Rockwell planer, any comments on this beast 13x6

This is a Rockwell 13x6 planer. The motor is 3 HP Baldor single phase.
When I bought it for $20, it was in parts. When I agreed to buy it, I did not even realize that it was a planer. At first, I thought I was buying a pile of worthless metal parts plus a 3 HP single phase motor.
http://yabe.algebra.com/~ichudov/misc/ebay/tmp/Rockwell-13-by-6-Planer /
I would like some comments, specifically perhaps any planer-related warnings and things to double check before first power up.
The reason why it was a pile of parts and not a working planer, is that the cast iron table is cracked. However, the parts included a replacement table, still in shipping plywood. They set this planer aside when table broke, bought the replacement table, and never got around to replacing it, so it sat like this for years.
So, my second question is, how hard is it to replace the table on those things, does it require a deep disassembly or not.
I do believe that I reassembled it carefully and that all belts are properly engaging (the slow feed, variable speed belt and the fast belt that drives planer knife).
thanks
i
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Sorry., The right URL is
http://igor.chudov.com/tmp/Rockwell-13-by-6-Planer /
The old URL is a redirector to this better one.
i

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Ignoramus19678 wrote:

Ah....a Model 13. Got's one of them meself; they're nice small beasties. As an aside, mine came from a group of 27(!) installed in a NC furniture manufacturing facility. They had them set up in 9 rows of three, each at a fixed thickness with each row taking outfeed of previous and then on to thickness sander for final dimensioning.
Anyway, it's been a long time since had mine fully disassembled but they're straightforward and, yes, you'll have to fully remove the opposite side casting to replace the table---well, wait a minute--let me think....No, I think you can--well, no, that was a bad thought, the casting in the middle between the feed rollers is wider than the clearance between the top I'm pretty sure now.
Anyway, they're not difficult to work on; the assembly is straightforward and there aren't that many little parts in the main body. Keep track of the shims/wave washers on the pressure and drive rollers is about the most complicated it gets.
The key adjustment to make these puppies run well is adjusting the height of the chipbreaker bar to be just above the knife cutting circle--too low and material drags; too high and it may chatter and snipe is bad.
The manual which I note somebody posted a link to from owwm has instructions for making a guide block for setting the knives--that method works but I've found a dial indicator w/ a straight adapter after close really tunes it up.
Oh, and be sure to adjust the table to get it precisely parallel to the cutterhead so your stock will come out same thickness across the width w/o having to mount the knives cockeyed.
Good find...
--
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On Fri, 09 Oct 2009 00:21:55 -0500, Igor wrote:

Since you put it together, and apparently recently, it seems like you should know better than anyone what you have to take apart to change the table. :)
Do you have you a manual? There's a pdf copy at <http://www.owwm.com/MfgIndex/pubdetail.aspx?id $38> and although the scan is too light it is possible to make out some of the details of the exploded-parts diagram. Possibly printing the diagram would help with readability.
Re startup, you could take the blades out before first spinning it up. (On the other hand, if the blades are sharp, tight, and are all set at exactly the same height, you might want to just leave them in place.) Anyway, before you run it with the blades installed, verify that the bolts shown in fig. 28 of above pdf are properly tight. Note, all the knives should have the same weight, all the chocks, etc., since the rotor spins pretty fast (4500 rpm).
If the blades aren't sharp, you can buy a spare set at Amazon.com, maybe $62 for Rockwell Delta, although the Freud C573 at $40 might work ok - check the measurements. (The C573 would limit width of cut to 12.5" instead of 13.125".) You might be able to find a local resharpening operation with a lower cost than a new set of blades.
Re later operation, if the table rolls aren't in good shape, maybe fasten a formica-surfaced table to the cast iron table. Also fasten infeed and outfeed rollers to the table to support stock. Rollers need to raise and lower with the table, of course.
--
jiw

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Other parts were disassembled, not the part holding the table. Electrical etc

This is awesome. Good or bad, it is so much better to have a manual. The manual also seems to be written by real people, not by Chinese, and is a delight to read.

OK, will do

I did not even realize that blades were so inexpensive.

