Invicta/Delta DJ-15 Restoration #4: Reassembly

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Blog entry by deejay34 posted 04-23-2018 03:53 AM 2754 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Painting Part 4 of Invicta/Delta DJ-15 Restoration series no next part

I should preface this with, this is going to be a long one. The jointer is reassembled, but I’ve run into a few issues, as documented with explanation and a series of videos later in this post. Please feel free to provide any comments, critiques, suggestions, helpful hints, etc. as you see fit. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

With everything painted and a few new components ordered/delivered, I was able to start reassembly. Overall, reassembly went rather smoothly, with only a few head scratching moments, which was primarily due to poor planning on my part (i.e. a lack of photographic documentation during the tear-down phase). Note that I try to provide reference part numbers for the various components throughout this post, per the DJ-15 parts list. See below for a quick summary of the steps I followed during reassembly.

1. Since I work out of my garage, everything needs to be mobile. Accordingly, I purchased the Portamate PM-2500 from Rockler several months ago when it was on sale. Based on the suggestion of several others who also rely on power tool portability, I attached the Sub Base Assembly (P/N 157 in DJ-15 parts list) to the Cabinet Assembly (P/N 156), which I then placed in the mobile base prior to fully reassembling the jointer. This way, the base cabinet assembly was already in the mobile base, and I could simply lift the remaining components of the jointer into place without having to worry about lifting the entire assembly up onto the mobile base later. Note that I did not fasten the jointer sub base and cabinet assembly to the mobile base, as I anticipated that the total weight of the jointer, once fully assembled, would be sufficient to keep it from shifting within the mobile base. As I mention in the final video below, perhaps I need to reconsider this by bolting the jointer to the mobile base, or at least providing some type of vibration isolation, in an effort to minimize vibration and reduce noise.

2. In order to fully reassemble the jointer table assembly, I flipped both the infeed (P/N 52) and outfeed (P/N 73) tables over (table top face down) onto an assembly table. With the tables upside down, I carefully slid the main portion of the jointer (P/N 89), also upside down, over both tables so that I could install the eccentric bushings (P/N 98), shafts (P/Ns 99 and 103), and the pivot bracket/plate/lever arm assemblies (P/Ns 82, 83, and 85, respectively). Fortunately, it is a very tight fit between the interior of the main jointer body and the outer edges of the infeed/outfeed tables, so with a little persuasion from a rubber mallet, I was able to “press” the body down over the tables in small increments so that I could line up the holes and insert the four shafts. Once those were installed, it was simply a matter of bolting up the pivot bracket/plate/lever arm assemblies. See below for a photograph of the infeed table lever arm assembly (as looking from underneath the infeed table toward the cutterhead), which includes a pair of shafts (one that goes through the outermost eccentric bushing on the infeed side of the jointer main body, P/N 103, and one that goes through the outermost portion of the infeed table, P/N 76), a pivot bracket (P/N 82), and a pair of plates (P/Ns 83).

3. One small nuance associated with step #2 above is the installation of the bumpers (P/N 77). In order to install the bumpers, I first installed the innermost eccentric bushing shafts (i.e. the shafts closest to the cutterhead side of both the infeed/outfeed table). Once installed, I lifted up on each end of each table in order to rotate it slightly so that I could install each bumper, after which I rotated each end of each table back into position so that I could install the remaining two shafts, one on each outermost end of each table. I should also note that, prior to executing this reassembly, I had absolutely no idea what the bumpers were for. I now know that they act as a “bumper” (go figure) for the positive stops of both tables (i.e. to set the raise/lower limit of both the infeed/outfeed tables, as dictated by the engagement of the adjustment screws (P/Ns 88, 93, and 107)). See below for a photograph of the underside of the infeed table with the bumper installed.

