Reply by CaptainKlutz

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Posted on 15" Buffalo Planer

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2215 posts in 2098 days

#1 posted 03-07-2019 12:16 AM

Welcome to the challenge of refurbishing old wood working tools.

1st: I am not an expert,
but I have rebuilt a couple of 15” planers over the years, including (1) Grizzy, (1) General, and (1) Delta. Currently have a 15” Powermatic torn down in my shop for new bearings.

Here is what I have learned that might help?

All the import 15” planers from 70’s till ~90’s were made only 2-3 Taiwan based companies. They still make the same designs today with minor improvements. These same companies even have plants in China making same planers, at least until the China tariffs hit. Regardless, it doesn’t matter if it is an old Jet, PowerMatic, Delta, General, etc; they are all sort of clones of each other. For most part they all use the same fastener sizes, bearings, shaft diameters, and blades. There can be major differences inside the gear box, motors, electrical, and many things below the cutter head (like fixed or moving tables). But even those are same within same vintage across different brands that have same specifications.

If you need parts for your Buffalo planer, you can get them from Grizzly, Delta, or Jet/Powermatic pretty easy. Only need right OEM PN! Hard part is making sure you use the OLD discontinued machine model number and parts lists to ensure you get right vintage parts. :)

Since you seem to have cutter head that uses springs and not jack screws for height adjustment; you will need to find manual for one of older planers that uses the same configuration. I know the current Grizzly G0453 & Delta DC-380 (M3 22-675, 22-680, 22-681) all use jack screws for blade height. My experience is limited, not sure about an OLD G0453 or any other mfg or models I am guessing this might be from Jet or Powermatic (WMH group)?
Hmm, wait I found an old manual for G0550/G0551 in my folders, and it uses springs to lift blades! TaDa!

As far as setting blade height: Use the manual from any similar clone to set your blades. The exact height of blade has an acceptable range. I have seen manual specify everything from 0.049 to 0.062 (several 1.5mm or 0.06). They key to blade height is making sure your feed rollers and chip breaker are all set based on height of blades. So if you use different blade setting height, just have to adjust the other heights. IME – I have compared an old Delta blade jig to new Grizzly and 1990’s Powermatic. They were all within a couple thousandth’s of each other.

You will need to make gauge blocks, or use indicator to set all the planer heights. Suggest you might want to read this blog for some help.

Regardless, should still be able to get blade jig for G0550 from Grizzly, which would be my guess on right one for your machine? If you machine has movable lower table, then you might need to find Jet/Powermatic model that matches better for more exact parts match? My guess is all with same config from that time period, all came from same mfg, and all use same size parts?

If you have already bought the generic magnetic blade setting gauge, need to check your size. There are large diameter versions, and smaller diameter version. The small is still just a little big for most 15” planers, but you can use them. They require that you remove the chip breaker to let the both legs reach the roller. Chip breaker is supported on two rods, the height setting one (closet to cutter head) is easily removed from end. Once remove the chip breaker springs and height set rod, you rotate the chip breaker up out of way, and use the generic dial indicator blade jig.

Hope this helps fix your machine?

Remember, everything you read on internet can be wrong. My apologies in advance, if you find my assumptions above to be incorrect. They have been true for me in past.


-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

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