Pocket Screw Machine Slow Operation

Maintenance and cleaning tips that may restore a multi-head pneumatic pocket screw machine to its former quickness. August 15, 2011

I have a Kreg multi-head pneumatic pocket screw machine. It has worked great for the last five years other than regular maintenance. Recently it has begun a very, very slow cycle rate (around 10-15 seconds). It may have gotten some moisture in the lines, but we have taken them all loose to clean them out and they seem fine. I have adjusted the speed control and it does nothing. I am looking for any help on how to speed this cycle rate up.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor L:
Do you mean when you pull the handle it takes 15 seconds for the motor to start? I know what you mean. I have this problem with my machine, only 2 years old. One thing you can do is put oil in the air line that is the main input. This will oil the pneumatic switch that controls the airflow for the motor and the hold down. The other thing you can do is take the switch out and clean it. I found some residue in there that could have caused problems. You can also replace the pneumatic switch.

I got this from the Kreg tech: 'The part that you are referring to is the Sub DB 04. The part retails for $99.99 plus tax and shipping."

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the response. My machine is a little different than yours. We have a foot pedal operated machine. From the time we depress the pedal to the cycle return is 10-15 seconds. The clamp head is slow to come down and return, then the drill press is equally as slow.

From contributor E:
What happens when you turn up the air pressure to the machine? Is it at required pressure? If you should need pneumatic parts, check Grainger. I have a Ritter double pocket machine. When I needed a new clamping regulator, it was cheaper from Grainger.

From contributor J:
As far as I can tell, Kreg now only offers the multi spindle machine with an electric motor. Maybe they had problems with the pneumatic driving three spindles. Does your machine have an automatic inline oiler? You have checked the inline filter?

From contributor D:
Do you use a refrigerated air dryer? If not, you probably have moisture in the pneumatic cylinders. Cleaning the air lines won't do anything if you already have water in the cylinders. Before you buy new parts, try taking the cylinders apart and cleaning them out with some WD-40. I've had air cylinders on other machines get sticky and sluggish until I dismantled and cleaned them. They've worked fine ever since.

From contributor M:
I had a similar problem with my Ritter. I know it's a different machine, but I found my cycles were out of sequence and slower than normal. I took my foot pedal apart and cleaned and oiled it. I found residue and other buildup was having an effect on when the cylinders in the pedal were being pressed, and in turn activating the electric motor and air cylinders. I also put oil in my incoming air lines. Between the two, something worked and my machine resumed its normal cycle.

From contributor N:
I was curious if it was the three spindle machine or if it was the five spindle machine. If it is the three spindled machine, your best bet would be to clean your rods off really good with an acetone and then lubricate it with a dry lube. If that does not work, you can try to reset the flow control setting (the box with an F and S on it) to the factory setting. You can do this by screwing it all the way down and then backing it off 3 1/4 turns. Also make sure that your belt is not slipping on the machine. Hopefully these tips will get you up and running.