Anyone installed a Byrd Shelix head on their planer? Looking for likes and dislikes. I have a Jet 3hp 15 inch. The place where I usually get my knives sharpened have gone up to $90 to sharpen my knives and a knife sharpening jig is almost $200, carbite knives are $200. I am looking at the Shelix because you get 4 sides to every knife, so it's like getting 4 sets, they are carbite, no more setting knives, no more sharpening etc and they cut on a sheer so figured woods are supposed to plane nicer. The downside is price, $795, but it you are a member of Sawmill Creeek you get 10% off and Holbren will install new bearings for you.
Hi Justin, I have basically the same planer as you and have also considered going to the same type of head but so far it has only been a thought. I know the spiral head has advantages to it like you said cuts smoother due to the shear type cut they make. Also the advantage of being able to change a single knife should it become chipped or damaged.
As you well know that hickory takes a big toll on the sharp blades and soon it is beating the wood to death rather that cutting it. I have been paying better that $100.00 to have the three blades sharpened for better than a year but lucky never seriously damaged a blade.
I will either convert the cutter head or place the money on a new planer. I'm waiting to see what the new powermatic 20 inch planer does. I might go that route just to gain the extra 5 inches to do a wider glue ups. Lots to think about as the updated head conversion is rather spendy and I might be wise to look into a newer 20 inch planer.
You're absolutely right Jay and it's a touch decision for sure especially if you may go to a bigger machine. Hickory is terrible to plane and Cherry has some issues with tearout too and sometimes it can amount to a decent amount of throwaway that I'd like to avoid. Could care less about 3 inches of snipe, but a foot of tearout is nasty. Ereplacement parts sell a gasket for our machine, for the gearbox, $3 or so. I am going to pull the trigger this week on the Head and once I get it installed I will give you a call and give you the review! If you decide to get it, use SMC10 as the coupon for 10% off, but you have to call to have them install new bearings at $30, new bearings are $30 so it's a deal to have them done already in my opinion.
I'm with you Jason and I was in the same boat too and I'm finally at the bottom of my list with that.. Only been a year or better wanting.. haha