tragedies #4: Jimi_C nails it - my planer suffered a blown bearing

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Blog entry by Gary Fixler posted 11-16-2009 09:06 PM 3111 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Craftsman 13" planer woes Part 4 of tragedies series Part 5: My planer's broken bearing »

In my last post, I mentioned my planer seizing up entirely. I couldn’t move the belts, and I couldn’t spin the knife wheel. I also talked about how insanely built the Craftsman 13” is, and I still stand behind that. I think taking apart my Toyota pickup’s engine might be less involved. I finally found the secret under the black slide-in plastic caps that the top rods sit in. There were access ports that let me undo some hex screws and finally lift off the top shrouds (one required several hammer blows to loosen) which in turn released the side panels and opened up another world of hurt inside. I took apart the gear box to get in deeper, and about a dozen rods fell out. The gear box isn’t held together on it’s own. You have to balance a dozen rods between two plates while installing the whole thing into the box. That’ll be fun to reinstall.

disassembled Craftsman 13-inch planer

It didn’t get any easier once inside, and I’d say it even got harder. I’ll save you all of that, but suffice it to say that after giving up on it for 3 weeks (I can’t believe how fast time is flying by this year), I spent the last 2 days on it and finally found the issue. As I said, Jimi_C got it right in my last post. The bearing was blown out on one end of the knife wheel.

Here’s the good bearing on the knife wheel:

planer knife-wheel bearing

And here’s the one that blew out. Note that it’s all streaked with black, and the cap is popped out. You can see the retaining ring inside the cap, too:

blown out bearing on planer knife wheel

Next up, I have to figure out how to pull it. I’ve already used my gear puller on several pieces to get in this far, but it’s about 3/16” too short to reach the bearing with that long rod sticking through it. Also, because it’s a 2-arm puller, instead of a 3-arm, one sits nicely in a flat, and the other would bang into one of the knife edges, if it could reach. I’m not super keen on removing the knives just yet. I tried to torque one of the hex screws out, and couldn’t get it to budge. There are a bunch of them on each knife, and these were lined up very nicely and still sharp enough. I just want to pull that bearing, pop a new one on, and probably spend 2 days fighting it all back together. That reminds me. I’m going to have to find a new bearing somewhere, too.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

10 comments so far

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5091 days

#1 posted 11-16-2009 09:19 PM


There should be some numbers stamped into the side of bearing. Take the old bearing or the the good one on the blade holder to a motor shop. They can probably fix you up.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 4536 days

#2 posted 11-16-2009 10:04 PM

lew, thats a good idea.
Gary, another one is to find a local machine shop that has a good 10 ton press. They will have center point arbors and split pressing cups to help remove and replace that bearing. You may even be able to leave the knives in place, but go to the UPS store and buy some small bubble-bubble wrap to protect them.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4570 days

#3 posted 11-17-2009 01:41 AM

Wow, little weird seeing my name mentioned out of the blue :) Glad to see you got to the issue. After years of playing roller hockey, I guess I know a blown bearing when I hear the symptoms :D

Those don’t look like they’ll be too hard to replace at least, now that you’ve got the hard part done. Does Sears parts website still offer them?

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 4534 days

#4 posted 11-17-2009 03:39 AM

Not sure, but I think that is the same planer I have, I will contact you when I have the same scary noises. Good luck with the work thing.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 4526 days

#5 posted 11-17-2009 09:28 AM

God those pictures look like my dewalt planer. Those screws to get at your knives, get them now while there out. On my dewalt planer, every other screw was on impossible to break loose. Luckily I was still on my one year warrenty, I took the planer back and got a new one. To prevent the screws from doing that agine,
about once every 5o board feet, I break all the screws loose and put a coat of anti sieze on them. And they can still be hard to break loose. I admire your determination, I would have thrown the planer away before doing ALL THAT…

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 5121 days

#6 posted 11-18-2009 04:16 AM

Gary, try doing a search for Allied bearing in so. cal.
Thats where I get my bearings from they are great.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4717 days

#7 posted 11-18-2009 10:12 AM

Thanks for the info, everyone! I’ll round it up and let you all know how it turns out.

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1001 posts in 4717 days

#8 posted 11-21-2009 12:34 AM


There were things stamped on the side. One side said CHL and the other 6203Z. This turned up one link online to a Chinese bearing place, but I couldn’t read anything. I searched up Jim’s Allied, but the one I found had branches all over, but nothing in CA. I found Alliance Bearing in CA, but I couldn’t track things down. I took to measuring the bearing with calipers and found it read goofy in inches, but to perfect values in metric (40mm OD, 17mmID, 12mm width). Then it dawned on me that I should just check out Sears’ parts page online ( I found the model number on one of the plastic shrouds in the garage, put that in, and got a parts explosion diagram with a long list of parts beneath, each able to be added to my cart. It’s discontinued, and the bearing isn’t available anymore, but the replacement bearing they promise is functionally equivalent (#STD315231). It was a bit under $5, of course with $6+ shipping :( So, for a bit under $12, I should have the proper bearing in the mail soon. That was the standard shipping rate, so it’s EST’d to arrive on December 4th. I sure hope it’s the right bearing after all of this! My garage is a mess with parts.

Thanks again, and I’ll update how it all works out, or if it doesn’t :)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 4570 days

#9 posted 11-21-2009 01:26 AM

I’ve had good luck with them, when getting parts that were discontinued but had equivalents – the fence for my tablesaw was one such replacement. The only goofball one was, I ordered the three wrenches for blade replacements, one of which was “functionally equivalent”. Well, it turns out it was almost identical to one of the others… so I pretty much have a spare in case I lose one. The only difference is one is a little shorter than the other… and for $4 it wasn’t worth shipping back.

Anyway, good luck, the fun comes when the part arrives and you get to put it all back together :)

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 4631 days

#10 posted 12-02-2009 03:46 AM

Hi Gary
send these picture to Craftsman they should pay for this.


-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you [email protected]

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