Powermatic P60 Gets an Upgrade
So I had mentioned previously that I thought it was a good time to upgrade the Powermatic 8" P60 Jointer and I had ordered the Shelix Head Helical cutter head which came in Tuesday. And it was probably the best packed package I've ever received. The cardboard wrapping around the box must have been 20-30 ply and it probably took a sheet metal brake to bend. Then the box is wood with holes drilled in wood blocks to protect the shaft, then wrapped in bubble wrap and tightly strapped with wide nylon straps. I think you could have dropped it from 2 stories and nothing would happen.
On to the assembly, as I wasn't all that comfortable with doing this myself I took the unit down to a point. I removed the fence assembly, lowered the infeed table, disconnected the drive belt (was out of alignment), removed the safety shield, and pretty much stopped. I knew there were two bolts holding the cutter head to the body but unsure if anything else needed doing 1st so my gut said to wait for the help that was coming. Besides there was precious little to get a wrench on as the bolt head seemed slightly recessed. SO Grey shows up on time and I hired him to do the install with me to assist if needed (not needed) and observe. What he did was remove those two bolts and then loosen the blocks holding the bearings. Both of these were way tighter then expected and we also discovered that the blocks were slightly oversized making the bearings a bit looser than expected.
That wasn't apparent at first as the bearing on the pulley end was hard to remove due to it having be "glued" to the block. Seems the blocks were a 1-2/1000th larger where the bearings would go than spec hence the looseness and glue. The outside diameter slightly larger almost having a wedge affect. Good thing Greg was there as I would have no idea what to do. Greg's business is machine repair so he's at home in this environment. Anyway with the head installed, the belt aligned, the belt tensioned, the outfeed table adjusted to 2-3/1000 above top dead center, and the fence back on we make sure everything is clear, cutters in proper position, and power on the jointer.
Definitely sounds different, quieter. First cut it became apparent that there's more drag across the cutters, takes more effort to push the wood across. And that makes sense as you have far more cutters shearing the wood. It just seemed more than I expected. Not bad but more....And another thing that's quickly evident, the shavings are definitely different. Instead of long curly cuttings you get these small squares, far easier for dust collectors.
Yes, I quickly cut some not so soft Maple and it was some kind of smooth. This was an interesting project and an upgrade that will make changing cutter far easier and faster than blades. One last thing to do on the jointer is find some material that will buffer the guard when it closes. It sounds like metal on metal. I tried some foam tape but the wood tears that up when it rubs past it. It's a minor issue but an annoying one.
Last edited by sreilly; 09-06-2019 at 07:10 PM.