Jammed Dewalt 13" planer

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Forum topic by lewplauny posted 03-05-2011 09:31 PM 33656 views 37 times favorited 60 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 3854 days

03-05-2011 09:31 PM

New Lumberjock signed up to see if any old Lumberjock can tell me the proper sequence to disassemble a Dewalt DW735 13” planer. Hand crank will not move up or down and left front post (facing feed side of planer) appears to be jammed and lower than right side post. I have downloaded the schematics from Dewalt Service Net but I have not idea of the proper sequence of disassembly other than the bare description in the Instruction Manual that came with the machine.

I know that usually there is a “right” way to take a machine apart and re-assemble and would appreciate any advice on disassembly sequence and any trouble spots (there usually are a few) to watch out for.

Thanks a million.

-- Lew Plauny @ Montrose PA

60 replies so far

View bigike's profile


4057 posts in 4503 days

#1 posted 03-06-2011 02:25 AM

I have no idea about that machine but I can offer this everything you make shure you can undo and put everthing in it’s proper place like all the screws and parts to the machine itself. If you ever taken anything apart like a machine follow your first mind and just go about it very carefully. These are the rules I always follow when serviceing a machine in my shop and the shop at work.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 4079 days

#2 posted 03-06-2011 02:56 AM

I bought a 735 off of CL a couple months ago. It was hard to crank, and it actually planed a little lopsided – one side thicker than the other. I was able to correct it by adjusting the spockets on each post. I can’t tell you the “official” sequence, but I had to remove some of the yellow housing on the machine to get at the parts properly. (hint – there is a screw holding the housing on hidden behind the “depth of cut” plate). When you take the top off, you will see there is a chain (looks like a bicycle chain) running around the perimeter of the machine, which is what turns the spocket on each post. There is a tensioner for it near the front of the machine. I removed the tensioner so that the chain would be free of each spocket. Then you can turn them individually (just do them in small increments to you don’t rack/twist it). I raised each one up to the top of the post, and put a straight edge across the post/sprocket to make sure they were all exactly flush with the top. After doing that, I put the chain back on, and it cranked up/down like a new machine. It only took about an hour, which isn’t bad since I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started. Well worth the effort though.

Like Ike said above, keep close track of where screws/parts came from to make assembly easier. The stuff I removed was really just the outer shell. The only real mechanical stuff to mess with was the chain/sprockets.

If this was working normally and just started happening, you may want to check the teeth on the post that is low. Something may have broken, or the chain dropped off, or something like that. Make a note of how much tension the chain has when you open it up. If it has a lot of slack, that may have been the source of the problem.

PM me if you have any questions.

Good luck

View lewplauny's profile


4 posts in 3854 days

#3 posted 03-06-2011 03:54 AM

thanks gang – I got it fixed
I will write up the step sequence as soon as I can in case someone else needs it
thanks Lew

-- Lew Plauny @ Montrose PA

View lewplauny's profile


4 posts in 3854 days

#4 posted 03-08-2011 01:02 AM

Gang – for anyone who needs it – here is the sequence for DeWalt DW735 disassembly and how to repair the jamming of the hand crank handle. Mine now is smoother than it was when new.

