Rotating Spiral Cutters in Planer

Hi - I need to rotate the cutters in my planer for the first time. They seem to be impossibly tightly screwed in ! Clearly my No 20 Torx hand screwdriver was not going to do the job nor could I move any screws with with an L shaped Torx key. So I have now tried an impact driver. This released the first screw without a problem but the end of the Torx bit itself sheared off when I tried to undo the second blade. Are they supposed to be this tight ? Should I proceed with the impact driver (more No20 Torx bits already ordered !) ? When replaced, how tight should they be ? Any help or suggestions gratefully received !

On a related point - how do you tell when the cutters need to be replaced ? I have been shoving seasoned oak through the machine and it’s been getting really hard work. Also the boards have got stuck on occasion so I figured it was time to rotate - but is this right ?

Not sure how tight they should be but it may be that the instructions require that thread locking compound is used on the threads as coming loose while operating might be rather nasty.

The other problem could be that they have corroded in - one of the worst are stainless steel screws into stainless steel. If assembled without anti-sieze they can literally weld themselves together. I remember once trying to remove a 30mm Nut on a stainless steel piston shaft - there was no way it would turn even with heat. In the end we decided that as the shaft was damaged and useless to mill just over half of the nut & shaft away - in the longitudinal direction. Even hitting the remaining part of the nut hard failed to separate the weld - the assembly went into the bin and instructions were issued to use anti sieze on all future assemblies.

I had a similar problem. I accidently damaged some of the cutters a few weeks after I bought the planer (hidden nails in the wood) so had to replace and rotate the cutters. So this is how they are manufacturered.

I also had sheared Torx bits but persisted with the impact driver and finally got them all free. I re-tigthened with the hand tool and inspect them before I use it to ensure none have come loose (all ok so far)

I hope this helps

Not sure if it will help or not but when nulls and bolts are holding fast I use plus gas to free them up. Might be worth a try

I had a recent nightmare with replacing the hinges on my new (!!!) logburner. Using an impact driver with Torx bits only succeeded on some of the machine screws after using ‘Plusgas”. I’ve also found the bits can shatter with the impact driver. Good luck!

One of the two hinges was almost completely seized, to the extent you had to hold the very heavy logburner when operating the door, else the burner would move on its feet. The door became a lever. The hinge pin in the other hinge had sheared!

Thanks Weekender. I’ll keep at it with the impact driver then !

Thanks also to all you others for your help and advice (even though some experiences don’t sound so promising to me !!!)

Hi, the screws need to be tight for obvious reasons, the machine maker’s don’t use thread locking compound. I have found that an L shaped Torx key of the longest possible length works best, Wiha make one that’s just right. If you’re going to use an impact driver, try and get the Torx bits made for battery impact wrenches, these have some elasticity to counter the head from shearing off. Some heat applied with a gas torch also helps.