Belsaw 9103 cutterhead adjustment

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Blog entry by swdst posted 01-13-2019 09:49 PM 1208 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Today I decided to install the new knives on my belsaw planer (a topic that deserves an entire blog unto itself). After much frustration of getting the blades the same height (these are notorious for the gibs to cause blade creep when tightened) I finally got them all within .0005, trust me, this was luck as I was only shooting for .001, I realized there was a 1/32 difference between thickness of board from right to left, my case the right side was thicker. I came to the conclusion after second checking my blades that my cutterhead and table were not coplaner. Should anyone else run into this issue, it is a quite simple fix (5 minutes), below is how I went about doing mine.

First I used a 1-2-3 block and lowered the cutter head until I barely felt resistance between the cutterhead and block by sliding block as I slowly lowered the head, being careful to not allow the block to contact my knives. Once you have the head barely touching the block, move the block to the other side and note the distance of the gap between the block and the high side of the cutter head

Now make a reference mark on the top of each height adjusting screw (these are the screws in each corner with a sprocket at the bottom driven by the chain

Next, locate the master link in you table adjusting chain (this is the chain that runs around the machine and turns the height adjusting screws). Mark the location of this link on the frame with a soap stone, or a marker if you dont mind permanence, this is to allow you to easily relocate the placement later of where the table was when you checked the height. Now raise or lower your table to put the master link in an easy to work on location.

Next, note where the master link is now located with another mark, and disassemble the master link, this is done with a pair of needle nose pliers, there is a clip on the top that has to be slid halfway to the left or right (depends which end of the clip the open side is on), and then pulled straight up, then remove the dogbone shaped link, and the link. Remove chain being careful not to turn any of the sprockets. These machines have a 1:1/16 adjustment, one full turn of an adjustment bolt is 1/16 of an inch. To raise the low side of the table, note your reference mark’s on the top of the adjustment bolts, and rotate the two on the low side of the table clockwise the appropriate amount you need to bring the table to level. If your table is out by more than 1/16, I recommend splitting the adjustment by raising one side half your gap and lowering the other side the other half to avoid a binding issue, and excessively wearing the adjustment bolts. Once you have made your adjustments, put the chain back together with the master link being put together at the mark you made before you took it apart, the raise or lower your table (opposite direction of which you did earlier) to put the master link back to your first mark, and check your gap at the cutterhead again, repeat process if your head and table are still not coplaner (took 2 runs for mine as I over dis on the first shot). As a side note, the rollers on these machines have oiled bronze bushings, there is a divot in each one for oiling, a drop or two every 20 days of use is all that is recommended, but is often overlooked. There is also an oiling divot for each adjusting screw in the table where each one passes through, on the inboard side, it is recommended to NOT clean the sawdust out of these, but rather to leave it and allow it to act as a wick for the oil, I fill each one of mine every 30 days or so. Information for these older machines is getting harder to find, and hopefully if anyone else runs into an issue, this will be of some help. Oh, and one last thought, if you experience that nasty blade creep when tightening you gibs on the cutterhead, take the gibs out, and check them for burrs, not ask me about aggravation this will save you, polish the front and back of each gib on 400 grit just enough to make them smooth, the rub them across a bar of soap to help ease blade creep.

-- The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for. Louis L'Amour

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