Friday, 9 October 2015

New jointer/planer blades fitted Axminster AW106PT2 Jointer/Thicknesser

I have just spent a couple of hours maintaining my Axminster AW106PT2 planer/thicknesser (combo jointer/planer for North American woodies)

I replaced the expensive TCT blades with some HSS blades I bought from a local tool company, Woodford Tooling in Cheshire UK, via Amazon. I have been disappointed with the TCT blades from Axminster here. They are of Chinese origin, are not as sharp as HSS and probably need honing from brand new. They are supposed to last much longer than HSS but I have had a problem with tearout on the ends of boards. This is not usual shallow tearout but massive lumps of wood been removed. No such problems with the new HSS blades.

It took about 2 hours to replace the blades, cleaning the machine as I did so. Since having the machine I have done the periodic maintenance specified in the manual, oiling the chain, oiling the bearings, greasing the massive guide shaft and waxing the beds. All very straightforward and easy to do.

The blades are more time consuming to do, I use the setting gauge supplied with the jointer, a block of wood, the tiny 7mm spanner and a pair of Axminister LED setting jigs to do the job.

I have had these a while and they needed the rare earth magnets re-gluing into the body of the gauges with CA glue as the original glue was not very good. After that the gauges have worked perfectly.
Underside of one of the jigs shown.
The rare earth magnets needed re-gluing on the set I have.
I also levelled the magnets to the surrounding thermoset plastic
by running the jig using sandpaper on a granite plate
(same technique as used when flattening a handplane sole)

Jigs shown in position on the AW106PT2.
When the blades are in the right position an electrical circuit
is made and the LEDs light up.

After fitting the new blades a test cut with oak showed the new knives cut a lot better than the TCT knives with very little noise and they are very smooth. 
I have a couple of sets of knives to be sent out for re-sharpening. Hopefully the TCT blades will come back much better than before.

I wish Axminster would produce a helical head for the AW106PT2 though. Sadly at the moment they don't and there is nothing on the horizon.

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