Planer Segmented Infeed Roller Problems

Troubleshooting alignment and feed issues on a planer. September 6, 2010

We recently purchased a used PM 180 and have been having a few issues with it. It started rolling 3/4" thick boards that were placed on edge when we first got it. So we spent a half a day calibrating every adjustment on the machine according to the manual. Then the boards had to be rammed through to get them to feed all the way. So we lowered the infeed roller so that it would properly feed the stock. Now it still needs an extra push to go through, but it's rolling the boards again - they are not coming out parallel.

I've never had a segmented infeed/chipbreaker machine, so I don't know if this is the culprit or not. I love the machine, as it's a 7.5 hp 3 ph beast that takes huge cuts, glass smooth, on wide, flat surfaces. But I'm a cabinetmaker. If I can't feed my face frame pieces on edge, this machine may be useless to me.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor R:
Sounds like an adjustment on the rollers. I assume you are waxing the bed diligently. I have been working on machines for about 20 years and spent 8 years working for a dealer and would do service calls for shops and schools. Half my fixes for feed issues would be to wax the bed. You should have seen the looks on their faces. I would then go check the settings on all the rollers, pressure bar, etc. Often you have to tweak the so-called settings from the manual. It's hard to give a proper setting on spring tension.

Also pay attention to where the board gets stuck. Could it be hitting the pressure bar? Look closer at things. I seriously doubt it has anything to do with segmented feed rolls. I've never had that kind of problem with any segmented feed roller and I've been dealing with machines for way too long.

From contributor K:
A PM 180 will never be a worthless machine! Up until about 7 months ago I had a model 180. I always kept it tight starting boards flat or on edge in order to minimize the snipe. I never liked milling boards to width on it because it was hard to keep them upright and be sure they were cutting a square 90 degree edge, especially as they get wider. I went to a straight knife shaper setup with an outboard fence that cut a perfect square edge every time without failure and cut a perfect board width.