Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A little more planer retrofitting

One of my favorite tools is this small Makita 2040 planer. I've had it since the very first days that I hung up my shingle, and last year - Eric and I rebuilt parts of it. You can read about the rebuild here and here.

But there's been something that's troubling me about the design of this planer. 

On the back end of the planar, there's a gap between the outfeed table and roller bar.  The outfeed roller is really powerful, and if you put your hand down, in between the piece of wood being exiting the machine and the bar, you're going to get it caught. 

Or smashed.

 Probably both. 

So I wanted to block off that open area. It didn't even occur to me to do this, but I saw another picture of this planer and noticed someone had blocked off the opening. 

Duh! What a great idea!

And - since two people have gotten their hands pinched in mine, I decided to correct it today.  

I took the back supports off, 

and unclipped the roller bar, 

so that I could drill some holes into the side support bars.

 It's easy to do this on a drill press.

I bolted the bars back into place, and then cut a couple of supports. 

I was planning on putting up plywood deck down, so I tested the height of those supports using a scrap of plywood, to make sure that my height was right. Of course, I needed to predrill those pieces since they were small and likely to split. 

What I did NOT need was to drill straight through into my finger. 

I'm never going to get a job doing hand modeling, but this is ridiculous. With the pieces screwed into place,

it was just simple matter to cut some plywood to size and drop it in place. 

I feel a lot better now that this planer is infinitely safer now! 

Now - if I could only figure out a way to make that drill bit a little safer!

No comments: