In our hardwood floor equipment repair shop, we see a lot of damaged equipment. Often, we find that a lot of these issues could have been prevented with a little bit of knowledge and simple maintenance!
Some of the more common mistakes we see contractors make with their equipment are the following. Have you made any of these mistakes before? If you have, it’s okay––now you can learn from them and start taking better care of your equipment!
1.) Over lubricating air tools, or under-lubricating them.
Keeping your pneumatic nailer properly lubricated helps the o-rings and other important parts of your nailer continue to operate efficiently. For example, o-rings are an important part of any pneumatic nailer because their function is to maintain a seal so that air does not leak out of your nailer. Since this tool is pneumatic, pressurized air is essential to its operation. Once the o-rings begin to fail, your nailer’s performance will suffer, and other parts of the machine may become damaged.
Generally speaking, to prevent lubrication-related problems with your nailer, you should add to 3 drops of oil daily. Try to get into the routine of adding the oil to your nailer once you’re done with work for the day. If you find that air is leaking out of your nailer and believe this is caused by failing o-rings, you may be able to replace them yourself, or you can bring it into a repair shop.
Remember, too, that you don’t want to move to the other end of the spectrum and add too much lubrication to your nailer, as this can cause its own set of issues.
2.) Using too much cable with their sanders, or using the wrong power cables.
Manufacturers recommend not exceeding 100 feet of cable with their sanders, edgers, and buffers. Make sure to maintain less than 100 feet of power cable, or whichever length of cable is specified in your machine’s owner’s manual. Using too much cable can cause your motor to overwork and therefore overheat, potentially causing long-term damage.
Using the incorrect gauge cable with your machine, or using a low-quality power cable, can also lead to overheating and threaten the integrity of the machine itself, or even lead to fires. Read the owner’s manual carefully to determine the voltage capacity which is needed for your particular machine’s power cables.
3.) Running edgers with multiple sandpaper discs secured to the machine.
Edgers are designed to use one sheet of paper at a time. Adding multiple sheets of paper to the machine stresses the threads on the paper retaining bolt and jack shaft, causing premature wear.
4.) Not adjusting the drum pressure when changing sanding grits.
Your must change your drum pressure whenever you change your sanding grits on the big machine. According to Lagler, “Sanding pressures with the big machine are tied to abrasive grits. The finer the grit, the less drum pressure you should use. The wood species matters, too. Softer woods should be sanded with less pressure, so not to cut too deeply into the floor.”
So every time you change your grit, you should also change the drum pressure on your big machine.
Check out this handy chart that Lagler has put together to help you determine which drum pressure settings should be used with different grits.
5.) Setting an edger to cut more aggressively.
An edger cutting too aggressively can cause a loss of dust pickup. This lack of dust pickup will lead to more dust building up in your machine, which leads us to our next point…
6.) Not keeping your machines clean.
Your machines should be blown off when ever they are turned off. You can disassemble your machine and use a compressed air machine to blow the dust out of it before storing it until the next job. Continually operating the machine with dust inside will sometimes lead to the dust becoming compacted within the machine. Sawdust causes parts to wear quicker and to malfunction more often, so it’s good practice to clean your machines out after each job.
7.) Not bringing in your machines for maintenance and checkups frequently enough.
Frequent machine check-ups (we recommend every few months) will help you catch minor problems before they turn into major problems and help to keep overall repair costs down. A prime example of this is contractors not checking the motor brushes on their armature frequently enough. If the brushes wear down completely they can damage the main electrical component of the machine, the armature. The price jobs for a quick $40 repair to a $500 repair.
The solution here is to either bring your machine into a repair shop for routine check-ups, or check out different areas of your machines which are subject to a lot of wear if you know exactly what to look out for.
Hardwood floor equipment repairs can be expensive, but with some know-how and daily maintenance, you start taking proper care of your machines and keep them running for a long time––the better you treat them, the better they will treat you! If you’d like to schedule an appointment with our hardwood floor machine repair shop, click here or call us at (800) 737-1786.