Author Topic: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter  (Read 6566 times)

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Offline patriot

  • Posts: 98
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DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« on: March 30, 2017, 10:51 AM »
I've been using steel cutters in my 735, but in no time at all they're nicked.  So today I said that I was going to get carbide blades and try to cut down on cutter cost. 

The carbide blades that I found were half the cost of the Byrd head.  When you realize that (1) the Byrd cutter comes with new installed bearings and (2) because you can flip the Byrd cutters four times the mileage difference between the Byrd and regular carbide cutter's is very significant.  The Byrd appears to be the winner hands down.

That said, I have read that some user's of these spiral cutters experience 'grooving' rather than a nice smooth surface.  The claimed solution was to remove the problem cutter, clean and replace it and they were good to go.

While I would like to have a Byrd cutter installed on my 735, I can't help but wonder if I'm not creating a new problem while trying to solve an old one.  My planer is generally the last machine that surfaces my stock - both sides - and would like to get this right before I take the plunge and grab the Byrd head.

All thoughts and comments are most welcome, especially if you use one of the spiral cutters in your planer.

Thanks!
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

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Offline Cheese

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2017, 11:09 AM »

Offline patriot

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    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2017, 12:23 PM »
@Cheese

Thanks for the link.

I have ZERO issues with my 735.  It has operated and cut flawlessly since the day I put it into operation.  The 735 replaced my 733 and the three knives of the 735 made a huge difference.

My issue is whether to replace the straight cutter head knives with a spiral cutter head. From all that I have read thus far, I may be better off replacing my steel knives with carbide ones and just move on.

Thanks again.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 90
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2017, 12:36 PM »
I installed the Byrd head in my DW735 after using it for about 8 years with standard blades.  My experience with the Byrd replacement:

-Pretty straightforward installation, I think I had to buy a set of snap ring pliers and other than that standard tools.
-Huge improvement in the noise signature of the planer...I took before and after sound meter readings planing the same wide piece of hard maple and the Byrd head was 14dbA (best recollection) quieter than the stock head.
-Surface finish in general is better with the Byrd head than the stock blades.  If you use strong side lighting and a magnifying lens you can indeed see a very subtle scalloping pattern but the surface levels with significantly less coarse sanding than I was used to with the stock head.  As a matter of fact I bought a Jet 16-32 drum sander a few years back for 1st stage sanding and I have hardly used it since installing the Byrd heads (put one on my jointer also).
-The only real negative I can report is that the Byrd head has a slightly smaller cutting diameter than the stock head, I know this because the stops you can set with the dial to the left used to register dead on with the stock head and they are now maybe 0.008" off with the lumber being fat of the stock setting.

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 2937
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2017, 12:42 PM »
I also owned the 733, and the 735 is a huge step forward as far as the automatic cutter lock and the chip blower fan goes.

I'm very satisfied with the 735 except for the knives dulling rapidly and it also produces snipe on a more regular basis. [eek] I've tried adjusting the tables numerous times but the 735 is just susceptible to snipe.

I've also been wanting to convert my 735 to a Shelix head but keep going back and forth between carbide blades or Shelix. If I remember correctly, the carbide blades were almost 65% of the price of a Shelix and they still need to be sharpened every now & then.

If you do go carbide, I'd love to hear about your results. At this time I'm still sitting on the fence.  [popcorn]

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 2937
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2017, 12:53 PM »
Huge improvement in the noise signature of the planer...I took before and after sound meter readings planing the same wide piece of hard maple and the Byrd head was 14dbA (best recollection) quieter than the stock head.

The only real negative I can report is that the Byrd head has a slightly smaller cutting diameter than the stock head, I know this because the stops you can set with the dial to the left used to register dead on with the stock head and they are now maybe 0.008" off with the lumber being fat of the stock setting.

The noise improvement is huge. Even though I use muffs, the wife and dogs certainly don't appreciate the whine coming from downstairs.

I'm assuming that because I have a Wixey digital height gauge on the 735, the .008" discrepancy can be zeroed out.

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2017, 02:50 PM »
@kevinculle

Thanks for all the info.  Great post.

