Kreg Owners' Community

Byrd Shelix Journel Head (installed on 15inch Jet)

Finally got the Byrd Shelix Journal Head installed on my planer.  Ordered it through Holbren, Sawmill Creek members get 10% off, SMC10 is the code.  First off, I installed the head by myself and it was completely painless, I was shocked to say the least.  I will say that I am thrilled that I had Byrd install new bearings for me and I would suggest if you are thinking of upgrading that you do the same thing.  I also ordered a new gasket for the gear box while I was at it, I would recommend this too since you may have to pry your gearbox apart like I did.  From complete teardown to running again, I would say 3 hours and I was in no rush by any means.  Cut quality?  Great!  Sound?  Forget the ear piercing whine of straight knives, it's gone, you can even talk over it while it's running, the dust collector is louder.  Under load, there is no change at all in the motor and I was surprised at that to say the least.  I ran quilted Cherry, no tear out, flat sawn Cherry, no tear out against the grain and I even pushed it with curly Maple and no tear out.  I am very happy with this upgrade and would highly recommend this to anyone looking into these heads.  The folks at Holbren were awesome to work with.  Hopefully this review helps and the instructions were detailed and with pictures, almost like a chilton manual.

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Comment by Ken Prout on September 30, 2013 at 10:59am

My Amish friend Jerry, has this same cutter head but on his Powermatic 24" planer & one on his Powermatic 6" joiner. I have to say they did a great job & if he found that dreadful nick, all he would have to do is replace or turn the bad insert(s). I have a Grizzly 20" planer w/knives, I can't wait to convert it, & my 6" joiner over to a Shelix cutter head, that upgrade also increases there values, $$$$.

It would cost me about $1,200.00 for my 20" & about $300.00+ for my 6", I need sell a few more (lot more) pcs of furniture & cabinets being on a disabled income.

Comment by Jay Boutwell on May 7, 2013 at 5:22pm

Justin getting rid of the sound would almost be enough to want to change the system.  It is noisy and it can be heard for blocks.  Definitely something you would not want to run at night.  :)  Makes for unhappy neighbors when they are trying to watch their TV's

Nice to know from first hand how the system works.  I have heard nothing negative about it yet and there fore am sure it would be worth the investment.

Comment by justin waldron on May 7, 2013 at 1:37pm

Hey Jay, I don't have any hickory laying around to try it out, but the cut quality is great, smooth and shiny!  I really didn't expect the quality to be as good as it is, but it truly is great.  The biggest notice is just how quiet it is when it's running lumber, that piercing whine is gone. 

Comment by Jay Boutwell on May 5, 2013 at 11:00pm

Hey Justin glad to see that you have the new system installed.  Anxious to hear about how well it works as I am considering the same thing.  The hickory is hard stuff on planner knives and I'm looking to either replace my planer for a bigger one or do as you did and keep the jet 15 inch.  I will be watching to see your test results.

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