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My New Tool: 15 inch Powermatic Byrd Helix Head Planer

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Blog entry by Boxguy posted 04-13-2012 09:54 AM 4452 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After 30 years of using my trusty Makita 400mm planer, I took the plunge and invested most of my hard-earned box profits from the past year in a new Powermatic 15 inch planer. I found that it was a good day to own a 35 horse Kabota tractor with a pallet forks since this gold beauty comes with 500 pounds of love.

Quick lessons:

When installing the cast iron wings. Attach the center bolt with the wing upside down and then spin it to attach the other two bolts. Put in the set screws for these wings first before you install the wings. It will save you a lot of standing on your head time.

The pull-out lift bars and a good tractor are a real help in getting the planer off the pallet and into the shop.

Putting a #8 wire in a #10 connection box is a real pain.

Because the shaving are finer, the 4 inch collection port works just fine…especially with a cyclone type collector.

Connecting the dust collector took 6 inch water pipe fittings, AC duct work tin pipe, and some actual 4 inch dust collector hose.

It is a vast improvement in noise and has much less tear out on curly stock.

I am having way too much fun planing down stock for future boxes.

Alan

-- Big Al in IN



3 comments so far

View Bigrock's profile

Bigrock

239 posts in 1629 days


#1 posted 04-13-2012 02:17 PM

Hi:
All I can say is why did you and I wait so long to get the Byrd Helix Cutter on our Planers. You got yours already installed and I had to convert mine. It took 5 hours and a good friend. It makes less noise, less load on the motor, makes smaller chips, the head is heaver, and it cuts much smoother.
I know you will enjoy using the big smooth Planer

View Cato's profile

Cato

641 posts in 1979 days


#2 posted 04-13-2012 03:25 PM

Congrats on your new planer, sounds like it is a fine machine.

I haven’t yet needed a bigger one than my oversized portable, but who knows maybe one day…..

View Nicky's profile

Nicky

636 posts in 2759 days


#3 posted 04-14-2012 05:54 PM

Sa’weet!

I upgraded my Delta 15” with a new cutter head a year ago. A nicked blade takes minutes to fix.

Congratulation on your new machine, I’m sure you will be pleased.

-- Nicky

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