The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Drying and Processing => Topic started by: petefrom bearswamp on March 15, 2010, 06:51:37 PM

Title: Planer heads
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 15, 2010, 06:51:37 PM
Anyone out there used the Bird Shelix head on their planer?
I have a Bridgewood 20" with their spiral head that sucks.
It will not take a 1/8" cut on two 6" spruce boards.
I have had trouble with this machine from the get go, about 6 years ago.
It was 5 HP single phase to begin with and after calling several times, changing, out the motor for a new 5HP, which didn't help and then returning to York PA for a demo on how it wouldn't cut, upgraded to a 10 HP 3 phase (which cost me $700 for a phase converter ) still wont plane a modest cut in softwoods.
I am at my wits end with this machine.
Please help.

Title: Re: Planer heads
Post by: Handy Andy on March 15, 2010, 11:29:51 PM
  I have a Byrd shelix on my jointer, it works great.  And also have a Woodmaster 18" with woodmasters helical head, same thing.  It also has a 5 hp motor, and doesn't really like 1/8" cut.  But I can cut a full width board 1/16". No problem.  But when I mess up and go with 1/8", it will kill it.  I'd like to have a planer that will take more of a cut, planing a stack of lumber down to 3/4" just takes too long.
Title: Re: Planer heads
Post by: Ironwood on March 16, 2010, 12:10:38 AM
  Like I said before I had never heard of this issue. Make me think I LIKE my straight noisy knives. My 24" Powermatic can hog off 3/16" full width not a problem. :P I'll listen and learn (havent drop the BIG change on a Shelix for any machine yet)

Title: Re: Planer heads
Post by: Cedarman on March 16, 2010, 06:58:45 AM
Ours is 26"  with 15hp motor northtech that I switched from straight knives to helix head.  Can run 100,000 feet of cedar through it and barely dull the knives.  Take of 3/16 to 1/4" each pass to hog juck cedar into shavings to regrind for specialized sawdust.  Can run 3  6" boards at a time. at 20 plus linear feet / minute.  Hard to keep up with feeding it at that rate.  I would never ever go back to straight knives.  So much less pull at knots.  Switched over 6 or 7 years ago.
Infeed speed has a lot to do with how well it works too.
Title: Re: Planer heads
Post by: Larry on March 16, 2010, 07:14:20 AM
I have a planer with the Byrd Shelix.  I think it may cut a little easier than straight knifes but not enough to make a noticeable difference.

If you don't like your machine now, you will like it even less after spending the bucks for a new head.

Do you have an Asian motor?  It's been my experience most won't put out there rated horsepower.

Title: Re: Planer heads
Post by: Larry on March 16, 2010, 07:26:45 AM
Just had another thought.  Is your phase converter a static or rotary?  Static converters will only let a motor run at 2/3's of there rated horsepower...and some motors just don't like static converters.

Title: Re: Planer heads
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on March 23, 2010, 04:42:46 PM
Hi all,
Been negligent in viewing the form for several days.
I wish I had kept my 15" Jet straight knife (but god awful noisy especially with my big dust collector running)  for the rough work so I could then finish with the Bridgewood as it makes a very nice surface. Are you coming to Skaneateles this summer?
My planer's motor is a 10 HP US made Baldor, the converter is a rotary with a 15 HP Marathon motor, but made in china which surprised me..
Checked the voltage and amperage when I built the converter and all was in spec.
When i hit the lottery I may get the Byrd head.
Thanks to all for the responses.