SJ WoodWorks

Because your family gathers in the kitchen

New Byrd Tool Shelix cutterhead for Dewalt planer DW735 part II

Steve Bonora2 Comments


That pretty well sums up the performance of the Shelix cutterhead for the Dewalt planer DW735.  As I mentioned previously I had a load of hardwood, hard maple, purpleheart, walnut, and sapele that needed to be planed down from 1-1/8" to 3/4".  Instead of paying someone else to do this for me, I decided to upgrade my planer and attempt to do it myself.  

Even after reading all the positive reviews on amazon, I still had reservations that this setup would be able to handle the amount of work I was about to feed it.  Those reservations are gone. Not only can this Shelix cutterhead remove a ton of stock without dulling, it leaves behind a beautiful glue ready finish.    

After a few passes of the 300 liner ft. of hardwood some of the boards began sticking under the rollers.  A little hand pressure would get the boards moving again.  The rollers and cutterhead were spinning, but the boards were sticking.  With the stock blades, this was usually a sign the knives were getting dull.  Changing the knives always solved this problem.  I really didn't want to rotate all of the little shelix knives, so I stopped, and raised the planer.  I noticed the base plate that the boards ride on was a bit sticky.  I realized it had been quite some time since I had waxed the base plate.  I found my tin of Minwax Finishing Paste and applied some as per the directions.  The plate felt a little slicker and sure enough, the boards were flying through again.  

With the old setup about 1/32" (half turn) was all I could ever take off on the slow feed setting.  With the new shelix cutterhead 3/64" ( three-quarter turn) and even 1/16" (full turn) can be removed without too much load on the motor.  And with No tearout. 

The amount of work I rely on my drum sander for has been greatly reduced by this cutterhead. Thanks Shelix, I am very, very happy.

Need some hardwoods, making a cutting board? Click here for the hardwood lumber you need!


New Byrd Tool Shelix cutterhead for Dewalt planer DW735

Steve Bonora4 Comments

I own the Dewalt 735 13" planer.  I've had this planer for almost two years and I've been very happy with it.  However, I had the same complaint just about everyone who uses this planer heavily has.  The knives just stink!  They dull and knick quickly, and at $50 a set, the costs start adding up.  I was able to find them a bit cheaper on Amazon.  Powertec sells sets of two (6 knives all together) for about $70.  Here's the link POWERTEC 128000DD 13-Inch Planer Knives for DeWalt DW735, HSS, 2-PACK 

While this price beats the big box stores, it was still a bit pricy since I was going through a set almost once a week.  If you've poked around the website, you'll see I plane lots of hard hardwoods.  I had my eye on the Byrd tool Shelix Cutterhead for some time.  While I knew it would save me money in the long run, it took a while to come around to putting a $450 part into a $550 tool.  

I installed it just a few days ago, and so far I am happy.  The installation was easy.  It only takes about an hour IF YOU HAVE SNAP RING PLIERS!  If you don't, $3 and a trip to Harbor Freight will save you tons of aggravation.  There are two separate youtube videos that do a fantastic job of showing the step by step for the install.  Here are the links video 1, video 2.  

The only thing I recommend doing differently is in step 21, the old shaft needs to be pounded out.  Watch the video, you'll know what I'm talking about.  In both videos they pound out the shaft and then remove a small helical gear.  It's that helical gear, that is attached to the end of the shaft, that they are pounding on.  If that were to get damaged, it would be a real pain in the a**.  So unscrew the gear first, then pound out the shaft.  Easy as pie.  

As for the operation, it's certainly a better machine with the shelix cutterhead.  The noise level is much lower, and the motor is definitely not working as hard.  There is however a small amount of snipe now.  About 2.5" on either end.  It's not a ton, but it will create problems when trying to face glue.  

I contacted Byrd Tool today and am awaiting a response.  We'll see if they have any recommendations for adjustments that will remove the snipe.  

Overall I'm happy.  I'll be receiving a shipment of about 200 board feet of 4/4 walnut, hard maple, sapele, and purpleheart early next week.  I'll use the planer with the new shelix cutterhead to mill all of it to 3/4".  

I'll let you know how it goes, and what Byrd Tool has to say about the snipe.  

Thanks for reading,


Need some hardwoods, making a cutting board? Click here for the hardwood lumber you need!

Byrd Tool Shelix cutterhead for Dewalt planer DW735

Byrd Tool Shelix cutterhead for Dewalt planer DW735