Author Topic: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter  (Read 7686 times)

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Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
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

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


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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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: 103
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: 3070
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: 3070
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: 103
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: 412
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: 1671
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

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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: 154
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

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    • 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: 154
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: 154
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

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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: 103
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

Online rvieceli

  • Posts: 694
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: 3070
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 .

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2017, 10:41 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 .

Thanks for the info. 

As for Brian I'll say this:  He was very quick to respond when I emailed him and was up front with the delivery delay info, so I would have to agree with you.  My order is now in.

I've had a Craftsman torque wrench for years, so I'm good to go.  Now I just have to wait five months to use it. [eek]
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1893
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2017, 11:06 AM »
Did you have to pay the money now or when it ships?
+1

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2017, 11:11 AM »
Did you have to pay the money now or when it ships?

Brians exact words were (from his email to me):

"If you were willing to wait, place the order over the phone.  That way we will not charge your credit card until it ships.

Thanks
Brian
Holbren"

Since it takes so long to be delivered I will probably forget and wonder what the heck my UPS guy just delivered. [scratch chin]

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

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1893
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2017, 11:25 AM »
Thanks. I'm probably going to get one of these myself, timely thread.
+1

Offline RobNJ

  • Posts: 154
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #34 on: April 01, 2017, 04:32 PM »
Did you have to pay the money now or when it ships?

Brians exact words were (from his email to me):

"If you were willing to wait, place the order over the phone.  That way we will not charge your credit card until it ships.

Thanks
Brian
Holbren"

Since it takes so long to be delivered I will probably forget and wonder what the heck my UPS guy just delivered. [scratch chin]

Hope this helps.

haha!  I feel the same way.  Hopefully when i get mine I'll actually have some time to install it! I've watched the installation videos enough by now, I'll be able to do it in my sleep!

Good luck! I'll let you know when mine gets delivered to see if they are shipping them out in batches or they'll get them all at once.

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #35 on: April 07, 2017, 10:57 PM »
I just got one of those fancy new calculators ... click, click, click, click, ...

And if I buy a Byrd cutter for my DJ-20 and another one for my DW735 that's rounds out nicely to $1K + s/h.

And ... the price of a new Hammer A3-31 with one of them fancy 'Silent Power' spiral cutter heads is $4K + s/h.

So, ... what I've been thinking is the A3-31 will replace two large machines in my work shop, so what I've been thinking ...

Anybody wanna guess what I've been thinking? [popcorn] 
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 467
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #36 on: April 07, 2017, 11:13 PM »
I just got one of those fancy new calculators ... click, click, click, click, ...

And if I buy a Byrd cutter for my DJ-20 and another one for my DW735 that's rounds out nicely to $1K + s/h.

And ... the price of a new Hammer A3-31 with one of them fancy 'Silent Power' spiral cutter heads is $4K + s/h.

So, ... what I've been thinking is the A3-31 will replace two large machines in my work shop, so what I've been thinking ...

Anybody wanna guess what I've been thinking? [popcorn]

That the A3-31 will probably get here from Europe faster than you'll get your hands on a Byrd Shelix for your DW?

And not to screw up your math or anything, but for apples to apples on planer width, maybe consider the A3-41?
"What you have to do tomorrow, do today.  What you have to do today, do now."  - a wise grandfather who was clearly talking about purchasing Festools

Offline patriot

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Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2017, 10:24 AM »
@live4ever

Thanks for your post.

My DJ-20 has an 8-inch planing width and if I'm reading the stats correctly, the A3-31 has a 12-inch planing width giving me an additional 4-inch of cutter.  Some of the rough lumber I use is over 12-inches in width and the A3-41 would be perfect for that, but I think I can live without that convenience.

I have found a used used A3-31 for $2K, but I never buy used unless I can actually see and test the tool first.  Too bad this machine was not in Dallas because I would be tempted to drive down and take a look at it.  Anyway, looking at the exposed prices you'll see that the A3-31 is cheaper than the A3-26 which tells me that the A3-31 must either be a much older machine than the A3-26 or it is damaged in some way.  If it was covered with a New Warranty that would be another story.

Oh, well. [unsure]



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

Offline Paul G

  • Posts: 1893
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2017, 10:45 AM »
So when are you expecting Hammer delivery?
+1

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #39 on: April 08, 2017, 11:29 AM »
So when are you expecting Hammer delivery?

