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Bridgewood 15” Planer slipping

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Forum topic by dsiekman posted 01-16-2021 04:12 PM 627 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


01-16-2021 04:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Last year I bought a not so gently used Bridgewood Planer. It had been in a community shop for an unknown number of years. It was clear that there were a few parts missing or damaged, mostly the extension rollers on both infeed and out feed. Bolts were mismatched or stripped.

It was also not holding a height adjustment. It’s a four post model similar to those made by a number of other companies. I found that the locking mechanism had not been correctly reassembled. Fixing that helped but the planer still had some slop in the height adjustment and still wants to back off unless you hold onto the adjustment wheel.

Today I disassembled the height adjustment mechanism and cleaned and inspected the worm drive. One of the gears is pretty worn. I’m having a hard time finding parts (not surprised), but found what looks to be the same mechanism on a 15” grizzly. For $8 I’ll take the risk and order it.

So…it cuts really well. No tear out, no snipe, and pretty smooth. I’m sure it could use new blades – I have not sharpened or changed them. I’m wondering if that might be part of the problem? Otherwise I’m not sure what to look at next. If the locking mechanism isn’t holding (basically friction) even with the handles cranked down tight, am I just going to have to keep a hand on the wheel?


19 replies so far

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splintergroup

4670 posts in 2231 days


#1 posted 01-16-2021 04:22 PM

Knives are a consumable and should be replaced/sharpened when they begin to dull. That said, the clamping/lock mechanism I’m familiar with (delta 560) is simple and effective so there must be a simple reason yours is not clamping tight. Could the threads on the crank be bottoming out before fully clamping? Could there be cracks in the blocks that mate with the posts to create the clamping forces (cracks might only open up when under pressure)?
It seems the fault is the clamping blocks are not being fully engaged or the blocks themselves are damaged.

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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


#2 posted 01-16-2021 04:48 PM

I replaced one of the blocks when I reassembled. I thought it was missing and later realized the previous owner simply had put it in backwards. I agree it is a pretty basic mechanism which is why I’m scratching my head. I would think it would take an awful lot of force to cause the table to drop.

Knives are on the list of things to buy and replace.

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Aj2

3670 posts in 2806 days


#3 posted 01-16-2021 04:56 PM

I’m pretty sure it’s more difficult for a planer to cut wood with dull blades. I would like to suggest when you go looking for a set that all hss is not equal. A proper set will be all the same weight and thickness or very very close. Good hss sold today I’m my opinion is m2 for ordinary woods or t1 for difficult wood.
It’s getting harder to find t1 due to the insert head hype.
If you see something on Amazon and it doesn’t say what hhs it is. Most likely it will be very cheap money and quality.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


#4 posted 01-16-2021 05:09 PM

Thanks guys. I revised the title- I had in my head that it was a 13”. Actually it’s a15”.

Any suggestions on where to buy knives?

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Fred Hargis

6831 posts in 3502 days


#5 posted 01-16-2021 05:44 PM

Yes (on the knives). Holbrens. The ones they sell are of excellent quality, much better than the OEM on my 15” delta. (I realize that may be faint praise, but they are good knives).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Aj2

3670 posts in 2806 days


#6 posted 01-16-2021 06:41 PM

I recommend American National knives. https://www.americannationalknife.com/default.asp
M2 knives knives I’ve received from them were perfectly balanced set and sharp.
Amana tools still sells t1 I mentioned above but beware they are now made in China. The quality is very good but they seems to clueless and send out mismatched knives. Not the same weight or thickness.
I had to get three different sets send to find a match.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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CaptainKlutz

4137 posts in 2503 days


#7 posted 01-16-2021 11:10 PM

+1 Dull knives create feeding issues.
Always inspect/replace knives on used tools to verify condition and they are safely installed in head.

Other comments:

1) Not holding height-
Have seen planers where every thing is in perfect alignment with height mechanism, and the heads will float downward easily due weight of head. Must lock the head position to solve the issue (or add some misalignment which makes head height harder to move).
Height is locked by 2 knobs that clamp down on front and back set of vertical posts. The mechanism is same for both. Nothing more than long bolt, with special nut(s) that has curved side that makes contact with post inside a bore.
- Check for striped threads.
- Check the screws for length, and thread engagement on locking nut.
Maybe some one ham fist’d user has over tightened the screws and your lock nuts can not be tighten further. Either replace long bolts or use a die and add another 1/2” of threads.
- Check the vertical posts for wear.
The clamping nuts contact a small area on side of post. The posts have ~1/4” wall, but are hollow. Since you mentioned improper assembly, maybe there is groove in vertical posts where the locking knob makes contact (due folks not back off locks, before changing height). Believe the height locking mechanism is on outside of posts. If the posts are damaged, could swap two posts (motor on top models all posts are same, motor on bottom models have unique post for height adjustment).

