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Thread: restoring a powermatic 15HH

  1. #1
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    restoring a powermatic 15HH

    So this thing followed me home finally last week. Its a bit of a mess but I'm hoping I can get it all cleaned up.
    IMG_3949.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Helical head is rusted and missing/broken cutters. But the head moves freely, it was powered up and running when I checked it out.

    IMG_3950.jpg IMG_3952.jpg

  3. #3
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    The table was frozen. Cuprit was the chain. Once the chain was removed I could crank each column individually.

    IMG_3954.jpg IMG_3955.jpg

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Crawford View Post
    Helical head is rusted and missing/broken cutters. But the head moves freely, it was powered up and running when I checked it out.

    IMG_3950.jpg IMG_3952.jpg
    Looks like a flood victim?

  5. #5
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    Next items:
    • get the helical head removed so I can de-rust it. I could probably do it in place but it would be a pain. Need to get the gearbox drained of oil and open. The gear shift is rusted.
    • Get the screws removed from the columns and likely replace
    • get the 4 rollers removed and de-rusted. Those are in pretty good shape.
    • replace every single bolt on the planer


    The manual is remarkably detailed with every part. Easy to get replacement bolts at the big box store. Speciality parts here are reasonably priced online.

    Worst case scenario for me is that the helical head needs replaced. I would hate that but it would move me from 'awesome deal' to 'good deal'.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Looks like a flood victim?
    Stored in non-climate controlled storage, but never directly exposed to water/rain.

  7. #7
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    Soak that head in evaporust and it should be good to go. I cleaned up my 15Ē planer that was in a similar state.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Crawford View Post
    Stored in non-climate controlled storage, but never directly exposed to water/rain.
    I see a lot of stuff that's very affordable that's often sold by a guy named Harvey, in the automotive market, we're on a first name basis. Looks like you met him too. (I passed, it would have never worked out in the end.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    I see a lot of stuff that's very affordable that's often sold by a guy named Harvey, in the automotive market, we're on a first name basis. Looks like you met him too. (I passed, it would have never worked out in the end.)
    Its just his cousin El Nino.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    Soak that head in evaporust and it should be good to go. I cleaned up my 15” planer that was in a similar state.
    I bought the gallon jug. It turns very smoothly and really its just surface rust.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Day View Post
    Soak that head in evaporust and it should be good to go. I cleaned up my 15” planer that was in a similar state.
    I have derusted tables, heads, etc. with evaporust by soaking blue shop towels in it, wrapping or covering parts with them and then covering or wrapping everything up with plastic.

    May be the way to go with that head, help free up the insert screws.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    I have derusted tables, heads, etc. with evaporust by soaking blue shop towels in it, wrapping or covering parts with them and then covering or wrapping everything up with plastic.

    May be the way to go with that head, help free up the insert screws.
    That was I was thinking.

    Use a 2í section of 4Ē pvc with cap to soak it after you take it out. Iíve got my cutterhead for my 399 in the bath right now.

  13. #13
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    Unless the bolts are broken they can be reused. HF sells a good buffer cheap and put a couple of wire wheels on it, one course and one fine. Take the planer completely apart, clean, repaint and put it back together.

    I use Super clean (purple bottle conc) and wash everything scrubbing all the parts. It will take off loose paint and clean off the grease. It may be a good time to replace the cutterhead bearings even if they seem decent. You want to do this once so it’s a good time for the bearings.
    Don

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Jarvie View Post
    Unless the bolts are broken they can be reused. HF sells a good buffer cheap and put a couple of wire wheels on it, one course and one fine. Take the planer completely apart, clean, repaint and put it back together.

    I use Super clean (purple bottle conc) and wash everything scrubbing all the parts. It will take off loose paint and clean off the grease. It may be a good time to replace the cutterhead bearings even if they seem decent. You want to do this once so it’s a good time for the bearings.
    The hex socket caps and socket set screws are mostly shot, I've stripped one of them that I'll have to drill out. Busted off one other bolt.

    I think the cutterhead bearings are sealed. The table screw bearings are definitely shot.

    Is it blasphemy to repaint the powermatic in John Deere green?

  15. #15
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    The bearings may be sealed but the grease still dries out. If they are more then ten years old I would replace them while you have the machine apart. At the least pull the seal and clean and regrease.
    Bill D

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