in particular. I'm afraid to look too closely at mine now - I can see why you're not happy with it.
 

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Hi Mike

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

The SCM FS30C or the Hammer A3-31 would clearly be upgrades on your existing machine.

A possible alternative would be machines made by Holzprofi. The company is based in Austria but I have dealt with their branch in France and the customer service provided by them (and particularly the manager Christophe Jully) is absolutely first class. Note: I have no vested interest here - just a very satisfied customer!

They have a range of PTs manufactured in Europe of which the DGS320TS (photo below) is very well reviewed on the French forums (by pro's and serious hobbyists). These are heavy duty machines weighing in at more than 400kg. Helical or Tersa cutterblocks are optional. 3KW motor available in single or three phase.

Holzprofi_DGS320-mono.jpg

The alternative is their Maker range which is manufactured in the Far East (Taiwan I believe) to very exacting standards. I recently acquired their DR310 PT (pictured below) and am very impressed. This range are lighter (~200kg) and less heavy duty but still serious. I use it every day and work with dense tropical hardwoods - it hasn't missed a beat yet. They come with helical cutterblocks as standard. The build quality is very good and mine arrived in French Guiana (having shipped from the Far East to France and then across the Atlantic) needing very little calibration out of the box. The tables lift together as on the Hammer range and the changeover is thus quick and easy. 3KW motor, single phase.

DR310.jpg

Holzprofi offer a 20% discount on the listed price to members of French woodworking forums (e.g. Copains des Copeaux, Metabricoleur). You can definitely negotiate with Christophe who will happily discuss your needs and is very responsive. Check out all the glowing reviews of the products and their excellent customer service (pre and post sale) on the forums mentioned above.

I also have their HBS430-M bandsaw and AC150 double filtration cyclone extractor and am happy with it all. Don't be put off the Maker range by the made in the Far East thing. Clearly not all Far Eastern manufactured machines are poor quality - e.g. Laguna, Harvey, Jet, etc.

Here's a picture of the three machines installed in my little workshop:

Workshop_machines_compressed.jpg

Comments on the glorious flooring very welcome :ROFLMAO:
 
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Droogs

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My sympathy goes out to you Mike. You must be so frustrated with it, especially as you have bought this along with your other machines to be your main interest in "retirement" after a career of service and putting up with all that entails. It is indicative of the times that so many are just badge engineering and passing of low quality tat and relying on bulk sales to cover the probs and any costs of customer QC.
This is the sort of thing woodies over this side of the anglo-french canal need to be aware of as Holzmann have over recent months started to be quite prolific in advertising their wares in UK hobby magazines. I fear a lot of the new comers to the hobby with be thinking "Oh German kit" and "that'll be quite good quality" as they are pricing themselves at the mid market level. Most wont even realise looking at pictures that the machines are basically Charnwood and Fox in different colour schemes. i do hope you are able to get it sorted mate if not, then at least you know that there is a 99% chance you will be happy with the SCM
 

Inspector

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Mike I wonder if there is any adjustment in the cutter head bearings? I suspect they are pressed into bores in the castings but if by any chance they are blocks or housings perhaps they could be shimmed to match the cutter head to the thicknesser table. Then you would have to readjust the planer tables again but all would match and performa they should. Then flog it as fast as you can. 🤫

I would consider a shallow countersink in the shoe and matching point on the locking bolt. Make the adjustments with it a snug as you can while still allowing the table to move. Then lock it.

Pete
 

MikeK

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Thanks to everyone who has commented. I am always open to suggestions for improvement as this thread progresses. I took a break today from working on the planer tables to let my little gray cells rest.

My intent with this thread was not to bash Holzmann, or any of the other distributors of these products, but to point out problems I discovered when the machine didn't work as I thought it should. I don't mind making minor adjustments or improvements to my equipment, such as my Record Power BS350S, when the machine works mostly good as is. However, the level of work required for my HOB260NL just to make it functional and reliable are significant. I am confident that had I been able to see this in a store, I would have walked away.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no stores like Axminster in Germany where a customer can see and touch the machine before buying it. If I want to look before buying a large Altendorf, Martin, or SCM machine, I know where to go, but I haven't found any equivalent of Axminster. The best stocked hardware stores here, such as Bauhaus, Hornbach, Toom, and Obi (all similar to B&Q), do not carry this intermediate shop equipment. Dictum in Munich goes a touch beyond the hardware stores, but stops far short of Axminster.