Appreciate the fact that you mentioned the scalloping effect of the cutters, but your mention of the db factor triggered my memory.  I have to make my dog sit outside the shop when the Jet vac and the 735 are running because the noise is horrendous even with my muffs on.  Sometimes I have those machines running for 15-20 minutes (or longer?) and it nearly gives me a headache.  Very glad you pointed that out as I had forgotten about that.

I have no issue with the built-in stops because I use an 8-foot bed that runs through my 735.  Photos will be posted below.

If I do switch to the spiral cutter head I will miss the mirror perfect cut of newly installed steel cutters. IMHO, they leave an amazing finish, but alas, that magic does not last very long. 

I have carbide cutters in my DJ-20, but they also have nicks.  I usually replace them about once a year or so.  As I noted earlier, it is the planer that makes the final pass over my stock, so nicks in the jointer blades are not that big of a concern to me.

Thanks again for a very informative post.  I really appreciate your feedback.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2017, 03:16 PM »
@Cheese

I hear you on the 735 snipe.  I built an 8-foot bed that ran through my 733 and had to make it wider when I got my 735.  My 'method' for combatting the snipe is to (1) raise the stock as I feed it into the cutters and (2) do the same as it exits the cutters. However, what I have found that works in addition to the above process is to take miniscule cuts when I am nearing my final dimension.  By miniscule I mean lowering the head less than 1/4 turn of the wheel.  This works for me.  The lighting in my shop is such that I can actually see - and feel - the snipe which is a good thing.

As to the long bed, I once leveled it perfectly and just knew that was the key to ridding myself of snipe.  Wrong!  That may have actually made it worse.  I think I built this bed over ten years ago and I do not think I could ever work without it.  I will say that I make certain that the melamine bed lays perfectly flat against the 735's built-in infeed/outfeed tables.  I use a feeler gauge for this as shown below.  IMHO, the ends of the bed do not have to be perfectly level because as I noted above, I raise the stock as it enters and leaves the machine which voids any benefit a perfectly level bed would provide.  This is just my experience with this planer bed.







'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 90
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2017, 03:52 PM »

I'm assuming that because I have a Wixey digital height gauge on the 735, the .008" discrepancy can be zeroed out.

I also have the Wixey on my 735 and on my drum sander...great addition to already good tools.  Yes, since the Wixey is calibrated to a piece that has been planed it will read accurately.  The issue I was describing is the resulting offset on the DW735's thickness stop setting.  If you are in the habit of say setting the stop to 3/4 and just feeding and twirling until you hit the stop then the Byrd head will have you at about 0.76" instead of 0.75.  With the Wixey I never really use the thickness stop but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 252
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2017, 04:49 PM »
Good thread, thanks all for your posts, very informative.
I've had my 735 for many years and thought a couple times
about replacing the cutter head.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1652
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2017, 05:17 PM »
@Cheese

I hear you on the 735 snipe.  I built an 8-foot bed that ran through my 733 and had to make it wider when I got my 735.  My 'method' for combatting the snipe is to (1) raise the stock as I feed it into the cutters and (2) do the same as it exits the cutters. However, what I have found that works in addition to the above process is to take miniscule cuts when I am nearing my final dimension.  By miniscule I mean lowering the head less than 1/4 turn of the wheel.  This works for me.  The lighting in my shop is such that I can actually see - and feel - the snipe which is a good thing.

As to the long bed, I once leveled it perfectly and just knew that was the key to ridding myself of snipe.  Wrong!  That may have actually made it worse.  I think I built this bed over ten years ago and I do not think I could ever work without it.  I will say that I make certain that the melamine bed lays perfectly flat against the 735's built-in infeed/outfeed tables.  I use a feeler gauge for this as shown below.  IMHO, the ends of the bed do not have to be perfectly level because as I noted above, I raise the stock as it enters and leaves the machine which voids any benefit a perfectly level bed would provide.  This is just my experience with this planer bed.

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

(Attachment Link)

@patriot  I get no snipe (or only very rarely) on my 735. I found the key to eliminating snipe is to raise the outer edges of the infeed and outfeed extensions just slightly above level. This accomplishes the same thing as raising the outer end of the board with your hands but I've found it's a better solution. It only takes a slight adjustment above level to make a difference.

