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15" Buffalo Planer

by Jason Lester
posted 03-06-2019 10:26 PM


30 replies so far

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

3081 posts in 2564 days


#1 posted 03-06-2019 10:49 PM

If you can’t readily find springs to go under those knives, try the little springs that some ball point pens have. You may have to remove or loosen the chip breaker or other part that interferes with the knife setting jig.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1948 posts in 2033 days


#2 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. https://www.lumberjocks.com/CaptainKlutz/blog/129293

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.

Cheers!

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

View Jason Lester's profile

Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#3 posted 03-07-2019 01:03 PM



If you can t readily find springs to go under those knives, try the little springs that some ball point pens have. You may have to remove or loosen the chip breaker or other part that interferes with the knife setting jig.

- runswithscissors

I thought this same thing. I may try that.

CaptainKlutz,
Thats great info. I am impressed with the condition of this machine so far. It is way heavier than I expected which should be good. I read up on the style and found that the Taiwan manufactured ones seem to be the more desired ones for what ever reason. Mine is made in Taiwan so I guess that is a plus.

the planer manual you attached is similar but my motor is in the base.

I’ll check these out and see if I can find what I need.

-- Jason

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1948 posts in 2033 days


#4 posted 03-07-2019 05:34 PM

FWIW – I did some more searching out of curiosity.
The 15” Jet 708538 JWP-15DX, and Powermatic 15/15H made back in same time period all use jack screw for blades. Did find that the Grizzly 1021/1021Z models use springs in cutter heads, and these have motor in base with moving planing table. These might be closet cousin to your Buffalo?

Grizzly just reintroduced the Taiwan made g1021Z due to China tariffs. Parts for g1021 should be easy to get. The g1021 blade setting jig is only $13.25. :)

PS – The cutter springs for all the spring models appear to be same size:
COMPRESSION SPRING 0.6 X 5.9 X 16
One PN is P1021Z103. They are $1.25 each.

Best Luck.

-- 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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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#5 posted 03-07-2019 08:47 PM

Dang you are on it. I read this earlier on my phone. I think I’ll order those springs and jig.

The G1021Z looks very much like the design of mine. But now I have noticed one of the rollers on the table is missing. I’ll look to see if I can get that part. Wish I had seen that before bolting it all back together (its so heave I took it apart to move it)

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#6 posted 03-07-2019 09:01 PM

“The g1021 blade setting jig is only $13.25. :)”

Is there a part number for that. The one I found seems to be a spiral head version so no jig….or I am being dumb and not seeing it.

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#7 posted 03-07-2019 09:03 PM

Ah I found it. Didn’t scroll down enough

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#8 posted 03-08-2019 01:13 AM

Ok so I ordered the blade setter and the missing roller and all that it looks like goes with it per the diagram. Hopefully that gets me there. I am hoping to get this thing up and running soon. I’d love to buy new in/out feed tables for it. But the single roller ones I have will have to do a while. I will have to do some straightening of them though I think. I believe the guy I got them from used them to lift it with those. So they aren’t right. Plus missing an adjustment screw or two.

Still with parts I believe I should still be better off with this one….as long as that roller is the same Diameter etc. Might have to replace the other one too if not.

Kinda fun / frustrating returning it to usable. I may tear it down one day and do a full refurbish/restore once I see everthing works as it should … I did run it without blades once for a second and it seemed fine.

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#9 posted 03-08-2019 01:48 AM

I need to figure out how to post pics….

So I decided to see that everything turned etc with the power on again. I plugged it up with no blades. Turned it on and only the cutter head was turning.

Uh oh I thought. I shut it down and took the gear drive (chain cover off) other than being dirty all looked good. I thought maybe the gear drive inside was bad. I turned it on again and changed the speed lever. So it looks like maybe I only have slow speed… I’m wondering if I wasn’t pushing the lever all the way in though.

No funny noises or clunks so I think it may be just from sitting that this thing is acting up.

I read a little more on the bed rollers and apparently there is a height adjustment on them. So maybe I don’t have to replace both. That is good news.

Learning as I go here. The last time I had access to a planner I was in High School… And of course I didn’t use it much or tear it apart. So yeah probably a great idea to learn the machine this way….LOL

Actually I kind of like these kind of projects. I appreciate the help on this. I guess I just needed to dive in. I’ll get it working then clean it all up right and make it really nice (I hope)

-- Jason

View furnman487's profile

furnman487

8 posts in 273 days


#10 posted 03-08-2019 03:19 AM

You will probably want to change the oil in your gear box just to be on the safe side. When you have new blades installed and set to the proper height, you will need to make a gauge block or use a dial indicator to check that all of your rollers and chip breaker are set to the proper specs. Set your bed rollers almost level with the table and keep it waxed to eliminate most of the snipe, but it’s pretty hard to get rid of it completely. Once set up properly these old Gee Tech planers are pretty good machines.
Good luck.

