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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Default Planer Advise

I have had the use of a nice powermatic helical head planer in my Jr College class however the current instructor is retiring in a couple of weeks and it is ify whether the class will continue in the fall. Sooooo, I am seeking advise for what planer I should invest in. Although the planer I am used to is a 18 inch model, I know that a 15" model will more than adequately take care of my planing needs. What I am seeking advise on is is the Shelix heads worth the extra money and which brands are the most substantial? $1500 is my limit.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 11:15 AM
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Its going to be tough getting a 15" spiral head planer for $1500. Looking at Grizzly, they have the machine linked below, and that is about the lowest price you are going to find with a 15" spiral head. ($1845 with freight or $1695 if you can do a local pickup)

Grizzly.com

The other option is get the Dewalt DW735 ($649) and get the Byrd upgrade kit ($447), which will get you under your budget, but will be a smaller machine.

Shop DEWALT 15-Amp 3-Blade Planer at Lowes.com

Byrd Shelix Head for DeWalt DW735 Planer - Holbren

-Mike
Visit my woodworking blog: http://madermadeit.com/
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by oldcowboy View Post
I have had the use of a nice powermatic helical head planer in my Jr College class however the current instructor is retiring in a couple of weeks and it is ify whether the class will continue in the fall. Sooooo, I am seeking advise for what planer I should invest in. Although the planer I am used to is a 18 inch model, I know that a 15" model will more than adequately take care of my planing needs. What I am seeking advise on is is the Shelix heads worth the extra money and which brands are the most substantial? $1500 is my limit.
Shelix heads are worth the money, period. There's a big difference in a generic "spiral cutter" head and the Shelix, the cutters on the Shelix are angled to the feed path giving a shear cut(think "shear helical"). Other spiral heads have the cutters perpendicular to the feed path so the effect is like a bunch of little straight knives with the attendant problem of tearout, just like a 3-knife cutterhead.

Your best bet for your budget will be either the Dewalt 735 and the Byrd head or a used piece of old iron that's structurally sound and can be fitted with the Byrd head. Watch your budget here, 15-18" heads are expensive.

Or you could drive to Atlanta and buy my 735/Byrd combo for half your budget(see the for sale forum).

I have a Powermatic jointer with the Shelix head and their 15HH planer arriving next week(that's why the Dewalt is for sale). I'll never go back to straight knives on either machine.

Best,
Bill
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 09:41 PM
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+1 on Bill's comments. All of them. I put a Byrd Shelix on my DW735 a few weeks ago--ran some very gnarly ash through it as a test, would have started the sanding at 220 grit. And it's a lot quieter. The set-up he has for sale would be in the $1200-$1300 range new, and you'd still have to swap out from the factory head--given a choice i'd rather have somebody else do that, but it's done!!

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 08:02 AM
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Take the time to fill out your profile.
It would be helpful to know the other tools in your shop.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 08:40 AM
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I own the Grizzly. I am sure there is better out there for more money, but the results I get from my griz is close to a 150 sanding. Probably run 1000 ln ft through it and have not turned a blade.

I also own their 8" jointer with H carbide and am very happy with it as well.

I have some pics of them at work on my facebook like page. Ritzendollar Woodworking.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, for all the great advise. Looks like I may have to opt for the Dewalt dw735 and get the Shelix head. The large powermatic planer with helical head I have gotten used to has spoiled me a bit, but I'm sure necessity will make the downsize more paletable. As Mary Poppins says, "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-19-2014, 11:39 AM
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I see you filled out your profile. Thanks!
I'm surprised no jointer is listed.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Default Planer Advise

Thanks again for all the helpful advise. I have located a Delta 22-790X used, but like new that I can pick up and the Shelix head for it it is $740 and change which would only put me a bit over budget. Anyone have any experience with the Delta?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 09:38 AM
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It's not really a Delta. I have a King Canada (also not really a King) and a cousin bought the Delta. I can't tell the components apart. Same columns, same main casting, same gearbox, same motor, etc.

I have run thousands of feet of rough lumber through mine and it is still going strong. Much of it was white birch that had been drying for years. It does an excellent job on softwoods but it tends to chip the birch out but the spiral head may fix that. It will take a 1/8" bite even in the birch.

I've included a picture for you to compare the Delta to. Pardon the clutter in the photo.
I took the dust collector chute off mine. My DC couldn't keep up to the chips this thing can make and I couldn't keep up to cleaning the bag out.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.

Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 01-22-2016 at 01:39 PM.
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