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If this thread needs to be relocated by the powers  that be, no problemo.  I seem to remember Gene having a post on replacing the stock knives, on a DeWalt 735 planer, with the Byrd Shelix/Helix head. I have a 735, it’s never been plugged in. My meager WWing talents are improving to the point where I am considering trying some projects that involve using a planer. My shop is in the basement of our townhouse. The noise from the SS DC, Jet air filter, and router/table saw/whatever tool I’m using has driven the Missus to have to retreat to the upstairs on occasion. From what I’ve read the only negative to the Byrd upgrade is paying for it, a small adjustment to the depth of cut gauge. So to the long winded point of my screed, there appears to be two heads for sale, one is slightly smaller in diameter so it can be installed without having to remove the cutters, the other head is standard size, but involves the removal, and installation of the 40 cutters. Thoughts on this by anyone? (Preferable with experience). Amazon sells the smaller one for $425, anyone aware of better price anywhere? I’m thinking of swallowing hard (bank account wise) and learn how to use a planer with the Byrd head, from the get go. I tried to find Gene’s thread, looked under his profile (Gene you have a creepy stalker named Artie LOL) and went back 35 pages, and couldn’t find the thread, so here I am. I appreciate any info, thoughts, advice and opinions. Another question (I have an infinite supply), I have read where if you have a glued seam do not put it through a planer if the knives will come in contact with the glue True/False? Is this also valid with a helix/Shelix head? These are the thoughts that stop me from sleeping some nights (I wish I was being funny, but it’s true) Thank you to all. Artie

PS any other thoughts on planers that anyone wants to share with me are also sought/welcomed. 

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@Artie

 

There is only a slight difference between the two sizes. However, the real difference appears to be in the amount of work needed to do the retro install. The larger head requires much more disassembly than the smaller head. The smaller head can be installed without a major deconstruction of the planer just by removing the cutters and slipping it into the planer.

 

I can't remember if having the slightly larger head gives you an advantage or not. However, the Byrd website has an in-depth explanation if I remember correctly.

 

As for price. I think, that, if you shop around you can do better then Amazon. I generally look at who the vendors on amazon are and go directly to their websites. Sometimes you get a better deal, sometimes not. One suggestion is Grizzly Tools. My older catalog has them listed but the price probably isn't current.

 

Hope that helps.

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Go with the larger head. If, for no other reason, than you want to see all the stuff inside the planer. Actually, other folks have said that the smaller head causes snipe and, many say no amount of adjustment reduces it. That was enough for me. If you need more convincing, the smaller head throws the cutting depth gauge off by around 1/16" . 

As to noise reduction, my finely tuned ear says that the noise level is reduced by 3.423 Dbs.;) With the DC running, the planer noise is drowned out, anyway.

 

Go for it Artie. The advantages are numerous. Much better cuts, a wee bit less noise, and, you'll save beau coup bucks in blade replacements. Those straight blades have an annoyingly short life span.

The video below was absolutely invaluable for me in replacing the head. 

 

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Artie, a question... have you been using a planer without the fancy head addition??? 

and if so, what kind of wood are you working with?? you said you are just now getting in to woodworking ????!!!

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Artie, for what it’s worth, I just bought a 735 and I’m going to go with the larger head.  From what I’ve read, the extra time is time well spent. 

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The only other thing I've heard regarding the shellix cutterhead vs. the OEM is that current draw is higher for the shellix since the cutters are always engaged with the wood. If this matter, it probably means that the maximum depth of cut per pass is lower for the shellix cutters. 

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Jim, I’ve also read that.

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8 hours ago, Smallpatch said:

Artie, a question... have you been using a planer without the fancy head addition??? 

and if so, what kind of wood are you working with?? you said you are just now getting in to woodworking ????!!!

I have never used a planer in my life, yet. When I bought the equipment I thought I would need for the shop, I did some research and the DeWalt 735 seemed to be the bets, and best value for a benchtop planer, so I bought one. As the woodworking projects I am attempting are getting more advanced it certainly appears I will have need of a planer soon. Lots of research have indicated that the 735 is a noisy beast, wouldn’t work out well for me if my neighbors can hear anything. No idea on what wood I will be playing with in the near future.

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Can't speak to maximum depth of cut except that it will cut mesquite to 3/16" easily. That's as much as I want to take off at once.

Edited by Gene Howe

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1 hour ago, Artie said:

Lots of research have indicated that the 735 is a noisy beast, wouldn’t work out well for me if my neighbors can hear anything. 

Artie, all planers are noisy but I have a 13” Delta and this Dewalt 735.  The Delta is much louder than the Dewalt.