-- Alan

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1948 posts in 2033 days


#11 posted 03-08-2019 05:30 AM

If you have two speed gear box, then you also have a 3rd – neutral gear position. When speed selector is in middle the feed rollers do not turn. The speed change lever moves roughly 3/4” total between high and low speed, and can be tough to know which speed until you understand your planer.
If you attempt to change speeds while machine is not running, it typically gets stuck in neutral, until you force it back into gear. :)

You issues is not uncommon for a newbie. There are many planer help posts on LJ and WWW on 15” planer operation and rebuilding. So memorize the manual, search WWW, watch some tube; and you will get it figured out.

Best Luck.

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

View Jason Lester's profile

Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#12 posted 03-08-2019 01:14 PM

“Once set up properly these old Gee Tech planers are pretty good machines. “

That is what I am hoping for. We shall see. Oh and I agree on changing the oil. Just trying to get it complete and “working” before a semi tear down and cleanup.

“If you have two speed gear box, then you also have a 3rd – neutral gear position. When speed selector is in middle the feed rollers do not turn. The speed change lever moves roughly 3/4” total between high and low speed, and can be tough to know which speed until you understand your planer.
If you attempt to change speeds while machine is not running, it typically gets stuck in neutral, until you force it back into gear. :)”

I think this may have been the case. Not sure if it is two speed or not honestly. All the way out is the only position it seems to work. I tried turning it on and pushing the lever in. It moves but the rollers stop moving. Pulled out it moves everything fine.

-- Jason

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2249 posts in 2568 days


#13 posted 03-09-2019 01:51 AM

https://www.lumberjocks.com/Holbs/blog/56930

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

2531 posts in 2337 days


#14 posted 03-09-2019 02:19 AM

Where are you finding Buffalo’s and why do they need planing ?
Seems kinda cruel :(

-- Aj

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

1948 posts in 2033 days


#15 posted 03-09-2019 02:22 AM


Where are you finding Buffalo’s and why do they need planing ?
Seems kinda cruel :(

- Aj2

ROFLMAO
Next question: What part of Buffalo is 15”?
:-)

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

View Jason Lester's profile

Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#16 posted 03-11-2019 03:43 PM


Where are you finding Buffalo’s and why do they need planing ?
Seems kinda cruel :(

- Aj2

ROFLMAO
Next question: What part of Buffalo is 15”?
:-)

- CaptainKlutz

HAHAHA

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#17 posted 03-11-2019 03:43 PM


Where are you finding Buffalo’s and why do they need planing ?
Seems kinda cruel :(

- Aj2

ROFLMAO
Next question: What part of Buffalo is 15”?
:-)

- CaptainKlutz

HAHAHA

-- Jason

View Jason Lester's profile

Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#18 posted 03-12-2019 04:06 PM

Parts came in today.

At first glance the springs may be a touch bigger than the ones needed for my plane but I believe I can get them to work. They should just stay captive this way.

The blade setting jig should work nice once the springs are installed. I’ll double check the measurements to make sure it sets them near the right height.

The table roller is nice too. But now I have to figure out how to install it. I was hoping it would fit through the top of the table but it doesn’t look that way. It looks like I have to take the top off the base and separate the bottom etc… Was hoping not to have to do that yet. May be getting into the full clean up sooner than I expected.

So I now believe I have all the parts, minus the in and out-feed table bolts I have to replace due to them lifting with that.

Sure hope its worth all the effort once I am done. I am sure it will but I always have that doubt

-- Jason

View furnman487's profile

furnman487

8 posts in 273 days


#19 posted 03-12-2019 04:40 PM

Table rollers go in from under the table….easy to see with the table raised up. Infeed/outfeed bolts are standard metric M8 I believe. There is a small set screw on the top side to lock the setting on the bed roller.
Good luck.

-- Alan

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#20 posted 03-12-2019 04:48 PM



Table rollers go in from under the table….easy to see with the table raised up. Infeed/outfeed bolts are standard metric M8 I believe. There is a small set screw on the top side to lock the setting on the bed roller.
Good luck.

- furnman487

Ok thanks for the info. I’m hoping I can install the roller assembly fairly easy. I saw those set screws too. I have to clean those holes up as they have a lot of oily wood dust in them.

As for the in and out-feed tables. They stripped them out lifting with them. Probably bent them good too as they are just the metal bar with a single roller type. I’ll worry about those once it is working right. I’ll have to straighten them and maybe up-size the hole.

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#21 posted 03-12-2019 06:39 PM

So I am sitting here scratching my head about how I have to take this thing apart to get the roller in. Then it dawns on my I have the table all the way down…. So I was scratching my head looking at how it comes apart ….