If you're asking about the A3-31, I haven't decided on that purchase yet.  If you're asking about the K3, it has been promised by the end of this month but I'm not holding my breath.

Going off topic if I may:  I may not like the fact that I would be forced to feed in long and potentially heavy stock onto a planer bed that is probably at my knee height or slightly above.  Yes, I could make infeed/outfeed extentions to alleviate that which would probably make that task much easier.  But the truth to the matter is that I have zero experience at this, so my concerns on this may not even be in the ball park.  I do recall reading some commentary somewhere that some user thought the Hammer A3-31 extentions were not worth the extra expense.  Again, that is one persons opinion.

I really wish I could see one of these machine in person.  Perhaps I should give my Felder rep a call on this. There may be one close by.

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

Offline grbmds

  • Posts: 1671
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2017, 12:30 PM »
@patriot Concerning the Byrd head for your Dewalt 735 . . .

What is the age of your 735? If it's 5+ years old and has had heavy use, do you know what the expected life of the motor and other major components is? At this point, that is a prime concern of mine. Since my planer is more than 5 years old, does it pay to spend the money on the head upgrade at this point? While my planer hasn't had heavy use and I tend to plane 1/32" per pass or less, I have no idea how long it is projected to last. I've never seen any reported problems with its longevity, but anything can happen.
Randy

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 103
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #41 on: April 08, 2017, 12:50 PM »
My DW735 is 11 years old, has had what I would call moderate use in a hobby environment, and still runs like a top.  When you replace the head new bearings are included and that is likely the 1st item on a 735 that would need servicing.

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #42 on: April 08, 2017, 01:49 PM »
@grbmds

Thanks for your post.  Excellent questions!

I put my 735 into service on 20 Jan 2012.  It is currently running on the first edge of its fifth set of knives.

While this may tell you that it has just slightly over five years of use, that says nothing of how many board-feet of stock have been passed through its knives.  After we moved back to New Mexico from Chicago it sat idle for probably 6-months or so while my new shop was built and we settled in.  Six-months is just a guess because I really am not certain.

I will say that it is not used every day, but there have been days that it has run so long that the noise nearly gives me a headache regardless of my (-25dB) hearing protection.  My dog leaves the shop immediately when the 735 and my Jet vac start up.  The next time this happens I will use both foam inserts and my muffs to keep the noise level at a the lowest level possible

That said, like you I tend to take thin slices off of my boards but my slices are about a quarter-turn of the wheel whatever depth that may be.  If I am trimming the edge of a board I may take a half-turn slice, but that's max.

I have no idea what the life span of these machines may be, but I ran a lot of stock through my old 733 and it never let me down. But, when I consider the cost of a new Byrd head and the fact that this machine could quit on me anytime that gives me pause to reconsider the purchase of the pricey Byrd cutter head and go for the A3-31.

If I sell my 735 while it is still in good working order and purchase a Hammer A3-31 that would give me some peace of mind with respect to the new tools longevity.  But everything is relative.

Now, if I just had a crystal ball ...  [big grin]
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2017, 01:52 PM »
My DW735 is 11 years old, has had what I would call moderate use in a hobby environment, and still runs like a top.  When you replace the head new bearings are included and that is likely the 1st item on a 735 that would need servicing.

If I do purchase the Byrd cutter head I will definitely have new bearings installed.  But, due to the extremely high demand for this cutter head and the very lon-nng delivery date, I may not live long enough to actually get one. [wink]
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 103
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2017, 09:26 AM »
Gents,

I happened to have the Byrd head for DW735 popup in an amazon add today, clicked on it and it shows as in stock at $529 with bearings (about $90 more than I paid two years ago on amazon) - I was skeptical so put it in cart and went to checkout and it confirms free Prime shipping arriving Saturday.  Go get 'em!

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2017, 10:12 AM »
@kevinculle

Thanks for your post.

These cutter-heads do seem to be in stock, but nowhere could I verify that they came with bearings installed.  I did, however, take a look at the Customer Questions section and someone did verify that the cutter came with bearings installed.  It would be nice if this was stated in the item description.

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

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 103
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #46 on: April 20, 2017, 11:06 AM »
I can confirm that this is the same amazon stock number I bought and bearings were included and installed on the cutterhead.

