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Rockwell 18" planer feed roller de-rusting

kb0thn

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 15, 2008
Location
Winona, MN, USA
Hi Guys,

backstory:
I'm barely a wood worker. But wife and I are building a house ourselves and it is about time for me to make a bunch of flooring and cabinets and trim. We purchased solid maple flooring from three YMCA racquetball courts that I need to plane down to remove the finish. My throw-away lunch box planer did okay. But we have about 2,400ft^2 of it to do. And then wife decided on hickory for cabinet faces and trim, so I've got a literal ton of rough saw hickory to deal with.

Anyway, I bought a 1960's vintage Rockwell 22-200 18" wedge bed planer at auction. It is a 1,000+ lb machine with 7-1/2" HP drive motor and separate power feed drive motor. The stupid auction house left it outside for a month or more. Table was covered in fresh rust. And the feed rollers that appear to have originally been chromed, have gobs of rust on them. The machine is spinning and everything is looking good. But the rollers are going to leave imprints on the wood.

20211212_070315.jpg

What do y'all recon in the best way to clean these up? It looks like Evaporust will be okay on chrome. That or sandblasting is my usual approach to cleaning rust. But I think I'm going to have pitting. Is this a turn down rollers in the lathe and send out for chrome sort of job? Or just turn down and leave as bare steel? I don't think a change in diameter is going to matter much, since the heights of the rollers are all adjustable.

Thanks,

-Jim
 

hvnlymachining

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 21, 2019
Location
St.Onge
I'd try the Evaporust and see just how bad the surface is, pits shouldn't cause trouble unless it's covering a good percentage of the surface. Lumps and bulges are what will give you trouble, if they exist I would try to find a way to cylindrically grind them. Re-chrome will make the surface harder if your worried about wear, but without oil, rust will form in the microscopic cracks present in ALL chrome finishes.
 
I never researched, but have trouble believing that level planer ever had chrome parts.
Mostly they stayed polished by the constant wood going by. Some moulders have chrome tables for wear resistance. In single side planers it is essentially non-existant. Maybe someone will look it up and prove me wrong.

If you clean it up with scotch brite and evaporust or similar, it will be fine as long as your shop is where it should be humidity-wise year round. About 50% RH. Not wetter. That RH is not bad for wood, and is about the level above which un-tended, un-oiled steel rusts in the atmosphere "eventually" and below which it does not much. AFAIC, having the cleaned up micropits will improve traction. :)

Seriously, at the level you are concerned, you need to go to a wide belt sander if finish quality is not there to your satisfaction. I used to make a lot of flooring, including for the white house, Treasury, National Archives, Smithsonian, etc and it all gets sanded after it's in place so sufrace quality at manufacture is not fussy.

We purchased solid maple flooring from three YMCA racquetball courts that I need to plane down to remove the finish.

Sounds like a lot more fun than i would want to participate in.
Depending on the finish, it could take a toll on your machine, especially the knives, that would make a little rust seem insignificant. With good dust collection to avoid recycling chips with finish on them, it might work. Also be aware of the enhanced fire hazard that sometimes seems to come with compacted piles of chips with finishes on them.

And then wife decided on hickory for cabinet faces and trim, so I've got a literal ton of rough saw hickory to deal with.

Do you also have a wide jointer to flatten your rough material before planing it?

smt
 

kb0thn

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 15, 2008
Location
Winona, MN, USA
Sounds like a lot more fun than i would want to participate in. Depending on the finish, it could take a toll on your machine, especially the knives, that would make a little rust seem insignificant. With good dust collection to avoid recycling chips with finish on them, it might work. Also be aware of the enhanced fire hazard that sometimes seems to come with compacted piles of chips with finishes on them.

I played with drum sander, wide belt sander, and planer for cleaning the ~1/16 of racquetball court finish off the maple. The sand paper would clog and the planner just cut it off with no real concern.

Blades for the planer only cost $130, so I am hoping I can clean up this stuff as fast as I can feed it into the planer. If I trash some blades, so what. As you say, even if the surface finish quality diminishes, it is getting sanded anyhow.