I think I needed more coffee. LOL Ah sometimes I loose my brain

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#22 posted 03-12-2019 08:57 PM

Roller is in! but I am missing one of the set screws. So a trip to the hardware store is required to go further. I’m going to go in a few and see if I can find the set screws. I think it shouldn’t be a problem.

I also drilled the pocket for the spring slightly wider so the spring would fit captured in there. I put in a old blade and pushed it all down with the guide from Grizzly. Seem to work. I am going to tackle that after I get the set screws.

-- Jason

View furnman487's profile

furnman487

8 posts in 273 days


#23 posted 03-12-2019 10:28 PM

You’re doing great. With all the springs in it’s pretty hard to keep the blade down and in the correct location. Be sure all of your gib screws and seating area is clean because when you start tightening them everything moves very easily. Start from the center and work out. I’m sure you already know these things are SHARP, so be careful!

-- Alan

View Jason Lester's profile

Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#24 posted 03-13-2019 01:57 AM



You’re doing great. With all the springs in it’s pretty hard to keep the blade down and in the correct location. Be sure all of your gib screws and seating area is clean because when you start tightening them everything moves very easily. Start from the center and work out. I’m sure you already know these things are SHARP, so be careful!

- furnman487

Well I planned a board tonight. I went and got the set screws and a few other screws. I decided to put my new blades in. I cleaned up the gibs and the area it all goes. I ended up with a light cut when I slipped once. I didn’t see the cut at first. but now that I am done I see it bled just enough to show where it was.

For tightening and setting the blades the jig from grizzly did pretty good. I planned a piece of cedar I found. I didn’t joint it first and I think the table rollers were to high. I got a lead in and lead out bevel (not sure what it is called.) But the center of the board seemed good. Granted it was a pretty soft board.

I’ll adjust those rollers down tomorrow.

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#25 posted 03-14-2019 04:49 PM

Ok so after and adjustment I think it is pretty good. I’ll continue to tweak it but it is all there and working. Going to change the oil next.

I planed some boards someone gave to me that were rough and painted. I jointed them first and then ran them through. I thought they were all oak but one was what looks like hickory or something similar. Why anyone would paint them is beyond me. Now I have 3 nice oak boards and one Hickory. From what would have been trash.

Now I just need to start using it more. I am building a butcher block counter top for a friend soon. So the planer will get a workout there.

Thanks for the help everyone

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#26 posted 03-14-2019 04:49 PM

Oh also I need to get a mobile base under it. This thing is heavy!

-- Jason

View furnman487's profile

furnman487

8 posts in 273 days


#27 posted 03-14-2019 09:11 PM

Good job on getting it running. Your infeed/outfeed rollers will help to eliminate some of the snipe when you get them installed. You mentioned installing cast iron tables in place of the rollers and it can be done. They are available from Griz. When I got mine it was very similar to yours….generic Gee Tech. I bought a table and of course the holes didn’t line up with my older bed, and it was neither square or flat on the end. So it took a good bit of drilling, tapping, shimming, and adjusting to get it installed and level with the bed. Bottom line, probably not worth the expense. Didn’t really gain much over the rollers.

-- Alan

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2249 posts in 2568 days


#28 posted 03-15-2019 12:22 AM

question. You used a blade setting jig, correct? Did the blades move 0.005-0.020” when tightening the gib screws? Mine did when using a jig. Ended up using the jig to get it roughly set 0.025” high and adjusted down to 0.002-0.005’ish with tapping gently.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View Jason Lester's profile

Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#29 posted 03-15-2019 12:03 PM



question. You used a blade setting jig, correct? Did the blades move 0.005-0.020” when tightening the gib screws? Mine did when using a jig. Ended up using the jig to get it roughly set 0.025” high and adjusted down to 0.002-0.005 ish with tapping gently.

- Holbs


I’ll have to measure it to make sure. I just set them and went with it. I was going to ask how critical that measurement was really. The jig seemed to work fine long enough to tighten it up. An extra person or three hands would have been nice but it seemed to work. If the blade is high I may place a piece of tape or something on the jig instead of trying to measure it so close… IDK seemed like it was cutting really well as set so I don’t know if I gain anything by moving it a couple thousandths

-- Jason

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Jason Lester

47 posts in 1076 days


#30 posted 03-15-2019 12:08 PM


Bottom line, probably not worth the expense. Didn’t really gain much over the rollers.

- furnman487

Thanks for the info. I won’t wast the money on them then. I worried mine would be a pain to line up since the previous owner decided to lift this tank with them and seems to have bent them. But they seemed to roughly line up ok so far. I haven’t really messed with them much but they are close

-- Jason

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