Tool maintenance

This story starts with my planer that I never did any tool maintenance other then changing the blades when dull and cleaning up the roller once in a while.  My planer is a Dewalt DW735 and one of the thing  that I’ve notice since I bought it was that when the rollers got dirty, feeding a board was more difficult.

This was the case this morning and also adjusting the height for planing was pretty hard to turn the wheel on the side of the planer.  Dust collection was still pretty good, but some functions were lacking for a little while.

As I was planning stock this morning, it became very hard to push and the height adjustment became really hard.  So I took a break from the milling and cranked open the top of the planer.

I don’t remember the last time I opened it for blade change, but it’s been a while and when I lifted the cover, I found tons of dust in the compartment.  I really was not expecting this.  So I started the compressor and took the vacuum hose and started the cloning process, getting the most of the dust with the vacuum and then freeing debris with the compressed air.

A very good cleanup that I guess was really overdue in the case of this particular tool.   Now it functions as if it was brand new, well close to it.

Takeaway on tool maintenance

The morale of the story is that a tool well maintained will better perform and last longer.  The tool maintenance regiment will vary tool per tool and that it’s a power vs hand tool.  There is the consumables that needs to be replaced (typically a blade or sharpening of the blade) or sharpening of blades in hand tools.

But there is other stuff like calibration that is not done as often but I feel that depending on the tool, still needs to be done on a certain schedule.  For myself, I am not in the shop everyday, but some tool see  more use then others.  I now now that taking a peak at certain parts of some tools will need to be done more often.