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Wadkin BT500 planer

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  • Wadkin BT500 planer

    I picked up this planer a few weeks ago from a small cabinet shop. Apparently it has been sitting idle for almost 10 years. I believe it is a 1978 model. 20" 4 knife cutterhead, sectional infeed rollers, 7.5 hp main motor. It has an onboard knife grinder.
    I have started cleaning up the bed and the table wedges.
    I powered it up and everything seems to operate well, even the power rise/fall table.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for an on/off switch to operate the knife grinder? It was missing and I need to find something yet.
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  • #2

    Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

    Originally posted by chorswill View Post
    I picked up this planer a few weeks ago from a small cabinet shop. Apparently it has been sitting idle for almost 10 years. I believe it is a 1978 model. 20" 4 knife cutterhead, sectional infeed rollers, 7.5 hp main motor. It has an onboard knife grinder.
    I have started cleaning up the bed and the table wedges.
    I powered it up and everything seems to operate well, even the power rise/fall table.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for an on/off switch to operate the knife grinder? It was missing and I need to find something yet.
    Looks really nice. -- After you upload your pics --then Pic a size -- like FULL SIZE -- and they will embed in your post so we don't have to go back and forth to see them. TIA. See here for full instructions

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    • #3

      Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

      Is there a contactor hidden somewhere?

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      • #4

        Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

        Sorry about the pictures.

        Yes, the contactor is hidden inside on the left. The three wires for the knife grinder are on the L1, L2, L3 terminals, so they should be powered up when the machine is plugged in.

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        • #5

          Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

          so all you need is a pair of momentary contact buttons sized to fit a plate that screws to fill the hole. Electronic stores often have this kind of thing for very few dollars.

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          • #6

            Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

            I think could be wrong, but I was thinking I would need a maintained switch since it is wired to the input side of the contactor. The machine only has one contactor and you wouldn't want the cutterhead running when grinding the knives.

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            • #7

              Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

              It's hard to advise when working blind. Really what we need is a wiring diagram, but even a sketch of wiring in that area would be useful.

              Cheers, Vann.
              Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

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              • #8

                Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

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ID:	1260336 Sorry, I guess I didn't give much information. Let's try again. These pictures show the magnetic starter on the planer, the grinding motor and the box that was missing a switch to operate the grinder. The three purple wires on the mag starter go up to the box for the grinding motor switch.


                I am not finding much information online about this planer, so I wanted to start a thread and hopefully find out more about it. Thanks for any help!

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                • #9

                  Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

                  Looking for a wiring diagram without success - so far.

                  https://www.scosarg.com//leaflets/Wa...hicknesser.pdf
                  https://www.scosarg.com//leaflets/Wa...hicknesser.pdf

                  Cheers, Vann.
                  Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

                    If there is only one contactor then yes you need a maintained contact 3 pole switch.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

                      I had a Wadkin Bursgreen planer from the 80’s with a built in knife grinder using the exact same mag starters and mine was 575v 3 phase. Any appropriately rated 3 phase mag starter will work. There are likely safety interlocks which may account for some of the extra wires.

                      Did you get an alignment jig with your planer to use when replacing the blades? I found it was much easier to remove the blades for sharpening and honing than to use the grinder and have grit from the stone everywhere. The alignment jig made replacing the blades quick and foolproof. I believe that the built in grinder only makes sense for a production shop that can not afford to take the machine down for an hour or so to change blades for sharpening. When you grind the blades while in the head you make a small change to the diameter of the head and theoretically the relative position of the pressure bars would be slightly different afterwards.
                      Erik

                      Canada's Island Paradise - Prince Edward Island

                      Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club

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                      • #12

                        Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

                        It did come with the knife setting gauge. I am in process of cleaning the cutterhead and changing the knives. I have set one knife so far and the gauge seems to work well. I don't really see myself grinding the knives on the machine, but I might in the future. For now I would like to get it all cleaned up and see how it performs.

                        Erik, since you have used a similar planer, were you happy with the performance of it?

                        I plan on adding a Proscale digital height gauge to it.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

                          Originally posted by chorswill View Post
                          It did come with the knife setting gauge. I am in process of cleaning the cutterhead and changing the knives. I have set one knife so far and the gauge seems to work well. I don't really see myself grinding the knives on the machine, but I might in the future. For now I would like to get it all cleaned up and see how it performs.

                          Erik, since you have used a similar planer, were you happy with the performance of it?

                          I plan on adding a Proscale digital height gauge to it.
                          I was very pleased with it, rated to take a 3/8” cut in hardwood full width (24”) though I didn’t push it that hard. Smooth finish and the power table is awful handy, I put a Wixey digital gauge on mine. I sold it to another member here as it was much larger than I needed and I think he is still using it. Basically a clone of an SCMI design and works very well. Make sure that you get the chain well cleaned of the hardened grease and relube it.
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                          Erik

                          Canada's Island Paradise - Prince Edward Island

                          Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club

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                          • #14

                            Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

                            Curtis, I'll look at the grinder on my Oliver but I think the small motor just has either a toggle switch or a maintained contact switch of appropriate poles. I'm sure it doesn't use a mag switch. I have a bunch of stuff in inventory if we can narrow it down. I'm thinking Accurate Technologies probably has a sale on their dro now. I use those and they are a big step up from a Wixey. Dave

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                            • #15

                              Re: Wadkin BT500 planer

                              Thanks Dave. I think a three pole toggle switch would be fine.

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