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Porter Cable Plane totally dead after working a minute


I have a Porter cable 653 Versa Plane with probably less than an hour's use on it. Bought 20 years ago and kept in case. Needed it for smoothing a joist, worked for only one minute and quit working. Won't restart. Checked power with a voltmeter, getting 120V. Tried another outlet, same thing, plane is totally dead. Should I try working on this. Seems built very well with removable covers. First I could check switch with ohmmeter but doubt that's the problem. Any help appreciated.


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  • 3 more comments 
  • sdooley350 Jun 24, 2009


    I took the cover off the on off switch on the plane (porter Cable 653 versa plane) and it was very clean (used no more than 1 hour). I used a Fluke ohmeter and checked the switch. It had continuity on both the hot and neutral (both switched w 2 pole switch) when trigger pushed and no continuity when released. There was a screw in brush holder which had a spring loaded brush which looked fine. I reinserted brush and put the plane back together and it still wouldn't work. I guess next I need to look at the motor connections. Any ideas?

  • sdooley350 Jun 25, 2009


    I should have checked the second brush. I notice one of the brushes is stuck and won/t come out rather than moving freely up and down with the spring. I'm sure this is the problem but don't know how to force the brush back. Not sure if this is because the planer sat in the attic in its case for several years before being moved inside. Didn't operate it for 22 years.

    Thanks for any ideas.

  • sdooley350 Jun 25, 2009

    Sorry to keep adding more info but the brush that is stuck is stuck in the brush holder which looks to be made of brass. Rather than risk breaking the brush I sprayed w WD40 for now. Hope to get it loose but may have to order a new brush. Then I hope replacing the brush fixes the problem rather than being from some other cause. The planer was working, sat in case (sometimes in hot attic) for 22 years, then ran for one minute before quitting.

  • sdooley350 Jun 26, 2009


    I took a needle nose pliers and tried to pull the brush out using the wire but the wire broke loose from the brush leaving the outer portion of the brush still lodged in the brass brush holder and the rest of the brush being pulled out leaving a hole. Using a screwdriver I removed half of the brush still lodged. Next I'll take an allen wrench and remove the brush holder which I probably should have done 1st last time. In the meantime I called a porter cable service center where they informed me brushes were no longer available for my model. They suggested either a motor repair shop or bringing the good brush to them to try finding something similar. Unfortunately they are 80 miles from here but don't know what else to try. I Appreciate your help so far. Guess that's the way to get you to buy the newer model.

  • sdooley350 Jun 29, 2009

    Thanks ProHydroRace for the suggestion to try hardware stores. Ace hardware had a nice selection. Didn'tcheck NAPA but they might have had bushes too. Picked one with dimensions same on brush except for length. Since tension was greater and wire 3/4" longer, desoldered their wire from round contact, cut wire, inserted wire in hole from old contact after shortening, used dremel to cut off 1/4 of new brush length. Ended up with something virtually the same as the old brush. Put together and ... IT WORKS.

    Thanks for your help. Would have been hard to replace with another planer with as short a time I used the planer.



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The power switch may be dirty. Try blow it out with air and or solvent.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • ProHydroRace Jun 25, 2009

    The brush is made of carbon and the holder is brass. The two different material should not stick together. The brush may have broken jamming a piece between the holder and brush. Check that the wire going to the brush is still attached. Can you use a needle point pliers to remove brush? If not you may have to disassemble the whole motor to get to the brush. I have done it on an electric B&D is a pain to get to.

  • ProHydroRace Jun 26, 2009

    Hold on a minute. At many oy your local hardware stores (the older store the better) talk with the guy in the back of the store. Many times they will have a selection of motor brushes. If that doesn't work I would search the net for replacements. Good luck.

  • ProHydroRace Jun 29, 2009

    I love those ACE Hardware stores. Prices are on the higher side BUT they seem to have what you need. I raced boats for years and I called ACE my place for Racing Gear...from glues, epoxies, paint, and hardware.



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