cleaning planer rollers


How should you clean the rubber rollers on a planer. I was using kerosene on a rag because I found it dissolved the pitch and cleaned them very well but I know petroleum ruins rubber so what else should I use.
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Alcohol on a rag. Tom
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Alcohol on a rag. Tom
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I find that mine work better when they have stuff stuck on them, up to a point. Anybody have any ideas on how to make rubber rollers work better, besides constantly cleaning them? Sam
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Denatured alcohol will clean the rollers and remove pitch/oils and other residue.
Another trick but I don't advocate doing this unless you know what you're doing. This was posted on one of the BB's a few months after DeWalt came out with the 733 and some people were having problems feeding stock thru. But if the rollers are really dirty and probably should be replaced anyway, you may want to try this just want to extend their life for awhile.
If your planer can be powered up without the blades installed (see manual) and not create a dangerous out of balance condition, then you may want to try running a full sheet of 180 grit (or better) thru it attached to a carrier board with spray on adhesive. Lower the carriage until it just makes contact with the sandpaper on the carrier - then raise it until the rollers are not touching the sandpaper.
Position the carrier under the rollers so the sandpaper sheet spans both rollers. Hold on to the carrier firmly, apply power and s-l-o-w-l-y lower the carriage just until you feel the rollers *just* starting to pull on the carrier. Use both hands on the carrier now and slowly move the carrier back and forth an inch or two and side to side (evenly) to scuff both rollers slightly. You should be able to pull the carrier towards you without much effort but it does require a firm grip on the carrier board. A 2' length of 11" wide 3/4"thick MDF works nicely - nice and flat and long enough to work with comfortably.
Avoid putting alcohol directly on the sandpaper with the idea that you'll clean and scuff at the same time. The blade carrier is spinning like crazy and it will spray the alcohol all over......
Now if you do this with a light touch you will leave a nice freshly scuffed surface on the rollers that is even all the way across. If you lower the carriage to far and it pulls the carrier out of your hand - let it go rather than trying to stop it. You may cause the roller to get a worn spot. A light touch is needed, you just want to scuff and clean the rollers - not wear them down.
Note that some planers have a safety mechanism that will not allow the paner to work when a blade is removed. I wouldn't advise trying to defeat the safety device - it's telling you that you cannot power that up without creating a dangerous situation.
After you're done, clean the rollers with denatured alcohol and re-install the blades as per the manual.
One last note. Check what the manf states as to use for cleaning the rollers with. DeWalt advises denatured alcohol (on the 733 anyway) and I don't know what others may recommend.
Bob S.
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That should be *Rubbing Alcohol* or even mineral spirts to clean the rollers as per the DeWalt site FAQ's.
http://tinyurl.com/aj2fw
Bob S.
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BobS wrote:

I'm surprised that DeWalt would advise that because if the rollers are rubber, how are they different from tape deck rollers, which have been known to dry out if alcohol is applied to them repeatedly. Delta's approved roller cleaning method is soapy water applied with a Scothbrite pad. Try a google search for cleaning tape decks to see what I mean. could it be the dewalt rollers aren't rubber?
Dave
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<<I'm surprised that DeWalt would advise that because if the rollers are rubber, how are they different from tape deck rollers, which have been known to dry out if alcohol is applied to them repeatedly. Delta's approved roller cleaning method is soapy water applied with a Scothbrite pad. Try a google search for cleaning tape decks to see what I mean. could it be the dewalt rollers aren't rubber?>>
My friends in the recording studio business used lighter fluid to clean the rubber rollers on their tape recorders (back when they used tape recorders). The reason they didn't use rubbing alcohol is because it typically has some water in it.
Lee
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Lee Gordon wrote:

30%, usually.
Professionals claim that the rubber will dry out if cleaned with alcohol. Not being a chemist, I just take their word(s) for it.
Dave
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Drug store carries both 70% and 91% Isopropyl Alcohol and a printers supply house has 99% IPA. The 70% may be more common.

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Haven't a clue as to their composition except they're black and look and feel like a hard rubber compound and the alcohol does not appear to bother the rollers. I've had mine almost 4 years now and have cleaned them a number of times. Original rollers - still in good condition and I've pushed a fair amount of stock thru that planer.
Bob S.

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BobS wrote:

that's why I'm wondering out loud about DeWalt's advice. MAYBE they aren't rubber, but some compound impervious to alcohol.
Dave
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try a printing supply house and get some rubber roller cleaner and conditioner.
wrote:

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wrote:

Wood alcohol (methanol) will clean rubber without harm to the rubber. If you decide to use this, do so with lots of ventilation (avoid breathing fumes) and wear rubber gloves (avoid skin contact). However, my first choice is the recommendation of the manufacturer.
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However,
As it should be. Don't rub them with Sterno. Alcohol is a poor solvent for pitch and oils, and there are a lot of oil-resistant "rubber" formulations out there. Alcohol also contains water which can promote corrosion in hidden places.
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