The better care you take of your woodworking machinery, the longer and more safely it will serve you. Keeping it clean, greased, oiled and replacing consumables are generally jobs that you can do yourself.
Here, we ask Calderbrook Woodwork Machinery experts in refurbishing woodworking machinery for resale, why looking after your woodwork machinery is vital to keep it running and how to give it the longest possible life.
Depending on usage, cleaning and maintenance take just a minute or two each day and perhaps a few minutes longer every week or month.
Woodworking machinery maintenance
Maintenance generally falls into two categories: what you should do each day and then checks and services required over more extended periods. Checks should ideally be tailored to the amount of use your machine gets or be carried out if you are going to use it again after a prolonged break.
Keep your machines clean. It’s essential to clean and remove dust from motor vents and moving parts, including belts, blades, switches and pulleys. Ensure that you always turn off the electricity to your woodwork machinery before cleaning, replacing blades or parts, and opening any covers for maintenance.
Learn how your machine sounds to understand what should be happening when all is well. Always listen and look for problems. Check bolt tightness, blade alignments, moving parts and cables to ensure they are fixed or moving as they should be.
Don’t overpower your machine. Build up to full force gradually. If you listen, you will often hear problems, stop as soon as something doesn’t sound right, and make checks and seek advice from the manual. If you are worried, you should always seek expert advice before continuing. Machines sound different under different loads, and whines or vibrations need attention. Much like a car, they need servicing to keep going as they should.
Pre-empting your machine’s needs is usually better than fixing a problem. Your machine may have warnings and prompts for maintenance, but warning lights should be a last resort. Regular maintenance and service checks can prevent downtime when you don’t have time. If something goes wrong, it could well be dangerous or damaging, so regularly checking serviceable machine parts can prevent injury or breakdown.
Woodworking is an inherently dusty process, so regularly check filters, oil, and grease points. Always use appropriate products according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. The wrong grease or oil can clog or insufficiently lubricate parts, causing damage.
Have the right products on hand
Having the correct grease and oils is essential if you don’t want to bung up the mechanics or cause more significant problems. Check out your manufacturer’s service guide or ask your woodworking machinery supplier for advice on what you can and should do for your equipment and understand when it’s best to call in the services of a woodworking machinery expert.
Spare blades and other serviceable replacement parts on hand will help you avoid downtime and the temptation to carry on with worn parts while you await delivery. Having replacement consumables for your model will keep your machine running and enable you to fix problems promptly yourself.
You may also find that periodic servicing by approved engineers is required to keep your warranty valid. They may also offer further tips to help you keep your woodworking machinery running sweetly for a long time.
Of course, maintaining your woodworking machinery undoubtedly helps extend its working life and reliability, but perhaps even more importantly, it’s essential to keep you safe. Make sure to read up on health and safety guidance and always seek the services of a reputable woodworking machinery supplier if you are unsure.
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