2) Height adjustment slop-
Beyond the worm gear wear you found, need to check the underside of machine. There is chain, pulleys, and tensioner that drive all four posts simultaneously. A loose or worn chain will create slop also.

3) Slipping-
If you refer to feed rollers slipping and not feeding wood properly, then you need a careful inspection of entire machine. Check the in-feed roller, chip breaker, cutter head, and out-feed roller; for overall condition, bearing play, and proper height setting. There are many ways to set up an industrial 15” planer depending on type of wood run. Buying used, you never know if the machine is set up properly. Can read many posts on 15” planers discussing set up differences. Rarely does a 15” planer not feed properly, unless knives are dull, something is bork’d, or not set up correctly.

Every one of the used machines I have refurbished needed new bronze bushings that support the in/out feed rollers due excessive wear. The slop in bushing meant the spring pressure on reed rollers was not working properly. These bushings are supposed to be oiled every week of use, and not many folks remember this fact.

The infeed rollers on 15” planers are knurled. Brand new the edges are so sharp you can cut your finger. If you in-feed roller has rounded edges, might need to be replaced or re-cut by machinist.

Be sure to check the spring pressure on feed rollers. Folks who think a planer is for making a smooth surface on s4s lumber (which is wrong); tend to use very low spring pressure. This is done to reduce the marking from in-feed roller when attempting to remove very small cut.

4) Parts:
Have rebuilt many different 15” planers. Have posted in past my findings on parts compatibility. All 15” planers share some common parts. Outside of motor mounting location, the country of mfg makes the biggest difference on parts compatibility. Taiwanese made machines appear to use most of same parts, and Chinese mfg machines have some differences from Taiwan, but are similar to each other.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


#8 posted 01-17-2021 12:39 AM

Wow. You, sir, are a wealth of knowledge! I truly appreciate the time you put into helping me.

To touch on some of your points and questions:

1. I have adjusted the chain under the table. That took some of the slop out.

2. There seems to be some slop between the worm gear and shaft. I ordered a new key to be safe though the old one seems fine and I didn’t see any visible wear in the key way.

3. The cross locking bolts seem fine. Plenty of thread left. The angled spacers/locks do show some wear. The columns show wear but I can’t feel it. I’m wondering if grinding a new face on the spacer would help.

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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


#9 posted 01-17-2021 01:26 AM

The knives look really dull. Almost as if the edge is rounded or flattened. If they’re as bad as they look, it’s a testament to the power of that machine

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CaptainKlutz

4137 posts in 2503 days


#10 posted 01-17-2021 09:19 PM

+1 The 15” Taiwan made planers are a BEAST.
You can crank down on feed roller springs and even dull knives will beat lumber into submission.

I rebuilt a Powermatic PM15 from commercial shop where the feed roller bushings were worn out, and the out feed roller was rubbing on gear box.

It still milled lumber, but was really noisy. Due the cutter head bearings growling, you could not hear the out-feed roller rubbing the gear box. :-(0)

Inspect your machine carefully. Especially the roller/cutter heights. IME – used machines from ‘maker’ shops tend to be more abused and misaligned, thanks to many who don’t understand the machinery they use.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


#11 posted 01-18-2021 01:31 AM

Wow, those are pretty rough. I haven’t torn into it quite that far yet

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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


#12 posted 01-18-2021 10:53 PM

My planer pals arrived today. I’m still waiting on the new knives but thought I’d set them. While I was at it I didn’t a quick test and ran a piece of card stock over the knife edge. Starting from one end and using moderate force it did not start cutting the card stock until I was almost halfway across the knife. Yeah, it’s that dull.

One question, in the planer pal instructions the drawing shows the center magnet sitting flat on the bevel of the blade. Mine doesn’t. It just engages the edge. It’s a bit awkward maneuvering it past the chip breaker. Am I doing something wrong?

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Aj2

3670 posts in 2806 days


#13 posted 01-19-2021 01:23 AM

I don’t know anything about the knife jig.
To me your knives do look too low in the knife pocket. The bevel of the knife shouldn’t go below the round part of the head. It might be who ever set the feed rollers and pressure bar had to make do.
The best practice to setting knives is to loosen them up slightly them take one out and put the new one in. One at a time. Get them all set as evenly as possible before the final tightening going around the head.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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dsiekman

21 posts in 297 days


#14 posted 01-19-2021 01:52 AM

I think some of what you’re seeing is an optical illusion. Take a look at this photo at the end of the head. The knife is probably 1/16” above the head at the bottom of the bevel. That said, it doesn’t look completely straight/consistent.

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Aj2

3670 posts in 2806 days


#15 posted 01-19-2021 02:13 AM

Yes your right that looks better.

-- Aj

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