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Thread: Stopping an oil leak in a 15" planer

  1. #1

    Stopping an oil leak in a 15" planer

    My Powermatic planer seeps oil from the gearbox. Any advice on how to stop (or at least limit) the seepage?

    More information: The seepage is coming through the gasket along the seam between the body of the gearbox and the cover. It is very slow--after a couple of years, more than half the original oil was still in the box when I recently drained it. I could just ignore it, but that would offend my sense of order.

    However, I do not want to tear down the machine to replace the gasket. I would have to remove the drive chains and their sprockets and other parts, and would likely cause more problems. Would one of the oil stop leak products made for automobile engines and gearboxes work? Something by BlueDevil or Lucas?

    Or, would I be better off just keeping a rag handy and checking the oil level every couple of months?

    By the way, the machine has worked flawlessly for over a decade. I'm a hobbyist, but have put a lot of hardwood lumber through it over the years.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
    Can you drain it and loosen the cover enough to put a little "Permatex Gasket Maker" on it ??? Since there is very little pressure on it, should seal it up....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    Those 15" planers in any color have poor gasket material. Mine seeps but, hasn't lost enough oil to be noticed in years (I check annually). I have heard of others leaking at an unacceptable rate and the fix is like most gasketed items. Drain, clean, make a new gasket out of better stuff, apply gasket-seal if required and re-assemble. If I go through the trouble to get things to the point where I can apply a sealant I just go ahead and make a new gasket too. For just a little more effort I am sure it will be fixed. The fill and drain locations are not well thought out on these. I use a squeeze bottle with a length of plastic hose as a nozzle to fill. I seem to spill a little less that way
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    New England
    My DC380 15" planer seeps a bit of oil too but what happens is the fine dust flying around inside settles on the small amount of oil that seeps through and collects there and forms a barrier. I never see any trace of oil on the wood I plane. Ever.

    Therefore I conclude that it's not broken, so I don't attempt to fix it. Something I learned from my father, who was the least handy person ever. However, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", are words to live by. Unless you are seeing oil staining your newly planed wood, I would just monitor the gear oil level, and top it off when needed. I replaced mine with synthetic a while back and I think that may have reduced the seepage but that might be my imagination.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Pull it off and clean it and apply RTV xt sealer to it. Unless it's one of those rare instances where the gasket is also a shim it will be fine. It will be a challenge to disassemble next time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Oskaloosa Iowa
    Mine was dripping a little so I tightened all the bolts around the cover and it fixed it for now. Haven't seen a drop since....its been a few months.

  7. #7
    "Hondabond" or Permatex "Grey" RTV works great. Will seal through oil.
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Modesto, CA, USA
    cotton picking grease.
    Bill D

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    central tx
    The operation isn't that hard on the 15HH, but the grease smells like ****. Make sure you put the thick nasty stuff back in.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Rick it is not a hard job. My Delta DC 380 leaked for about 8 years till one day when I drained it and pulled the cover off the gear box. Turns out the factory gasket was short on a corner. I made a new gasket from automotive gasket material and used a skim of silicone on both sides and then replaced the cover. The gears do not need to be taken out. Refilled the oil and end of problem.

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