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2017, 11:36 AM »
I can confirm that this is the same amazon stock number I bought and bearings were included and installed on the cutterhead.

Thanks for the verification.  Decisions, decisions, ...  [scratch chin]
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline thudchkr

  • Posts: 52
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2017, 03:58 PM »
I had the DW735 and I upgraded it with the Byrd head.  I got all those benefits that every one mentions, but I felt that the planer was underpowered after the upgrade.  I had to take extremely shallow cuts when working in hard maple or the planer motor overload would trip.  I ended up purchasing the A3-31 with the Silent Power head and have no issues since with being under powered.  Finish seems about the same between the two and I've never noticed any issues with the lower level of the planer bed.  (I am 6'5" so I do end up bending over when using it.) I've since planed, (and jointed), lots of hard maple and even more Jatoba, which is a good bit harder than the maple, and am more than pleased with my purchase.

After using the Silent Power head equipped A3-31, there is no way I would go back to the DW735, Byrd head or not.

Good luck with whichever decision you end up making.

Clint
Clint

TS 55, TS 75, DF 500, DF 700, Kapex, MFK 700, OF 1400, OF OF 2200, CT 22, ETS 150/3, ETS EQ 150/5, PRO 5, DTS 400, CXS

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #49 on: April 20, 2017, 05:06 PM »
@thudchkr

Thanks for your post.

Funny, but just this morning I found posts on the net noting that their 735 were tripping their breakers.  IMHO, that's relative to whether they have 16A or 20A breakers in the circuit in question.  Regardless, there is a lot of chat about this occurring with the 735 and the Byrd cutter-heads.

With all due respect - you did what I am trying to avoid: You upgraded your 735 with the byrd cutter then purchased the A3-31.  I'm sitting on the fence contemplating all of these choices.

My 735 has served me extremly well.  I have zero complaints with the way it performs using the standard HSS knives.  My DJ-20 has also served me well, but it has a bowed fence that I have to check daily which is not that big of a deal, but changing knives IS another story. 

I have dissasembled/assembled my DJ-20 twice which by some counts makes me an expert of sorts with this machine, but changing knives is not something I look forward to doing.  And, if the truth be known, changing knives does not happen as often as it should even with carbide cutters.  They need changing now, but since I'm parked on the fence that has not happened.

That said, replacing both my 735 and the DJ-20 with a single (space saving) combination jointer/planer makes perfect sense in a small 20'x24' work shop (glorified garage, really).  I'm not fond of the short jointer beds of the A3-31, but I know Hammer offers table entensions.

I have a K3 on the way (this will be a space hog I think) and I need to purchase a large bandsaw (the minimax mm16 is my choice).  Adding the A3-31 would be the perfect companion to these power tools.  The mm16 is a priority because I have a large collection of logs that need to be quarter-sawn and stored away from the weather. So, in a manner of speaking, the mm16 and the A3-31 are both high priority

Once the K3 is assembled and running I will probably take the plunge and order both.

I appreciate your comments.

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

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 412
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #50 on: April 20, 2017, 07:57 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.

I'm thinking I should do this also. Get my order in as this Fall I have about 100 bf
of cherry I need for a project that will need to be planed to required thickness.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #51 on: April 20, 2017, 10:23 PM »
@Bob D.

I think these cutter-heads are currently available on Amazon.  You can check this out here if you like.

Now you don't have to wait. [big grin]
« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 10:27 PM by patriot »
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 412
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #52 on: April 20, 2017, 10:31 PM »
@Bob D

I think these cutter-heads are currently available on Amazon.  You can check this out here if you like.

Now you don't have to wait. [big grin]

Thanks, but purchased from whomever it better be a serious upgrade over stock performance at that price.

When I bought my DW735 over 8 years ago the whole machine cost (plus the in/outfeed tables and stand) as much as the Byrd Shelix Cutterhead. $500 is about 12 or 13 sets of blades. I've been hoarding them every time they go on sale at any place I frequent, usually Lowes will knock off 10% every once in a while. I have 4 extra sets now but I would still consider the Shelix cutterhead. Maybe after I burn through my current stock of blades they'll be caught up and the wait time will be reasonable.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 412
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #53 on: April 21, 2017, 07:43 AM »
I was just reading about the Shelix cutterhead on Byrds' website, and I see that the head is available in two diameters.

