Dewalt 734 Planer Calibration... Finally

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Forum topic by Jeff_in_LSMO posted 12-06-2012 01:47 AM 4843 views 2 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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353 posts in 2846 days

12-06-2012 01:47 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dewalt 734 level your planer cutting head

So, I’ve been quite frustrated for some time. I would have everything square, then I would go to assembly and suddenly nothing would line up. This plagued me through two projects.

Then, I’m working on some bed posts and I noticed that my Dewalt 734 planer seemed to struggle when I moved a board to one side (trying to find a fresh spot on the knives). So I move back to the other side, and the rollers will barely grab the stock. I check for square and sure enough, out of square. So I unplug it and stick a gauge block between the knives and table and run the knives down until they just kiss the block. I run the block across to the other side… crap, one side is 1/16” high.

My problem, I just assumed that my planer knives were parallel to the table. And I’m left handed, so every time I checked thickness I always checked the left side of the board. So not only were my boards not square, they were not to dimension either.

I did my research on the interwebs and I couldn’t find anything other than, “I had that problem. They will recalibrate it if you take it into a shop.” I’m sure they would, but looking at the thing there isn’t much that can affect the “levelity” of the knives. It’s just two screws. So I flipped the planer over, and here is why I’m writing this with such enthusiasm… it’s just a chain and a couple sprockets.

So, if YOU have a Dewalt 734, and you are not getting consistent thickness across the knives, here’s the easy fix;

1. Unplug it
2. Check you clearances on either side of the knives
3. Flip it over and remove the sprocket from the driven, not the driving, screw
4. Use the height adjustment handle to adjust the driving screw appropriately
5. Re-install the driven sprocket
6. Flip it back over and recheck the clearances
7. Repeat however many times as necessary until you have it dialed in.

Hope this helps someone.

5 replies so far

View NormG's profile


6441 posts in 3510 days

#1 posted 12-06-2012 01:54 AM

Great info, thanks

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View runswithscissors's profile


3071 posts in 2531 days

#2 posted 12-06-2012 05:07 AM

The correct term is “levelosity.” Sorry, former English teacher here, can’t break the habit.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View daviddoria's profile


70 posts in 2444 days

#3 posted 08-25-2019 06:35 PM

Does anyone have pictures of this process?

View daviddoria's profile


70 posts in 2444 days

#4 posted 08-26-2019 01:12 PM

@JeffinLSMO it seems like one should remove the flimsy metal piece that covers the main table (between the black “fences”) to make these measurements (as there is considerable flex which is impacting the measurements. Would you agree?

View daviddoria's profile


70 posts in 2444 days

#5 posted 09-19-2019 01:03 AM

Ok folks, here’s the result with some pictures:

1) to remove the sheet metal faux table, there are two black rods on either side, each with two #3 (!! why??) Phillips screws. They are oddly soft metal – I tried first with a #2 Phillips driver and promptly stripped the first one… ugh.

2) This is what the bottom of the planer looks like. The height adjustment handle is in the top left of the picture (unfortunately you can’t see it). The table that you can see is still “down” because it doesn’t go up with the dust shroud installed. The Driving sprocket is on the left (attached directly to the height adjustment handle), and the Driven sprocket is on the right.

3) It was a simple matter of loosening two Allen screws on the Driven sprocket and pulling with finger pressure to remove it:

4) I found what seemed to be a reasonable procedure to adjust the heights. Do this with the chain attached to both sprockets, of course: a) using a 4” machinist square, lower the blade to touch the square on the lower side of the blade. b) now move the square to the high side, and see how far you have to lower the blade (counting fractions-of-a-turn of the handle). Now you know how far out of parallel the blade was. (mine was only off by just over 1/32” to start it turned out… seems odd that I could notice that in the results?). c) remove the driven sprocket and turn the handle appropriately. d) reattach the driven sprocket and measure again e) realize as writing a post about this that perhaps you could have measured without reattaching the driven sprocket each time…

So – I got it to be pretty perfect on the two outer edges…. but it’s low in the middle!? I’m guessing just wear on the blades? Otherwise it’s got to be the lower table is bowed? Any thoughts?

I hope this helps the next guy!


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