Jointer/Planer problem with motor? Need help please!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Dan posted 07-05-2011 07:42 PM 5631 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3446 days

07-05-2011 07:42 PM

I have a MiniMax FS31 Jointer/Planer combination machine and I may have a problem with the motor but I have no clue where to start looking.

I went to turn it on the other day and right when I turned it on it made a bad noise and shut itself down. I went to turn on again and more noise so I shut it off and then some smoke started coming out of the cabinet that the motor sits in.

I thought maybe it was the belt but the belt is fine and I cant see any thing on the outside that looks broke or out of place. This machine is at most 15 years old but its not had a ton of hours put on it. It also sat for a few years without being used.

I cant imagine the motor going bad but possibly there is a part that needs to be replaced. I have no idea where to even start looking. The local machine repair shops here do not service Mini Max so I am on my own with this one.

Any suggestions as to what I should check or look for would be very helpful.


-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

19 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8553 posts in 4214 days

#1 posted 07-05-2011 07:53 PM

I would take the belt off and try running it. If the motor bogs down and shuts itself off then the motor needs to be inspected/replaced/fixed, but if it then runs smoothly – then I’d check the cutterhead/bearings to see if they rotate freely (without motor/belt) if not – you may need to grease/inspect what’s blocking the cutterhead

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3446 days

#2 posted 07-05-2011 08:05 PM

Purplev- Thanks a ton, that gives me something to start with. I know the machine has not been greased at all since it was purchased. I will try and take the belt off and see how it runs.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3835 days

#3 posted 07-05-2011 08:12 PM

There are several factors that could cause what you are experiencing. Purp has some good suggestions.

Typically, diagnosing a problem is the first step…..try to isolate where the sound and smoke come from…...see if anything there leads you to the problem. the best bet is to isolate which item is going bad. With it putting out a noise…the machine may be binding on something…..the belt too tight on the pulley? a bad bearing….a slipped mounting bolt…..the brushes are worn out and you are getting metal to metal contact…and many more….

It is also through elimination that you find the culprit… can also start with something in mind….and eliminate it…like a bearing….a belt…the mounts….no lubrication…etc.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Don W's profile

Don W

19387 posts in 3133 days

#4 posted 07-05-2011 08:18 PM

First, I would try turning everything by hand with the motor unplugged. Running it may make it worse. Sometimes you can tell where the noise is coming from by turning everything over slowly by hand, and if its a bearing thats has come apart, there is less of a chance a broken piece will damage something else.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3549 days

#5 posted 07-05-2011 11:34 PM

I would check to see how your brushes look. Sometimes as in mine the brushes were wore down and were catching in the armature grooves. There should be 2 caps on the motor to unscrew and check the brushes.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View mrg's profile


860 posts in 3565 days

#6 posted 07-05-2011 11:50 PM

When was the last time you used it and what operation were you doing? This may give some clues as to what is happening. All recommendations above are good start off points to see what is going on. I would turn the motor by hand and see if the blades are catching anything or jammed. If you can’t turn everything then you have something jammed. Take the belt off and see if the motor works. Smoke could be a burnt motor, fuse, or slipping belt.

What type of a noise was it, banging, squealing, both?

-- mrg

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3446 days

#7 posted 07-06-2011 06:40 AM

MRG- Now that I think of it, the jointer/planer would make a high pitch squealing sound right when I turned it on. This noise would only last a sec. There was no squealing nose during use, just when I hit the switch to turn it on.

I turned the cutter head and it turns fine, its not jammed at all. The manual says the bearings are sealed and need no greasing and they seem to be good to me.

I have yet to take belt off and turn it on.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 3592 days

#8 posted 07-06-2011 07:00 AM

Sounds like motor Bearings or Slip ring contacts depending on the type of motor involved :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

View carl_felderrep's profile


9 posts in 3248 days

#9 posted 07-06-2011 07:55 AM

Hi Dan,
It sounds like you are getting some good tips, I agree with isolating all the components spinning all your shafts looking to make sure everything is free. One thin I didn’t see noted would to be to check to see if the motor has a centrifugal switch mounted behind the cooling fan. A lot of times when motors like this sit the contact points which are normally close to engage the start capacitor get corroded. When you try to start the motor without the capacitor it will pull a lot of amps. usually the overload kicks first. However I have seen some motors overheat first. I am pretty sure all the newer CEG motors use a small plastic switch.

View philip marcou's profile

philip marcou

265 posts in 3162 days

#10 posted 07-07-2011 08:53 AM

Dan, this type of question with very little detail leaves you open to many confusing answers and too much wild speculation.
I am reasonably certain that a Euro machine like yours will have a magnetic switch starter and assuming it is single phase it will one or more capacitors- two areas that give problems. It may have a centrifugal contact switch in the motor in place of capacitors but I doubt it, being a modern machine.
If I were you , having limited knowledge, I would eliminate any obvious mechanical cause by checking that cutters can rotate freely by hand, checking to see nothing is fouling the drive or belts, checking that the motor spindle can be rotated by hand. If nothing obvious then call an electrician-he will have the means and knowledge to check out any electrical problem , plus be able to obtain spares like capacitors or coils for mag switches. Don’t fiddle with electrics if you don’t have the knowledge…..
Since you say it shut itself down , plus there was smoke, I bet it is an electrical problem.
(Remember exactly the smell of that smoke, so that next time you will know whether you have an electrical problem or mechanical problem when you see smoke (::) ). Actually I am not joking…

As an aside: most electrical problems with woodworking machines stem from dust getting into switch boxes, starters, motors . That is why totally enclosed motors are best, plus one should regularly open switch boxes etc and clean out any dust and check terminal connections for tightness….

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

812 posts in 4398 days

#11 posted 07-07-2011 11:22 AM

Could you smell either burnt insulation or burnt belt? If you have ever smelled a burnt up motor you never forget.

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3446 days

#12 posted 07-07-2011 03:45 PM

Update- I checked the belt and all moving parts outside of the motor and they all seem ok. I went to turn machine on and when I hit the switch to turn it on smoke starts coming out of the motor itself. Its an awful smelling smoke.

Is it possible its just a part in the motor? I cant believe the whole motor could be blown with the small amount of use the machine has had.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Bertha's profile


13569 posts in 3258 days

#13 posted 07-07-2011 04:00 PM

I know we’re not cologne manufacturers but the electrical smoke is a distinctive sweet smell, like Rob and Philip mention. Being a computer builder, I can smell that sweet smell of burnt up dollars a mile a way. If it’s a rancid petro smell, it’s probably a belt. Be careful, brother. You don’t want to add burning flesh to the list of smells.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

19387 posts in 3133 days

#14 posted 07-07-2011 04:05 PM

its possible. The safest bet would be to remove the motor and take it to somebody that knows electric motors. Its possible its something simple, but it sounds pretty serious. I wouldn’t keep turning it on and off at this point, if you know its in the motor.

You could try to carefully take the motor apart, but be very careful you know how to put it back together. I typically take pictures as I’m taking it apart, then try to lay everything out in the order it goes back together. Take notes! Its real easy to get something backwards in these things.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Dan's profile


3653 posts in 3446 days

#15 posted 07-07-2011 04:47 PM

I cant say it was a sweet smell but it was a smoke smell that I have never smelled before… I probably wont attempt to fix it myself. If the motor is blown then I must have done something wrong and I guess thats what bugs me the most. I hope its just minor repair.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics