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Some More Machine Advice Please - Planer Thicknesser

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kmp

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A couple of years ago you helped me to sort out an old Kity PT and that has served me well but something larger was required and I bought a second hand PT107 type clone a couple of months back. Although still less than 7 months old it has managed to provide me with a number of problems. I won't go into all the woes but there were many of them.

The main issue I have now I have it finally running is that the out feed table particularly seems to change its' position after the conversion to thicknesser and back to planer. I have now reset the tables for the fourth time in 2 months and have to say I have better things to do, or at least that is what the wife says. The main issue seems to be that the outfeed table which is adjustable, moves and raises it above the cutter block with the subsequent snipe. I have tightened every thing until it squeaks but no help.
I have got to the stage where I am thinking of junking this and buying something better but I have difficulty in believing that something that cost nearly £900 can't be fixed. Please don't send me to the manufacturer as I am the second owner they flatly refuse to have anything to do with it.

Any help, advice or your own experience of these things would be very much appreciated. I have read for hours in the archive here and watched numerous set up videos but haven't found the same issue discussed. Am I expecting too much for the table to return to within something like 5 thou of its' original position?

Best regards Keith
 

powertools

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I know nothing about your particular machines but if you are trying to achieve tolerance's of less than 5 thou in your wood machining you will drive yourself round the bend.
 

RobinBHM

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I used to have an elektra beckum 260 pl-th that had the rear table that needed taken off for thicknessing.

It did go back ok but I found it didnt sit exactly in the same place, I would say a tad twisted.

I dont know your machine, but have you checked the rear and front table for flatness and parallel? -if there is a tiny twist in both tables it could frustrate your efforts for repeatable accuracy after changover.

If you have a dial gauge and stand you could check that cutterblock is parallel to infeed table, cutters parallel, then same for outfeed table and then compare after changing over to thickbessing and back.

I know its tricky because you need outfeed table parallel to infeed side to side, front to back and correct height below cutter TDC.

A methodical approach hopefully should identfy the cause
 

Fitzroy

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No experience with your precise model but my dw1150 can get shavings in the table hinge that prevents it sitting flush when closed after thicknesing. If your 5 thou measurement is from say the cutterblock to table, then imho yes it should easily return to within this tolerance.

F.
 

woodbrains

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Hello,

I had the 106 from Axminster and found the outfeed table changed setting on conversion, pretty much every time, and I had to re set it after conversion. I could see no way of successfully overcoming the problem, so got rid. Is yours a similar thing? I don't see how it can swing away on the same bar as it is adjusted up and down on, without it taking up a different position when re set. There is nothing to stop the travel along the rod, and I couldn't see a way of incorporating a collar or such that did not foul the table lifting or stop the table adjusting. Bonkers!

Sorry I can't be more help, but these things are infuriating.

Mike.
 

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kmp

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Thanks Guys, I was reluctant to put the 5 thou thing but with the blades set about 4 thou above the outfeed table it needs to reposition fairly accurately if I am not going to have to reset every time I convert from one to another. I certainly do not expect to plane the wood to that degree of accuracy but in this case it goes from usable to producing a curved board with a fair bit of snipe at the end. I use mostly Oak boards about 8 - 10 inches wide so setting the blades high enough to always ensure that the outfeed table remains above the infeed but below the blades makes it very hard going for the machine.

Mike hit the nail on the head straight away, although mine is not from Axminster this is exactly the same design and exactly the same problem as he describes. I am also at a loss to adjust the table height then lock the fore and aft movement without stopping the tables hinge up. Tightening the set screws to that level would certainly damage the hinge pin and of course stop it opening. I have the machinery to measure the necessary gaps and produce some shims to stop the movement along the hinge pin but there are so many of these machines out there that it is hard to believe that everyone accepts a reset after thicknessing. There is a plate which locates into a groove in the pin to provide some location so perhaps a couple of preloaded bearings might work but as Mike says I'm not sure the geometry of the hinge assembly would make that possible.

Having said that, I am also considering Mikes' solution, although just getting a thicknesser might be cheaper than another change but I am rapidly running out of room for additional Machines.

Mike, apart from the expensive Startrite or Jet machines I can't find any others where both the tables hinge up together and retain there alignment. What did you go for as a replacement?

Much food for thought, thank you all. For those of you with this type of machine, is it a problem? Do you set it up in any particular way?

Keith
 

memzey

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The problems you have described are exactly why I went with a fixed table machine. I'm sure I'd have driven myself mad trying to dial out the play every time I switched functions. I did look at the jet and startrite machines you mentioned but went with an old Sedgwick in the end and haven't looked back since.
 

