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keiththomp's picture

I purchased a DeWalt 735 planer to use remodeling my house.  I have a stack of red oak, not sure off the top of my head how many feet, but it was about a 3000 pound pallet of the stuff. I knew that this was going to be a tough job for a portable planer and bought the best one I could – certainly the most expensive portable I saw.

After a week or so, the drive belt broke on it. I took it to Dewalt and they replaced it. Then a couple of weeks later, the motor burned up.  Again, I took it back and they rebuilt the motor.  Then about a week later (yesterday) the motor went out again. Supposedly, Dewalt has to keep repairing it for 3 years, but it took a month to get it back last time and I’m wondering if I will ever make it thru this job?

It is on a 12 gauge power cord.  I keep the machine blown out well. I let it rest between boards. I only take off the tiniest amount of wood per cut. And although I’d love to plane these boards down to ¾, I’m only planning them down to 1 inch to save on time and machine wear.

I don’t know of anything else I can do to baby this machine through this job?  Anybody have any words of advise

RalphBarker's picture

great expectations (post #170449, reply #1 of 6)

I think you may be expecting too much from a light-duty hobbiest-level planer.

dminnery's picture

I recently got the same (post #170449, reply #2 of 6)

I recently got the same planer, sorry to hear about your problems.
I have fed hard maple, cherry and walnut through mine, about 300bf in total.

I'm taking 4/4 rough down to 3/4" and 8/4 rough down to 1.5".

The maple dulls blades quickly and I usually trun the wheel about a half a turn or a bit more for each pass-sorry I forget what depth that is. Sharp blades will feed easier and may keep your motor from working so hard. I went through 3 sets of dewalt blades and just upgraded to a set of infinity carbide blades. Will test those out in a few weeks.

It may be the best portable out there, but when I get more shop space I'm getting something better.

Also possible that you got a lemon?

dminnery's picture

Carbide blades (post #170449, reply #3 of 6)

I installed new carbide blades on my 735, they were over $200 made by infinity.
I have 125bf of 4/4 maple to plane down to 3/4".

I only got through a few boards and the result was terrible. I had ridges as if the blades were chipped on the first board. Took off the cover and did a visual inspection looked ok. I have dust collection attached which is working great.
 I was planing at 1/32 depth of cut, I was also getting a fair amount of tear out.

Called Infinity and emailed pics. They recomend removing the blades, making sure there is no debris between the blades and head. They also said that I should be planing at 1/64 depth of cut! I told them if that's the case I will return the blades.

I understand that carbide is brittle, but that depth is so shallow I'll be planning far too long to make these blades worth the investment.

Hopefully I can get this resolved while being able to plane at 1/32 depth. so far not impressed at all.

blopar's picture

troubling (post #170449, reply #4 of 6)

Sorry to hear about the issues some of you are having with your planer. I've had mine for a little over seven years and have had none of the aforementioned problems. I buy all my material rough and thickness it to my needs, I don't know the actual bf that I've run but I would guess that its well over 1k, everything from hard maple to white pine and have always used dust collection.

Depth of cut can be an issue but 1/32 seems a little light, in most cases I shoot for 1/16 or 1 full turn, however that depends on grain, tear out, etc. Feed direction is critical, I just finished a 260bf batch of cypress and only had problems when I went against the grain. I do clean all the material before hand with a wire brush and shop vac in an effort to remove any debris, a pain in the back to be sure but well worth the effort. I learned that after blowing through my first set of knives after only a hundred or so br of white oak. When the knives are shot their shot, pressing the isuue will only lead to more problems and tax the machine in the process.

The broken belt could be the result of excessive cut as could a burned out motor but I would guess you got a lemon more than anything else. I've stalled the unit in the past when trying to take to much with some hickory and quickly learned that you need to listen to the machine and gauge your progress based on how its handling the wood. I'm zealous about keeping it clean, blow the unit out with compressed air, wipe down the rollers with lacquer thinner every so often and use a teflon based lubricant on the lift mechanism.

lastly I knew when I purchased the unit that it was and is a light duty machine, not built for production. I would never expect that it would last as long as it has, I've been pleasently surprised.

dminnery's picture

The planer is fine, it's the (post #170449, reply #5 of 6)

The planer is fine, it's the new carbide knives that are the issue.

I inspected the knive and there are chips out of them, sending them back tomorrow.
 Hopefully I get new replacements, there is something wrong here.

They recommend 1/32 to 1/64" depth, I told them that that sounds  bit crazy. My time costs money too, I'd be planning forever.

oh well, hopefully this turns out well.

rev_w's picture

I have had my planer for 6 (post #170449, reply #6 of 6)

I have had my planer for 6 years now - I have replaced the blades and resharpened the old blades on my Makita water wheel - keeping the blades sharp and the machine clean like you're doing should work.  I tend to think you got a lemon of a planer.  I will admit I am careful not to remove too much material at a pass beginning with one jointed 'true' flat before I plane the other face.  I must admit even with a dust collection system there is considerable sawdust and planer dust.  Makes good mulch.