4. With the tables now fully assembled to the main body of the jointer, I was able to lift the entire assembly up onto the base assembly, which was already installed on the mobile base. I think that performing this act is likely not for everyone, as this assembly is rather heavy and awkward to maneuver solo. I was careful not to pick this assembly up by the table ends, and instead picked it up by the innermost portion (i.e. side closest to the cutterhead) of the infeed table and underneath the opposing end of the main jointer body. So that I didn’t smash my hand when lowering this assembly down onto the base assembly, I let the outfeed portion overhang the base assembly at an angle so that I could then “shimmy” the table assembly into place. Once in place, I bolted the table assembly to the base assembly.

Unfortunately, I did not take many useful photographs during steps 1-4, partly because it took me a while to complete these steps (with some back and forth and a bit of head scratching), and partly because the lifting/maneuvering required most of my focus. If anyone has any specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask and I’ll do my best to dig in the memory bank to help out as best as I can.

5. With most of the jointer reassembled, I started reassembling the cutterhead. I purchased some new NTN bearings from Grainger (6004LLBC3/EM).

I thought the process of installing the cutterhead bearings was going to be rather tricky, as I do not own a press. However, after a lot of forum browsing and a few YouTube videos, I decided to give it a go anyways. The first thing I did was install one of the retaining rings (P/N 68) in the back-side (i.e. belt side) bearing block (P/N 69). Note that there are two retaining rings in this bearing block. Install one retaining ring, press in the bearing (P/N 60), then install the second retaining ring. To press in the bearing, I simply lubricated the outer race of the bearing with some 3-in-1 Oil, then used a PVC fitting that I had on hand that just so happened to be the same outer diameter as the outer race of the bearing and tapped the fitting until it seated the bearing firmly within the bearing block up against the retaining ring. Once the bearing was in place, I installed the second retaining ring.

The next step in cutterhead assembly was to press the second bearing onto the front-side (i.e. operator side, opposite of the belt side) of the cutterhead (P/N 61) shaft. Using a similar process as described previously, I lubricated the cutterhead shaft with 3-in-1 Oil, as well as the inner race of the bearing, and used a steel pipe that had an outer diameter equivalent to the bearing inner race diameter and an inner diameter that just barely fit over the cutterhead shaft (another lucky find around the house that I happened to have on-hand) to tap the bearing onto the shaft. With this bearing installed, I was able to tap the operator side bearing block (P/N 59) onto the bearing with a rubber mallet until it was fully seated.

The next thing to do was to press the back-side (i.e. belt side) bearing block assembly onto the opposing cutterhead shaft. This was a little trickier than the previous bearing installations, but still manageable without any specialized equipment. I first had to drill a hole in a scrap piece of material that was slightly oversized relative to the cutterhead shaft diameter so that I could use this scrap piece for tapping the bearing block assembly onto the shaft. With that scrap piece prepared, I gently tapped the bearing block assembly onto the cutterhead shaft, making sure that everything went on square.

With the bearing block assemblies installed, the final step was to install the pulley (P/N 70). Relatively straightforward to install, just a little loving with the rubber mallet and the pulley went on fairly easily. See below for a photograph of the cutterhead assembly.

6. With the cutterhead assembly complete (sans knives and locking bars/gib screws), I went about installing the assembly in the jointer. This is straightforward, as a set of four allen head screws are used to secure the bearing blocks to the jointer, two screws per bearing block. The key aspect of this part of the reassembly was aligning the pulleys. With the cutterhead pulley aligned as-is (i.e. it can be moved along the cutterhead shaft, but I simply seated it up against the shoulder of the cutterhead shaft), shifting the motor pulley (P/N 169) along the motor shaft and/or shifting the motor along the motor brackets (P/N 165) are the options that I had in order to align the pulleys. Many folks recommend using a straight edge to align the pulleys (i.e. put a straight edge on the face of the motor pulley, and if it touches the face of the cutterhead pulley along the entire pulley surface, then alignment is good); however, there is little clearance to do this in my machine, so I went with a slightly different approach. First, I made sure the jointer was level and plumb (which is no easy task in my garage). Then I simply hung a plumb bob from the cutterhead pulley (within the center of the pulley groove) and used that to align the motor pulley. With the pulleys aligned, I secured the motor pulley to the motor shaft with two set screws and the corresponding shaft key. Note that I upgraded the motor pulley from the stock pot metal pulley to a cast iron pulley – Amec AK71X5/8. With the pulleys installed and aligned, I installed a 1/2-inch Fenner Drives PowerTwist link belt (profile size A/13/4L), which was an upgrade from the old v-belt that had several cracks in it. Note that the pulley/belt rotation direction in the bottom-most photograph is counter-clockwise.