Yes, I think that that is what they will do.
i
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Ignoramus540 wrote:

That's a cool looking old beast. If it were me though, I wouldn't be able to resist the temptation to do a complete disassembly, cleanup, bead-blast, and repainting job. It looks kinda rough... but in a good sorta way. :-)
--
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It does not actually look rough, it is simply dirty.
i
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Check woodworking fora to see what blade makes are best.
But run without blades, bladeholders, and screws the first time, powered by a variac if possible, just to be sure that there isn't a hidden issue. (Don't run under load from a variac, as induction motors will overheat if loaded while being fed too little voltage.)
As for the broken table, if the machine doesn't have visible signs of a severe misadventure, the machine or table may have been dropped. The marks made by a sufficient misadventure won't be subtle.
Joe Gwinn
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First let me be the first to say YOU SUCK!
That said, you might want to check out rec.woodworking for planer specific advice. One thing I can tell you is to check out some tool and die makers in your area to sharpen your blades as a matched set. This will be a whole lot cheaper then tossing them in favor of replacements and they will be dead nuts on.
I think the procedure is to use an indicator to make sure the blades are set properly, but I have never done it.
--

__
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Roger Shoaf wrote:

Check the yeller pages for a saw sharpening service , they usually do (or know somebody) planer blades too . There are devices that use magnets to hold the blades in position as you tighten the clamp bolts , HF has one IIRC . Be careful when re-installing the blades , if they're not just right the feed rollers can't properly pull the stock thru . Best way is to set the guide before pulling the blades ...
--
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Ignoramus19678 wrote:

Turn it over by hand before starting to make sure the rotating parts dont contact and fixed bits.
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Kevin (Bluey)
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Kevin, good point, I did that yesterday.
I want to clean the drive part, it is full of sawdust. Seems to make a good application for compressed air.
i
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On Oct 8, 10:21pm, Ignoramus19678 <ignoramus19...@NOSPAM. 19678.invalid> wrote:

Maybe a good unit and maybe not. Cast iron tables do not break without a good reason. If someone jammed the unit, the belts would slip. If metal, like a nail was in the wood, it just wrecks the cutter blades. The unit shows no sign of being dropped or tipped over. My brother's planer really doesn't like knots in the wood, but they don't cause the table to break.
Therefore, the only way I can imagine the table breaking is if one or more of the cutting blades came out while the unit was operating and the resulting hammering broke the table. If the blades are out, examine the rotor and the blade slots carefully for damage. Also the bearings of the rotor for damage. Are the blade adjusting screws still there?
If possible, use a dial indicator to check the rotor for roundness. If you can't get an indicator in there, use a machinist jack screw to almost touch the rotor and a light behind it while you rotate the rotor.
Paul.
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KD7HB wrote: ...

I have one of these and that scenario is impossible to break a table--it'd make a helluva a racket but a tool steel knive 1/8" thick will simply snap and the gibs are soft.
What, specifically, cause a break I don't know of course, but it's possible there was a manufacturing defect that took a long time to show up (these guys went out of production in the early 80s or so), but I'd wager it was tipped sometime. They're big and heavy enough and a little top-heavy and the tables project so it would land directly on one end or the other and leave no other visible damage quite easily.
IMO it's almost certainly as good as new once he replaces the damaged table.
If the blades are out,

The cutterhead assembly is simply finished as it comes off the lathe; it's not polished or terribly true; they were balanced at the factory by strategically removing a little material w/ a drill.
If it had any sort of major accident like you're postulating, it'll be obvious from a very casual look; won't need any fancy measurements.
As for the ruggedness w/ wood, these are a small but industrial-strength machine; they don't have any problem w/ up to 6" hardwoods. They're a whole different class of machine than the current popular portables--just the infeed table alone probably weighs more than an entire portable.
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Guys, I want to say right away that a crack in the table looks NOTHING like a typical usual crack. I will try to take better picture today (I finished putting it together, outdoors, past midnight). Any guessing would likely be off base, without seeing the particular defect.
Once I clarify my own understanding of what broke, and take pictures, we could make better guesses.
i

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Ignoramus540 wrote: ...

I had presumed from your initial post one of the tables was broken significantly....I really wasn't intending to try to guess what had happened other than to put the kibosh on the other poster's idea that a knife could somehow do such a thing to a chunk of cast iron the mass of this puppy...
Which piece does have the crack, the rear/front or middle section of the table?
While I'm writing, my earlier posting was partially in error; I wasn't thinking of how there are the three separate pieces. I haven't done much woodworking to use it for a while but I do need to get back so I'll go take a look at the guy sometime over the next couple of days and refresh my memory on the assembly/disassembly and order thereof. If knew which piece in particular you're after replacing, that'd help...
OBTW, if it's been sitting for quite a long time, double check the gear case for oil level before running it any length of time--it's a chain drive in there so it won't hurt it for a short period test run but do want to make sure it's got lube before actual use "in anger"...
--
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On Fri, 09 Oct 2009 00:21:55 -0500, Ignoramus19678

You confused me there. Until I was the pictures, I assumed that you were talking about a 13 foot by 6 foot metal planer, not a 13inch by 6 inch wood thicknesser...
Mark Rand RTFM
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