Monday, September 21, 2009

Replacing bearings on a Delta Jointer

This will be a quick post, as I'm swamped with tool repairs. I guess that's to be expected with running a woodworking school. Shit happens, tools break. Deal with it. I've spent the better part of the last few weeks repairing things, including installing a new 1.5 HP motor on the 6x48 belt sander in the shop

and replacing the bearings on the jointer. Oh, and hanging a new air cleaner from the 14' ceiling in the bench room. You know, routine stuff. This isn't for sissies, trust me.

When you turn on your jointer and it starts screaming like a freight train, you pretty much know there's a problem.

It was pretty easy to figure out that the cutterhead bearings were the source of all the noise, and I'd love to say I took some great photos and documented the whole process. But the repair happened so quickly, I barely had time to whip out my camera and shoot anything.

My incredibly mechanically-inclined friend, Philip, just happened to stop by when the jointer was well into "screaming" mode, and being the generous person he is, suggested we rip it apart and fix it right then and there.

So we did.

Luckily, there's a place that sells bearings just down the street. The bad news was - it was close to closing time, and we were heading into the weekend. If you saw a blur of a white cargo van flying out of the parking lot, that was me, heading off to buy the replacements before they closed.

Of course, that meant pulling the bearings off each end of the cutterhead. That's not so easy without a bearing puller, but Philip and I made due with a couple of flat pry bars and a giant flat screwdriver. A few skinned knuckles later, and we had the cutterhead stripped.

Luckily, the bearings were in common ones, and in stock.

And not that expensive, something like $25 total.

The bigger question was - remembering how it all went back together. We had a pile of parts, and remember, we took this apart very quickly.

Philip has such a good memory for stuff like that. Me? I can't remember what I wore yesterday, but he is a genius for all things mechanical.

I had company in town for dinner, that happens a lot when you live in Las Vegas. So we weren't able to re-assemble the jointer until the following evening.

So we met the next evening, and four hours later (and countless numbers of passes on the jointer, to adjust it), the repair was complete. Frankly, getting the machine reassembled was the easy part. Adjusting the outfeed table, which had to be moved out of the way to remove the cutterhead, was the difficult part. This particular jointer had an outfeed table that's adjustable at each of the four corners. Getting it back in to place took some perseverance.

Anyway, all in a day's work, it's finally done. I'd like to thank Philip and Dan for their help and sage advice with all my tool issues. Having guys like them in my life make me a lucky person.

And the beat goes on...

1 comment:

John said...

Jamie, Diane and I just finished a 3 hour seminar on using media to promote your business. Just out of curiosity, do you think it's worthwhile and how often do you read/post on your blog? I got the commission for the gun case and you had mentioned it might be a good blog subject. It's something that has my curiosity piqued! John