Fix for a Slipping Planer Table

A shop-expedient modification locks down the table on a rebuilt old planer. December 1, 2005

I have a RC 63N planer which was left out under tarps for years by the previous owner. The machine was solid but needed tearing down, cleanup and miscellaneous small parts. I replaced the cutterhead bearings, motor bearings and just basically cleaned light rust off all the tables, rollers and ways, so works well now. The drive belts would get eaten up. I was using 4L type belts but just switched to an A series. There is no room to slip a larger belt on. I checked alignment of pulley. There was a bit of roughness on the pulleys, so I spun them and emery clothed them smooth as silk. Hope this gets it. Now there seems to be nothing to keep the table from moving. When machine is on, the table creeps downward, changing the thickness on each cut. I put a jamb lever to lock the hand wheel in place, but this just doesn't seem right. I will try to call Delta and talk to a tech, but thought I'd ask here first.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor R:
Have the same machine. Remove the table adjustment handle and cut a piece of PVC tubing just a little bit longer than the bottom of the shaft to the shoulder clearance of the handle. Then weld a T handle on the bolt that holds the adjustment handle on. Works like a charm and costs almost nothing. When you tighten the T handle, the adjustment handle pushes down on the PVC and locks it down. Also endorsed by the Delta techs.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for responding. I am not entirely clear as to how the PVC fix works. I would really like to straighten this thing out as I love the cutting action on the helical head. Also I put new cutterhead bearings in, which I got from Graingers - regular motor grade NTN type. And I have a slight vibration and growl coming from one or both, can't really tell which/where. Do you think there is a better quality bearing? How does your machine sound while running? Does it just sit there and hum or are there extra noises?

From contributor G:
I also have a RC-63N. Best planer I've ever owned. Mine has a power table which runs off the main motor through a gearbox. It does not have the table movement problem. I like this planer so much I bought a second one. I bought it mainly for the knife grinding attachment. It doesn't have the power table, so I am concerned I will have the table movement problem. (I don't have the planer yet.) I too am not clear on contributor R's fix. The planer I have just hums with no extra noise, at idle or working. Of course it makes noise when planing, but nothing like my other planers. I put a Digiscale on it and that is an awesome option. We plane much more now and widebelt sand less. I am also very impressed with how easily wood feeds through the machine. No more pushing and pulling.

From the original questioner:
Contributor R sent me a fax and it is essentially a short sleeve which fits behind the adjusting hand wheel and jambs the hand wheel against the gearbox through the sleeve when you tighten down the nut to hold the hand wheel on the shaft. He had a cross bar welded onto the bolt head, which holds the hand wheel onto the shaft. Thanks! Good fix to an oversight from Delta. They seem to have resurrected this version of planer and I saw one at a tradeshow. They now have a locking wheel at this precise location. There are available "lever handle" bolts and nuts which might look a bit cleaner then a welded bar - same thing, just looks more OEM. I suspect that there may be a burr or bum ball in one of my bearings, causing a slight vibration in my machine, which is showing up in the table height mechanism. Looks like I get to pop that head out again. I do like the diversion from cutting wood on occasion, though. Did your machine creep out, which is why you came up with the solution?

From contributor R:
I pulled the table off to do a fix on the bedrolls. They were not lining up at the same height, so I added a threaded sleeve so I could make them line up the same. It's a long story. Anyway, when I put the table back in, it was dropping. What I found is it was set so evenly on all four posts it was slipping. Delta gave me some other idea, but I came up with the simpler version using the PVC tubing and I called Delta to let them know my solution.