Well finally after a two month wait I got my byrd spiral cutterhead today
. It is a generic 6" head and we were not sure if it would fit the shopfox or
not. How's this for a box?
They included 10 replacement cutters and the tool to fit them.
I bought replacement bearings and that's a good thing I did not want to try to
remove the old ones it was worth the extra 15.00
I had to use a block of wood to install the bearings but it only took some
extra time. It is easy to remove the old cutterhead you just lower both tables
all the way and t here are two nuts on the bottom of the casting to remove and
it comes out. Installing it is just a reverse. The key was a very tight fit so
I had to install the pulley before I put the cutterhead back on.
So I get it all tight raise the table to find the cutterhead just hit it. Well
not all of the cutters just a few. It's the same with the infill table too. So
I remove it and hit the edges with the angle grinder a couple of tries and the
problem is solved. I am not sure if the head was a bit too big around or it's
just the tables I know I had to make sure the knives were down in the cutterhead
a fair amount or they hit the tables too.
But once that was done I got the tables back to normal and everyone else stood
back when I turned it on (G) it makes a different sound spinning I think it may
just be the new bearing sound. Now the really scary part running the firs piece
of wood through. Well it works though I have to adjust the outfeed table a bit.
A perfect cut. Well almost. You get a few marks like when you use a flat blade
on a smoothing plane you can feel the slight planning marks. I see that but it
is no worse then the ripples you get with a regular blade. The wood is nice and
shiny and no tearout. I tried bubinga and a couple other tropicals and some
curly maple and plain cherry and they came out shiny and tearout free. The feed
speed is as slow as when I had a back bevel on the knives. But it cuts far
quieter then the regular head.
That is truly a piece of tooling that looks like it should work
I recall, although I don't recall the source, a discussion about freshly
machined 'shiny' wood. One side of the discussion called it a phenomenon
similar to 'case-hardening' in metal. The mechanical action, so the
discussion went, left a glazed barrier layer, micro thin, on the surface
of the wood.
I have experienced 'shiny' output from my planer and noticed, that
unless I scuffed it with 220 grit, the sealer coat simply wouldn't soak
in as well. I noticed this on a solid cherry toe-kick where the
'out-of-sight' side behaved quite differently through the finishing
stages causing me to experiment.
I have also sanded walnut burl progressively to 4000 grit, which also
became pleasantly 'shiny' and the finish soaked in quite well.
Has anyone here experienced that?
Or are the bats in my belfry on the rampage again?
Heat is the issue. A board beaten into burnished condition by dull blades
or sanded unto ridiculous grits under power can turn back oil finishes. One
of the benefits of setting with water before final sanding - by hand - is
that it helps break this "case-hardening." Most glues are water-based to
some degree, so the benefits should extend to an edge produced by a
moderately dull jointer.
I like the way the cutters cut at an angle. Somehow I
thought they were just staggered, not also angled. The shop
where my son works has a great big ol' spiral cutter planer.
He said when they got dull the company sent out two men who
spent all day rotating the cutters. (They probably serviced
other parts too).
The ones on the grizzly website seem to be the way you describe them:
just staggered. The ones from byrdtools though are turned a little.
Byrd claims theirs are better, but I'm not sure I could tell the
I guess it would be a slicing action since the knives are at an angle.
So are these cutters indexed or is there some sort of alignment tool?
I like the idea of buying the cutter head separately. You could start
out with a normal planer or jointer, then upgrade later.
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