If somebody has experience or relevant comments on the spiral heads used in
Shop Fox machines, I would like to know. My main interest is the W1724
Planer. The second interest is the W1705 Jointer. I think that the Grizzly
G0526 is from Shop Fox, but I don't know the original model number.
Could you comment on installation, surface quality, maintenance, and cost of
I have a SF 20 inch planer with blades and it is an excellent machine
but I also have a friend who paid the extra thousand dollar for one
with the spiral cutter head. No comparison in finish, boards from his
are almost ready to use and require only light finish sanding.
SF is Grizzly but a considerably upscale Grizzly. Fit, finish, and
set up are much better. Between my friend and I we have two shapers,
two 20 inch planers, and two 8" inch jointers with conventional blades
and aside from one of the two jointers fence not being perfectly
square to the table they've been ready to go out of the box.
The motor on my planer friend after about twenty minutes use but a
call to SF had a new 90lb. motor at my door in three days. No problems
I think SF is one of the best values on the market and if you've hate
sanding and have an extra thousand dollars you'll love the spiral
On 2 Aug 2004 03:46:23 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (WillaimC) wrote:
This is the one with the many little carbide square chips, right?
What's blade changing like? I'm guessing simple, but time consuming
in that there are so many of them.
Anyone used the spiral cutterhead that has blades the full width? I
think it's from Powermatic.
He hasn't had to deal with the blades yet but there are a bunch of
them and I imagine it would take some time but probably not much
longer than trying to get four regular blades set. It does come with
the necessary tools and each blade has four cutting surfaces and may
be loosened and rotated when it needs replacing.
The system from PM is called flexblade and I've heard that it's not
I am looking forward to hear your usage experience. In the meanwhile,
perhaps you could tell the price your paid for the machine and shipping?
How long it took? Were you happy for the service?
Could you also clarify the model number? My understanding is that
1684 = "standard" 8 inch cutter
1724 = spiral head 8 inch cutter
1784 = ????
It's actually the 1704 (althought the manual that comes with it is for
the 1684 with an insert for the spiral cutterhead). You can look it
up on the Japan Woodworker website --
http://www.japanwoodworker.com/dept.asp?dept_id 885 -- which is
where I bought it. I paid $1395. I'm frankly not sure if this is the
best price out there, buy they are only a few miles from my house and
they delivered it for free! They also had it at my door with 5 days
of ordering it. I was going to buy the grizzly version of this
jointer (Grizzly and Shopfox are owned by the same company/person),
but they are back ordered 3-6 months and I didn't want to wait that
long. The Grizzly model is the G0543 and it is $1195 plus $80 to ship
it. The power switch for the Shop Fox version is nicer but other than
that they appear to be identical.
I got it up and running this weekend (set-up was straight forward
although get help in lifting the 200-300 pound table onto the base).
It did a beatiful job on douglas fir and mahogany. Very little
tearout and almost no milling marks -- with no adjustment other than
lining up the outfeed table. I'm a bit impatient when feeding stock
through and I'm sure you could get a better finish with a very slow
and steady feed rate.
I ran a 6" wide quartersawn white oak board through it and the finish
was fantastic. It might need a pass or two with a smooting plane to
remove a few mill marks but other than that it's basically ready to
finish. I also ran a piece of cocobolo through it and it produced a
very nice finish with no tear out. It does leave some very light
lines along the long axis of the wood (from small imperfections in the
indexible blades I presume), but no ripple whatsoever. This is my
first jointer and I don't have much of a basis for comparison but my
neighboor who has a 50 year old 6" Rockwell jointer was impressed.
My only complaint is that the adjustment mechanism to make the fence
square to the table takes some trial and error to get it set
correctly. Once set, it has stayed perfectly square, but the
adjustment mechanism is not very precise and took me 15 minutes of
fiddling to get it square.
I'm happy so far and would buy it again.... but ask me again in a few
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