This is the inside black abyss of my planer–recently the site of days of frustration and extensive (by thumb standards) blood loss.


It was time to replace the blades on my planer because new ones finally arrived in a package. I removed the cover and attempted to remove the allen-keyed blade securing bolts. I was able to extract three of twenty-four–not a good ratio even by Major League Baseball standards. Even the three required multiple applications of generous amounts of WD-40. I stripped about a dozen and rounded off the Dewalt supplied allen wrench twice. (I cut the tip off after the first go-rounding to get back to the hexagonal shape.) It seems the Dewalt folks did not anticipate their planer being used on lumber that was still growing just a few weeks before planing. Due to this lack of foresight, pine sap had glued the bolts in position. Nevertheless I persisted in my attempts to disengage the bolts until the allen wrench slipped yet again causing my thumb to slide across the cutting edge of a blade resulting in a gruesomely deep, yet pleasingly straight slice. This was the lowest point of the affair. After the bleeding stopped I turned to the number one source for ideas: the google. There I found a foul-mouthed public servant demonstrating slotting the top of an allen bolt with a Dremel to allow a flat-head screw driver to do the turning. Brilliant. The handheld screw driver wasn’t enough for my circumstances, but I let my Makita impact driver pound on each bolt until they all eventually submitted. With new blades in place, I was able to plane some boards and frame doorways so the kids now have doors. Thanks internet.

  1. I don’t understand any of this. Next time, just say, “Jesus helped me.”

  2. SteveCarson

    I have the exact same planer. Thanks for the heads up, but since I’ve cut back on planing dripping pine boards, hopefully it’ll be a while before I need to change them out.

  3. Grokhammer

    Hope you replaced those slotted bolts, or otherwise coated them with grease to prevent sapping lock, in case your intend to replace them again.

  4. Susan King

    Joseph, I am continually amazed at the tenacity that the Lord has given you!!! Very Impressive. much love, aunt Susan

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