Real (Wo)Mans 20" planer, 9.8HP Diesel (w/pics)

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Hello everyone,
At the Woodstock woodshow this year I was approached by a woman who was looking for an unusual planer. I had previously sold her some nice woodworking equipment and knew she likes good tools.
Her husband runs a tree removal service and brings lots of logs home. They bought a diesel band mill and are milling the trees into lumber. The band mill is out in the back 40 of their property and they only have a small generator for lights. She was looking for a diesel powered planer to use in the shed and keep the shavings at the back of the property. She had looked and asked all over if there was such a thing. I told her I had not seen one. A lightbulb light up in my head! I had bought a used HD 20" planer from a small shop that had stopped milling their own lumber that would be perfect for conversion to diesel. The electric motor was mounted up front, the entire machine was cast iron and it had a segmented infeed roller.
Once I had cleaned up from the Woodstock woodshow, my mechanic and I at work looked over the used machine, decided conversion to diesel was possible and worked out the price. Rebuilding the planer and converting it took a full week. Rich did a great job.
The planer now starts with the turn of a key and the 9.8 HP diesel roars to life.
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/dplaner1.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/dplaner2.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/dplaner3.jpg
http://www.federatedtool.com/david/img/dplaner4.jpg
We did some testing on the planer yesterday and everyone in the shop who watched had a big grin on their face. Just for fun, we took a 1/4" off on one pass, not a whimper from the planer.
Mr. came to pick up the planer for his wife today. The best line I heard was, "I don't want a 10 HP diesel planer, I want a wife who wants a 10HP diesel planer!". I won't embarrass Richard by letting everyone know who said that.
Thanks for looking,
David.
Every Neighbourhood has one, in Mine I'm Him
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Very cool David
When the engine first starts up and or shuts down do you get the typical short squeak out of the belts? Because of the high compression Diesels start with such force and stop with such suddenness there is usually a belt squeal from slippage.

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David F. Eisan wrote:

I LOVE it!!
Questions....
1. I notice there seems to be a lot of hight/depth adjustment on that machine. With the battery and engine mounted underneath, will it impede that? Was the motor there, previously?
B. How's the vibration from the engine, if any?
III. Was there a manufacturer's stipulation for motor RPM and how did you account for it?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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Those are good questions. What is the RPM of that Diesel?
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wrote:

Those are good questions. What is the RPM of that Diesel?
Typically very low, below 2000 rpm.
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Leon wrote:

Don't know what OP did, of course, and don't know the specific engine precisely, but most small industrial diesels are torque-rated at roughly 2200-2400 rpm. The little Japanese 3-cylinders JD uses in their small utility tractors are right in the middle at 2300 rpm for 540/1000 rpm PTO.
So, assuming this is in the same general range, it wouldn't take a terribly big step in pulley sizes to get roughly the right cutterhead speed; 20% or so on each from originals would certainly be good enough.
--
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David F. Eisan wrote:

... I was waiting for the punch line.
Nice job on the planer.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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"David F. Eisan" wrote

This is the first time I have ever heard a "approached by a woman" story that involves woodworking equipment! She sounds like a keeper!
I have worked on a couple diesel powered welders that we mounted to a trailer and set u;p some benches, vises, etc. And I worked a few days with a couple gas powered sawmills. The notion of a portable planer that could take up residence right next to the sawmill is just brilliant. I love it. These are some real smart, capable people you are working with here.
And kudos to your crew as well. You took a piece of old iron, updated it and converted it to field use. Totally cool! I hope that they take real good care of it and it doesn't develop a chronic rusting condition.
The woodworking gods are totally pleased with you. Buy yourself a pint tonight. You deserve it.
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David F. Eisan wrote:

Who makes the engine?
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It's a Rotax :-p
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Robatoy wrote:

Cool!
Do you know if it's a 2 or 4 stroke diesel?
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I was trying to be funny... 10 HP with all that weight won't get you far, eh?
Btw, I have been reading a bit on diesel aircraft engines. They seem to have quite a following.
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Robatoy wrote:

Ahh!
No, but there have been diesels small enough to power r/c airplanes for at least 15 years. They work really well in scale aircraft, as they handle long exhaust extensions well, swing large props at a slower speed, and have a more realistic sound.

They had great promise, but Thielert, the biggest player, who based theirs on a Mercedes turbo diesel, went BK. According to a podcast I listened to a few weeks back, Thielert left far more orphans than I would have guessed.
Since jet fuel is far more available worldwide than avgas, I thought it was going to be big! I think the main reason for the lack of interest in North America was the easy availability of avgas, and the availability of a relatively easy 87 octane auto gas conversion for many engines. Lots of guys who did the 87 conversion are now having problems finding ethanol-free unleaded...
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B A R R Y wrote:

I suspect that ultimately a multifuel engine would be a more fruitful approach, and small multifuel reciprocating engines do exist--the Army used them on trucks a while back and Evinrude has a multifuel two-cycle outboard. Don't know how the Army does it but Evinrude uses direct injection like a diesel but with relatively low compression (by diesel standards) and a spark plug.
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--John
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J. Clarke wrote:

Hmm - In my ignorance, I have to wonder how well a low compression engine would fare at 8000'/2400m. Would that work?
(I played with diesel model aircraft engines in the 50's, but they ran at fairly high compression.)
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Morris Dovey
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that? What if you didn't have a mountain nearby?
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Robatoy wrote:

Then I'd probably need a little help from my friends.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Morris Dovey wrote:

Diesels typically have compression ratios from 14:1 to 24:1. Few gasoline engines go higher than 12:1 and most considerably less. The Continental O-200 has 7:1, the Lycoming O-235 has 8.1:1. Both are very popular aero engines that work fine at 8,000 feet. The Rolls-Royce Merlin that powered the Spitfire had 6:1 but it also had a blower.

All diesels run at high compression--it's the nature of the beast that they have to.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Thanks, John. The mention of a low compression aircraft engine confused me - I suppose a 14:1 might be a "low compression diesel" then, even though that might be fairly high for a gas engine. IIRC, my old Volvo B20 (gasoline) engine had a compression ratio of 11:1, which I was told was fairly high for a car.
I appreciate the info.
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Morris Dovey
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I checked with the optician who stripped and recoated my polycarbonate glasses a while back and learned that that isn't being done any more because the stripping process can produce ripples on the lens surface.
I asked about using windshield scratch filler/remover products and he thought that /might/ work short-term, but would probably not survive much lens cleaning.
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Morris Dovey
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