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Reply by bigblockyeti

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Posted on Using planer at cold temperatures

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bigblockyeti

6837 posts in 2635 days


#1 posted 12-20-2017 02:56 PM

Spring tension= negligible, lubrication= yes but not to a degree that it will adversely effect the machine’s life. I wouldn’t worry about frozen lumber either, if the moisture content is high enough that it could be viewed as an issue then it’s too wet to plane at any temperature and needs to be dried more. The grip available from the rollers would be the biggest operational issue, warmer= softer, less brittle and grippier. Colder= harder, more brittle (non issue unless they’re old and on the verge of falling apart anyway) and offer less grip. The belt, like old rubber rollers, could fail at very low temperatures if it’s already close to failing anyway. The colder grease in the bearings will require more power to spin but typically warm quickly if they’re offering significant resistance upon startup.

I worked at a lumberyard several years ago and we kept a Powermatic 160 outside under an overhang for doing rough work and it could trip the breaker a couple times in really cold temperature while trying to get going while fighting stiff drive belts and cold grease in several bearings but after it was going we’d let it run for a couple minutes before putting it to work and all worked just fine.

To satisfy my own curiosity after the breaker tripped twice one very cold morning, I put an ammeter on one of the wire to check the draw immediately after successful startup and it was pulling 22amps under no load with a rating of 24FLA. I checked it again after running hard for a couple hours and it was pulling 15.5amps under no load so there was a good bit of power going toward fighting the resistance created by the cold temperature.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me


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