DeWalt DW735 Disassembly of Planer Covers
On the first of March 2011 while planing cherry boards the hand crank that raises and lowers the cutter head/ roller assembly jammed and would not crank up or down. The hand crank had always been tough to turn on my machine and had only operated smoothly for a couple inches near the bottom of the cutting depth range. To clear the jam I had to disassembly the DW735 covers to discover my problem. The Service Net website for DeWalt provided poor schematics of the machine but offered no documentation on disassembly. Their only suggestion was to ship it to a service center. I did find a forum on the Lumberjocks website where a woodworker with a new DW735 had also jammed his hand crank and took his to a service center. The center fixed the machine. The cause was one of the four chrome screw posts (the front left post facing the in feed table)on which the cutter head travels had loosened and was turning when he turned the hand crank. Eventually it had turned to the point that cutter head assembly was out of level and jammed the assembly against the other three posts. Because I could find no forum that described how to disassemble the DW735 and DeWalt customer support was no help, the following is a description of how to take the DW735 apart to fix the jam problem.
I would recommend anyone doing this to place the planer on a workbench so the planer can be rotated and tilted to access fasteners and to have a strong light source on the work space. One will be removing a number of screws and bolts so I recommend replacing the screws and bolts into their holes after planer parts are removed. I found having a complete set of regular and metric T shaped Allen wrenches and good set of Philips head screwdrivers helpful. I would also recommend reading all of the below before starting to disassemble the DW735.
1. Remove the yellow plastic top cover by removing the 4 hex bolts with the DeWalt 5/32 Allen wrench and set aside, replace hex bolts in the holes. Note that when this top is installed it presses down and activates an cross shaped safety switch on the top right of the cutter/roller assembly. When the top is off, the On/Off switch will not work. If you later wish to test the planer with the top off ( be careful if the cutters are exposed ), you must depress this chrome colored switch with a piece of wood or a tool.
2. The Power Switch and Circuit Breaker mountings on the front of the planer do not have to be removed in order to remove the yellow plastic “Cover Assembly”. They also do not have to be removed to loosen the front panel.
3. I removed both the left and right black side covers from the “Cover Assembly” which makes the “Cover Assembly” removal easier, exposed the interior gears for inspection. No work needed done on the side assemblies.
4. If you are wondering the “Cover Assembly”, Part No. 5140010-75, is the yellow plastic cover you need to remove to clear the jam and adjust the post travel. Not obvious when just looking at the machine is the “Cover Assembly” is a molded continuous 4 sided plastic that you have to loosen and lift up over the 4 chrome posts to remove.
5. The large black carry handles (the DW735 is almost too heavy to be called portable) have to be removed with a #6 metric Allen wrench because the inside notches in the handle extend over the edge of the yellow plastic side assembly.
6. There are 3 Philips screws that need to be removed at the top of the front panel to loosen the front panel.
7. The Material Removal Scale hides a Philips screw in the center of the cover front which has to be removed to loosen the front panel bottom. There are two small flat head 7/64 or #3 metric hex bolts left and right on the front panel that also need removed. Replace all in their holes.
8. There are 2 Philips screws at the back of the yellow cover that need to be removed.
9. The 2 speed Speed Lever Control must be removed with a 5/32 Allen wrench.
10. The crank wheel needs to be removed with a 5/32 Allen wrench.
11. In order to have enough wiring loose to lift the “Cover Assembly” over the 4 chrome screw posts, you will need to unscrew the 2 Philips screws holding the 2 green ground wires to the base. There is a black screw with a small black lock washer between the wire connector and the black base. The lock washers are hard to see (black on black on black) so don’t lose them. Replace screws.
12. In order to raise the “Cover Assembly” over the chrome posts and set it aside you will also have to remove 2 Philips screws from a black bracket holding the power wires to the right side of the base assembly. I did not have to remove any of the switch snap on wiring connectors in order to lift the “Cover Assembly” over the chrome posts and I could set the cover far enough aside to work on the post assemblies.
13. The front panel cover has to be removed because it hides 2 long 5/32 hex bolts that hold the “Cover Assembly” to the cutter/roller assembly base. There are 2 Philips screws that need to be removed at the back of the “Cover Assembly”.
14. The depth gauge on the front right chrome post also needs to be removed to remove the “Cover Assembly”. Top of chrome post is 5/32 Allen and bottom is 2 Philips screws.
15. The back side of the “Cover Assembly” can be pressed out and lifted up over the dust chute but;
16. With the “Cover Assembly” set aside, I could not move the jammed sprockets, drive chain or twist the chrome posts by hand. To test further I had to remove the chain drive that circumvents the 4 chrome post sprockets. To do this, loosen the 2 Philips screws that hold the chain tension bracket. Be careful to use a tight fitting Philips screw driver. I had to put down pressure on the screw driver and add torque to the screw driver with an open ended wrench on the screw driver shaft. The screws were really tight.
17. I completely removed the chain and thoroughly cleaned the sprockets, chain and posts.
18. Eureka. With the chain removed I could easily turn the sprockets with channel locks. Although I moved the sprockets to test them, I did not move them far and I made sure I returned them to their original position. I tried to hand twist the 4 chrome posts. 3 were tight. The cause of my jam was a loose left front chrome post turning until it jammed my other 3 sprocket posts.
19. I tightened the loose post by sliding that corner of the planer off the edge of my workbench. The bottom of the chrome post has a detent for an open end wrench to fit onto and the hex bolt head underneath the planer cast base is a #6 metric Allen head. If I had been smarter, I could have tested for this hex bolt looseness from underneath before disassembly but I would have had to disassemble to fix the jam anyway.
20. I tightened the loose post (and checked the other 3). As the post spirals looked symmetric, I assumed it did not matter what position the post was in when tightened.
21. With the chain off, the sprocket assemblies move easily with a channel lock pliers. I did not move the 3 tight posts’ sprockets but moved the loose post’s sprocket height to match the sprocket height of the other three. I measured carefully from both the bottom and the top of the other 3 posts.
22. I replaced the chain, the chain tension bracket and fitted the hand wheel. The cutter assembly moved smoothly to the top. Actually smoother than it moved when the planer was new. I re-cleaned the posts and WD40’d the parts.
23. With the jam fixed I reversed the sequence of operations above.
24. If you need to disassemble the minimum depth stop knob control, note that inside the plastic knob that you spin for min depth there is hex set screw that holds in a small spring and a detent ball bearing. Remove the hex set screw, spring and ball bearing with a magnet before removing the hex bolt holding the control wheel on. Otherwise the ball bearing finds the floor quickly.
25. Note that when the
26. If you decide to change planer knife edges (knives have two reversible sharpened edges) use the magnets on the DeWalt hex wrench to lift the knife clamp and to lift and reverse the knife edge. I did use a longer stronger T handle hex wrench to remove and replace the hex head screws as they were really in tight. Those magnets on the DeWalt hex wrench handle are a great finger saving idea. Push down on the knife roller lock on the left side of the roller to unlock and roll the knife roller with a piece of wood. The Operating Manual instructions and hints work good doing this.

