Infeed roller modification

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Review by Jarrhead posted 05-03-2019 01:08 PM 585 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Infeed roller modification Infeed roller modification No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I was having a problem with my planer’s infeed roller leaving marks on my work pieces on the outfeed end. Apparently this is a very common problem, not just with my brand/model of planer (Grizzly 15”), but with many other brands as well. It seems the new industry standard for infeed rollers is to produce them with these rather aggressive serrations that end up embossing the wood surface. If you don’t take a rather substantial cut, the embossing will still be very prevalent after the work piece exits the machine. I have read numerous similar accounts online from other woodworkers. I even brought the subject up to a vendor representative at a recent woodworking show, and I was told that nearly all planers are made with these serrated infeed rollers now. I thought I had the problem licked by adjusting the height of the infeed roller, but I still occasionally got the marks when I try to take a very light cut. You cannot totally eliminate the downward pressure the roller exerts on the wood, or the piece won’t feed. My old planer was a Jet 13” model that had a rubber like covering on the infeed roller. I never had a problem with marks on the wood from that planer. So, I started exploring how to get a similar roller for the new 15” planer. What I found was a company called Wood Tech Enterprises Inc. P.O. Box 2226. 15 Khristy Scott Lane. Fairview, NC 28730. From their website:

Woodtech Offers Feed Rollers, and Hold Down Rollers for most any woodworking application and machine. Look to us for reliability, long-life, and economical solutions to material feeding.

They specialize in a Polyurethane roller material specifically for the woodworking industry. So, I decided to see if they could create a new infeed roller for me. Instead of having them machine a new roller from scratch, I ordered a factory direct replacement from Grizzly. I then had a machinist turn the diameter of the new roller down from 1.97” to 1.5”, which eliminated the serrations, and left a smooth round surface. I sent that freshly machined roller to Wood Tech and they covered it with a sleeve of 70 Durometer Polyurethane. It ended up being much less expensive than I thought it would be, and swapping the old roller out with the new one was a breeze. 30 minutes, start to finish. I am very pleased with the results. I am posting this here because, based on my internet research into the problem, there are many other woodworkers who might also benefit from this conversion. Call or e-mail Wood Tech and talk to Craig.

-- trn2wud

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78 posts in 3721 days

4 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


3926 posts in 2350 days

#1 posted 05-03-2019 08:24 PM

Thank you as this is excellent to know….I would use my 15” Jet more often except for the aberrations.

We will also wait for follow ups on how well it works and any slippage issues.

Can you provide the approximate cost for machining and the covering.

View AZWoody's profile


1440 posts in 1586 days

#2 posted 05-05-2019 03:41 AM

Grizzly sells a direct replacement for the outfeed roller. I’ve been considering getting one for my 20” planer.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9040 posts in 2690 days

#3 posted 05-06-2019 06:20 PM

Mind sharing what they charged you for the coating operation?

We have a place not far that we use to do urethane coatings at work, but they were kind of expensive and didn’t really specialize in anything for woodworkers.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

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78 posts in 3721 days

#4 posted 05-07-2019 08:14 PM

The factory replacement infeed roller cost $57.00 from Grizzly. The machining didn’t cost me anything, because I am fortunate to know someone willing to do it for me gratis. The covering by Wood Tech Enterprises was $58.00. So, I’m into it for a little over $150.00, when you fqctor in the shipping. AZWoody – Grizzly does indeed sell a “direct replacement outfeed roller”, but the outfeed roller wasn’t the culprit. I’m not certain you can substitute the outfeed for the infeed. Judging by the parts diagram, it looks like the ends are machined differently. So far, no slippage, and I don’t expect any. Perhaps I would be concerned if I was in the habit of hogging off big cuts at one time, but I never do that. I’m usually not taking cuts any deeper than 1/16” at a pass. If I need to take off more than say 3/8” I will typically save myself some time and frustration by resawing on the bandsaw first.

-- trn2wud

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