As for the cutter head, I've watched the videos about changing the butterhead. It might be a "straight forward installation" for a mechanic or a machinist, but not for me. I would never even think of it. There is no question you will get better results with a segmented/helical butterhead, though. I have an 8" jointer with a helical head (not Shelix) and it does a great job; quieter too. The slight ridges or scallops are insignificant os I wouldn't let that stop you from doing it. However, given the amount of effort involved in installation, I would suggest replacement of the planer or just living with steel or carbide blades. I personally have never found the wear on blades that problematic and the carbide tipped blades don't seem to be worth the extra cost.

I have always loved my 735 and it continues to do a great job for me.
Randy

Offline montyss

  • Posts: 18
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2017, 09:50 PM »
Changed my 735 to the Bryd years ago and would never think about having anything but one now . When installing the carbide cutters in the head its best to make sure that the seat where the cutter sits is clean then use a small torque wrench to set each carbide cutter to the proper torque . Mostly do hard maple with mine and the standard blades lasted no time before they where dull .

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 98
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2017, 10:54 PM »
Changed my 735 to the Bryd years ago and would never think about having anything but one now . When installing the carbide cutters in the head its best to make sure that the seat where the cutter sits is clean then use a small torque wrench to set each carbide cutter to the proper torque . Mostly do hard maple with mine and the standard blades lasted no time before they where dull .

Thanks for the info.

Does the Byrd installation manual state what the proper torque is for locking down the cutters?  Maybe I can find the installation PDF and take a look at it.

I'm beginning to think that the Byrd cutter is the best way to go, but I'm still worried about the so-called scalloping due to the small cutters.  Hopefully, I will find a close-up photo of this in the near future.

I appreciate your feedback.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2017, 11:01 PM »
@grbmds

Thanks for your very informative post.

I think I will try your suggestion and raise the infeed/outfeed ends of my melamine planer table and see how that goes.  Raising the stock as it is being fed in is not much of a problem, but lifting it up as it exits can be a chore especially if the stock is long and dense.  I will report back on my findings.

Great idea.  I appreciate your help.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline RobNJ

  • Posts: 143
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2017, 11:16 PM »
Not to completely hijack your thread - but has anyone bought a Byrd head lately? I've had one in order for about two months and can't seem to fine anywhere you can actually buy one!!

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 98
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2017, 11:21 PM »
Not to completely hijack your thread - but has anyone bought a Byrd head lately? I've had one in order for about two months and can't seem to fine anywhere you can actually buy one!!

I just added one for the DW735 tothis cart (as a test) and did not see any indication that it was not in stock.  This is not proof positive, so who knows?

If you don't mind my asking, who did you order yours  from?

Thanks.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline RobNJ

  • Posts: 143
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2017, 11:25 PM »
Not to completely hijack your thread - but has anyone bought a Byrd head lately? I've had one in order for about two months and can't seem to fine anywhere you can actually buy one!!

I just added one for the DW735 tothis cart (as a test) and did not see any indication that it was not in stock.  This is not proof positive, so who knows?

If you don't mind my asking, who did you order yours  from?

Thanks.

Sorry to be a downer but I ordered from Holbren as well. I actually called and they said they had them in stock but when I placed an order online i got an email saying it was backordered. I checked with a shelixheads.com and they warned that it was a multiple month backlog! I would call first to see what timeframe Holbren is quoting.

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2017, 11:31 PM »
@RobNJ

I just found the Byrd store and guess what?



Bummer! [blink]
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline RobNJ

  • Posts: 143
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2017, 11:51 PM »
@RobNJ

I just found the Byrd store and guess what?

(Attachment Link)

Bummer! [blink]

Ugh. Well in the meantime I'm going to keep rotating the stock blades whenever they get dinged up. Amazing that the leadtime is that high. I would imagine it's their most popular product by 10x

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2017, 11:54 PM »
@RobNJ

You're probably right. 

