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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple days ago I was given an old, rusty, small Craftsman model 351.217880 jointer. I brought it home, only to discover that the infeed bed does not stay parallel to the fixed position outfeed bed. Not even close. Obviously something was broken or wrong, and I hope I didn't damage it while carrying it by the ends of the two beds.

I disassembled it yesterday and discovered that two "bracket" parts are broken. The parts are the ones that keep the infeed bed parallel as you adjust its height.

The broken parts are Craftsman 18423.00 (aka 18423-00) "Bracket". They are not available from Sears/Craftsman, nor eReplacementParts.

I found nearly identical Wen 6560T and JT6561 jointers, and found a similar part in their user manuals, where I could replace the ones in mine. (Wen part # 6560-038) I called Wen, but they will not sell me the part. It is only available to Wen itself for servicing warranty and non-warranty repairs.

-> Any advice on how to get these parts replaced would be appreciated. Suggestions on what to do next, restoration advice, etc. would also be appreciated. Any ideas?

Photos:
  • Infeed Bed - Shows how the bed stays parallel. The good part is on the left and the broken parts are on the right.
  • Infeed Bed Closeup Good Part - Shows a good, unbroken bracket.
  • Infeed Bed Closeup Broken Part - Shows one of the two broken brackets.
  • Broken Part Closeup - Shows a broken bracket. I have not tried to hammer out the pins.
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Take one (or both) of the parts to a local machine shop and see if they can repair. It looks like it may be cast and if so that could be a repair problem.

George
 

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Smart and Cool
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A good machinist could make those pretty quick.

Or might be something you could make if you have a drill press.

Maybe find a home machinist to help reduce the shop overhead cost wise.
 

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That Guy
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Once you knock the pins out that looks like just a piece of 1/4" flat steel bar with two holes in it. It made be cast by the manufacturer but I don't see why it couldn't be replaced with regular hot rolled steel bar.

The trick will be to make all four the same to keep the bed level, I would cut four pieces of flat stock and clamp them together to drill the holes, that way the spacing will be identical. You'll need a very sharp bit and lots of oil and some patience. Once the first holes are drilled run a dowel through them to keep them all aligned while you clamp and drill the second holes. You can grind the outside radiuses on a bench grinder after. This should be a 1 hour job with $10 for materials.
 

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Smart and Cool
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Once you knock the pins out that looks like just a piece of 1/4" flat steel bar with two holes in it. It made be cast by the manufacturer but I don't see why it couldn't be replaced with regular hot rolled steel bar.

The trick will be to make all four the same to keep the bed level, I would cut four pieces of flat stock and clamp them together to drill the holes, that way the spacing will be identical. You'll need a very sharp bit and lots of oil and some patience. Once the first holes are drilled run a dowel through them to keep them all aligned while you clamp and drill the second holes. You can grind the outside radiuses on a bench grinder after. This should be a 1 hour job with $10 for materials.
I think aluminum would work as well.

Drill the holes(at the same time as you suggest), ream them to the right size, heat the aluminum and press the pins in.
 

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Smart and Cool
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I'll add a couple of things.

Those would only typically have downwards pressure on them, the way they are broken does look like lifting the table did them in, or someone pressed down really hard on the table at some time.

That said, with only downward force, I would bet you could JB weld those, with a plate on the outside to bridge the break, and they would work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
JB weld would certainly be worth a try, nothing to loose. My biggest concern would be making identical replacements, not always as easy as it sounds, any variation will throw it all off kilter.
Updates:

Two days ago, I went to Home Depot and bought a 1/4 inch steel bar and a few cobalt drill bits: 1/16, 1/8, and 5/16. The drill bits were expensive. I held onto them, pending a meeting with a machine shop person. If they could do the job more accurately, I would return the Home Depot products unopened.

Yesterday morning I went to the closest "machine shop" as defined by Yelp. The person there took my steel bar. He used a pencil to mark it. I was concerned, but he was the expert. He drilled it on an ordinary drill press similar to mine. I asked him whether the drill bits were carbide, and he weaseled an answer saying that the set cost $350, compared with the best $35 sets at Home Depot (I had not mentioned the cobalt bits I bought the previous day). He ground the parts on a belt sander for crude shaping. I paid him $20 and took them home.

