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Other topics for members => General Woodworking => Topic started by: xlogger on April 05, 2014, 06:02:28 AM

Title: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: xlogger on April 05, 2014, 06:02:28 AM
Are the Byrds spiral head the best, are there any difference with one from the other? I'm in the market for finding a planer. I'm thinking I would like a 20" with a spiral head. I never used a planer before and just want one, maybe on my cedar lumber. Looks like I'll have to go the new route, not many used one with spiral heads out there.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: ron barnes on April 05, 2014, 07:44:23 AM
I would recommend looking at the Grizzly planers.  They have all different setups.  I plan on getting the G0454Z with spiral cutterhead when I get off new contract.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: George Walnut on April 05, 2014, 11:09:34 AM
We only run Tersa Cutterheads in our shop. After using them for about 2 years now, I dont think we would ever be able to go back to straight blade or spiral! I would highly suggest looking into buying a machine with a tersa over a spiral any day.

With Tersa you will be able to change blades in under a minute.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: petefrom bearswamp on April 05, 2014, 11:35:19 AM
Spiral heads are not all they are cracked up to be, but Byrd is advertised as a  true helical which is angled to the cut.
Spiral heads are straight.
My bridgewood 20" spiral won't take much of a cut without stalling.
Was advertised as quiet which it is and using less hp which it doesnt.
I upgraded from 5 single phase to 10 hp 3 phase and it still wont take a very deep cut.
My old 15" Jet straight blade would hog about 3/16 across the bed with no problem.
An explanation I got from a guy which seems to make sense is that straight blades have a millisecond without contact to the piece while straight spirals are always in contact with it while helical heads slice instead of chop.
George, I would like to find out more about Tersa, maybe I'll google it.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: scsmith42 on April 05, 2014, 04:02:16 PM
I have a 25" Oliver jointer / planer with a carbide insert spiral cutterhead, and a 16" Sheppach with a Tersa style (Leica) cutterhead.  Before that I have a couple of large dedicated jointers and planers with carbide insert spiral.

For finish work, I prefer the Tersa style.  For rough sawn boards and high production work, I prefer the carbide insert spiral.

Byrd Shelix is very nice, but the Grizzly is definitely ok.  One nice thing about the carbide inserts for rough sawn boards is if a piece of metal, gravel, etc accidentally goes through the machine, it's a snap just to turn one insert.  Plus the carbide inserts stay sharp much longer than the HSS knives in the Tersa style.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: xlogger on April 06, 2014, 06:42:25 AM
On Amazon they have a grizzly GO 454Z Spiral head 20" for $2525.00 plus freight but the two reviews are bad. My uncle has a General made in Canada that he likes but they are not in that price. I know most everything made now is from China and the things I have that come from there are not made as well as I would like. But I never spent that kind of money to get something that might possible give me trouble.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: Busy Beaver Lumber on April 06, 2014, 07:52:52 AM
I have been perfectly happy with the spiral cut head on the grizzly 15 inch surface planer i have and many that i have planed wood for have said it has produced a far superior finish than that they have seen off of other planers. I like the spiral cutter on on grizzly jointer too.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: Larry on April 06, 2014, 11:03:20 AM
A made in the USA Northfield 18 planer with Byrd Shelix head is priced north of $20,000.  Maybe that puts the Grizzly machine in perspective.

The price difference is the reason we no longer have Powermatic, Oliver, and a whole host of other manufactures here.

Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: scsmith42 on April 06, 2014, 06:14:52 PM
You might want to check out this auction in Lakeview NC for some high quality used equipment:

http://www.auctionzip.com/cgi-bin/auctionview.cgi?lid=2065276&kwd=&zip=27217&category=8
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: hardtailjohn on April 07, 2014, 12:46:37 AM
When any of you upgrade a 20" to a spiral head, let me know...I'll buy the old head from you!
John
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: hackberry jake on April 07, 2014, 07:26:00 PM
When any of you upgrade a 20" to a spiral head, let me know...I'll buy the old head from you!
John
Whatchu gunna do with the old head?
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: shinnlinger on April 07, 2014, 09:06:54 PM
I have a 20" powermatic helical head and it has held up to high school shop class very well.  4 years w/out rotating the cutters.   About a week into it a kid did run a drywall screw in it, but I just changed the location of the 5 affected cutters so they would clean up for each other vs rotating them.

It is true, the old 18" rockwell could hog off alot more wood than the powermatic, but that is not always a good thing in a school setting and the helical head leaves a nice finish and is alot quieter as noted.
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: hardtailjohn on April 08, 2014, 03:27:29 PM
When any of you upgrade a 20" to a spiral head, let me know...I'll buy the old head from you!
John
Whatchu gunna do with the old head?

Jake, I wound up with a bent shaft/head on a 20" Jet I bought at auction..... I don't know just how they did it, but it's pretty far out of whack, I also have about 7 or 8 sets of new knives, so instead of "upgrading" to a spiral, I'd just as soon buy someone's head that they have left over from an upgrade.
John
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: Bill Gaiche on April 08, 2014, 09:07:07 PM
When any of you upgrade a 20" to a spiral head, let me know...I'll buy the old head from you!
John
Whatchu gunna do with the old head?

Jake, I wound up with a bent shaft/head on a 20" Jet I bought at auction..... I don't know just how they did it, but it's pretty far out of whack, I also have about 7 or 8 sets of new knives, so instead of "upgrading" to a spiral, I'd just as soon buy someone's head that they have left over from an upgrade.
John
I have mine left over from replacing Byrd. I don't plan on ever using it again. We are a long way apart for shipping. bg
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: hardtailjohn on April 10, 2014, 02:07:48 AM
Bill, I sent you a PM! Thanks!!
John
Title: Re: Planer Spiral heads
Post by: woodsteach on April 10, 2014, 09:57:26 AM
How about a wide belt sander instead?  Yes the price is 5x but... A friend has one that I take my rough cut to and he puts on a 60 grit belt and one pass per side then 100 or 120 grit belt and you are ready to finish sand.  He HOGS off the wood as well with the 60. 

Just another option.