Jointer with spiral head question - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Jointer with spiral head question

I am at an impasse. If you had a choice between a jointer with a Byrd Shelix head or a factory Grizzly spiral head....which would you choose and why.

Thanks for your shared opinions.

Rob

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post #2 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 05:30 PM
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This has been discussed a lot here and other forums. Search, read, and draw your own conclusions. No personal experience with import heads, but I could not find anything conclusive in machined surface quality from reviews by other people to go one way or the other.

Personally I chose Byrd Shelix heads because:
1) heads are made in the USA
2) all Shelix heads use the same inserts, so my jointer and planer take the same replacements. This works much better for stocking spares.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 08:50 PM
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I have the Grizzly G0490X and would order it again today. A great jointer and smooth cuts.

Red

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-03-2015, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinmanCarving View Post
I am at an impasse. If you had a choice between a jointer with a Byrd Shelix head or a factory Grizzly spiral head....which would you choose and why.

Thanks for your shared opinions.

Rob

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk

I wouldn't take either one and would opt for a regular cutterhead and a few sets of some quality straight blades.

Less money plus you have the ability to change the cutting angles to suit your particular needs for the material you are cutting.

With the inserts you are stuck with whatever angle they provide and have no ability to tweak anything.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-04-2015, 12:58 AM
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I bought a Grizzly spiral head and installed it on an old Jet 6 inch joiner. At my age, I won't be changing blades ever again.

A bearing had gone out, and the blades needed replacing so the difference in cost wasn't all that bad. And it came with new bearings!

Happy so far.

I don't have room for an 8 inch model, so 6 inch it is.
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-04-2015, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinmanCarving View Post
I am at an impasse. If you had a choice between a jointer with a Byrd Shelix head or a factory Grizzly spiral head....which would you choose and why.
I have a Byrd Shelix head on my Jet JJ-12 jointer and a Grizzly H7656 - 20" Indexable Spiral Cutterhead on my Grizzly G0454z surface planer.

I had run about 500 board feet of rough cut maple with the Byrd on my jointer, before purchasing the Grizzly Spiral head for the planer.

The reason I purchased the Grizzly H7656 - 20" Indexable Spiral Cutterhead was strictly the cost. It was a lot less expensive than the Byrd. So far the quality appears to be the same. The actual cutterhead has a different and more aerodynamic shape, which makes it much quieter than the Byrd on my jointer. The finish appears to be just as good as the Byrd, but I haven't run a lot of figured maple through the planer yet.

Eric
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-05-2015, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORBlackFZ1 View Post
but I haven't run a lot of figured maple through the planer yet.

Eric
Please update this thread on your number (or percentage) of 'defect free' pieces when you do...

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post #8 of 12 Old 12-08-2015, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by OnealWoodworking View Post
Please update this thread on your number (or percentage) of 'defect free' pieces when you do...

Ok. I hope that you haven't made your purchase yet.....I have been planing big leaf maple with the Grizzly H7656 - 20" Indexable Spiral Cutterhead over the last couple of days. I have completed about 100 bdft.

I must say, I am really disappointed in the Grizzly H7656 - 20" Indexable Spiral Cutterhead!!! The cuts are not as smooth with the H7656 as the Byrd Shelix H9291 - 12" Cutterhead, I should have spent the extra money and purchased the Byrd Shelix replacement.

It is very easy to compare the surfaces, because I used the Byrd Shelix on one side of the board and the Grizzly on the other side.

I used 1/64th inch for the last couple of passes to get to my final thickness.

Sorry, I was not able to get these results out earlier.

Does anyone want to purchase a Grizzly H7656 for a good price?

Eric
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-08-2015, 08:40 PM
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I installed the Bryd Shelix cutter head on my Powermatic 12" planer and while the durability and quite cutting is very noticeable so is the "scalloped" surface texture which requires sanding with at least 100 grit paper.

I also have a 8" Poitras Jointer that I replaced the straight steel blades with solid carbide blades and over the past few decades I've only recently had to sharpen these blades and the cut surface quality is near perfect.

I have a one man shop and regularly cut exotics on my jointer since I buy all of my lumber in rough stock.
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-08-2015, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ORBlackFZ1 View Post
Ok. I hope that you haven't made your purchase yet.....
Good review and thanks for sharing your experiences here.
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post #11 of 12 Old 12-09-2015, 05:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacko9 View Post
I installed the Bryd Shelix cutter head on my Powermatic 12" planer and while the durability and quite cutting is very noticeable so is the "scalloped" surface texture which requires sanding with at least 100 grit paper.

I also have a 8" Poitras Jointer that I replaced the straight steel blades with solid carbide blades and over the past few decades I've only recently had to sharpen these blades and the cut surface quality is near perfect.

I have a one man shop and regularly cut exotics on my jointer since I buy all of my lumber in rough stock.

Anybody else want to share their experiences with spiral heads?

I don't get any "scalloped" surface on my Jet JJ-12 jointer with the Byrd Shelix spiral head. But I do on the Grizzly 20" surface planer with the Grizzly spiral head.

I have my Jointer set to take off 1/32" at a time. The surface is ready for 180 grit sandpaper with my figured big leaf maple. I jointed some doug fir a couple weeks ago and then used 220 grit sandpaper.

On the surface planer, I take off 1/16" until I get within 1/16" of the final thickness. Then I take off 1/32" with the next pass and the last two (2) passes are at 1/64". I get a lot of scalloped surface from the planer side that is not on the jointer side. I concluded that the Byrd Shelix spiral head is cutting better than the Grizzly spiral head.

I think that I will try to use four (4) passes of 1/64" before the final thickness and see if that helps. (I really don't want to spend another $1200 to upgrade the spiral head. It cost me $400 for a service call plus $800 for the spiral head.)

The original Grizzly spiral head, that came with the planer, was planing the figured big leaf maple just as good as the Byrd Shelix head on the jointer. Unfortunately, the original drive pulley worked itself loose on the spiral head shaft and ruined the shaft, which I then had to replace, which got me to this point.

I would love to hear some other experiences from woodworkers that are using spiral heads.

Thanks,
Eric

Last edited by ORBlackFZ1; 12-09-2015 at 05:06 AM.
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post #12 of 12 Old 12-09-2015, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ORBlackFZ1 View Post
Anybody else want to share their experiences with spiral heads?

Snip

The original Grizzly spiral head, that came with the planer, was planing the figured big leaf maple just as good as the Byrd Shelix head on the jointer. Unfortunately, the original drive pulley worked itself loose on the spiral head shaft and ruined the shaft, which I then had to replace, which got me to this point.

Snip

Thanks,
Eric
That is a very telling statement, you say the Grizzly machine worked as well as the Byrd Shelix "until you repaired it".

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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