Checking and replacing planer blades is part and parcel of wood planer maintenance, which must be carried out periodically. The only time you really can’t sharpen a planer blade is if it reduces in length or rather won’t actually maintain the precision. A short blade may not have the capability to grip the wood effectively, having in mind that a planer is not only used for smoothing the work piece but also to reduce the size of the work piece, which is its major role. This will only lead to more work done while energy is being wasted at the same time. Hence, the need for periodic replacements!
Replacing planer blades is a very simple procedure. First you need to buy the right blade for the handheld device. Always go for the recommended blade size and more precisely the exact type, which the planer was using before. This will ensure that the planer retains its efficiency – as if it were a brand new planer. Most planer blades have codes which you can use to identify and procure replacements from your local home depot.
Next, Carefully open the screws holding the planer’s blade in position and slide out the old blade from this position. Ensure the exposed area is cleaned thoroughly and any elements of rust, which may have accumulated over time is removed. This is in fact, the best time to have a complete maintenance of the hand planer.
If this process proves to be difficult, you can also refer to the user manual as blade replacement procedures are usually indicated in them. After cleaning the planer, carefully replace the blade with a new one as it was before. Use hand gloves to protect against cuts and nicks as well as place the planer on a flat surface.
Slide the blade into the right position and adjust it to a desirable length as recommended and carefully tighten the blade using the screws. Fixing the blade into the right position will only take some few minutes.
Finally, check whether the blade has been fixed correctly and is tight enough. Get you work piece ready and test whether the planer is functioning as required. Use test planks until snipe is no longer observed. If not, further adjustments can be made on the blade until the desirable length is achieved.
At times, one could be unlucky not to get a planer blade which is similar to the old one. Always ensure that you buy the same size as the old blade and be particular on the quality. This is for the simple reason that planer blades made from substandard materials will always get blunt quick and consequently have a shorter life span.