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Replacing the cutting head on a Ridgid R4330 with a Shelix head #1: Replacing the cutting head on a Rigid R4330 planer with a Shelix cutting head

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Blog entry by b2rtch posted 206 days ago 1525 reads 2 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Replacing the cutting head on a Ridgid R4330 with a Shelix head series no next part

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.

First try.


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.
Congratulations Ridgid

-- Bert



26 comments so far

View lepelerin's profile

lepelerin

321 posts in 957 days


#1 posted 206 days ago

Tx for the instructions but I do have a question
What made you invest more than $400 in a planer that is less than $400?

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#2 posted 206 days ago

There is no 13”planer with an helical head available on the market.
Tired of replacing the knives
Quality of cut
Mostly because I love to tweak my tools.

-- Bert

View patron's profile

patron

13017 posts in 1973 days


#3 posted 206 days ago

when you say:

I notice the motor works quite a bit harder than with original head

do you mean it actually has less power with the new head

i am trying to get one for my delta DJ-20 jointer
(i ordered one six months ago
but they finally told me they didn’t have one for 3 months)

i read also most don’t come with the bearings
but don’t seem to offer them
or say what pert # or where to get them

can you explain about this please
i’d hate wait again for so long
just to have to find the bearings and wait for them too

thanks for the good photo post
give a much better idea what’s involver here

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#4 posted 206 days ago

Patron you are welcome.
My head came with the bearings as did the head that I installed on my Powermatic jointer.
I can hear the motor working harder,as if I was taking a heavier cut.
Part of it could be the wood, I normally work with Douglas Fir and not with Ash Wood

Questions are welcome

-- Bert

View patron's profile

patron

13017 posts in 1973 days


#5 posted 206 days ago

thanks bert

i guess when ordering
a call to them too
would clear some of this up
right away

i’m guessing the woods do have something to do with the motor strain
as with just about all the tools we use

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#6 posted 206 days ago

I got my head in just two weeks.
I ordered it from Holbren

-- Bert

View lumbermeister's profile

lumbermeister

96 posts in 611 days


#7 posted 206 days ago

How does the new cutter head perform? Is the quality of the wood surface up to your expectations?

View lepelerin's profile

lepelerin

321 posts in 957 days


#8 posted 206 days ago

@b2rtch
I was not aware you could not find a 13” with helical head. Tx for the info
Good luck in your installation and let us know how it performs.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#9 posted 206 days ago

It performs very well.
As every one knows the Shelix cutting heads live no or very little tear out and a very smooth surface.

Steel City sales a 13” planer wit a head that they call “helical” but in fact it is not helical and the quality of cut is quite bit inferior to the Shelix cutting head.

-- Bert

View patron's profile

patron

13017 posts in 1973 days


#10 posted 206 days ago

lepel

here is holbren that sell them
they have them in many sizes for different tools

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#11 posted 206 days ago

You can also buy them for a little less money at Global Tooling :

http://www.globaltooling.com/

http://globaltooling.bizhosting.com/products/heads-journal/planer-journal-heads.html

-- Bert

View RogerInColorado's profile

RogerInColorado

291 posts in 586 days


#12 posted 206 days ago

Great post, Bert. What did you use to clean your rollers? I’ve considered doing it, but I’ve always been a little concerned about damaging the roller material with a solvent if I didn’t have confidence that the solvent was the right one.

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4508 posts in 924 days


#13 posted 206 days ago

Very nice review with great photographs. My experience was the Shelix is substantially quieter and easier on the motor, so your comment that your motor sounds like its working harder is puzzling.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4318 posts in 1680 days


#14 posted 206 days ago

The cutting head itself is much quieter but the motor seems to work harder.
To clean the glue from the rollers I first tried Isopropyl alcohol but it did not work.
I then used lacquer thinner. It worked without damaging the rubber

-- Bert

View patron's profile

patron

13017 posts in 1973 days


#15 posted 206 days ago

might be the extra weight in the shelix itself
all the screws and more cutter knife’s

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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