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Thread: DeWalt planer won't raise/lower

  1. #1

    DeWalt planer won't raise/lower

    So- I finally have my first paying cabinet making project. Ive been going around my shop getting ready- sharpening and tuning up the jointer, sharpening chisels and planes, etc. (Boy it is cool having a surface grinder for sharpening jointer knives and chisels!)

    Time to see how the old lunch box thickness planer is doing. Uh-oh! Its stuck!

    The sucker will only move about 1/4" up and down. I have taken off the top, shot penetrating oil down each of the post slides and the lead screws. I even took off the clamp lever affair, thinking that it was binding. The columns look pretty good. No rust in the part that needs to be traveled. Alas, the upper part of the columns does have rust- I'll need to address that while I have it apart and then wax well.

    I guess the big lead screws are rusty, but it is hard to see them- inside of a spring. I've oiled them well.

    Anyway, if anybody out there has been through this and has advice, I'm all ears!

    The frustrating part is that I have a very nice Rockwell/Invicta planer that I'm in the process of rebuilding. Its just not there yet, and no time to finish it before this project.

    BTW, this is the first generation of the Dewalt 12 1/2" planer- about 7-8 years old I'd say.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Bartlesville, OK
    do both elevator screws move at the same time when you turn the crank? If not, the chain connecting them may be loose and off the tensioner OR one of the sprockets is loose on its shaft. Either way, turn the unit upside down, remove the bottom cover and inspect. If this has happened it can be a little fussy to get the head unit parallel with the base once more. You can start out with a dial indicator to get the measurements close, but I found the final bit of adjustment was easiest to verify by running a 1" wide board (stick) through the planer. Once each side of the head produces the exact same thickness result you are in business. Good Luck

  3. #3

    good idea

    I know that the chain driven elevator screw is turning at least somewhat- but maybe a sprocket has come loose or something and it is not totally keeping up, and binding.

    I did have the unit completely apart back in '03 when my shop flooded. I got the Dewalt totally running great after that. I guess its time to dive back into it.

    Thanks for the idea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Monroe, MI
    I had a similar problem with mine. I ended up completely disassembling it and buffing the posts, which had some surface rust, with scotchbrite pads and WD40 to get them clean, then wiped the oil off and used a teflon lube on them. No problems since.

  5. #5
    I had the same problem with mine. Twice. The fix was fairly simple. Here's what I did: Remove the side panels. You'll notice that each of the 4 posts/columns, one in each corner of the machine have a sleeve/collar/whatever you call it. I squirted that with a wd-40 and let it set for a few minutes. Then, using a piece of hardwood set against the top edge of the sleeve/collar I gave it a gentle, firm tap. I did that on all 4 of them. That broke them loose from the vertical posts on which they travel. I used 0000 steel wool, followed by a very fine grit emery cloth to clean all 4 columns. Of course, once the area above and below the collar is cleaned I raised the head and cleaned the area that had formerly been frozen. Now, I ocassionally put a shot of Dri-Film lubricant on it and have had no problems since.

    The problem was that a small amount of rust had built up between the sleeve/collar and the vertical posts.....freezing the collar to the posts.

    Hope this helps.
    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Tidewater, VA

    I feel your pain

    Had a similar problem this week with my DL 22-540. Different machine, similar architecture.
    The vertical adjustment became increasingly hard over time and (blush) I let it progress to a jam.
    Since the screws remained in synch and had ~90 degrees of grudging movement, it appeared the jam was in the posts and slides.
    I applied Kroil penetrating oil at the 8 sliding bushings (and on the screws just for good measure). Tapped lightly at each bushing. Freed it up.
    Once it was free, I dropped the head full down and polished the upper portion of the posts with 1000 grit and penetrating oil. Wiped 'em dry. Raised head full up and polished the lower portion of the posts. Wiped posts dry. Ran it up and down several times, wiping posts and screws with each transit.
    It now moves as new. And because I avoided disturbing the synch of the screws, I avoided having to adjust height on either side.

    Note to self: Must follow Matt's lead and apply dry lube.

    Bob V.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Tyler, Texas
    Lay the planer on it's side and check the sprocket and chain on the bottom. That may be where the problem lies.

    Logmaster LM-1 sawmill, 30 hp Kioti tractor w/ FEL, Stihl 290 chainsaw, 300 bf cap. Solar Kiln

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Columbus, Ohio
    I had the same problem with my 733. Posts were stuck and needed some lube.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    New Hampshire
    You say 7-8 years old. Is it the Dewalt 22-560? I've had problem where the lock won't release. The lock mechanism is to plates that squeeze on to vertical bars. I undo the handle but the plates don't separate to allow the head to move. I wold check the lock mechanism to make sute that it's free.

  10. #10

    Got it fixed- thanks

    It was in fact binding on one of the posts. By applying down tension and then applying judicious blows with a hammer and a piece of oak, I got it freed up. Then I honed out the rusty areas on the shafts, and applied triflow when all done. I really need to keep the shafts coated.

    Fortunately I didn't have to take apart and re-calibrate.

    Thanks folks.

    By way of comparison- this little fellow has 1" or so columns. The Rockwell which I hope to bring online soon has 2 1/2" columns. And it weighs about 5x the DeWalt. I really don't like the way the DeWalt moves around as I crank it up or down. But- all in all it does a very nice job, assuming you take light cuts.

    Still- since I just obtained a 16" jointer, I really gotta get a serious planer to match it!

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