Replacing Drive Belt W588 Planer Thicknesser

Replacing Drive Belt W588 Planer Thicknesser

Replacing Drive Belt W588 Planer Thicknesser is easier than you think. It doesn’t take long and should be within the the skill set of any DIY/Woodworker.

Charnwood W588 Planer/Ticknesser
Charnwood W588 Planer/Ticknesser (Image from Charnwood website).


I purchased a planer/thicknesser recently from Charnwood via Westcountry Machinery 4 wood at the inaugural Exeter Woodwork show. This is part of an investment in new woodworking equipment, that takes advantage of the new workshop I am building. The main new item will be a proper table saw.  Hence the larger size workshop. I also received a  generous cash present from SWMBO (she who must be obeyed)so decided to buy the Charnwood W588 Planer Thicknesser.

The table saw is being held over Christmas and delivered after the 24th January 2017 when the new workshop arrives. Because it is smaller I got to take the W588 home with me. The first trial used the plane function, followed by bringing some slats (garden bench) to the correct thickness.

After a few false starts I got to grips with its operation and was impressed that it produced such a good finish and consistent size. On completion however I made my error (and not the machines). The manual clearly states that the tool should be used in conjunction with an extraction system (which I read after!). I didn’t have any suitable connectors and got sucked into getting all the slats done, when I only intended to try it out!

Where I went wrong!

When I came to use it a few days ago I wanted to clean up some old teak from a garden bench that had seen better days.  I set it up to use the planer part of the tool and after fitting the dust extractor, switched it on.  All of a sudden a lot of blue smoke started to come from the main side cover!

The machine was quickly stopped. On investigation I found that there was significant sawdust around the blades. This resulted in the main motor spinning at high speed, straight through the rubber drive belt! Oops. After giving myself a strong bol(*&^ng the sawdust was removed from under the top safety cover.

Replacing the W588 Planer Thicknesser Belt

My discovery that the tool should operate with an extraction system and the failure  to check that all the sawdust built up around the blades was cleared, meant it was my error. Westcountry Machinery 4 Wood were contacted to see if I could get a replacement belt. Their ever helpful salesman, said he would speak to Charnwood and that they would call me back direct.

True to their word the Charnwood representative phoned and listened to my tale. Without prompting he said they would send a replacement belt in the post free of charge.  I must admit to being pleasantly surprised and it arrived the very next day. So thank you Charnwood5 star treatment.

Prior to the belt arriving I researched the web and Youtube to see how to change the belt. Surprisingly I found very little about my particular machine so I would just have to work it out.  The method I used is to replace the belt is covered in the video below.

There are other manufacture’s ‘badged’ similar machines, so even if yours is not a Charnwood then it could be relevant for you.

The Planer/Thicknesser itself.

Charnwood Planer/thicknesser  main specification (copied direct from their website.)

8” Planing Capacity
8” x 5” Thicknessing Capacity
Aluminium Tables To Minimise Weight
Extruded Guide Fence For Accuracy
Tilting Fence With Twin Guides
Rubber Coated Feed Rollers
100mm Diameter Chip Extraction Outlet

Charnwood have produced a short video that gives a good indication of the tools performance. Whilst I haven’t spent a great deal of time at the moment using it I have been pleasantly surprised at its performance.

I will update this article later after I have more experience.  One benefit I do see even now is the ability to recycle/ reclaim/ and salvage wood.  For example I have the old teak bench that would have been thrown out, but now can be salvaged and reused.

Thank you for watching.

If you are interested in this great addition to the workshop check out my eBay affiliate link below.

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One thought on “Replacing Drive Belt W588 Planer Thicknesser

  1. Thanks! Exactly the same thing happened to me on a similar ALDI model. I had just attached the chute underneath, turned it on and smoke poured out of the cover. I think it is a design flaw / user error. If the chute if over-tightened then the blade roller jams and the motor roller just spins on the belt. I got a replacement 5JP605 belt from aliexpress. My lesson: stop turning the handle once you hear the safety switch click and check that the blade can freely rotate before powering up!

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