Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Changing the blades on the Makita 2040 planer

Believe it or not, I still had a set of unused blades for this old Makita 2040 planer. I purchased them in the 90's, and never found the need to use them. 

I'm so organized - I knew right where to find them! (I even found the credit card receipt for them, stuck in my planer manual.)

I've probably changed the blades on this machine a few dozen times over the years, and it's always struck me how archaic the directions are.  Really - the manual is so lame for guiding you through this procedure. 

You have to remove the top chip guard to expose the blades. Do that by loosening this screw and rotating that little tab 90 degrees.

Do the same to this one, 

and then pull the cover off. 

Now it's time to lock the cutterhead in place. There is a black plastic lever on top that locks into place when you have the blades rotated into the right place. 

There are two blades - and to get to each one, you have to remove the eight bolts that hold down the blade drum cover. 

Here I've removed the blade drum cover, 

it's easy to simply slip the blades out now. 

My sharpener engraved my name on my blades - I'm guessing this was done by Jim's Sharpening Service in Akron, many years ago. He was a terrific guy, did all of my sharpening until he died very suddenly and his apprentice took over the shop. I don't know if he's still in business, but they were a great company to use - friendly, reasonably priced, and always had a fun story or some silly joke to share. 

I've already drawn blood - I don't even know what I touched!

Time to blow out the 15 year old dust inside the planer, and install the new knives. 

Here's where it gets lame. 


Makita gives you two high tech devices for setting the height of your knives - these blocks of wood. (Eye-roll.... please....)

Basically, you slip the blades in place, and secure them with all eight bolts - only hand tight for now. Then - rotate the cutter head until the blade is at it's highest point, and push the piece of wood down over the blade. That way - you don't slice yourself on the sharp blade. In theory, at least - I almost always get a little cut. 

It's a little complicated and I've probably lost a few of you with this - but the set the exact height, you press down slightly on the wood block, and leave it sitting over the top of the blade. Rotate the cutter head very slowly, and when the blade scraped the wood, it should push it slightly forward - about a quarter of an inch. Do that on both sides of the blade. When both sides advance that piece of wood the same distance, your blade height is set.

What a ridiculous way to set the height!

I am sure there are people out there with dial indicators that do this much more accurately - but this is the way I do it. It's old school -  but I'll stick with it. It works fine. For some reason, Lady Luck was looking over my shoulders - I set these blades in about ten minutes. 

I took some rust cleaner and wiped down the tables - they were in pretty bad shape. 

I can make a serious mess when working on tools. 

But the good news is - she is starting to get back into excellent shape. Next step - some adjustments to the bottom rollers and then reinstalling the top rollers. She's almost ready to use... 

Stay tuned!


Uncle Ralph said...

Wish I was there for this! Tool maintenance is (almost) always better with a few folks around and I always learn a lot watching stuff like this!

Anonymous said...

got a somewhat disassembled 2040 a year ago. Free
I had the feed rollers recovered.
Just got around to reassembly and was thankful for all the easy to get info on the internet.

A great machine !

Jim said...

Could you tell me what the spacing is for the holes those knives?

I'm trying to replace the knives in my Makita 2020 jointer, but those are impossible to find. I know these knives have the same thickness and depth, and the cutter head looks a lot like the one on my jointer. If the hole line up, I've got someone to cut them down for me.

Wood It Is! said...

I'll check the spacing and let you know...

Wood It Is! said...

Jim - I found those knives - they're available at e-Replacement parts, I buy from them all the time. Here's a link:


Look at item number 400 in their parts list, the blades are available there.

AKA said...

i do not have these lever blocks what can i do for another option?!?!