MikeJhn

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Have to admit I never thought about this problem, having a Kity 439 that does not have movable tables, seems I have the best I could get, especially as it cost next to nothing and worked perfectly from day one, I was thinking of upgrading to a bigger machine, but it seems I will need to go much bigger to get something that operates as well, I am not in to very old machines in any way, due to safety and extraction issues.

Mike
 

woodbrains

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Hello,

It is all about purchase price, I suppose. When I got my axi machine, it was for a home workshop, (I had multico surface planer and thicknesses separates in my 'work' workshop). The axi machine was only about 450 pounds to buy new at the time, maybe 8 years ago. So I wasn't expecting perfection, even though it was trade rated. And for that price, it was actually reasonably good. But now the purchase price of these Chinese machines has become disproportionately high, and I would be very annoyed spending 900 pounds for something with such a design fault. I still have my Multico machines in my home shop, since I have no professional workshop now. They take up too much room really, but I will never let them go, because they are head and shoulders above any of these chinese machines.

In a strange twist, for my new job, I bought a Startrite SD300 a few months ago, an ex demo machine from the manufacturer. It is as new condition and much better than the Axi I had. But it is not without its faults either. Only the out feed table (parallel) lifts and is is not adjustable, so suffers none of the resetting problems; it actually locks up very accurately and solidly. It is just a better quality machine all round. But the cast iron fence which weighs a ton and seems solid actually flexes an alarming amount! It does not affect accuracy as far as I've tested the machine so far, but disconcerting all the same. The Multico one is no more substantial, but rigid; design counts for a lot. The thicknessing table is not as solid as I'd like, either. I might make a locking collar for the side column at some point to stop the table tilting under the load from the feed roller springs, there is an accuracy problem there, when narrow stock is thicknesses towards the outside edge of the table. This machine retailed for about £1600-1700 (mine was less) so not inexpensive yet still with issues.

Unless I could afford high end stuff, I would only buy used old iron, there is just too much compromise in Chinese trade rated machines and no longer the bargains they used to be.

Mike.
 

ndbrown

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I have a Sedgwick PT255 10" Planer thicknesser that I purchased used and the rebuild I covered in another post on this site. Since then, it has performed faultlessly and with fixed tables I have obviously not encountered any of the issues described. No machine is perfect (I would really like a helical head for the Sedgwick) but it's only when I read issues like this that I realise how problem free the Sedgwick has been. I considered some of the models mentioned and would like to say that I ruled them out based on some kind of prior knowledge of this sort of problem but in truth, the Sedgwick came up at the right time and price and I could not find very many unhappy owners of them.
Nigel
 

kmp

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Hello all, thanks, some excellent advice and great help there to make my decision a little easier. I have looked on the usual sources for a Sedgwick etc but it seems that upwards of £2K would be required if I didn't want to try and follow Nigels' excellent and comprehensive rebuild.

I have today been chasing round to find a Jet JPT-260 Planer Thicknesser to look at not too far from me, but without any success. Talking to Brimarc it seems that they have been discontinued and a replacement is apparently "still in the planning stage". I have found a Startrite SD31 and will go and have a look tomorrow to see what £1700 buys me these days. In talking to a range of suppliers today I was recommended the type I am having trouble with by 3 of them.

I have noticed a couple of other models I haven't for some reason considered before, any experience or advice on these would be great in saving me waste even more time. The first is the PLANA 3.1c from Scheppach, I heard early on with these that they had trouble with some of the plastic gears but I haven't seen one so any comments experience would be very helpful. The other is the Record Power PT107 which seems to require both tables lifting but I'm not sure if the geometry is similar to the one I have. The 5 year guarantee is also tempting but again my experience of Record is nil having just looked once at one of there table saws which I felt was a bit light weight?

I have been thinking that if I can't afford to upgrade I may have to make a small jig to hold a DTI to measure the outfeed table to top of blade distance after each conversion and just use the table adjustment as intended. The trouble here is that with the hinge loose enough to adjust then one seems to be relying on the screw to hold the position of the table. As the machine gets older I feel the thread backlash will increase allowing the table to slide forward if heavy boards are being planed. I have also to a degree lost faith in this machine so may be looking for excuses to change it.

Anyway, thanks again and any further thoughts you might have would be much appreciated.

Regards Keith
 

RobinBHM

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If you have the space how about getting a surface planer, then leave the current machine set up as a thicknesser.

Planing 8 to 10inch oak is quite a heavy cut gor lighter duty machines.
 

MikeJhn

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RobinBHM":buos4xgk said:
If you have the space how about getting a surface planer, then leave the current machine set up as a thicknesser.

