What to do with flooded tools?

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Forum topic by weathersfuori posted 10-05-2017 06:39 PM 1205 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View weathersfuori's profile


96 posts in 1732 days

10-05-2017 06:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: biscuit joiner router jointer sander question

I’m one of the many who got hit with flooding from Harvey, and lost some of my tools. Among my flooded power tools are my Dewalt biscuit joiner, router, orbital sander and shop vac.

My Delta 6” jointer (37-196) was also affected, with the motor in it completely submerged. Fortunately, my new cabinet saw, band saw, planer and other larger power tools should be fine.

So I have two questions…

1. Is there anything salvageable about the smaller power tools such as the router, sander, biscuit joiner or are they just complete garbage now? Another way of asking… would anybody buy these “as is” on craigslist for the right price or are they literally worthless now?

2. What to do with the jointer? I bought it used on Craigslist and got a good year and a half out of it, but I’ve already jumped the gun and ordered a new 8” jointer because I need the bigger capacity (and especially longer tables) for some things I am going to have to build for the house. What do you guys think it is worth “as is” (needing a new motor)?

I’m not as mechanically inclined as many of you and have never replaced a motor like this, but figure the jointer must be worth something to someone who could slap a motor in it real quick. Although the smaller size did impact some of my projects, I was pretty happy with this thing and probably wouldn’t have bought another for quite some time. But now that I’m forced to either replace or repair it, I figured I’d upgrade to something I’m sure will be the last I buy.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

13 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4251 days

#1 posted 10-05-2017 07:03 PM

It’s the dirt carried by floodwaters that wreck
tools. The process as I understand it is to
flush them with fresh water, open them up
and dry them out thoroughly.

Belt drive jointer motors are easily replaced.

View bigblockyeti's profile


6180 posts in 2323 days

#2 posted 10-05-2017 07:36 PM

I would buy flooded or otherwise fresh water submersed tools but I used to fix power tools professionally when it was economically feasible to do so. I will still occasionally pickup something of particular interest in non-working condition if it’s something that I happen to be looking for. I very rarely pay 10% of new replacement cost. One of the problems with many motors is the separator paper in the field and armature windings, if water can penetrate it, it can swell causing wires to move more than in normal service resulting in cracked epoxy, broken commutator connections and worn insulation. It can also start rust deep between the laminations where it can’t be removed. If flooded with salt water you have the same problems only much worse. I’d list new replacement value against insurance and let the adjuster decide what happens to them.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View weathersfuori's profile


96 posts in 1732 days

#3 posted 10-05-2017 08:24 PM

Thanks guys- this gives me some ideas for options. Fortunately it was fresh water, however it was really dirty water and a lot of this stuff (especially some of the smaller tools) was submerged for at least a few days. The jointer motor has got to be toast just from the looks of it.

I will not be keeping the jointer either way. It does seem like it would be fairly simple to replace the motor, but since I have a new, bigger one on order, there’s no reason to keep it. Hopefully someone will see some value in it as is. I just don’t know what to do with it if I can’t sell it. Sell for scrap? Would hate to see it come to that but I will not have room to keep it. Either way I won’t be getting much money out of it but something is better than nothing and at least I bought it used.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

View HunterDS's profile


47 posts in 1103 days

#4 posted 10-05-2017 10:29 PM

You should be able to save some of the tools. As yeti mentioned check the field and arnature. Also check your bearings that they have grease. Repairclinic is a good source for parts. Make sure everything is dry before trying to start as to not short it out.

I work as a small engine (sometimes power tools) tech. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions.

-- Hunter, Houston TX

View MrUnix's profile


7581 posts in 2802 days

#5 posted 10-05-2017 10:44 PM

This question was raised just a short while ago… you might want to check out that thread:

Dealing with flooded equipment


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Planeman40's profile


1472 posts in 3364 days

#6 posted 10-06-2017 03:42 PM

Do the above flushing with clean water. Try the electric tools after a through drying. Water really doesn’t hurt most electrical parts. And BE SURE to spray the dried tools with WD-40!!! Read about it here:

Note: I have NO connection with this company except years of using WD-40 on very expensive machines and tools. NO rust in my shop!!!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View JCamp's profile


1036 posts in 1153 days

#7 posted 10-06-2017 06:00 PM

If some of your tools don’t work anymore the parts could still be valuable. You might try listing them on ebay. To me it seems like with my tools its 50/50 if the plastic breaks or the bearings or electrical screws up. So even if the motor or bearings are seized up the rest is still useful to someone

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

View weathersfuori's profile


96 posts in 1732 days

#8 posted 10-06-2017 07:08 PM

Thanks everyone. The jointer is the main thing I’m trying to figure out what to do with because it takes up so much space. I may hang on to the biscuit joiner and router just as an experiment to see if I can get them to work again. No idea what I am doing, but this will be a good way to learn.

