The first thing I want to say is: Shame on Byrd tools for not providing one word of instruction with the head or on their website.
There is instruction with the head but they do not at all refer to this planer and I could not finds any instruction referring to this planer on their website.
One pays well over $400.0 for this head and he/she is left on his/her own.
This is not right!
Be very careful while handling this head, the cutters are razor sharp
This why I write this blog, to help others who would want to do the same thing.
If you mechanically inclined you can do this.
It was more difficult for me because I had to figure out everything.
I received the head from Holbren this afternoon
With head , I received a torx wrench, spare cutters and instruction to replace the cutting head on a Powermatic planer or any other generic large 4 posts planer but nothing relevant for the Ridgid R4330 planer.
I am on my own.
This is the original cutting head
My first challenge, and may be the most difficult one ,was to find out how to remove the side plastic covers.
The top one is easy the figure out, the side ones are more difficult. There are four screws on each sides behind the elevation screws.
The easiest way to get to these screws is to put the planer on its sides
After these covers are removed everything else is quite easy.
I mark with a paint marker all four posts, the top “frame” and sides, to put them back in the same position.
Then I removed all four post and the top frame.
This step might not be necessary.
The elevating mechanism may be removable with out removing the top frame,I am not sure
The elevation mechanism need to be removed to access the driving pulley behind it.
The bottom chain driving gear must be removed before removing the elevation mechanism.
Then all the elevation mechanism can be disassembled and taken out
The nut on the driving pulley is left hand threaded
After removing the pulley the screws retaining the bearing cage,can be removed.
The red lever is the shaft locking lever, it will not be reused.
After removing the screws, the cutting head easily comes out.
Putting the old and new head side by side , I at first believe that I received the wrong head as it has no driving gear to drive the rubber rollers.
I contact Holbren which tells me that the at the gear in fact seems to be screwed in the shaft.
I tried and they are correct the gear unscrewed, in fact the gear was only about finger tight!
I screw the gear on the new shaft quite a bit tighter than it originally was.
I remove the cage off the driving side bearing and I install it on the new head
I instal the new head on the planer, I use the three screws on the cage to “press” the shaft and bearings in.
The new cutting head is in and it rotates freely
I notice that the rubber rollers are dirty , this is good time to clean them
Upon reassembly I notice that I misplaced the key for the driving pulley. A kit from Harbor Freight saves me.
This also is a good time to adjust the tables.
I finished the reassembly with out any challenge.
I lubricate the screws and elevating mechanism with dry molycote.
The operation of the elevation mechanism is now much easier and smoother.
I pick a piece of ash wood to try the head
I plane first in one direction then the other direction, very little tear out
The shaving are very short.
I notice that the motor sounds like it works quite a bit harder than with original head
I want to say how impressed I am by the quality of fabrication of this planer.
The quality is excellent.