Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fun with old tools.... let's rebuild a Makita 2040 planer

This old Makita 2040 planer is my pride and joy. 

Oh, she's not so pretty anymore, but damn - she does a hell of a job planing wood. When I graduated from college and hung up my shingle - this was the first big expense for me - nearly 16" of planing power. 

There have been literally miles of wood that have passed through this machine. Over time, I tired of sweeping up the piles of sawdust that it made. And I certainly didn't want to buy the dust hood that they made for this - I couldn't afford it. So I made my own out of some HVAC duct parts. It has served me well. 

But this machine has been sitting in the corner of my studio for a long time. My 24" Bridgewood planer seems to be the planer of choice, so this smaller one tends to get ignored. The last time we used it, I realized the infeed and outfeed rollers had deteriorated so much, the foam on them was simply falling apart. 

Time to pull this apart and give it a little TLC. There are two screws that hold the top in place. 

Loosen each one and rotate those little tabs to the side -

 and the top plate lifts off - exposing the blades 

Two screws also hold the side cover in place - honestly, this planer is very easy to disassemble.  

You're looking at twenty five years of grease and sawdust on that chain.

Here's what needs to be taken out - that orange-colored roller seen from below. . 

I took a few pictures of the chain, especially this spring, so that reassembly would be easy. 

I've learned that lesson the hard way!

 I tried slipping the chain off around the gears but it just wouldn't come out. So the only way to remove the it was by taking out the master link.

While I was reading about this repair, someone online suggested placing a board under the roller, and then lowering the planer head down to the board. That's to support the rollers when they're removed. 

All that's left are four screws holding each roller in place. Of course, three of them came out really easily, but the fourth - stuck and rusted in place. So I pulled out my manual impact driver - if you don't own one of these - you have no idea how helpful one can be!  When you place its tip in a frozen screw and hit the back of the driver with a hammer, it delivers a strong twisting force to the screw - releasing it. It's perfect for working on old machinery. 

All four screws were removed and the rollers were basically free. As I lowered the planer table, each roller dropped down with the piece of wood blocking.

I'm not sure I've ever seen something so funky. Both rollers were misshapen and corroded with years of sawdust embedded in the rubber. 

I gave them a call - and honestly - the fellow I spoke with was great - he even suggested that since shipping the two rollers was going to be expensive, I could bring them with me to the AWFS wood show coming up here in Vegas in July. He was planning on attending the show, so he could bring my rollers back home in his trailer, thus saving me the shipping. 

As I thought about it - I decided the AWFS show was too far away - I didn't want to wait months to get these rollers back into my shop.

So - I packed the rollers up and shipped them to Oregon today. The next time you see them here - you won't even recognize them!

Next step - changing the blades. Stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

What is the company in Oregon that resurfaced your rollers?


Wood It Is! said...

I used Western Roller - here's a link:

Bruce Alcorn said...

I was very inspired by your rebuild of this Makita 2040. I always wanted a planer......and stumbled on a 2040 at a swap meet, for what seemed like a fair price. It runs smoothly, but the in and out rollers are shattered.

I will start shortly to remove and get those recovered and clean and tune the rest of the machine. I already spoke to Western Roller in Bend and am looking forward to this rebuild project. Your 3 part blog will be very helpful to me.

Thanks for posting a great story!

(wonder how I could print all three parts in a journal to bring to my shop for reference?)

makita tools said...

Nice article!

michael said...

I love these machines. Was first introduced to them by a cabinet maker friend almost 30 years ago. I recently rebuilt my 2040 (rollers of course). I had all the factory tech data but still was a combination of these forums and the technicians at Makita to answer questions that got me through it.

Had the rollers done by Phil at Western Roller who are very familiar with these machines. Two things I did in addition to all the tips and help this form provided was to replace the Philips Head screws (that always require an impact driver to remove) with Metric caphead screws (M5 X 14). These are Allen Head screws so you will be able to remove the rollers with no problem next time, hopefully there will never be a next time.

Second, I replaced the pillow block bearings on the roller shafts for good measure as I had them out. They were in as good as condition as the day they were put in 20 years ago, but I wasn't taking any chances. One of the technicians at Makita here in Vancouver told me to cover the hole on one side of the bearing and fill it with 90 weight gear oil. Then press down with your finger (so the pillow block has a finger blocking one side and your thumb covering the other end) and squeeze, this actually forces the oil into the porous metal bearing and you may see it sweat from the pores on the outer surface.

This was after I chewed up a bearing and roller shaft the first time I put it together without any lubrication on the advice of a Makita tech in New Jersey who stated not to use any lubrication on the shafts. Expensive lesson.

Konrad said...

I found this post very helpful, it helped me confirm my thoughts on removing the feed rollers. If you are situated in Canada, I found 2 companies that recover rollers Elastochem in Brantford, Ontario and ACR Group with locations in Richmond BC and Nisku Alberta.