PoorMan's Polyurethane Belt Welder and Friction Drive Fix on Felder Jointer-Planer
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  1. #1
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    Default PoorMan's Polyurethane Belt Welder and Friction Drive Fix on Felder Jointer-Planer

    I have a 2004 vintage Felder AD751 jointer-planer combo. After not using it for an extended period, I was planing some stock when the powerfeed started making a very loud clunking noise and vibration on slow feed, and after engaging the fast feed a godawful noise. After removing the power box sheetmetal, the cause was obvious; there are two stamped friction wheels with cast on polymer (PU?), the polymer had deteriorated and when engaged started flying off in chunks, with the wheels clattering on the drive (the friction wheels drive a large reduction pully, which drives a chain drive to the feed rolls). Not one to do things the easy way, and call about replacement parts:
    >made a hub to mount the wheels on the lathe to remove and true the wheels (the wheels were stamped and not flat on the face since the polymer was cast in a mold), trued up the steel wheels on the lathe by removing about 0.025 out of flatness.
    >bought some .125 thick x 5/8 polyurethane belting from McMaster (the original cast PU was about .125 thick, and there is some adjustment in the mechanism).
    >the poormans belt welder is just a small bench vise, with two pieces of flat stock stuck on the top of the vise with magnets, overhanging the sides. The "welder" is an old soldering iron, with two flats milled on opposite sides of the tip and covered with (optional) fiberglass/teflon tape.
    >subtracted about 3/4" from the 4" dia wheel belt circumference, and 1" from the 7.5" wheel, such that stretching onto the wheel is required.
    >weld the belt ends by heating up the iron, place between the cut belt ends on the vise fixture exerting a bit of pressure from the vise, until there's some melted material flow, remove the iron and move the ends together via the screw, let cool, trim excess weld with precision side-cutters.
    > stretch belt on wheel and scuff up outer surface; take off and flip inside out
    >scuff up OD of steel wheels
    >clean belt and wheels with acetone, reinstall belt with scuffed sides together.
    > insert rod between belt and wheel, apply 3M Emblem and Trim Cement into gap, roll rod around diameter and apply adhesive into gap around entire od.
    I did a bit of sanding on the OD after drying just to remove any adhesive or ridges; the wheels could be crowned, but probably not necessary--seems to work fine thus far with my typical planing depth of cuts. Cheers

    img_5969.jpgimg_5971.jpgimg_5968.jpgimg_5972.jpgimg_5974.jpg

  2. #2
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    Thanks for that! That's a brilliant idea. I'd never thought about using a bench or milling vice with magnetically held fixtures. Much better than pushing round belt ends along a bit of aluminium angle or just holding the ends by hand for ten minutes (My previously most succesful method).

  3. #3
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    Thank Mark. I used a 3" Palmgren vise, with the flat metal stock stuck to the jaw tops with 4 neodymium magnets (have lots of magnets, large and small for "light-duty" quick fixtures and clamps, I buy them from K&J Magnetics usually, a couple sizes of rectangular ones are handy); the overhang of the plates over the vise side is needed to work off the side for small diameter belt. Could make some more refined removable fixtures with screw-attachments etc, but I'm lazy and don't expect to be doing that often. And, that actually is the first time I've "welded" PU belts belts myself, and it worked very easily the first time after a just a couple of practice runs, and the weld cannot be pulled apart. I just pulled an old cheap soldering iron out of the bonepile with a tip shape that was large enough and could be machined with flats. An advantage of extruded PU versus rubber is that it can be easily welded since it's thermoplastic. The teflon/fiberglass tape on the heated tip is useful (but probably not required) because it mostly prevents sticking of the melted PU to the heated tip, providing a nice uniform melted "flash" to press together for the weld (teflon/fiberglass tapes (often used on heat-sealers, laminators, and such)usually have silicone adhesive which will hold up to substantial temp). A soldering iron might get a bit too hot depending on wattage/tip type, if so a rheostat (or dimmer) can be used (or just plug/unplug it for intermittent use). Have fun, Cheers.

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    You can weld polurethane with out contact heating too, just holding the ends near a hot heat source works really well, think just a 1/16" or less of the same soldering iron tip, takes a bit longer to warm up but theres no contamination so the bond always seams to last longer in my experience on round belts than with contact heating. Smaller Round belts i find i have best luck with holding them just out of the bottom of the flame on a std gas lighter, secret seams to be only heat enough to do the weld and work fast, really helps to not have to waste time putting the lighter down even so get some one else to hold - operate it.

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    I owned one of the felder planers with this type of drive system. "Rube Goldberg" would have been mighty impressed!

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    That is positively brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

    I noticed the vinyl on one of the spring clamps was deteriorated from the heat. If you scrape the rest of it off and use silicone rubber that won't happen. There are two ways to do this. One is to wrap the end with silicone rubber tape, the kind that sticks to itself. The other is to buy the silicone chisel guards from Woodcraft and stick the largest pair on the clamp ends.


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