Well, today I was able to talk to a guy named Norbert in Kaslo, B.C. who runs tersaknives.com. He's Swiss and definitely knows his stuff. I told him what I had done and as I feared, the cutterhead will have to come out. It was a bit of a mix of good and bad news actually. Removing the gib plates from the head means that they would need to be sent back to the factory (ie., SCM) or to Tersa in Switzerland, to be put back on and be properly rebalanced. However, he said I had taken a reasonable step given the rust on the cutterhead and the sticky operation of the floating wedges. He said that anytime you buy a used machine that has been sitting for a while, like the one I bought, then it is wise to at least budget for a new Tersa head. The Tersa head needs to function flawlessly, and if there is any question about whether those floating bars will smoothly slide up and lock the knives in place, it is wiser to err on the side of caution and install a new head. Imagine the damage if one of the bars didn't lock the knife properly and then you fed wood into it - that could cause all sorts of expensive carnage. So, it looks like I'll may be getting a new Tersa cutterhead, and it will possibly be one of the newer types that does not have the bolt-on gib plates.
I spent a few hours today working on the machine, trying to remove the cutterhead. The head rides in a pair of NSK 6208DU bearings, which are 80mmx40mmx18mm. These bearings are fixed laterally in the carrier by a pair of large spring clips. Finding a tool to remove these large spring clips took two trips, out to four different stores, and eventually I picked up a pair of long neck bent-tip needlenose pliers that did the job. Finding quality industrial tools in my area is problematic and I hate not having the right tool for the job. Removing those clips allowed me to move the head laterally side to side, however I now need to remove the pulley on the end of the arbor and I am unsure whether the Allen head screw which holds the pulley on comes off clockwise or anti-clockwise. I'm suspecting clockwise, however I'll check with SCM first before heaving on it.
I will also talk to a few other technician about the head and see if there might be other opinions on the matter. I have learned from Edward Papa at Simantech, Inc. that SCM does not make the Tersa head- it was actually another Italian company called MBM. MBM makes all of the Tersa 'Monoblock' style heads for the Italian machines, just as Martin makes the Tersa heads from the German machinery market. So, I've sent MBM an email to see what they say, and will talk to SCM USA tomorrow. In another day or two I should have a good idea as to which course of action to take.
Meanwhile, I've moved my planer over to sit next to the Hitachi resaw, and I think it will work well in this location:
The home of the green monsters, the new Fenway Park perhaps.
I should be able to tuck them in a little tighter, which will entail moving the down-pipe for dust collection back a foot or two. I've also shifted the bandsaw to the side about a foot and brought it forward slightly.