As for the jointer, I have a friend who helped me during the flood I am going to offer it to, but if he doesn’t want it I’ll post it on CL as is and see what happens.

Either way, it’s good to hear that someone might find some value in these tools for parts or their own restorations. Insurance will pay depreciated value on all these tools, so I am lucky for that… Just can’t bring myself to put them out on the curb with everything else.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

View MrRon's profile


5810 posts in 3846 days

#9 posted 10-06-2017 09:35 PM

If the tool is this side of 1980, I would rate it as scrap. Earlier might be worth fixing. The older, better made tools were made to last and have a better chance of survival.

View Planeman40's profile


1472 posts in 3364 days

#10 posted 10-06-2017 10:39 PM

Amen Mr. Ron!!! We love the vintage machines! They are all over my shop. I’m vintage myself.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2089 days

#11 posted 10-07-2017 12:22 AM

Every flooded motor I’ve looked at needed bearings and a cleaning. Had some issues with dirty starter contacts and transformers but all the equipment I’ve looked at was fixable.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View jimintx's profile


933 posts in 2187 days

#12 posted 10-07-2017 12:59 AM

I’m sorry to hear that Harvey got you. We stayed in our home in “West Houston” for it all. After parking the truck on my driveway on Aug 26, I could not get it out of the driveway again until 9/9. That made for 14 days of isolation, and watching the water rise to within about 4” of intrusion. But we were so lucky that it did not rise further.

I got first hand views of the nasty dirty water that filled our neighborhoods after the ACE started the dam releases and the sewers all regurgitated into the streets as well.

I had picked up all the lower-stored tools in my shop, and felt i could sustain maybe 9-10 inches there without loosing table saw or bandsaw motors. I was so relieved that my theory on that was not tested. Best of luck to you in the aftermath. I cannot believe the destruction all around me, and I have friends that really lost everything.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View weathersfuori's profile


96 posts in 1732 days

#13 posted 10-09-2017 03:36 PM

Thanks Jim- we live in Katy. Our street flooded Sunday morning, but drained during the break in the rain we had, so we grabbed what we could, hooked up my jon boat to the truck, threw the kids in the truck and left for a friend’s house. I went back the next morning with my boat to try to help some neighbors out, and saw that water was just starting to get into the house and detached garage. Went back again on Tuesday, but couldn’t get into our subdivision to launch the boat and my motor wasn’t working, so it was another week before I was able to get to our house. We ended up with 18” inside the house and almost two feet in the garage (where my shop is) Bad as it was for us, I can definitely appreciate that it was worse on the other side of the dam… I work in the energy corridor and our office didn’t open until 9/18 (some parts are still closed and will be until next year).

I’m a meteorologist, so I was slammed with work the whole time until the moment I realized we would be affected and I needed to shift my priority to my family. With so much going on, I was not in my right mind. So I didn’t have a whole lot of time to prepare my shop the best I could. There wasn’t much I could do anyway, but I did manage to get my 9 month old Grizzly table saw up about 4-5” from how it normally sits. Even I thought I was crazy for trying to get the 500 lb beast up on the lip in our garage, but those inches prevented damage to at least the switch and possibly prevented water from just touching the motor. So many much easier things I could have done with that time that are killing me now… the router, sander, jig saw, plate joiner… would have taken me 90 seconds to take them out of the floor cabinets and throw them on the workbench. I guess in these situations though there will always be something you forget about.

Glad to hear you made it through the flooding unscathed. So many people were affected and had/have things worse than us. We are doing well, living in an apartment for now and about two weeks into the rebuild. I had been planning on redesigning my shop space in my 3-car garage to accommodate my wife’s car and the new jon boat/trailer (which by coincidence I just happened to pick up on Friday Aug 25th as the initial rain bands were coming in). Can’t put it off now! Clean slate!

-- Weathersfuori, Texas,

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