Good thing I didn't need it yesterday.  I'll keep flipping my knives just like you until they ship.  I'll send Byrd an email to hopefully determine when they'll start shipping.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1652
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2017, 11:59 PM »
@grbmds

Thanks for your very informative post.

I think I will try your suggestion and raise the infeed/outfeed ends of my melamine planer table and see how that goes.  Raising the stock as it is being fed in is not much of a problem, but lifting it up as it exits can be a chore especially if the stock is long and dense.  I will report back on my findings.

Great idea.  I appreciate your help.
@patriot You don't need much; maybe a 1/32" or less. Just raise the ends till you see a little bit of light where the wood enters and exits the planer.
Randy

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2017, 12:06 AM »
@grbmds

Thanks for the info.  I may have some time tomorrow to do as you suggest.  I'll be a happy camper if this will solve my snipe problem.  To be clear, the 735 does not have near the snipe that my old 733 had.  Glad those days are over.

Off topic:  We just moved from Oak Park back to sunny New Mexico about three years ago.  Are you in Evanston or thereabouts?
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 90
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2017, 08:25 AM »

Does the Byrd installation manual state what the proper torque is for locking down the cutters?  Maybe I can find the installation PDF and take a look at it.

I'm beginning to think that the Byrd cutter is the best way to go, but I'm still worried about the so-called scalloping due to the small cutters.  Hopefully, I will find a close-up photo of this in the near future.

I appreciate your feedback.

I believe the torque value for the insert screw is 45-55 in-lb (5.0-6.2 nm).

As to the "scalloping" in my experience you will only notice this on the 1st grit of sanding as the material being removed on the "high" spots gathers in the "low" spots - it is not apparent or visible when holding a board up to view the surface in a direct light source without magnification.  It quickly melts away in a few passes of 100-120 grit ROS sanding.  I seriously doubt there is even 0.001" (0.025mm) of profile so unless your practice is to go directly to applying finish from the planer without sanding or scraping it is a non-issue.

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2017, 09:18 AM »
@kevinculle

Thanks for the info.

The scalloping sounds minimal at best assuming a well tuned cutter head.  From what I have determined Byrd cutter heads are now out of stock.  I sent them an email last night requesting info on availability.  Will post that info when and if I hear back from them.

I appreciate your post.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 687
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2017, 09:38 AM »
@patriot you might want to check with Holbren and see if they have stock.

https://www.holbren.com/Byrd_Tool_B4725

Ron

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2017, 10:42 AM »
@patriot you might want to check with Holbren and see if they have stock.

https://www.holbren.com/Byrd_Tool_B4725

Ron

Thanks Ron!  I just sent them an email on this.  Will report back when I hear from them.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2017, 11:11 AM »
@rvieceli

I just heard back from Holbren:  They have no stock and have been promised by Byrd to take delivery of these heads in about three months.  Byrd Tool told them that delivery for new orders is about FIVE months.

Being the cautious (suspicious?) fellow that I am, I am wondering if Byrd has decided to outsource (China?) this product, which, in my mind anyway, would explain the very long delivery delay.

I hope I'm wrong on this.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 2937
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2017, 12:05 PM »
On Byrd's website, under the home of the Shelix, is this statement:

Byrd Tool has served the woodworking industry since 1979. We proudly manufacture our products in the USA right here in Central Kentucky.

Also on the Byrd website, they state that there is a minimum of a 3 month lead time for Dewalt 735 Shelix head sets.

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2017, 12:22 PM »
@Cheese

I just received an email from Brian Holbren and he made it clear that that Byrd has not outsourced the DW735 cutter head.  He also said that this product has been their - " ... #1 seller ever since it came out, demand is just very high and they are very busy."

What a concept:  An American company that cannot keep up with demand for their good product.  I will always go out of my way to buy American when I can. 

That said, I just placed my order.  I will more than happy to wait 3-5 months for my Byrd cutter head.  No problem.

Thanks for your post.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline montyss

  • Posts: 18
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2017, 09:24 AM »
You will Love that head in your planer  and Brian is Great guy too deal with .
Clean the head where the cutters rest then torque them down to the correct # . A cheapee Harbor freight 1/4" torque wrench will work .