Beaver 3800 jointer restoration

Beaver 3800 Jointer Restoration Pt. 2

In part 1 of the jointer restoration I took the jointer apart down to the nuts and bolts. I then washed the larger parts of the jointer in warm soapy water in to remove the accumulated grease and sawdust. This step is important as the primer may not work as well if you don’t remove the grease from the surface.

Jointer restoration

All the parts taped up ready for painting.

Once the parts all dried I set about masking off the jointer for painting. This took a while, and a lot of painters tape. Tip – a sharp utility knife makes all the difference in this step. I was especially careful on any threads that were at risk of collecting paint…that would not be a fun clean up job. With the parts all taped off, I applied one coat of primer, followed by two to three coats of paint.

I debated my choice of colour for a while before settling on black. I was considering the repainting it the original grey colour, but the grey just wasn’t working for me. I then considered vintage power tool green (something like the General tools), but the only other piece of equipment in my shop that colour is my bandsaw, and I plan on replacing that. That led me to my one of my favourite pieces of equipment, my Sawstop cabinet saw. I decided to paint the jointer in a Sawstop inspired theme – black with red accents. black and red is easy to overdo, and I didn’t want it to look tacky, so I settled on only using red on the legs of the base. I used enamel spray paint. Initially I planned on a gloss black paint, but I tried a bit of matte black and absolutely loved it. It reminded me of an anvil.

Beaver 3800 jointer restoration

Fence guide rods

While the paint cured, I got to work on the metal parts such as the fence glide rods, the many little bolts, screws and linkages. I used sandpaper, ascending in grit from 100 to 220 to 400, to work everything up to a shine, followed by some metal polish. Once the paint dried, I removed the painters tape from the bed and fence faces, and used a palm sander with increasingly fine sandpaper to remove rust and polish up the surface. While this may seem like a pretty risky way to do this, it takes a lot of effort to actually create a divot doing this, so you’re probably safe. The pork chop is one of the best parts of the machine – I sanded the paint off the details.

Jointer motor electrical

The death trap power cord and switch

The cutterhead was packed with 60 year old grease and sawdust, as were the bearings. I removed the blades and chip breakers and submerged the bearings and cutterhead in turpentine to dissolve the grease. Turpentine is nasty stuff, so only use it in a well ventilated place! I then cleaned up the rust on the cutterhead, and repacked the bearings with a gratuitous amount of grease. I ordered a new set of jointer blades from Amazon, and they arrived well packed and sharp. I bought a replacement belt from a lawnmower store, as it was the only place that seemed to have the right v-belt size.

Jointer motor grounding

Motor rewired and grounded

The only thing left was to rip out and replace the power cable, add a safety switch and ground the motor. The motor sat directly on the steel frame, so it was especially important to ground the body of the motor to prevent accidents. With the switch wired into the motor and the new power cable, the jointer was ready to be reassembled.

Putting the jointer body back together was fairly straightforward. I expected some confusion but it was surprisingly intuitive. The only difficult part was inserting the cutterhead back in, as the belt has to be inserted beforehand, and the cutterhead needs to be held up while the bearings are tightened in place. It was only me, so a number of failures later, I had them all in. The fence was anything but simple to reassemble, but luckily I took photos beforehand and used them as a guide.

Beaver 3800 Jointer pork chop

Beaver 3800 Pork Chop

With the jointer fully reassembled, I spent a few more hours getting the infeed and outfeed beds coplanar and level (before setting the cutting depth, of course), and a couple more hours setting the blade heights in the cutterhead. Both these adjustments were pretty complicated, but there are plenty of tutorials online outlining the processes so I won’t go into details here. A few more minutes to set the fence square, and the jointer restoration was finally done. I’m really pleased with how it turned out – it’s a breeze to use and it works really well. For half the price of the cheapest 6″ jointer on the market, I now have a lifetime-quality tool, ready to work for another 60 years before I sell it on to a future woodworker who hasn’t been born yet.

Beaver 3800 fence system restored

Beaver 3800 Fence System

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