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How is this repaired? Damaged planer cutter.

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heimlaga

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Hello.
As my woodworking seems to be growing from just a hobby into a small side income besides carpentry I am looking for a combination machine with bigger capasity than the planer/thicknesser and table saw I have now. I am considering a 1960-ies Stenberg. The cutter width is 60cm (24"). I am fairly accustomed to repairing farm machinery so why not woodworking machinery. The budget is tight as usual.

I am considering an otherwise quite sound machine where the wedges or chip breakers in the cutter head seem to be damaged somehow. Chips find their way in between the chipbreaker and the cutter knife building up there until it folds over the cutter edge. Can this be repaired? How? Is it worth the cost?. How did this happen?
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Pete Maddex

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Hi, heimlaga

I guess its like the cap iron on a plane, if there is a gap things will get stuck, so it needs to be flat, you could get it surface ground. that should solve the problem.
Pete
 

kirkpoore1

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Heimlaga:

The first step, which you have probably done, is to remove the knives and gibs (the long bar/wedge things) and thoroughly clean them. (It's also best to keep the gibs in the same slot in the cutterhead for balancing purposes, though that won't affect this issue.) Also clean out the slots in the cutterhead.

You could have a bent gib or a bent knife. I'd look at the gib first.

Now, as Pete said, check the gibs for flatness. I bet the one that is allowing the sawdust to pack under it is bent. If all are flat, it's possible you didn't tighten the gib bolts down enough. If it is bent, you may be able to bend it back. I think the gibs are usually mild steel, so you should be able to bend it very carefully in a vise or shop press. If that doesn't work, then you may need to get it ground down.

Also check the knife for flatness. If it's bent, you may have to get another set of knives. I don't know any good way to flatten a bent knife--you can try to bend it back, but it's likely to snap or kink on you, and then you'll need a new set anyway.

When you reinstall the gib, check for any gap between it and the knife. There should be full contact there. Any gap will pack with sawdust, as you've already found.

These are the most likely possibilities. Others could be gibs that are in upside down or (if the bolt holes go all the way through the gibs) backwards. We'd need to see pictures of the end of the cutterhead and gib profile to check on that.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

Kirk
 

9fingers

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If there is only a small ding out of the bar, you could build it up with some slow curing epoxy (or a metal putty) and allow to dry naturally in a warmish place (indoors). Once it has cured then shape with a fine file back the the original section.

HTH

Bob
 

heimlaga

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I haven't bought the machine yet. I cannot afford the secondhand prizing in Finland so I have to import a machine unseen. A friend who lives in Sweden will have a look at it if I decide to buy it but he is machinist not woodworker.

The seller of this one told me about the issue and sent those pictures. I would like to buy from such a decent man if we only can find out the likely cost of a repair and agree on a reasoneble price.
 

kirkpoore1

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heimlaga":3ufm0t4b said:
I haven't bought the machine yet. I cannot afford the secondhand prizing in Finland so I have to import a machine unseen. A friend who lives in Sweden will have a look at it if I decide to buy it but he is machinist not woodworker.

The seller of this one told me about the issue and sent those pictures. I would like to buy from such a decent man if we only can find out the likely cost of a repair and agree on a reasoneble price.
Repair price should be minimal. If your machinist friend is willing to pull the knife, he should be able to check the gib for a bend. If he has any equipment, he should be able to bend it back.

I'm not familiar with this particular planer, but an industrial planer of this type is well worth some investment to keep running. A new equivalent machine would easily run $20,000+. Even if you have to replace the gibs (and you'd probably replace the whole set), it would likely only cost a few hundred dollars/euros/whatever currency you're carrying around.

Edit: If you do buy the planer, and want more detailed advice on this repair and other issues that might arise, come over to the Old Woodworking Machine list (OWWM.org). Yes, it's mostly Americans and Canadians, but there are some Europeans, South Africans, and Australians, and everybody is up for a challenge like this.

Kirk
 

Jacob

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1960s and 24" doesn't sound good to me, unless you are doing rough work, smoothing fence posts or something.
Every inch you go up is an exponential rise in engineering difficulty, usually traded off with slower speeds and less accuracy.
Do you really need 24" width often? If not, don't buy it.
Conversely a very cheap PT at 8" wide is likely to be very fast and clean cutting.
10 to 12" seems to be the popular optimum of cost against performance.
 

kirkpoore1

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Jacob":3et9tuo8 said:
1960s and 24" doesn't sound good to me, unless you are doing rough work, smoothing fence posts or something.
Every inch you go up is an exponential rise in engineering difficulty, usually traded off with slower speeds and less accuracy.
Do you really need 24" width often? If not, don't buy it.
Conversely a very cheap PT at 8" wide is likely to be very fast and clean cutting.
10 to 12" seems to be the popular optimum of cost against performance.
A 24" planer is pretty d*mn big. But that doesn't mean poor quality. This planer was almost certainly built to run two or three shifts a day, six or seven days a week. When set up correctly, surface quality would probably be excellent. The knives would stay sharp for a very long time under normal use (i.e. solid wood with no nails or paint). Feed rate is almost certainly variable, and could be quite fast to run lots of boards or slow if you want to get a good finish. And unlike any little lunchbox planer, it'll make 4 mm deep cuts all day long and probably 6 mm if you really wanted to. And it'll be much quieter than any lunchbox planer on the market.

