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Hoping someone can help. Background: I have a deWalt 735 thickness planer. I have be reclaiming some oak boards that were given to me from a homestead. Some are 2" to 1 3/4" it is all rough cut. I have removed all the nails and cleaned the boards before I started running them through the planer. Earlier last week it started to not want to take the boards. I thought this was because I had lowered it to much ( I have been removing about 1/16th of an inch at a time. Two or three boards later the rollers stopped grabbing all together. Long story short the chain and sprocket on the left side looking at the front snapped and the sprocket was in pieces. I went back to where I got the planer and they sent me to a tool shop across town. The guy in the back, told me this happens sometimes when you don't take care of your tools. (insulted a little I bit my lip and said nothing). To the tune of 100$, not cover under warranty because it was my fault. I had the sprocket, chain and bushing for the rollers replaced. Three days later, I got through 7 different boards with approximately 10 passes total, again removing even less at a time because the shop guy said i was being hard on the planer. I broke the keyway on the sprocket. After taking it apart myself this time, i notice the chain tensioner is rubbing on the chain, sprocket broke, and me without a planer.

Question? if my 700$ Dewalt 735 thickness planer can not handle old thick oak, what removal rate should i be shooting for and is there a way to prevent this from happening again?

thanks for any help
Tim
 

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What I'm thinking is that when planing stuff like that you may set it to a height that is appropriate for the end going in, but if the board has thicker spots in the middle, then at that point you may be taking off a lot more than you planned. I've had this happen with my 733 and the board just stopped going since it didn't fit anymore. I just crank the handle up until it fits and starts feeding again. It doesn't seem like that should kill the planer each time.
 

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I'm not one to push limits with any of my power tools: even a hint of laboring and I back off. Better safe than sorry, I feel. I don't know what the limit is for oak on a 735, but on mine I've run a lot of ash and hard maple and usually I'm just kissing it, maybe a 32nd on each pass.

Never even heard of what you've experienced. Could be that you have a bum machine and it could be that your tech is a prick who gets off on belittlement. But given the uniqueness of your experience I'm inclined to believe that you've overdone things with this combination of tool and material. Run at 1/32 and you get the fuigb seal of approval.
 

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I think Bill may be correct. I have taken off 1/16 on white oak without and bogging down, although these were narrow pieces, <6> wide. Maybe you ran into thick middles. (I know thick middles are a common thing here in Wisconsin.)

I am not sure about oak, but I believe Douglas Fir gets harder as it ages.

BJ
 

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When I'm running hardwoods thru my 735 I dont go by "measurements". I start by setting it to where I can JUST barely push the wood thru by hand without the motor running. (Like said above, sometimes the end fits in, but it will bind in the middle)

Then I start it up and run it thru and with each pass I only crank the handle down a tiny bit. ( I dont know what thickness that is but think of 12 to 15 minutes on a clock) If it's anywhere NEAR flat I flip it over about every other pass-thru.

It's slow going, but I'm still on my first set of blades and it's been about 2.5 years.
 

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I have had my 735 for quite a few years and not had that problem. I only run it on the slow speed and take reasonable cuts…pretty shallow each time

I had a 733 and broke the sprockets taking too big of a pass and it sounds like similar to the way yours broke.

Good advice about checking for thick spots when starting and slowly getting it down to planning the whole surface.

I would also think the old stuff is pretty tough. Sorry to hear of your problems and hope you can work your way out of it.

How about posting a picture of the wood?
 

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It sounds like the root of the problem is that the planer is trying to mill rough stock. Lumber should be jointed flat on one side with a jointer. Then the flat edge is placed facing down against the planer bed, and planed to uniform thickness. As others have said, one end of the board may read 1/16 to be removed, but by the time you get to the other end it is hogging off 1/8" or more. I usually try to eyeball which end is thickest, and send that end through the planer first.

My apologies if you are jointing first, but it wasn't specified. The sole purpose of our comments is to help you achieve success with your project. I have found the 735 to be pretty robust, so it is surprising. Sorry to hear you are having issues with it.
 

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As pinto suggested. Are you jointing one side then skip planing until parallel? Or are you running an old rough milled twisted and uneven board through the planer?

If you are breaking sprockets, chains and keys excessive shock loads are probably to blame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for the help. First of all the boards are pretty straight to begin with. These were all from a building on our old homestead. No big twists in the boards. Not sure if this is the right way to do it but i have been cranking the head up to clear the lumber that i am putting in. Then i slide the board of choice into the feed side, and i slowly crank down the cutter head until the rollers grab the boards. So the first pass is just enough to take a little off the whole board. Most of the first passes are hitting just the high spots as the board come out the other side they are barely touched. I then turn the crank a little more than a 1/4 turn lowering the cutter again and run the board through again. I have been doing this on one side until i get to some good clean lumber. After this I have the board flipped over and start the process all over again.

So far I have run approx. 200 different boards through the planer. so its not like this was a new thing. I have a good pile of shavings all over in the shop. But it happened on a board both times that you can not see much of a difference in thickness post blades and pre blades when it quit. I know that I am not taking off to much at a time. I had just never heard that old lumber is bad for a planer because its hard on them. I will say that I replaced the blades not that long ago, well i flipped them just before this all happened. However I looked at them and they are still very sharp. I am wondering if i got the bad egg that made it thought QA or if Dewalt is not that good at planers. However I have seen so many posts and review that is why I got it. I do have a buddy that I make website adjustments for him that is a cabinet builder and he came by and took the remaining lumber to run through his planer at work. I just know that i can not afford and Oliver like he has.

I do not have pictures but i can get some if you think it will help get a better felling for the topic. I have been running the planer on the setting that is not the finish one…I for get what it is. 89 cuts per inch compared to 127 cuts per inch….or something like that. Sorry I'm in the living room now and the planer is in the shop.

Again thank you all. I will look the planer over. See if taking it back to the DeWalt shop has something that plays out. Ill keep posted for those that care.

Tim
 

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Sounds more like the board is sticking to the bed while rollers keep trying to push it through. If you've never waxed the bed, this may be the prob. Just throwing that out there, I'm prob wrong.

Just planed some 8-10" rough cut white oak and I keep the passes to 1/32" or whatever keep the motor from overworking and keep the feed rate at 172? Or whatever it is so it feeds slower.

I pretty much run whatever speed and depth that keeps the motor from really being taxed. I'd rather replace knives than the motor. Or any other part.
 

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Do you own a jointer? If not, that might be part of the problem. When you run a board through without jointing one face first, whatever small twist or bow you do have will not be planed out. If you're not in the market for a jointer right now, there are workarounds (I know because I operated for a little while with the 735 and no jointer). See this video for a solution. Apologies if you know all this already.
 

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Did I miss something, was the board width mentioned anywhere? Thickness matters none to the planer, only the width. I've planed down red oak beams 12" wide with my DW734 and it has no problem with sharp knives and a reasonable cut depth. With dull knives the effort required by the motor is several times that of new knives. Reclaimed wood is likely to have grit in it in one form or another despite the best efforts to try to eradicate everything on and in the wood before machining. Another thing that should be remembered is these are lightweight tools with universal motors, albeit, well designed, but the limitations are significant when compared to industrial machines.
 
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