Out of all the equipment, the edger probably requires the most maintenance because of hours of use, high RPMs, and the dusty environment that it creates. The on/off switch, paper retaining bolt, casters, and edger pad are some of the most common problem areas on hardwood floor edgers.
Here’s a guide to fixing some of those common problems.
Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines when using and repairing machinery. Although it may include some discussion of repair techniques, this post is not intended as an instructional manual.
On/off switch needs replacing: Regular use of the on/off switch can lead to it breaking down and no longer functioning properly. One workaround that people sometimes do which should NOT be done is to wire the cord direct––this is an extremely unsafe solution and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, use a voltage meter to test the continuity function on either side of the switch. If it fails the test, your switch likely needs replacing.
To replace the switch, remove the switch handle and take the switch assembly out of the handle. Attach the new switch and wrap it with electrical tape before fastening it in (making sure the “off” side of the switch is on the correct side of the machine), reassemble the switch handle, and test the switch to make sure there is no reading on your voltage meter when the switch is in the “off” position.
Watch our video tutorial on replacing the switch on a Clarke B2 Edger for more detailed steps:
Buildup on casters: The casters on your edger should allow the machine to glide over the floor for a smooth cut. However, buildup of filler or debris on the casters themselves causes the bearings to bind. Regularly using of graphite powder to lubricate the casters is a solid fix––do it before the buildup is too much.
Paper bolt isn’t tight: When you change the paper on an edger, over time debris can work its way down the jack shaft and build up. Every time the bolt is tightened, this buildup gets pressed down compacted. Eventually, you have a situation where the paper doesn’t seem to be tight, and it spins while the washer and bolt are tightened. Padding the bolt with pads or extra pieces of paper is a common quick fix, but this is not recommended because this decreases the edger’s dust pickup abilities and can strip the threads of the retaining bolt.
This is an easy fix––the best way to get rid of the buildup at the bottom of the shaft is to drill it out or tap out the hole with a using a tap-and-die set to keep the shaft clean.
To prolong the life of the jack shaft, change the paper with the edger on its side instead of upside-down to prevent too much debris from falling down the shaft, and clean out the shaft regularly.
Hopping: Hopping can occur when the abrasive you’re using is new, worn or bent. Often this is manifested in the edger bouncing uncontrollably after changing the abrasive disc. Once the casters are set for the proper pitch front to back and the proper position (between 12 o’clock and 1 o’clock), the new sanding pad assembly should be dressed to the machine to eliminate hopping. If the abrasive disc is worn or bent, simply replace it with a new one and dress it before using the edger again.
Proper maintenance will extend the life of your edger and have it running great every time you start it up on a job.
Get more detailed instructions on routine edger repairs from our white paper on this topic.