As I expected, the parts didn't work. They were not measured precisely enough, and the infeed bed is not parallel to the outfeed bed. The shop really was a welding shop, not a machine shop. What I got for my $20 was the lesson that tapping around the hole with a punch will contract the hole slightly, so it will grab the pin.

Yesterday afternoon, I tried it myself. I used a punch to make two marks a perfect 1 inch apart. I used a reciprocating saw with a metal blade to cut the piece off the bar, then took it to the drill press. I clamped the bar to a piece of flat scrapwood, and took a lot of time to line up a 5/16 bit with the punch marks. I drilled the two holes with a throwaway titanium coated bit. It drilled okay, but I think the bit flexed on the initial start. The two holes did not measure up.

Last night I priced out the cost a new benchtop jointer. I decided it is worth investing a little more time and keep working on this one. :)

I will try again to make my own brackets tomorrow. I am thinking about making a drill guide and/or using increasing size bits to guide the hole.
 

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TA, unfortunately you met with a machinist who either didn't understand the need of the parts being identical, or didn't care. a respectable machinist would have used a mill with a dro to precisely place the holes, thats what they do.

maybe you found the cleaning man...
 

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Number one thing to understand, a drill bit is NOT a precision tool. It will NOT make a hole that is exactly round. It will NOT make a hole that is a precise diameter. It will NOT make a hole in an exact location.

A good explanation, as to your need for precision, would allow a trained machinist to choose the proper procedure to achieve the needed precision. Sounds like a bit of poor communication and choice of establishment contributed to a poor end product.

My suggestion would be find a home hobbyist machinist and explain your requirements. It will be a simple task for him to make you the correct replacement parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
TA, unfortunately you met with a machinist who either didn't understand the need of the parts being identical, or didn't care. a respectable machinist would have used a mill with a dro to precisely place the holes, thats what they do.

maybe you found the cleaning man...
You are absolutely right. I met a welder, not a machinist. I made it very clear that precision was important, and mentioned getting it down to thousandths. I knew the outcome wasn't going to be good when I saw him use a pencil to mark my steel bar. Perhaps it was "didn't understand" or "didn't care" but it may have also been "wanted to help, but not invest real time or effort for the necessary precision."

He was the owner.

Number one thing to understand, a drill bit is NOT a precision tool. It will NOT make a hole that is exactly round. It will NOT make a hole that is a precise diameter. It will NOT make a hole in an exact location.

A good explanation, as to your need for precision, would allow a trained machinist to choose the proper procedure to achieve the needed precision. Sounds like a bit of poor communication and choice of establishment contributed to a poor end product.

My suggestion would be find a home hobbyist machinist and explain your requirements. It will be a simple task for him to make you the correct replacement parts.
It wasn't poor communication; it was poor choice of establishment. It didn't help that the owner led me to believe it could be done easily (and as observed, sloppily).

This is very helpful, although disappointing. I can live with not quite round and not quite a precise diameter. I can't live without precise location. As long as the pins stay in the bracket and are separated by a perfect 1 inch between centers, I'm happy.

Despite your warning, I am going to try to drill the holes with drill bits and hope I can get those pins exactly 1 inch apart. If I fail again, I will look for a hobby machinist (maybe in our woodworking club) or a real, better machine shop.
 

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Smart and Cool
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There are a number of online companies that will make metal parts to your specs. Most are CNC cut, might be worth it to have them do it for you.
 

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Smart and Cool
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You are absolutely right. I met a welder, not a machinist. I made it very clear that precision was important, and mentioned getting it down to thousandths. I knew the outcome wasn't going to be good when I saw him use a pencil to mark my steel bar. Perhaps it was "didn't understand" or "didn't care" but it may have also been "wanted to help, but not invest real time or effort for the necessary precision."

He was the owner.


It wasn't poor communication; it was poor choice of establishment. It didn't help that the owner led me to believe it could be done easily (and as observed, sloppily).

This is very helpful, although disappointing. I can live with not quite round and not quite a precise diameter. I can't live without precise location. As long as the pins stay in the bracket and are separated by a perfect 1 inch between centers, I'm happy.