Which one have any of you bought and installed and would you get the smaller or stay with the original diameter if you could go back and do it again.

If you have installed the smaller diameter head, have you noticed any shortcomings associated with it? Any affect on cut quality or machine capacity or power as compared to the original diameter Shelix head or the original DeWalt cutter head?

Here's the notice on the Byrd page for the DW735 cutterhead:

IMPORTANT: When installing the SHELIX head, the head has to go through a small hole in the machine housing and it will not fit through with the knives installed. For the same reason, you will also have to remove the straight blades first before you can remove the original cutter head. Byrd’s default SHELIX head is 1/8” smaller in diameter to enable you to install the SHELIX head without having to remove all 40 knives. The disadvantage is that this will reduce the cutting ability by 1/16”. As this machine by default can only remove 1/8” per pass, equipped with this SHELIX head, you will only be able to remove about 1/16” per pass. Due to the fact that spiral heads require more horse power, you cannot remove more than 1/16” anyways when cutting wider stock. Byrd does offer this head also with the original diameter. As explained above, you will have to remove all 40 knives from the SHELIX head and re-install them once the head is in the machine. When you place your order, please select the version of your preference above.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 103
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #54 on: April 21, 2017, 08:13 AM »
I have the smaller one and the only major disadvantage I see is that the stop knob on the DW735 (left of the infeed in 1/4" increments) is now out of calibration by the amount the head radius is smaller.  If this was a concern one could go with the larger option...installing the cutters after the head is in would be a bit of a pain but I suppose worth it if this detail is important to you.

Offline tdwilli1

  • Posts: 28
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #55 on: April 21, 2017, 10:32 AM »
The stop is adjustable at least on mine!, just loosen the nut, move the screw to the correct height and tighten it back up. You have to be careful when tightening it up, it tends to move the screw as you're tightening the nut.

I have the smaller one and the only major disadvantage I see is that the stop knob on the DW735 (left of the infeed in 1/4" increments) is now out of calibration by the amount the head radius is smaller.  If this was a concern one could go with the larger option...installing the cutters after the head is in would be a bit of a pain but I suppose worth it if this detail is important to you.

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #56 on: April 21, 2017, 11:20 AM »
@Bob D.

I really appreciate the revealation of the Byrd 'fine print'.  While this knowledge is important, I think the more revealing information is their statement that "... spiral heads require more horse power, ...".   This, IMHO, is undoubtedly the reason that a lot of 735/Byrd cutter-head users are tripping their breakers.  This makes perfect sense.

It is my habit to only remove 1/4-turn of stock in one pass, sometimes 1/2-turn if I'm trimming the edge of the stock.  However, as we all know, the wider the board and the denser the stock the more the motor is strained.  Add to this the fact that the Byrd cutter-head further strains the motor due to its inherent design, then the user must pay particular attention to making sure he/she takes very thin slices. 

While all of this is manageable, I would not be happy to discover that my workflow - assuming I had the Byrd cutter-head installed in my 735 - would be impacted by this restraint.  If I could continue to remove stock as I normally do without tripping the breaker then that would be fine.  However, the only way to ascertain this would be to purchase the Byrd cutter-head and see how it behaves. 
This seems to be a risky undertaking.

I just took a look at the required amperage on my 735 and it is 15A.  So users running their 735's on 16A breakers would IMHO be the most susceptible to tripping their breakers if they have the Byrd cutter-head installed.  I would also think that they could easily trip their 16A breakers even without having the Byrd cutter installed.  All of my breakers are 20A so I have no way to verify that.



If someone who is running the Byrd cutter in their 735 could measure their amperage usage that would be valuable information to have.  I wonder if Byrd has this info on hand?  I may send them an email and see what they say.

Back on topic: The cost of the Byrd cutter-head is a heck of a lot less than the price of the A3-31.  If the amperage issue can be resolved this may be the way to go.

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

Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 412
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #57 on: April 21, 2017, 11:28 AM »
I wonder if there is a difference in the amp draw between the two models(diameters). The difference may not be enough to be significant. I run mine on a 20A circuit also, and its the only machine running on that circuit when I use it.

