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Author Topic: Spiral heads  (Read 4558 times)

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Offline xlogger

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Spiral heads
« on: November 23, 2014, 05:54:59 AM »
Just looking at the different planers on Amazon I see where some have the Byrd heads and some say just spiral head. Is there a big different in the two heads? I see where Powermatic is a good bit more with the Byrd head over the Jet with just saying spiral head.
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Online WDH

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2014, 07:50:48 AM »
My 15" and 20" Grizzly spiral heads could not plane boards any smoother. 
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Offline Bill Gaiche

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2014, 09:21:55 AM »
Grizzly has there own spiral head for there machines. The cutter contact face is square with the wood. A Byrd cutter is turned at a slight angle to the wood so it shears the wood. Byrd cutters are a little thicker and larger in size than the Grizzly cutters. I just purchased the 8" Byrd Thursday for my new 490 jointer. The jointer is on back order. bg

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2014, 06:19:00 PM »
I had a byrd custom made for my 16" planer .  I have a straight insert cutter head in my jointer.  My opinion is go with the straight insert as it cuts smoother and less sanding to remove cutter lines.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2014, 07:51:11 PM »
I had my Byrd head in a planer for a couple of years before Grizzly came out with there version.  A friend bought one of the first from Grizzly and we compared results on a couple of real knotty erc boards.  No visible difference.  The only question left to be answered is which would last the longest.  We thought that went to the Byrd.  Since our tests Grizzly has changed insert supplier.  I suspect if we tested again it would be a toss up for a small time user.

Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline sawwood

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2014, 08:24:29 PM »
Ricky are you still looking for a planer? I just ran 2000Bf of erc threw my woodmaster
and the spiral head cutters still seem sharp. I have the 8" grizzly jointer and after
Christmas I am going to buy the spiral head cutter for it from them. Have a good Thanksgiving.

 Sawwood
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Offline Bill Gaiche

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2014, 09:42:08 PM »
Sawwood, I went ahead and bought mine Thursday because there sale ends sometime after Christmas on the Byrd. bg

Offline xlogger

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2014, 08:06:53 PM »
Still looking, one came on CL a few weeks ago 718 for $1200. Sold before I got a chance to see it. The main reason I would like one is to do what you did with the ERC. But might need to built a solar kiln first. I'm not sure how it would work with air dry cedar.
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Offline Larry

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2014, 09:47:18 PM »
Air dried erc can be planed just as well as kiln dried.  I've ran a bunch of air dried cedar through my planer.  Used it to line all the closets when I built our new house a few years ago.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline xlogger

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2014, 05:12:46 AM »
Larry, do you t&g the cedar also? If you did what do you use for that? Ricky
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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2014, 08:09:42 AM »
I have planed about 12,000 BF through my GO544 20" planer and have not had to turn the inserts yet. 
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2014, 12:56:55 PM »
I have planed about 12,000 BF through my GO544 20" planer and have not had to turn the inserts yet.

Are they carbide, or hss?  That's a lot of BF.
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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2014, 04:36:39 PM »
Carbide.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2014, 06:04:02 PM »
A word of caution, the spiral heads take more HP to run than straight knives.
I know from first hand experience with  sales pitch from a spiral head machine salesman.
Don't know about the helical head.
WDF what species, I plane mostly Hard maple, cherry, ash and some pine.
My machine is 20" and now 12 yrs old and am on my 4th turn of the cutters.
Had to upgrade from 5hp to 10hp  3 phase and still doesnt take a very deep bite even on softwoods.
Pete
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Offline DeepWoods

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2014, 07:12:02 PM »
I would agree that the spiral head takes more power.  I have a Grizzly 12" jointer with a spiral head.  It has a 3 HP motor, but will trip the motor relay if I push it to hard.  The way it was explained to me, by Grizzly, was that there is never a time when the spiral cutters are not in contact with the wood.  On a three blade head, there is no load on the motor between blades, so you need less HP.  I'm not sure that I agreed with Grizzly on this, but that is how they explained it to me.  But I will say that with a 12" head and a 3HP motor I feel that it is under powered.  Their 8" jointer has a 3HP motor.  Why would they think 4" more on the head wouldn't need more HP?

I am still getting a very smooth cut on the original carbides, but should probably turn the carbides.  Don't know how many bd ft, but it's a lot.  If I ever let the magic smoke out of the motor, I will upgrade to a 5 HP.  I like the spiral head, but would really like to take a deeper cut on the wide boards. 
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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2014, 08:18:50 PM »
Pete,

Lots of red oak, walnut, poplar, white oak, pecan ( smiley_devil), red maple, chinaberry, hackberry, etc. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline Bill Gaiche

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2014, 11:35:39 PM »
I have had the 15" and now 20" planer with the Bryd heads. I feel like they put less strain on the motor than the knives did. Just me I guess. DanG sure quieter. bg

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2014, 08:12:36 AM »
Went from straight knives to helical several years ago.  Have 15HP on the 26" planer.  Rarely bog the  motor or burn a belt now.  Uses less energy IMHO by far.  I would say we run 100,000 feet before rotating knives unless someone runs some dirty wood which they are not supposed to do.  ERC under 15 to18 % runs just fine.  8% to air dried 12% runs great.  Much , much less tear out than when we used straight knives.
Normally we are taking 1/32 to 1/16 off when we plane.  I rarely see check marks in cedar when it dries.  It shrinks the least of any native woods from green to kd. 
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2014, 11:19:06 AM »
i run about 50,000 b.f. per side then change weather they need it or not. the inserts are cheap $1.27 ea. why struggle. :)
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline Cedarman

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Re: Spiral heads
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2014, 12:45:19 PM »
Running 100,000 feet through a 26" planer is like running 50,000 through a 14" planer.  We run until the quality of the planing starts to deteriorate. When  noise level starts to rise is a good indication of excessive wear.
Our knives are about 9/16" x 9/16". 
RO, where to you get the inserts for $1.27 each.
We run 100%  ERC.  Wood species probably makes a big difference in board feet on a set of knives.
I am in the pink when sawing cedar.


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