The Coolidge Chronicles #1: Part 1 - Assembling Grizzly G0490 8" Jointer with Byrd Shelix Cutter Head

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Blog entry by darthford posted 10-29-2013 05:26 PM 4151 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Coolidge Chronicles series Part 2: Which Mortising Machine? - Grizzly G0448, Shop Fox W1743, Powermatic 719T »

After some research and helpful suggestions from Lumberjocks members I purchased a new Grizzly G0490 8” jointer and a Byrd Shelix cutter head from Grizzly. Below I chronicle the assembly and installation of the new cutter head.

In this first pic I have unbolted the motor from its shipping location and mounted it onto the motor bracket inside the cabinet. I also installed the dust collector outlet and mobile base lift wheel. I got the beast up on the stand with the Kubota tractor, its not a one man job without a hoist or method of lifting it.

Issue #1 – Hand space is cramped around dust collector sheet metal when installing the 8 bolts to hold the jointer to the stand. Plus you can only get about a 1/8 turn on some of them with an Allen wrench. Ideally I would have used a long 12” extension and a Allen head socket wrench for this job but I made due with a long flat tipped screw driver to get the bolts turned in snug then a short Allen wrench and suffered through the 1/8 turns.

Here I have removed the straight knife cutter head, I backed off the table stops and lowered both tables as far as they would go. The 4 bolts securing the cutter head were not very tight, in fact I have found a number of fasteners that were not very tight so I’ll be checking them all as I go. The cutter head came right out with no issues.

Here is my victory picture, the bearings and these cast iron blocks have been successfully removed from the old straight knife cutter head and installed on the new Byrd Shelix cutter head. It was not without drama however.

Issue #2 – Pay no attention to the instructions, you can’t tap these bearings off the old straight knife cutter head with a dead blow hammer and block of wood and in trying you are more apt to damage something. I ran into the same issue on my old Grizzly planer when swapping in a Byrd Shelix cutter head, you need a hydraulic press.

I removed the left green cast iron bearing block easily, the fit is snug. I get the feeling if I cleaned the green paint off the inside of the block it would be too loose. A few taps with a small dead blow hammer and it was removed, leaving the bearing still firmly attached to the shaft.

The right green cast iron block must come off together with the bearing, the bearing is secured in the block with a snap ring facing the cutter head which is inaccessible.

A trip to Harbor Freight and I’m now the proud owner of a 12 ton hydraulic press. I used some scrap lumber to make a box for the cutter head (4 sides and a bottom nothing fancy) so it would stand up straight on the hydraulic press and drop onto the block of wood as I pressed the bearings off. First up was the right hand cast iron block and bearing, it went BANG!! when it let loose, no way it was going to be hammered off as per the instructions.

Issue #3 – There is not much room behind the left bearing to get old of it. Maybe they make a gear/bearing puller that’s small enough I don’t know but you have to get under the inside bearing race and apply force there so you don’t damage the bearing by pulling on the outer race. There’s only about 3/16” of space. I happened to have 2 thin box end wrenches that were about 3/16” inch thick, I sandwiched the bearing between them and used the press to drive the shaft out and pop the bearing off. The press had bent the wrenches significantly before it cut loose with a BANG!! that’s how tight it was on there. If you are replacing the bearings and not worried about damaging them its no big deal if you pry on the outer bearing race with a puller.

Re-installing the bearings was straight forward. I applied anti-seize in case I need to replace the bearings at some point. I used a socket wrench socket to press the left bearing on. The right bearing is both a larger diameter than the left and you have to clear a few inches of the shaft, I didn’t have a socket that large or deep so I used a piece of 3.5” long black iron pipe filed flat on one end. Again you just want to apply force to the inner bearing race.

Next I will re-install the cutter head and dial it in parallel with the outfeed table. This should be interesting, the instructions say the cutter head may have been shimmed at the factory, I don’t see any shims but I do see lots of globs of green paint and since the cutter head bolts were not very tight when the surfaces are cleaned and bolted down proper who knows what will be needed in the way of shimming. Also the instructions suggest using newspaper to shim, I’ll be using proper shim material from McMaster Carr.

Round 2

Here’s the front bearing block, note the proper sized shoulder pad for the socket head cap screws which will not be the case for the rear bearing block in the next pic. Also note the holes drilled in the Byrd Shelix cutter head, apparently these are part of a balancing process, one of the carbide inserts near a drilled hole on mine is chipped and will have to be turned before use.

Here’s the rear bearing block, note that its been drilled three times leaving very little shoulder for the socket head cap screw to grip. I dub this shoddy work on Grizzly’s part. One of the lock washers was missing anyway so while I’m had the hardware store tomorrow I’ll take my digital calipers and see if I can find a wider washer that will fit.

Here is a pic of the rear bearing block base, not exactly precision work here and there is only a narrow bit of shoulder left/right for the block to rest on. Keep in mind the corners of the bearing block are chamfered so the actual contact area is small. This base should be flat not stepped like that imo. With the gooped on paint my guess is they just bolt it down and adjust the tables to fit, why even bother to shim here per the instructions with these surfaces to work with, I don’t see how they shoot for +- .004.

Next I’m off to the hardware store tomorrow.

Update 11/1/2013

In this round I installed the Byrd Shelix cutter head, cleaned off the shipping grease, then got out the measuring tools and dialed in this beast.

Cutter Head – I adjusted the outfeed table to spot on with the front of the cutter head and the rear of the cutter head measured .004 low. The instructions say leave it alone up to .004 but shim if its .005, I decided to shim it and got the cutter head to slightly less than .001 front to rear with the outfeed table and called that good!

Infeed table – The infeed table was spot on at the rear but .008 high at the front so I had to remove the set screws and adjust the eccentric bushings. The manual make it sound like this is some big scary procedure when in fact it was quite easy. Infeed/outfeed tables are now 0 to less than .001.

Now for the not so good. I peeled the paper off the tables, wiped off the grease and found these gouges in the outfeed table, they were raised up above the surface so I had to grind them down flush.

I also found this, it looks like the factory tried to fix something.

These warts are a bit disappointing but given the lower cost of the jointer I won’t sweat them, they don’t effect the usage of the tool and I’m pretty happy with how flat these bit tables are and how close I was able to dial them in.

With all that nice cast iron cleaned of grease and rain about to start I applied a good coat of BoeShield to the tables to protect them and called it a night.

2 comments so far

View Bigrock's profile


292 posts in 2987 days

#1 posted 10-30-2013 01:29 AM

Once you get it up and running you will love it. The Byrd head are great. Be careful and patient.

View clafollett's profile


114 posts in 2680 days

#2 posted 11-13-2013 01:39 AM

Very nice write up! Bummer when things don’t go smooth but glad you get it worked out in the end.

-- Don't mind me, I'm just soaking up knowledge

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