Despite your warning, I am going to try to drill the holes with drill bits and hope I can get those pins exactly 1 inch apart. If I fail again, I will look for a hobby machinist (maybe in our woodworking club) or a real, better machine shop.
Don't use the drill bit to start the holes, get a pilot bit.

428633
 

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There are a number of online companies that will make metal parts to your specs. Most are CNC cut, might be worth it to have them do it for you.
Some, like eMachineshop, have an acceptable CAD application you can download to draw the part and price it in the metal of your choice. I played with it earlier this year for a project for my boat lift guides support, but at the end figured out a simpler solution and I ordered some pieces of aluminum bar and drilled them myself.
 

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where's my table saw?
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All good advice above, especially stacking 4 pieces together, not only for cutting to equal lengths, but especially for drilling all the holes. That way they will all be the same, which is important for leveling the table. Drilling a hole requires a pilot hole in a punched divot, starting small and increasing in size, at least that's been my "go to" procedure. I would set the pins in with blue Loc-tite. I am a "home shop machinist" of sorts, and work in metal quite often, so my ways are a result of being "self taught" over 50 + years. Real machinists may have better methods and certainly better machines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update:
This project is not going well, and it is sucking up a lot of my time. I had no problems using a punch to put tiny divots in the steel bar exactly 1 inch apart (within 1/1000 inch). Here is what didn't work:
  • I tried the smallest pilot bit (center drill). That's the one whose tip centered in the punch divots. (The larger ones didn't want to center themselves in the punch divots.) The tip broke off almost immediately.
  • I tried using a small drill bit (1/16 inch) in the punch divot. It got part way, then bound up and snapped off.
What worked:
  • I used old 5/16 inch drill bits to position the two broken bracket parts on the steel bar, then taped the bracket parts to the steel bar using a lot of blue tape until it was clear that they couldn't move. I removed the two drill bits and used the positioned brackets as drill guides for a newly purchased 5/16 inch Milwaukee cobalt bit. I used a lot of oil and took my time drilling the holes, which came out perfectly spaced. I used a grinder to round the ends of the steel bar and remove the burrs. The pins tapped in very tightly. The infeed table assembly looks and works well.
  • Next, I cleaned the heavy rust off the infeed table that I had just repaired. That took a couple hours, but it was straightforward and easy.
I was ready to start cleaning the rust off the outfeed table. I noticed the blades in the rotor (?) and decided to remove them. 5 out of 8 hex bolts that hold the blades in place are frozen. I snapped one Allen wrench and was fearful of stripping another. I put Liquid Wrench around the rims of the recessed hex bolts and will wait until tomorrow, but I wonder whether I will be able to remove them all without having to drill one or more of them out. Now I am concerned that the blade positioning bolts are also frozen, but I haven't checked them yet.

Tomorrow:
See if the Liquid Wrench made it possible to remove the blades. If the small Allen wrench doesn't work, I may try a socket driver or the long handled torque wrench. After that, see if the blade adjustment screws work.

I can't complain, because it was a giveaway. At this point, I wonder whether fixing this "free" jointer is worth the effort. Honestly, I was led to believe that it was in working order. Now I think it was in good working order 20 years ago, but then spent the remaining 19 years sitting outside in the rain. :-(

(Yeah, I am giving serious consideration to go out and buy a benchtop jointer in the store. To be honest, someday I would like a floor standing, long bed jointer.)
 

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where's my table saw?
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There are several videos on You Tube about removing "seized" bolts. Project Farm is a good source. AVe may have one?
The most common methods are"
Penetrating fluids
Sideways impacts.
Rotary impacts.
Heating
A sharp blow on a well fitting box wrench.
Combinations of the above.

You can remove the cutterhead from the machine to allow easier access. That's worth a try.
If the holes in the cutterhead are drilled and tapped, there must be some access to them to drill out if a screw is broken. Photos?

Just a note, the smaller the diameter of the bit, the more likely it will easily snap under feeding pressure.
The center punch divot was just meant to start a small diameter drill like 1/8". Then once your hole is just started, go to a larger bit, say 1/4".
 
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