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Infeed roller modification

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Review by Jarrhead posted 05-03-2019 01:08 PM 1097 views 0 times favorited 7 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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Jarrhead

88 posts in 4033 days



7 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4514 posts in 2662 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.

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AZWoody

1477 posts in 1898 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

9451 posts in 3002 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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Jarrhead

88 posts in 4033 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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Jarrhead

88 posts in 4033 days


#5 posted 01-22-2020 03:20 PM

So, I am nearly a year past this modification and thought I would give a little update. First of all, I have not experienced any “slippage” with the new indeed roller. Feeds just as well as the old steel one. Second, I was a little worried about wear. I inspected the roller today, and found it to be in “as new” condition. This was one of the best moves I could have made for my shop.

-- trn2wud

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4514 posts in 2662 days


#6 posted 01-22-2020 09:22 PM

Thanks for posting an update. If I was going to update my 15” planer to a helix head, I would do this modification also.

View Jarrhead's profile

Jarrhead

88 posts in 4033 days


#7 posted 01-25-2020 12:51 PM

If anyone is interested in doing this conversion you can save the cost of buying a replacement roller, if you are willing to be without your planer while the original one is out of the machine being turned and covered. I only bought a replacement because I was uncertain how I would like the change, and wanted to be able to return to stock if I thought the change was not an improvement. Also, if anyone is in Western New York, I can save you the cost of a factory replacement infeed roller from Grizzly, because I still have the original, and now am quite sure I won’t be needing it anymore. It is FREE, to anyone who wants to come pick it up. Text me at 716-260-5991. It is pretty heavy, so I don’t want to ship it.

-- trn2wud

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