I do have a decent sized dust collector for a large CNC router. I was going to try that. Maybe just have it drop right into my dumpster.

Machine was about $800 after auction fees. I am hoping that a few hundred more in refurbishment and it will be ready to run for the rest of my life.



Do you also have a wide jointer to flatten your rough material before planing it?

No. Just a little toy 4" jointer. The maple flooring is flat. The hickory appears to have been partially milled. The outfit I bought it from said it was leftover from a millionaires mansion and just needs a final planing to 3/4" thick.

I don't know shit about wood.
 
I played with drum sander, wide belt sander, and planer for cleaning the ~1/16 of racquetball court finish off the maple. The sand paper would clog and the planner just cut it off with no real concern.

I didn't mean sand the finish off.
As you already know, that is practically a non-starter.
I meant if you need perfect final surface on wood after planing, the planer might not be the most efficient machine to look, at some level. Either the product will need sanding with portable tools at some point, or by, say, a stroke sander or widebelt sander.

The hickory appears to have been partially milled. The outfit I bought it from said it was leftover from a millionaires mansion and just needs a final planing to 3/4" thick.

That could be helpful.
Don't reduce the thickness until you need too. And there is no commandment that wood has to be 3/4" thick, either.
It might or might not squirm, more or less, & possibly twist a little as it is ripped into blanks. Probably insignificant for face frames and flat panels. Might be a bigger factor for door frames. Save your best straightest rips for doors, if you are making them frame & panel.

Good luck!

smt
 

kb0thn

Hot Rolled
Joined
May 15, 2008
Location
Winona, MN, USA
When you plane the hickory, save the chips and sell it to barbecue fanatics to recoup your expenses.

LOL. I don't know about selling, but I would imagine I will have plenty chips to give away.

Got this pile and some longer pieces for $1,000. I don't know anything about wood, but that seemed like a reasonable deal.

20211105_165417.jpg

20211105_094120.jpg

Previously, the only wood I have bought has been from Menards and the lumber yards.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
I would just wire brush the roller to get off the worst. The wrap rags soaked in EDTA, poor mans evaporust. Chrome plating would just be too slippery. the roller would not grab the wood.
You could be creative and glue sandpaper to a 2x4 glued to a 1x4 like a toothbrush. Put it into the running planer and lever the paper up to the roller while it spins. Do it wrong and it will pull it from your hands and throw it across the shop. MAybe a 2x4 glued to a piece of plywood. Clamp the plywood to the table so the 2x4 is under the roller and slowly raise the table.
Do this too much and the roller will no longer be straight and parallel to the table and blades. So do not over do it.
Bill D
 
You could be creative and glue sandpaper to a 2x4 glued to a 1x4 like a toothbrush. Put it into the running planer and lever the paper up to the roller while it spins. Do it wrong and it will pull it from your hands and throw it across the shop.


or:


Simple way to polish an aircraft spinner - YouTube

I mean, what could possibly go wrong???

:)

Seriously, widebelt sander drums are dressed to the table.
New bearings, everything adjusted perfectly. Table flat, or with shimmed flat sub-table. Glue 100g or 80g to the table or sub table (conveyor removed) and raise it to kiss the running roll. Don't dwell or the drum will heat, expand and go to heck. Just raise, kiss, lower, let run cooling for a minute or 2. Kiss again, quickly lower, etc.

smt
 
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M. Moore

Titanium
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Location
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
I had that exact planer for many years in my old shop. It had the worm gear problem so I replaced the shaft and it fed fine.
I could never get it set so that it would not snipe the boards after they passed the infeed roller. I would highly recommend that you use an insert so you don't even have to clean up the bottom rollers. I would use 1" thick mdf and wax it well and often when planing.
I would not sand down the rollers on this machine except lightly by hand and the preferred method would be to use a wire wheel to get rid of the rust spots. Make sure the grooves on the infeed roller are clean and you could even give them a little tune up with a form fitting hss scraper and a light touch.

