Jigs for setting planer knives

Accessories for setting planer knives in the cutterhead. June 14, 2000

I own an older 9103 Belsaw planer/moulder. Do "Planer Pals" magnetic jigs work with the wedge-type gibs found on my planer? Or will the upwards movement of the knives caused by tightening the gibs force the knives out of position, or perhaps dull the fresh-ground edges of the knives?

If they are the same type of setting aids I've used in the past, the magnets will stick to the head, and hold the knife in place. If this is the type you are using they should work just fine, provided the cutting circle is not too large (i.e., the knives are set too high).

If the knives are too high you will need to reset them or get a different set.

Also, make sure you tighten the knives down before removing the jigs, and DON'T forget they are in the machine!

There are several types of planer-setting jigs. The most common is a device that has the angle of the knife included in the jig. If the knife is ground at the proper angle then it will fit properly in the jig. If the angle is different the knife height can vary.

With this type of jig, the knife is held well during the tightening process. I suggest that you first snug all the gib screws with the knife held against the jig. Once the knives have all been snugged, go back and tighten them to the proper torque for the size of screw being used.

These jigs are available from Woodworker's Supply as well as Leitz Tooling. Other jigs are available from Charles G. G. Schmidt. Be sure to get the jig that is correct for the head diameter you are using. If you can't find one, a local machine shop can make them.
Dave Rankin, forum moderator