We have blizzard conditions today: 10°F, and the wind chill factor is -9°F, snow falling to the point we cannot see the end of the driveway 150 feet away.
Edit at 10:02 PM, to add: The local news confirmed we had blizzard conditions for two hours today.
The shop temperature was set to 60°, and the thermostat registered 62°F. Perfect conditions in the shop to start milling the boards for the cabinet door frames, and let them acclimate for a few days.
I selected one narrow black cherry board with nice, straight grain. Don’t want the frames competing with the nice spalted maple I will use for the panels in the cabinet doors. With the jig saw to cut the board into three pieces, keeping track of where each piece belonged, to make sure I could get some continuity in the frames. Then on to the jointer, to quickly flatten one face, and one edge on each board.
|Now, to flatten the other face on the boards. But the planer did not want to feed the boards, no matter how light a cut I tired to make. Hmmmffff. Something was wrong. Pull the power plug, as it is time to look into the guts of my planer. I must mention at this point that this is a DW735, 13-inch, 85-pound “portable” planer. Right…|
I started to systematically remove covers from gears, and manually rotating parts. Everything was nice and smooth. The blades were nice and sharp. The pressure rollers felt a little grimy – to be expected, but I patiently took the time to clean them until no more stuff came off. Sooooo… What now?
As I concentrated on the hardware stuff too much, I failed to realize the table was not very slick. In fact, the table was just not allowing my hand to glide on the surface. I suspected that the last time we made toys for the Christmas charity event, and I ran some pine through the planer, some pitch got on the table.
Out came the paste wax, and the table felt a whole lot better in just a few minutes. I continued to look around the machine innards, and nothing stood out. The chip chute was clean, no obstructions anywhere. I was very reluctant to run the planer with all the gears exposed, so I assembled it, and tried it one more time.
Now the boards glided through the planer as nicely as when I first assembled it years ago. The table needed a wax job!
Moral of the story: January IS the month my machines need attention – no wonder they have all been cranky lately. They have just been feeling neglected. Routine maintenance for me is always in January, as we start the year.
SUGGESTION: I suggest you take a good, thorough once-over at your machines at least on a yearly basis, and do all the routine maintenance in January. OR, pick YOUR time to do it. But always try to do it on the same month, and as needed.
I love my planer again! But it does require normal, routine care.