7. With the bulk of the jointer back together (I also reassembled the fence and carriage, as well as the rabbeting ledge, all of which was straightforward…but please feel free to ask questions), it was time to move on to the electronics. As I described in my original post, this machine is outfitted with a 3-phase motor. I do not have 3-phase power at my home, so I purchased a TECO FM50-101-C (as I also do not currently have 240V in my garage) variable frequency drive (VFD) from FactoryMation in order to run the machine on 120V single phase power. While the jointer can be operated directly from the VFD control panel, I wanted to be able to turn the machine on/off using a switch located on the front of the machine. However, the original magnetic switch would not work with the VFD without additional electronics, so I purchased a purely mechanical on/off switch to use instead. I was able to connect the on/off switch to the “3” and “5” low voltage terminals of the VFD. The motor cable was connected to the “T1”, “T2”, and “T3” terminals. The power cord was connected to the “L1” and “L2” terminals. Note that the motor cable and power cord were also connected to the ground terminal on the VFD. I used 12-3 SOOW cable for the power cord, while I used the original 18-4 motor cable that came with the machine. I used 14-2 SJOOW cable to connect the on/off switch to the VFD. To protect the VFD from dust/dirt/debris, I mounted it in a basic 8”x8”x6” Hoffman enclosure that I purchased off of Amazon, which I mounted to the side of the jointer beneath the infeed table. I can’t remember where I read this, but somewhere (multiple somewheres actually) I read that an enclosure volume should be at a minimum 4X the volume of the VFD. The TECO FM50-101-C has dimensions of 5.20-in (tall) x 2.83-in (wide) x ~5-in (depth). Compared to the 384 cubic inches of the enclosure, the VFD takes up a little less than 1/5th of the interior volume, so I considered that good enough.

For clarity, note that the on/off switch cable is on the left (black wire goes to low voltage terminal “3”, white wire goes to low voltage terminal “5”), the power cord is in the center (black wire goes to “L1”, white wire with yellow crimp goes to “L2”, and green wire with yellow crimp goes to ground terminal), and the motor cable is on the right (black wire with blue crimp goes to “T1”, red wire with blue crimp goes to “T2”, white wire with blue crimp goes to “T3”, and green wire goes to ground terminal).

I plan to add a lexan window to the VFD enclosure lid so that I can seal it up to keep contaminants out but still monitor the LCD display of the VFD…haven’t gotten there yet, but I will.

With everything mostly reassembled, it was time to fire it up and see how I did. Upon first start-up, I noticed a lot of vibration and noise. The jointer did not pass the nickel test, and I noticed a fair amount of belt flutter. See below for a video.

View on YouTube

After the initial test run, it was obvious that something, or some things, needed adjustment. Given the belt flutter that I saw in the first go round, I figured that the belt tension was insufficient and that I likely needed to shorten the belt by removing some links. However, I did not want to do this right away without first checking a few other things. So, I removed the belt from the pulleys and decided to run the jointer without the belt just to see if I could pinpoint whether or not it was a motor issue. Specifically, since I did not install new motor bearings (this may come back to bite me, but we’ll see), I wanted to determine whether or not that needed to be done. Running the jointer with the belt removed resulted in significantly less vibration (passed the nickel test) and significantly less noise. You can still hear the high-pitched hum from the first video, but based on what I’ve read, that seems to be associated with the VFD carrier frequency. Although not shown in the video below (I do mention it), I did play around with adjusting the carrier frequency (function “F12”, factory setting “005”, 8kHz). I found that switching the setting to “008” (14.4kHz) all but eliminated the high-pitched noise. I chose to revert back to the factory setting of “005”, as I’ve also read that setting the carrier frequency too high can shorten the lifespan of the motor and/or VFD. See below for a video.