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Ron, I’m guessing the Delta would also run much quieter with a helix head.

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44 minutes ago, Artie said:

Ron, I’m guessing the Delta would also run much quieter with a helix head.

The 735 most definitely quiets down with a shelix head. I installed the Accu Head which is a cheap alternative, and it quieted down my 735 significantly, I can only imagine how much quieter it would be a spiral head.

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Artie, I found my original topic regarding the cutter head I installed. Here you go:

Doing a little research, it appears my head is no longer made, possibly. But my point is, they are quiet!!!! Mine is quiet, and mine is an inferior design to the shelix or spiral, and mine is very quiet.

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Artie since you have never used a planer then why don't you buy the 735 and use it till the blades wears out then think about getting the fancy helix set up …....I have wore out 4 or 5 sets of regular blades on  my Dewalt planer and don't know why I would want to spend extra for the helix set up?????

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10 hours ago, Smallpatch said:

Artie since you have never used a planer then why don't you buy the 735 and use it till the blades wears out then think about getting the fancy helix set up …....I have wore out 4 or 5 sets of regular blades on  my Dewalt planer and don't know why I would want to spend extra for the helix set up?????

I purchase carbide tiped knives for my jet 15" planer.  They last and last and last then sharpen them.  The carbide is good for aobut 4 sharpenings.  For me well worth the money.

 

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Jesse, the difference in the quality of the cut is amazing. With the helix, the "finish cut" or, # 2, setting is redundant. My planer is used on every project. There's hardly a day goes by without using it. Over the years, enough of those straight blades have been replaced to more than pay for the helix. Not to mention the time lost in the un ending nick, move, and, finally replace, process. Plus the need to sand out those ridges caused by that nicked blade. Out of the planer now, sanding STARTS at 220. Sometimes, higher. And no nicks...yet. Those carbide cutters are tough. And, when one does happen, its a simple job to rotate that cutter to a new face. 

I totally agree that the helix is not for everybody but, for me, it has been a worthwhile investment. 

 

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32 minutes ago, Gene Howe said:

Jesse, the difference in the quality of the cut is amazing. With the helix, the "finish cut" or, # 2, setting is redundant. My planer is used on every project. There's hardly a day goes by without using it. Over the years, enough of those straight blades have been replaced to more than pay for the helix. Not to mention the time lost in the un ending nick, move, and, finally replace, process. Plus the need to sand out those ridges caused by that nicked blade. Out of the planer now, sanding STARTS at 220. Sometimes, higher. And no nicks...yet. Those carbide cutters are tough. And, when one does happen, its a simple job to rotate that cutter to a new face. 

I totally agree that the helix is not for everybody but, for me, it has been a worthwhile investment. 

 

And let's not forget about the reduced decibels Artie requires and his wife and neighbors will appreciate, living in a townhome, means common walls.

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11 minutes ago, John Morris said:

And let's not forget about the reduced decibels Artie requires and his wife and neighbors will appreciate, living in a townhome, means common walls.

The change, while noticeable, is just a few decibles. But, did you know that one decible louder is louder by a factor of 10. There's a logarithmic formula for that but, 10 is close enough. 

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Jesse, when my Mom passed, and her estate was settled, we each got a chunk of change ($). I refinanced (which took a check of 28,000 cause we were underwater on the mortgage), paid off all the bills, credit cards, car loans, replaced the HVAC system, and redid the bathroom. I also went to school and got my master electricians license. That was quite enough acting like an adult for me LOL. Mom and Dad would have wanted me to do something for my self, and I have always wanted my own little work shop. I did a little research, and tried to figure out just what I would need to make a working shop in my 18 foot by15 foot space available in the basement. I bought a Shopsmith with most of the trimmings, clamps, router, and among the various other stuff, a 735 planer. It’s probably 2-3 years old, and I haven’t plugged it in yet. I’m reaching the point in my learning curve where I will be needing/wanting it soon. Now the me of 20 years ago woulda used it with the knives it came with, cause it woulda been against my nature to spend money on something that wasn’t necessary. However the older, more experienced (wiser, would be a lie :) ) me has learned to listen to other peoples experiences. If I’ve read 60 reviews of people that have installed the Shelix head, 58 said they wished they did it as soon as possible. So I figger I’m gonna learn how to use the planer once, with a Shelix head. Actually ordered it last night , guess I’m motivated to work OT for the next two months :( .  Less noise and sanding are worthwhile advantages to me. At least now when I poorly assemble a project the pieces will be smooth :) . I very much appreciate all the replies, thank you, Artie

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