One idea you could try with the locking shoe would be to machine a bore in it, and a corresponding spigot on the end of the locking screw so it doesn't wander around. But as you say overall a pretty shocking state for a supposedly quality machine.
I had considered doing something similar if the HDPE insert didn't work. I was going to drill and tap a hole in the shoe for a M5 grub screw, or regular screw with the head cut off. Then I would drill a 5.5mm hole in the end of the locking shaft for the screw to fit into. Fortunately, the insert seems to keep the shoe centered, so I don't have to take that section of the machine apart again. I am going to build a compression lock on the height adjustment handle and abandon the locking shaft entirely.

out of interest what does one pay for a new machine of this type/make.....?
I checked my receipts, and this beauty was €999. It's now about €1,259 from Holzmann (the 230V version), but mine is free to anyone who comes to collect it.

A possible alternative would be machines made by Holzprofi. The company is based in Austria but I have dealt with their branch in France and the customer service provided by them (and particularly the manager Christophe Jully) is absolutely first class. Note: I have no vested interest here - just a very satisfied customer!
I'm familiar with Holzprofi. I found them by accident when I was looking for Holzkraft (a distributor for SCM and others). Holzprofi appear to have similarly priced equipment for hobbyists and those who wish to spend a bit more for trade rated, similar to Axminster. However, as soon as I saw the P/T that could be the twin of my P/T, I moved on.

I love your flooring, but would hate to look for a small screw that dropped. :D

My sympathy goes out to you Mike. You must be so frustrated with it, especially as you have bought this along with your other machines to be your main interest in "retirement" after a career of service and putting up with all that entails. It is indicative of the times that so many are just badge engineering and passing of low quality tat and relying on bulk sales to cover the probs and any costs of customer QC.
This is the sort of thing woodies over this side of the anglo-french canal need to be aware of as Holzmann have over recent months started to be quite prolific in advertising their wares in UK hobby magazines. I fear a lot of the new comers to the hobby with be thinking "Oh German kit" and "that'll be quite good quality" as they are pricing themselves at the mid market level. Most wont even realise looking at pictures that the machines are basically Charnwood and Fox in different colour schemes. i do hope you are able to get it sorted mate if not, then at least you know that there is a 99% chance you will be happy with the SCM
Thanks! I'll add the expense of this machine to my hobby education and move on. I am fortunate that I don't need this machine for my income, and it has become a different diversion to keep me occupied. I would much rather be using my workshop to build something than rebuilding the tools.

I will continue with the modifications and document them in this thread if this will help someone else who is having problems with a similar machine. If I can make it functional, I'll use it as long as it takes until the SCM FS-30 arrives. I found two stocking SCM distributors within 60KM of me who have the FS-30C available now. I'm waiting to hear back from my favorite distributor before I make the purchase, since he gives me a 10-percent discount on all of my purchases.
 

MikeK

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Mike I wonder if there is any adjustment in the cutter head bearings? I suspect they are pressed into bores in the castings but if by any chance they are blocks or housings perhaps they could be shimmed to match the cutter head to the thicknesser table. Then you would have to readjust the planer tables again but all would match and performa they should. Then flog it as fast as you can. 🤫

I would consider a shallow countersink in the shoe and matching point on the locking bolt. Make the adjustments with it a snug as you can while still allowing the table to move. Then lock it.

Pete
The cutter head bearings are fixed in the casting. This effectively makes the cutter head the reference datum for all other adjustments.

The problem with the thicknesser table is the angle changes as the table is raised and lowered. If it was constant along the range of movement, it would be easy to fix by fiddling with the grub screws or shimming the table where it attaches to the pedestal head. I did this earlier in my journey before I found the empty grub screw holes in the pedestal housing. While I could make the table nearly perfect at one height, it would change when the pedestal was locked or the table changed to a different height, even when the change is one or two millimeters for the next pass.

I'm going to abandon the locking shaft in favor of a clamp on the height adjustment shaft. This won't fix all of the problems, but will at least remove one source of movement.
 

Spectric

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Great thread and again such attention to detail with good clear photos to support, I will look at my PT107 soon and compare what it has / has not in common and maybe common issues, once again another great technical thread.
 
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