The Damage Undone

by Mathieu

This morning a friend of ours, who is a professional welder, came to see wether he could fix the thickness planer which was badly damaged after ‘the loose blade accident‘. In his shop he already repaired the bracing arm which supports the infeed table. This part was cracked in half and I was convinced that it would be difficult, not to say impossible, to fix. He proved me wrong and was able to weld it back together and bolted a reinforcement plate to it for increased strength and support.

One of the broken pieces clammed into place and prepared for welding.

I just love projects like these. This beautiful chunk of cast iron will not find it’s way to the landfill if we can help it. It had 60 years of active duty and can easily have twice as much if we just make an effort to continue it’s life. We will not give in to the desire for more consumption and just go out to buy something new instead of repairing what is left.

Applying liquid metal.

Many people who we talked to tried to convince us to buy a new machine. Arguing for the service which comes with it, the ease of use, and the lack of all the stress or time we invest in fixing it. They forget to mention that a new machine, which would fit our budget, would be a cheap piece of junk made with low grade components and can only be described as a true waist of precious resources. Most of the new machines I encounter like brand x, brand y and brand z, just to name a few, fall in this category. They might suit the enthusiast weekend woodworker but are not suitable for anything else then home, garden and kitchen use. Any of the new machines that I really like are way behind our budget. This leaves us searching for those unwanted oldies which we are happy to give a second life.

Pretty clean, but even more important,very accurate welding job.

In the next one you can see the support of the infeed table repaired and installed. It sits on top of the arm which got welded back on. Note the four bolts which connect true the piece into a plate on the back side (plate not visible). The plate in the front will be installed as extra reinforcement and to dampen vibrations around the weld.

Installed some new planer blades today and if everything goes well I can plane some wood tomorrow. How nice would that be? All depends wether I can adjust all the components to line up the way they should. But since they are all so finely made, this shouldn’t give me any difficulties. The sooner it is up and running the better, then I can dimension some wood and get back to the hand tools which I like to use even more then those noisy giants…