Spiral Cutterhead - worth the extra expense?

Page 2 of 2  
Duane Bozarth responds:

Personally, I believe that the cost of the segments will be less, overall, then the cost of HSS knives, and far less than carbide knives. There are advantages to the HSS--a better edge being the major one, added to lower start-up cost. The carbide knives can be sharpened, but not in most hobby shops (also a problem with any jointer knives over 6" long). The use of old knives with old wood is a good idea, but think of the extra set-up time needed. And what happens if you only have one set of old knives, and hit a hardened nail or two right off the bat.
I'm stuck with HSS knives for the foreseeable future, but somewhere down the road, I'd surely love to have an 8 or 12" spiral head jointer. And about 80 extra segments.
Charlie Self "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Charlie Self wrote:

...
That would seem difficult to achieve, but will undoubtedly depend very heavily on the type/extent of usage....if you use it for man-made materials, yes I can believe it...
...

It takes very little time actually w/ a jig and the leveling screw system of the Delta jointer head once you get relatively proficient. And, for reclaiming old material, I have two other practices tha keep it from being particularly slow...first, I don't worry about getting the knives aligned "gnat's ass"--close enough is ok, and second, I only do the change out if there's a significant amount of material at hand...otherwise I either clean it up enough to be safe or don't use the good toolset...

Far better than if those were your only <good> knives... :(

I bit the bullet, so to speak and bought a set of solid carbide knives a long time ago...they've been resharpened several times so far, and as I say I re-hone them manually on occasion...it doesn't really put an edge on them but does clean up the edge sufficiently they work much better and it lasts quite some time.
I also have two sets of HSS knives -- one for use while the carbide are at the sharpener's or if I need a <really> sharp edge for a special piece of material. The other set is the old "rough 'n ready" set that I keep moderately sharp but that does have a knick or two...
I have an ancient 8" Delta salvaged from a junior high shop that was, sadly allowed to be nearly destroyed by a group of young hoodlums...I've restored it to excellent working condition although it remains somewhat ugly and is missing things like the depth scale pointer, logos etc., that the kids tore up...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Stephen M responds:

It is a good argument for spiral head cutters.
I do move the heads, but spasmodically, not religiously.
Charlie Self "Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Charlie Self wrote:

The particular set of heads I remembered seeing weren't Grizzly. The individual inserts were roughly the same price but there were something like 128 or so altogether, so the total replacement would be $320. That, of course, isn't too terribly far removed from what a set of solid carbide knives of equivalent total length would be. It is true you do have a better chance of knicking only a subset, I grant, and again, assuming the carbide is good quality, they should last a long time as I noted...
But, I think you read more negative into my previous post than was <really> intended...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I have the 8" spiral and 6" straight. IMHO the spiral is worth the money for two reasons:
1. Easier to manage the cutters (replace, adjust, etc).
2. For face jointing wide boards, the machine "feels" smoother, which for me means a gentler hold, less stress on me, more focus on making the wood do what I want, etc.
As for surface quality, it's a close call for common woods. The straight leaves a washboard, the spiral leaves the occasional (and mostly invisible) fence-parallel lines (where the corners of the cutters are). I think the spiral results are better, and easier to clean up with a scraper when needed.
The 8" spiral seems quieter, but that might be because it's bigger and not because of the spiral cutter.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.