However I have in the winter when the shop is cold popped that breaker once or twice in the past. It has happened when I have not used the planer for a few days and haven't been in the shop so no heat running. Being a converted portion of my garage it is insulated but there is minimal heat, so when the temps dip below 32 outside it can get down into the upper 30s in the shop after 24 hours without the heat being on. It's then when the planer will pop the breaker when I first start it up even before feeding any wood into the machine. I reset it and it doesn't happen again until the shop gets cold again.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #58 on: April 21, 2017, 11:43 AM »
@Bob D.

If you had a line splitter you could learn how many amps your machine is pulling.  Here is a which may help.

Your 20A circuit should not be tripping the breaker, if as you noted, it is the only appliance/tool being run on that circuit.  However, because you mentioned the ambient temp being in the low 30s when this happens, I wonder if the 735 has inherent friction affected by the cold temp which dissipates when the machine has been run?

Just a guess on my part.
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3473
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #59 on: April 21, 2017, 11:59 AM »
@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)

I only just ran onto the thread.  I use the same methods you use with my 734.  The old model 734 was two blade an was satisfactory until in the middle of a project the drive belt broke.  Because I was expecting to deliver the table within a couple of days, it was quicker to replace the entire machine.  The new 734 has three blades and does leave a mirror finish and far less prone to snipe.

I used a flatpiece of melamine as you show in your post.  The problem with that was that eventually, the interior compressed.  I went back to using the method you describe to prevent (cut down on snipe).
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 103
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #60 on: April 21, 2017, 04:46 PM »
I measured the amperage draw of my 735 before and after the cutterhead change and the Byrd heade was indeed drawing about 7% more amperage than stock.

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Offline Bob D.

  • Posts: 412
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #61 on: April 21, 2017, 05:16 PM »
@Bob D.

If you had a line splitter you could learn how many amps your machine is pulling.  Here is a which may help.

Your 20A circuit should not be tripping the breaker, if as you noted, it is the only appliance/tool being run on that circuit.  However, because you mentioned the ambient temp being in the low 30s when this happens, I wonder if the 735 has inherent friction affected by the cold temp which dissipates when the machine has been run?

Just a guess on my part.

Yes, added friction from some stiff lubricant somewhere was my thought too, maybe the bearings as it never did this until 2 winters ago, and as I said my machine is about 10 years old IIRC.

I have a splitter and know how to measure the current, just haven't bothered.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 103
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #62 on: April 22, 2017, 07:54 AM »
The stop is adjustable at least on mine!, just loosen the nut, move the screw to the correct height and tighten it back up. You have to be careful when tightening it up, it tends to move the screw as you're tightening the nut.


Thanks for that tip tdwill1!

Offline kevinculle

  • Posts: 103
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #63 on: April 22, 2017, 07:59 AM »
I think part of the increased current draw from the Byrd head is due to the geometry of the cutters...because the cutting edge is skewed to the toolpath and overlapped between rows there is more contact area between cutters and wood than a straight blade head.  The work done to remove wood is the same but the increased frictional area takes more power to drive.

Offline jdw101

  • Posts: 67
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #64 on: May 02, 2017, 12:44 PM »
I have this planer and the cutterhead but I haven't installed it yet.  The planer came with an extra set of knives and I try and do most of my stock prep by hand until I have mastered it. 

The reason I am posting is I wanted to express how shockingly nice the face of the boards are when they come out of this planer with the steel knives.  I almost could not believe it.  I fed in some pretty nasty grained quilted maple and it came out like glass.  Granted, the first thing to touch the initial knives but it was amazing.

I ordered the Byrd Shelix and it took 6 months to get, ordered it 3 months before Christmas last year and got it about a month ago.  It's still in the box, I have to get through the first set of knives and then the extra set I got with the kit. 

One thing though, I am kind of wishing I had ordered the head that was a little larger around (The one where you have to screw in the cutters after it is installed) because it just seems like it would be nicer to have the extra cut.

I also felt I got a pretty nice deal on it, I bought the head and complete additional set of cutters for less than 600 USD.  At one point I remember the cutter costing near that alone.  Thanks for all the good info,  I also bought the digital gauge everyone is using.  Have to get the cutter on before I do that too!

Offline patriot

  • Posts: 114
    • Wood Working By Design
Re: DW735 Planer and Byrd Shelix Head Cutter
« Reply #65 on: May 02, 2017, 02:46 PM »
@jdw101

Thanks for your post.

Best of luck getting the cutter installed.  Please let us know about the install and the difference it makes to your workflow. 
'If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there' Lewis Carroll