That being said, it is an industrial machine, and could have spend 40 years running every day. It may need new bearings. The bed may be worn, which would mean getting it reground. Belts and knives would be relatively minor expenses. You'll have to have the right voltage and enough amps to run it. The feed rolls may be worn and need to be resurfaced. Heck, it probably weighs 1000-1500 kg. The gib issue is really pretty small potatoes for this thing.

I disagree with Jacob's assesment of it's potential, but agree that for a planer this size, you better need it, or have a love of machinery. I have an 18" industrial planer (see my avatar) that I use all the time, and it's a massive step up from the little Dewalt 734 I had before. It's a great machine. This one could also be a great machine, but may be a lot of work.

Kirk
 

Jacob

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I agree with that. 18" is a whopper too!
It depends on what you make but for furniture and normal joinery a lot of stuff is going through at 2 to 4" wide only and a much cheaper and inherently more accurate machine might do it better.
 

kirkpoore1

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Oh, by the way, somewhere in reading your post I lost a bit in translation, i.e. you're talking about a planer-thicknesser, not a thicknesser (which is called a planer where I'm from). Which affects what I said very little, except I'd say a P-T has less chance of being seriously worn out since the beds would have taken less wear.

Make sure your friend checks for broken castings too, and if possible have the seller demonstrate it under power. If he can't do that, have your friend checked for the smell of a burned out motor.

Kirk
 

tool613

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When every i have seen that problem the gib bars were in backwards. It does look like your have the hard edge on the bolt side. I have seen this a few times (bars in backwards). Being an older planer the head was cleaned an few times and the bolts in the gib bars probably got returned to the wrong side(gibs bars look the same from one side to the other so look close for the sharp edge side to go aside the knife) . There is a side that will have a very sharp edge. that the first thing I would check.

I think that a 24" over under is a great tool to get and the older the better. I have a 16" Wadkin RD planer(1950s) and a 20" General thicknesser(1990s)General is a Canadian Maker . I can tell you that the older Wadkin has nothing to worry about when it comes to planing and quality cutting. In fact I will be selling the new 20" thicknesses and the wadkin 16" RD planer when the Wadkin RM 24x9 over under makes its way home. The older machines are some work to get cleaned and running but are a far better way of getting quality kit. I think of a 24" planer as three 8" ones all lined up and ready to ware the blades (should take some time). that's as good as it gets.

My wadkin RM has a 26" planer on top with a 24"x 9 below. pick it up for $150 so that leaves plenty of money for a rebuild. I am really looking forward to rebuilding this one as its a pattern planer with a tilting infeed table for draft cutting.

jack
 

heimlaga

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Thanks for the advice.
When looking at the higher resolution pictures I have it seems rather likely that the gibs have their pointier edge away from the knife.

Can gibs be bought new?

The machine is rather similar to this one but a newer model with paralellogram adjustment on the infeed table. It is in Sweden.
http://www.blocket.se/jonkoping/Stenber ... m?ca=2&w=3

The feedwork rollers are let into the planer tables so when thicknessing you swing the thicknesser table forwards and set it to the correct height and lift the feedwork rollers and off you go. In the infeed table there is a table saw and in the outfeed table there is a spindle moulder.

I need a machine that can plane 40cm (18") wide traditional flooring and 35cm wide planking stock for repairing lapstrake boats. I also need a spindler moulder for making the odd one off window that the big guys refuse to make. People ask me to do this kind of things quite often and it would be a good gap filler between carpentry jobs. Space and budget are tight so this is the best solution I could find.
 

tool613

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heimlaga":lx6mbsjr said:
When looking at the higher resolution pictures I have it seems rather likely that the gibs have their pointier edge away from the knife.

Can gibs be bought new?
Gibs are a simple piece of angled metal that fit the geometry of any head/knife angle(not standard even today) with bolts taped in the bar to apply pressure to the knifes. That being said cutter blocks are machined as one part that spins at high speed(4000 to 5000 rpm) and as such are balanced(this would include the gibs being in place with the bolts. Your's don't look bad to me and i would not worry. if you decide on machining you will need to balance the head . you will sometimes see stamped number in the gibs that have corresponding numbers in the head to maintain balance.

The swedes made some great machinery and i have seen your machine before.

there were after market kit that would turn your planer into a thinknesser but did not go over very well in the market.




if this is your machine I think its the only one of its type in the world and parts would need to made should there be any missing tho it looks robust enough to last many generations. if you do get the machine please post some more pics.


The English over under PT with a bed and are different from yours. If you ever come across a pickles I would take it in a hart beat. and may be better for the work you are doing. The Cooksley PT come to mind too.


My Wadkin RM is just a Over under with two motors . One for the block and the other for the feed. One needs to bare in mind that theses are some what complicated machines to work on so some mechanical training is a plus.




jack
 

heimlaga

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Jack.
The Stenberg machine you are linking to is their smaller model with 30cm cutter head.

Right now I have an EJCA planer/thicknesser with this upside down arrangement and it works surprizingly well though not as well as an under/over machine. It has no feedwork. When thicknessing you remove the infeed table and put on a frame with thicknesser table and springs. The only problem is that the last 30 centimetres of the workpiece tends to become thinner as it drops a wee bit when the end has passed the springs.
The Stenberg has feedwork rollers so I hope it would be better.

In fact I would prefere an over/under machine but those combinations that are small enough to fit the width of my narrow shop do not have the cutter width I need. The bigger ones are too wide for my shop. Separate saw/moulder and planer/thicknesser of this size would also become too cramped.
 
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