Planing 8 to 10inch oak is quite a heavy cut gor lighter duty machines.
Or visa versa, a thicknesser would be easier to source and fettle, your existing planer could be permanently fixed, dare I say welded into position, the thicknessing bed raised and fixed in place with the extraction hood sealed all around the edge to allow better extraction from the bed above, just a thought.

Mike
 

deema

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A hefty budget of £1700 should buy you either a secondhand Sedgwick, Multico, Wadkin, Wilson, Robinson, Cooksley or Dominion, all of which are really good solid machines. Have a look at the traders as well as auction sites.

For example DPW has advertised two Sedgwick and a Wadkin.

http://dpwltd.com/product-category/used ... -moulders/
 

kmp

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Well, armed with all of your excellent advice and a couple of spare days I have now investigated both the problem and the alternatives I could afford to buy.

Looking at the alternatives available new up to £1700 ish, I have to admit to being a little underwhelmed to say the least. The Startrite was, in my opinion, the pick of the crop but I am reluctant to spend that sort of money on what is for me a hobby machine used weekly rather than daily. At the £1350 - 1500 range there are a number of very reasonable machines that I'm sure would work well in a more demanding workshop that mine. Whilst some of them look very similar to the PT106 type I have; the outfeed/infeed table adjustments are better designed and should not have the issue that I have found. There are also a number where the out feed table is non-adjustable and the changeover seems more consistent as a result. Down where I am at the £750 - 1000 level then the choice is fairly limited as the design I have has been cloned so many times. The Record Power PT 107 seems to be a better design in many ways but I couldn't fall in love with it. So as you all indicated not an easy market to make a choice in.

In looking at these machines I noticed a different design with the table adjustment system particularly in the Axminster range. The table is positioned by a fairly strong co-axial spring which holds it tight against the offset adjustment screw, thus removing the effect of any thread backlash which allows the table to move along the hinge axis. I have no idea of how effective this is in use but the lack of adverse comment with regard to these machines would appear to confirm that it works OK. I am currently looking for a way to modify mine but as yet have not been able to identify a suitable spring or Belleville washer stack to make it easy.

So, no decision yet but plenty more to contemplate. The other issue is that the additional money needed to spend on a better planer I am tempted to spend on a drum sander instead. There is no hope for me I'm afraid I am a hopeless tool collector.

Thanks again for all your helpful comment and advice it is much appreciated.

Best regards Keith
 

Danni

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Keith, by resetting the infeed/outfeed table you mean that you need to adjust the height only or the tables also are getting out of alignment on the sides? If that’s only the height than I think that it will not take more than two minutes to get them aligned again using a dial indicator
 

John samson

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I have a Sedgwick PT255 10" Planer thicknesser that I purchased used and the rebuild I covered in another post on this site. Since then, it has performed faultlessly and with fixed tables I have obviously not encountered any of the issues described. No machine is perfect (I would really like a helical head for the Sedgwick) but it's only when I read issues like this that I realise how problem free the Sedgwick has been. I considered some of the models mentioned and would like to say that I ruled them out based on some kind of prior knowledge of this sort of problem but in truth, the Sedgwick came up at the right time and price and I could not find very many unhappy owners of them.
Nigel
 

John samson

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Hi Nigel,
Try as I may I cannot seem to find your post on the rebuild of the Sedgwick 255. I'm really just after the section regarding the refitting sequence for the cutter block. I have removed the existing bearings and have now refitted the 2 new bearings. My Sedgwick is the same short bed model as you previously worked on.

Many thanks
John
 

ndbrown

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Hi Nigel,
Try as I may I cannot seem to find your post on the rebuild of the Sedgwick 255. I'm really just after the section regarding the refitting sequence for the cutter block. I have removed the existing bearings and have now refitted the 2 new bearings. My Sedgwick is the same short bed model as you previously worked on.

Many thanks
John
Hi John, you should be able to find it here: Sedgwick PT255 Strip down and rebuild (with Photographs)
If you have any questions not covered in the text let me know and I will try and help. I no longer have the machine but have plenty of photos of the rebuild. Nigel
 

John samson

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Hi John, you should be able to find it here: Sedgwick PT255 Strip down and rebuild (with Photographs)
If you have any questions not covered in the text let me know and I will try and help. I no longer have the machine but have plenty of photos of the rebuild. Nigel
Hi Nigel thanks for the reply. I have looked through your strip down and rebuild but still can't see the section on the rebuild of the cutter block.
Not sure if you refitted both new bearings onto the shaft.?
I was thinking of trying to fit the shaft that was fitted into the previously removed side casing. This stage of removal was quite tricky especially on your own!
If you can remember how you managed to complete this section of the rebuild would be of great help.
Many thanks

John.
 
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