It is very important that the knives are set correctly into the cutterhead and that the pressure bar is also set correctly. There should be the correct info out there for you to find. If the pressure bar is not set correctly then you will have lots of feed problems. I can't remember this machine exactly but some machines have no adjustment and the knives need to be set to match the pressure bar.
Sometimes the bars are worn in the middle and it is difficult to set them properly because of the wear.
I also remember that the wedgebed design for raising the table gave me some issues in that if there is any play anywhere then one side is higher or lower than the other side of the table in relation to parallel with the cutter head.

I wish I had all the time back that I spent F'ing around with machines that were not designed well.

Good luck and have fun making some chips! ( you will want a good dust collector after you get going)
 

richard newman

Titanium
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Location
rochester, ny
This is good advice! Of the common woodworking machines, the planer can be fussiest to set up properly to get a good cut.

Michael, I was surprised to read that you were unable to get the snipe out of your planer. I recall people saying that the big advantage of wedge bed machines was that they did not snipe. Seemed to make sense that the table would much more stable than a jack screw machine. Clearly the Rockwell is at the other end of the spectrum from Whitney or Buss machines, but...

From what the OP has said of his use for the machine, seems like snipe will not be as big a problem for him as for fussy guys like us.
 

M. Moore

Titanium
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Location
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
Richard,
I just got used to trimming off 3” from the end of every board....
I did minimize the snipe but never got rid of it entirely. I could never get the wedgebed to stay in alignment through its full range of motion. If it was good in one spot then it was out everywhere else. It was a long time ago and I am glad I have a pretty good machine now but even it was a battle to get back in top shape.
I sold that machine and it was replaced with a larger Wadkin wedgebed which I never liked that much, it was ok but a bit big and had bearing problems. I left it at my old shop and now have an SCM 20” with knife grinder. The knife grinder is worth a lot for a planer and they work well. In just a few minutes I can have sharp knives that all cut exactly the same which is very hard to do when setting knives.

Hotrolled Jim, if the planer does not have feed problems then I am sure it will work fine for your application.
Just measure the boards for thickness to see if it planes equally across the full 18” width. A slight taper across the width does cause problems for the next machining steps. You may have to add some shims under the table to get it back to alignment or maybe yours was made on a Wednesday and is fine unlike the Monday lemon I had.
 

richard newman

Titanium
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Location
rochester, ny
Michael, my planer is a 20" SCM with a knife grinder also, L'Invincible S-50 from the days Delta was importing them. I love the grinder, so easy to just touch up the knives if you don't let them get really blunt. I've always been a very low volume lumber user, so it doesn't require attention often. Can't remember the last time I changed out the knives.

That being said, I don't think they mine is a particularly high end machines, plenty of corners cut in the design and construction. Table is supported by a single column in the center, not sure if this is as stable as 4 jack screws. I also think the cast iron may be a bit soft, my bed was worn in the center, and the pressure bar also. But it works great with really thin material, which is what attracted me to it. There was one at the craft school at RIT, I was able to plane rosewood and ebony down to 1/32, so I started looking for one. I think it's that the chipbreaker and pressure bar are very close to the head that makes a difference.
 
Michael-

I too have to wonder why a wedge bed could not be aligned to be solid, and repeat essentially "everywhere"?

Unless the ways of the wedges were not straight?
IIUC, the table and the wedge are separate castings?
And there are 2 for the bed part. That would need careful alignment and maybe pinning?

I had a 30" American, and a 30" Greenlee, (wedgebeds) but never actually used either one, as they could not be gotten in my shops, at the time. I've made do with a 20" import the last 30 yrs. (& 24" widebelt.) Onc thing about 4 posters is they are easy to align the bed table and the cylinder. :^) OH, and it does not snipe. So long as the fairly rudimentary and non-segmeted chip breaker and presser foot are aligned and adjusted.

smt
 

shapeaholic

Stainless
Joined
Oct 14, 2003
Location
Kemptville Ontario, Canada
Jim,
I've not much to add as the most of these guys are "vastly" more experienced woodworkers than I am.

