Delta 31-250 Drum Sander elevation gear removal

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Forum topic by Scott Oldre posted 01-12-2018 04:08 PM 1876 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 3882 days

01-12-2018 04:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: drum sander gears delta 31x250 removal stripped gears

I have some dead spots (stripped gear teeth) on my Delta 31-250 drum sander, which I realize is quite common with this sander. I also know that the gears are apparently discontinued along with almost every other part of this machine. However, I am determined not to send it to scrap, since I use it a lot and can’t afford to buy another.

So the question is, how is the gear attached to the vertical elevation rod removed? I don’t see a spring pin, like there is on the horizontal shaft. So has anyone actually had success removing it? If so, what did you do? EDIT – Ok, duh moment, the two protrusions were actually cap screws….they looked like extensions of plastic initially. Still need to figure out the fix, since the gear is discontinued. But now I see where I can have a special extension made using the cap screw locations to connect.

My goal, idea, is to possibly use a coupler to extend the stub shaft coming down from the timing gear, and then add a commercial/cheap 90 degree enclosed gear assembly similar to a drill’s 90 degree add on. Alternately maybe use 2 swivel couplers to move the vertial shaft axis over slightly to miss the motor and then just use a hand wheel below the motor to change height, and eliminate the 90 degree direction change altogether.

Any thoughts on these two options? Any recommendations on removing the gear.

Yep, I know, not the best tool on the market, but it’s done a lot of work for me, and for a few additional $$ and few hours of confiddling with it, maybe I can resurrect its usefulness. Cannot afford a new one. I have finally eliminated the wide belt slop and inconsistency, so just need to get this piece figured out.


-- Scott, Irmo SC

9 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4099 days

#1 posted 01-12-2018 04:50 PM

Gears are often press-fitted onto shafts. You
get them off with a gear puller.

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 3882 days

#2 posted 01-12-2018 05:25 PM

I found that there were two cap screws holding it on, once they were removed came right off. Now to find the solution to replace the right angle gear assembly as a whole, like either a gear box, or some other route. Anything has to be cheaper than a machine replacement. Thanks Loren.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

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Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 3882 days

#3 posted 01-13-2018 01:40 PM

Replacement parts found, digging through interweb and half a day later found the solution on LJ’s. Renova still carries steel replacement gears for this. Not cheap, but much cheaper than throwing away a useful tool.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View Knockonit's profile


595 posts in 653 days

#4 posted 01-13-2018 01:51 PM

there is a pin in the gear, drive it out and push gear off.

there is a thread on here somewhere, in regards to this fix, as the new metal gears are very expensive, i attempted to adapt a off shelf gear from a local co. and couldnl’t get the correct size, gearing, angle ect.

so i opted to move the belt and gearing up on top of stand, see the thread if you can find, i’ll try, but am terrible with this kinda stuff.
anyway, it makes the unit functional, just have to address height issue with either vice grips or channel locks, been using mine like this for a year or so, little tedious at times, but it works.

i just get pizzed off at the feed belt not staying centered, have to adjust regularly
good luck
rj in az

View bigblockyeti's profile


5825 posts in 2171 days

#5 posted 01-13-2018 02:04 PM

$158 is obscene for a couple gears that should be more like $25 for the pair from a high margin supplier like McMaster or Grainger.

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

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 3882 days

#6 posted 01-13-2018 03:51 PM

Knockonit, I just bit the bullet and spent the money on the metal gears. I know they are outlandishly expensive, but they are cut and drilled to fit exact, so I went with it. To replace the machine would be $1400 for Supermax or $900 for Grizzly. So for a little under $200 I justtified keeping what i have. I did see your approach and wondered if you couldn’t adapt one of those closed end ratchet wrenches to replace your visegrip. Seemed like a lot of work to flip everything around, and my time in the shop is limited by my time at work, so had to go the quick fix route. Did get all the gears off, so now waiting for the parts to arrive.

Thanks for the reply.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View sodbuster55's profile


1 post in 232 days

#7 posted 12-31-2018 10:39 PM

I wrestled with the thought of paying 158.00 for a gear so I laid underneath for a while and tooled around and came up with a simple solution. disconnect the elevation shaft from the right side of the machine which meshes with the gears get rid of it. get a 1 1/8 wrench and raise the table by turning one nut ( 1 of 4 ) one on of the elevation columns . a little slow for now but works fine and bypasses those gears. or you can unscrew the two small screws and drop the gear and fabricate a handle and crank that you can screw onto that mechanism. or get a ratcheting wrench to fit the large nut. I am good for now to get my project finished but still thinking of a wat to make it quicker.

View Knockonit's profile


595 posts in 653 days

#8 posted 01-01-2019 12:32 AM

it was a great sander, but eventually i came across a performax 16/32 at an awesome price with stand and lotsa extras and just bought it, and did fend this off on another woodworker in the east valley, who really enjoys the useful remedial set up, he is aware of the opportunity to buy the gears but has opted to modify my approach some and uses a rachet type wrench. says it takes some getting used to, but serves the purpose

i do love my drum sander. makes life so much easier
rj in az

View JoeK1's profile


18 posts in 865 days

#9 posted 01-01-2019 04:12 AM

Search “Delta 18-36 Sander Owners…..A Must Read ” on Sawmill Creek.
Gears are available from Boston Gear for about $30 for the pair.


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