-- Lew Plauny @ Montrose PA

View chrisstef's profile


18133 posts in 4220 days

#5 posted 03-08-2011 01:30 AM

i gotta say lew that there is gonne be some guy out there searching the internet all red in the face, lips tight and scowling. Typing into the search query … “stupid dewalt planer all f$%*ed up”. Then hes going to stumble upon this post and you my friend, will be a hero. That is one hell of a write up .. thanks for posting

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4980 days

#6 posted 03-08-2011 01:31 AM

On my favorites list for sure. Thanks Lew.
- JJ

View Cato's profile


701 posts in 4527 days

#7 posted 03-08-2011 01:56 AM

Lew, thanks a million for the post on your repair. I saved in my file in case I ever have to use it.

Love the planer, and hope I don’t have to take it apart.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4388 days

#8 posted 03-08-2011 02:23 AM

Heck. I’M bookmarking this, and I have a Ridgid planer !

It’s so cool when folks take the time to do write-ups like this…..

-- -- Neil

View ajosephg's profile


1898 posts in 4775 days

#9 posted 03-08-2011 03:16 AM

Good job. Appreciate the post.

I too am bookmarking this because I’m sure that someday my 735 will need disassembly for something, if not a loose post.

-- Joe

View mcase's profile


446 posts in 4343 days

#10 posted 03-08-2011 04:56 AM

Thanks for the effort. Very thorough. I have not had this problem – yet. But I’ll print this up for future reference. Thanks

View randamadee's profile


1 post in 3822 days

#11 posted 04-06-2011 06:15 AM

hate to burst lew’s bubble but i have a way easier way. stumbled across this looking for something else. i am on my second one of these planers now, the first having serviced many years, and the base plate started to delam from skid plate and so foolishly i got rid of it to buy a new planer. did alot of shopping around and ended up getting another dewalt. well, through copious amounts of planing the same thing started happening, and as it was under warranty i was able to get another complete base. what did i discover? once the base is off( and all it takes is 4 allan key bolts and a screw to remove the base from the posts) you have the ability to move each post independently to correct any skew. keep your eye out for more craigslist deals, cause that is one easy fix. and to let you know, i replace the rollers while i was at it, as they got chewed on a salvage job. a bunch of old fir floor boards that had face nails, so i ground them off on the back side and planed on the good side. sure it ruined a set of blades as well as the rollers, but nothing is 160 bucks is worth the one of a kind look. and by the way, after installing the new base i decided to rip off the the skid plate from the base plate. all it is is a 1/32 inch sheet of stainless steel that was contact cemented on(albeit with heat and pressure i am sure) but next time this happens(and it will be when i don’t have warranty left) i can assure you all i will do is stay-put a peice of formica or the like. way to easy. happy planing.

View idigjars's profile


40 posts in 3844 days

#12 posted 04-06-2011 04:20 PM

Hey, thank you for the instructions. I have one of these planers and have never had any issues but your info will help me if I ever do. Paul

-- Take your time and do it right once.

View Bertha's profile


13624 posts in 3907 days

#13 posted 04-06-2011 04:22 PM

I hope favoriting this doesn’t give my planer any ideas. Thanks!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Sequoiah66's profile


1 post in 3114 days

#14 posted 03-13-2013 08:35 PM

I understand this post is a bit old, but I’m facing this problem now and would love to do this “the easy way”. So could you give me more information about your: “you have the ability to move each post independently to correct any skew.”

How to move the post and set it properly and how to correct skew with the minimum amount of trial and error?


View Shroom's profile


1 post in 2507 days

#15 posted 11-11-2014 04:36 PM

I must say, this post helped me get my 735 back into tip top shape. Thanks for the help!

I found a calipers to be extremely helpful to get all four height adjustment sprockets dialed in. I used the spreader arms of a caliper to measure between the top of the aluminum planer base and the black underside of the planer housing. (Find the four bench-top mounting holes in the base and measure from that flat surface on up.) I then very slowly turned each adjustment sprocket until all corners matched within a few thousands of an inch.

After a good cleaning and some oil, she works better than when she was new.

Hope that helps!

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