I laid about 500 sqft of salvaged maple flooring some years ago, and I'd like to offer 2 pieces of advice:
1) once you get its cleaned up ( don't forget the tongue and groove), stack it with spacers in the place it will live for a couple of months. You will be surprised how much it will shrink if you don't ;
2) once laid and sanded use a premium OIL BASED finish. I'll bet a coffee and donut that it was oiled at some time in history and anything other finish is going to peel.

The flooring I laid shrank badly, leaving some gaps big enough to drive a truck into, and the "hi tech" finish that was recommended, peeled like the skin off an onion :-(.

it's amazing how expensive cheap flooring can be...

Good luck
Peter
 

stoneaxe

Stainless
Joined
Mar 2, 2010
Location
pacific northwest
Hi Guys,

backstory:
I'm barely a wood worker. But wife and I are building a house ourselves and it is about time for me to make a bunch of flooring and cabinets and trim. We purchased solid maple flooring from three YMCA racquetball courts that I need to plane down to remove the finish. My throw-away lunch box planer did okay. But we have about 2,400ft^2 of it to do. And then wife decided on hickory for cabinet faces and trim, so I've got a literal ton of rough saw hickory to deal with.

Anyway, I bought a 1960's vintage Rockwell 22-200 18" wedge bed planer at auction. It is a 1,000+ lb machine with 7-1/2" HP drive motor and separate power feed drive motor. The stupid auction house left it outside for a month or more. Table was covered in fresh rust. And the feed rollers that appear to have originally been chromed, have gobs of rust on them. The machine is spinning and everything is looking good. But the rollers are going to leave imprints on the wood.

View attachment 336723

What do y'all recon in the best way to clean these up? It looks like Evaporust will be okay on chrome. That or sandblasting is my usual approach to cleaning rust. But I think I'm going to have pitting. Is this a turn down rollers in the lathe and send out for chrome sort of job? Or just turn down and leave as bare steel? I don't think a change in diameter is going to matter much, since the heights of the rollers are all adjustable.

Thanks,

-Jim
The older I get, the more I realize no matter how good the deal is on an older machine, one is still spending time working on a machine instead of building whatever it is the machine was designed to do. Brutal realism suggests selling the rockwell, and taking 3k to buy a Taiwan four post with an insert head might be a better route for a houseful of wood.

That said, get the rust off however you can and try the machine. I have used a lot of sanding sponges and mineral oil. Be aware rust will blacken some woods, so do clean it up.
The outfeed top roller is the one that will leave marks if there are bumps on it.

You might run into chip out problems if this planer cutterhead has a high hook angle-some early machines were meant primarily for softwoods and had a high angle. If so the knives can be back ground to change the hook angle and get rid of the chipout.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
Michael-

I too have to wonder why a wedge bed could not be aligned to be solid, and repeat essentially "everywhere"?

Unless the ways of the wedges were not straight?
IIUC, the table and the wedge are separate castings?
And there are 2 for the bed part. That would need careful alignment and maybe pinning?

I had a 30" American, and a 30" Greenlee, (wedgebeds) but never actually used either one, as they could not be gotten in my shops, at the time. I've made do with a 20" import the last 30 yrs. (& 24" widebelt.) Onc thing about 4 posters is they are easy to align the bed table and the cylinder. :^) OH, and it does not snipe. So long as the fairly rudimentary and non-segmeted chip breaker and presser foot are aligned and adjusted.

smt

I have seen left and right bed castings for sale on the bay. So the wedge is one piece but the groves it run on are two seprate pieces that are supposed to be bolted parallel and at the same angle.
Bill D
 
So the wedge is one piece but the groves it run on are two seprate pieces that are supposed to be bolted parallel and at the same angle.

That's what i thought.
So it is possible for the wedges to get out of alignment (even if pinned)
Also, i believe the table is separate on top of the integral wedge. So twist in the table could influence the wedge bolted to it. Maybe vise versa?
In all cases, the alignment of the base wedge sides at set up, and support and leveling of the machine that is a weighty but not overly stiff frame could be factors.

I have not read it, but here is a long "rebuild" post about one on OWWM.
They come up on that site somewhat often.

Delta/Rockwell 22-200 18" Planer Restoration - Old Woodworking Machines

smt
 








 
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