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Thread: Blew up my planer the other day!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Blew up my planer the other day!

    Hey, folks,

    No, it wasn't spectacular, but it's deeply disappointing. As you may remember, I have one of these:

    It's been a wonderful machine for a couple years. So what happened? Well, you may remember I got some rough 5/4 oak from a green building site a week ago. The pieces were 11 feet long, and 6 inches wide. Heavy as heck. I wanted to plane one piece before I stored it, just to see what I was actually dealing with (wasn't even sure it was actually oak). Anyway, it was so big I had to set up roller stands to support the ends (I always do that with long pieces). I was taking VERY light cuts, because the wood was really hard, and I didn't want to overtax the machine. I think the wood had been air dried for many, many years, but it was still heavy. After a couple successful runs, all was going well, and then something wasn't: somehow, the roller stand on the outfeed side slipped, and fell, when the piece was almost completely through. Of course, all that unsupported weight acted liked Archimedes' world moving lever, smacked the end up, and gave the last three inches the worst case of planer snip you've ever seen. I managed to catch it when there was still about an inch left. I'm lucky the whole planer stand didn't fall over, but I follow the Larry rule on these things: "If in doubt, build it stout", so I avoided that particular disaster.

    Clearly I was overdoing it, so I cut the pieces into 6' lengths, and put them up on the lumber rack for later use. Then, a little later, I was planing some purpleheart for another project. All was well, and I was thinking "well, there's another bullet dodged." Now, one of the things I like most about that planer is the depth lock. You adjust the depth wheel, set the lock, and you can plane board after board to exactly the same width. Well, as one piece was going through, I noticed the depth wheel was turning. I went to look closer, and you guessed it: the locking mechanism no longer does anything at all. If I set it to take off a 32nd, by the time an 18 inch board has gone through, the planer head has risen to the original size.

    I looked hard at the mechanism, but can't see anything obviously broken. This whole thing really bugs me, as my bandsaw is still down due to some other foolish thing I did (parts are backordered, durn it). I hate having two machines down at once: I take it as a personal affront, as it's evidence for what a mechanical klutz I am!

    Any thoughts on how to fix this would be greatly appreciated!


    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 05-27-2008 at 11:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Pictures would help, and maybe an exploded parts view?

    I've never seen this planer in the flesh, so I have no idea about how the lock works, so I cannot really offer any advice.

    Give me some pics (or VIDEO!) a parts diagram and I'll have a better shot
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Blew up my planer the other day!

    You didn't "blow up" your planer. (Must be the close proximity to D.C. )

    I agree with Stu, Bill. A picture of this "lock assembly" would help.

    What you said indicates that the planer still works fine, just that you can't hold dimension, right? Perhaps a temporary fix might be a short bungee cord wrapped around the knob on the handle and hooked to somewhere on the body of the planer to hold the raising mechanism steady, at least until you can get the proper repair done.

    I have a 12" Delta planer and the raising handle flips over, which in effect "locks" it, so it won't turn more than equal to a few thousanths of an inch thickness. I would think the bungee would hold your raising wheel well enough to get you through.

    Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY
    I know this will take the planer out of service for likely an unbearably long time, but wouldn't this be one of those Ridgid lifetime warranted things? It broke while you were planing wood, which is what the tool is there for.

    If they suckered, I mean, if you had the forethought to get the extended warrantee thing you should be able to take it into the store and get a new one. If this would result in a model change you might want to just have it repaired. If you are dead set against getting a different model, make sure that you have the option of getting the original broken tool returned in order to fix it yourself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    a 10# dead blow hammer and a roll of duct tape. Well it may not fix it,but you will feel better after you have a sledge party on it. Contact Rigid and see if it is something easyly fixable.

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