View on YouTube

I think that running the jointer without the belt demonstrates that it doesn’t appear to be a motor bearing issue (although I am certainly open to other opinions, as I have zero experience with this, as this is my first jointer and machinery refurbishment). So, given that I installed new cutterhead bearings (and I think I did it properly), I figured I would try removing a few links from the belt in order to shorten it up and create more tension between the pulleys. I did this in an iterative process by removing one link at a time, reinstalling the belt, running the jointer for ~5 minutes, and observing the results. I ended up removing a total of 3 links from the belt, shortening it from a total of 64 links to 61 links. In doing so, the jointer passes the nickel test, but there is still some noticeable vibration (although definitely less than pre-shortening of the belt), and I think I still see some belt flutter. See below for a video.

View on YouTube

So, with all of this completed, I’m not quite sure what to do next.

I may try removing an extra link or two from the belt to see if that helps with the still somewhat noticeable flutter that was observed in the final video above. Note that I didn’t bother mentioning belt deflection at the mid-span between the pulleys, as that seems to be very subjective in my opinion. I believe the standard rule of thumb is something like 1/64th of an inch for every inch between pulleys (center to center). The distance between the pulleys on this jointer is 16.5 inches, which equates to nominally 1/4 inch of deflection at the mid-span of the belt when subjected to finger pressure. I’m not really sure how much finger pressure to apply, but with what I would call moderate finger pressure, the belt deflects on the order of 1/4 inch, maybe a little more. Maybe I’ll give it a go and see what happens when I shorten up the belt once more.

I may also try firming up the connection between the jointer and mobile base, maybe add some rubber isolation pads to try and help with noise/vibration. I’ll likely take the same approach with the VFD enclosure, for the same reasons, but also because I can’t imagine that the vibration that I observed in the enclosure is good for the VFD.

So, for those out there with jointer experience (any jointer experience is more than I have), what do you think? Is the noise level reasonable? Does there seem to be too much vibration? Are there other things that I should check? Are there other tests that I should run? I’m open to any/all suggestions, so fire away.

I’m hesitant to try just running a few boards through to see if it produces acceptable results, as I don’t want to cause any damage, particularly if there’s something relatively easy that I can try to fix…but maybe that’s exactly what I need to do. Hopefully I’m able to come to a resolution here shortly. Ok, that’s enough for now, it’s been a long day. Thanks for looking!

(NOTE: I did not mention anything about infeed/outfeed table or cutterhead/knife alignment in this post. Given that I haven’t run a single board through the jointer yet, I didn’t think it responsible to document a procedure that may not produce acceptable results. Once I get this up and running and have a chance to test it out on a couple boards, I’ll provide a documented update.)

-- DJ, "It takes a leap of faith to get things going, It takes a leap of faith you gotta show some guts..." - B. Springsteen

2 comments so far

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1427 days

#1 posted 04-24-2018 10:28 AM

Looks like you did a GREAT job on a difficult project. It passes the nickel test very well. I agree it does seem loud. Much of that may clear up when you put the cover on the back and belt. GREAT Job !!!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View deejay34's profile


25 posts in 1498 days

#2 posted 04-25-2018 01:35 AM

Thanks Kelster58. I hadn’t really thought about having the back cover removed and what affect that might have on noise (unfortunately this machine did not come with a belt guard, so I am fabricating one out of sheet steel). I’m sure it will help a little, but what’s more worriesome is the significant difference in noise level between the second video (no belt, just motor) and the third video (belt attached but shortened/tightened). When I turn the cutterhead by hand, there’s significant belt “noise” just from the new link belt riding in the pulley (and it does ride rather high in both the cutterhead pulley and the motor pulley). Still have some things to try out, but time will tell. Thanks again for the kind words!

-- DJ, "It takes a leap of faith to get things going, It takes a leap of faith you gotta show some guts..." - B. Springsteen

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