Thank you all for suggestions. I would have had a resolution on this
sooner, but the annoy thing called work got in the way. Oh well, need some
way to afford the stuff I want.
As the story goes, I called up the 800 customer service number to see what
they could do. They in turn called the regional manager, who in turn called
the service center. The service center wanted another crack at fixing my
planer, so I took it back in (another delightful 40 mile drive). They got
the sprocket replaced and started running 2x4s through it for testing
purposes. The service guy was taking ~1/32" off and the planer seemed to be
working just fine. I suggested going up to 3/32" (well within the chart on
the front of the planer). About 4" into planing the board, snap goes the
sprocket. I'm glad I didn't wait until I got home to start planing.
The options I was then given were:
1) Have a new replacement machine sent to the service center (time ~1
week). In the mean time, replace the sprocket on my machine, make the least
aggressive cuts I can, and hope the sprocket doesn't break.
2) Wait for WoodCraft to get a replacement machine with the same interim
solution (time ~3 weeks).
3) Take another machine that was slightly used (returned due to snipe
problem; however, it was most likely PEBMAF*)
I went with option 3. Before I did however, I made sure that the blades
were in excellent condition and that the machine wasn't used very much. I
also made sure that the machine could plane the 3/32" without snapping the
While I was waiting for the planer to be repaired, I was talking to the
manager of the service center and learned a couple things:
First, the stuff they sell at the service center is list price. They
can/will give a discount, if you ask.
Second, the service center manager and the regional manager acknowledged
that there was a problem with how they were dealing with this issue and with
how things were being stocked (e.g. my region and another region were have
stocking problems with the sprocket, but other regions were not). I don't
know what changes will occur, if any, because of this, but at least they
realize that there is a problem. I did let the service center manager know
about my posting to a news group and that a lot of people weren't pleased
with DeWalt's actions.
In the end, I ended up with a working planer and a hope that problems like
this won't follow the same path to resolution. Oh, and a small gloat. I
got free in/out feed tables. I had the choice between replacement knives or
the tables, but I figured I could talk SWMBO out of money for knives a lot
more easily than I could talk her out of money for tables.
*Problem Exists Between Machine And Floor