Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Scandia, MN (just north of St. Paul metro area)
Cleaning carbide insert teeth in planer head
Got a call from a friend who was rotating the carbide insert teeth in his helical head planer for the first time. He's used the planer quite a bit for planing pine, and the pitch buildup had caked on the head and on the inserts. After removing an insert, he'd soak it briefly in WD40 and then scrape off the pitch buildup, a rather time consuming process. I suggested pulling all the inserts off and soaking them a few hours or overnight, then see if they'd clean up more easily. Haven't heard back how well that worked.
I've been using helical head cutters in both my 13" Delta planer and 8" Powermatic jointer. I work almost exclusively with hardwoods, having planed maybe a dozen 8' spruce boards, and have had no pitch/gum buildup, so couldn't offer my friend any help based on personal experience with the problem. Anybody had to deal with this problem, and how did you go about resolving it?