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Dewalt 735 Mods and Repairs #2: Shelix Head Installation

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Blog entry by pintodeluxe posted 12-26-2014 01:26 AM 2396 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Dewalt 735 Planer Dust Collection Fix Part 2 of Dewalt 735 Mods and Repairs series no next part

I installed the Shelix cutterhead from Holbren in my Dewalt 735. Although Holbren has online instructions, I found Chris Wong’s video, of Flair Woodworks, to be more detailed. The process was surprisingly simple, and went together without a hitch.
I won’t recount the entire installation process, because it is well covered elsewhere, however I will add a couple tips if you are considering this upgrade. When you pull the gearbox off to access the cutterhead, use a bungee cord to hold it in place. It can rotate 90 degrees and it stays out of the way during installation.
The other thing I did was use blue (removable) Loctite when reassembling the planer. The helical gear, for instance is tough to tighten onto the new cutterhead. The old cutterhead has a hex in the casting to accept a wrench. The Shelix doesn’t, so you have to hold it with a gloved hand to attach the helical gear with a 6mm socket. Some Loctite there is good assurance that nothing comes loose in the future.

Initial test cuts were very good. The planer is so much quieter now. Not only is the volume less, but the quality of the sound is much more tolerable. The Shelix took my planer from a Bengal tiger to a lonely kitten. Each pass sounds like “Meoow.” To me it is an amazing difference. In my last blog I removed the fan impeller, and found that had almost no impact on the noise. With the Shelix, even the no-load noise level sounds better.
Billed to last 20 x longer than HSS, these carbide inserts sure leave a nice surface. My last set of straight knives had a huge pair of nicks in them. I slid them to the side to overlap the knick, and that worked for about 2 hours, then the ridge returned. The Shelix inserts leave a flat surface that is ready for a light sanding.

The real reason I switched is the tearout. I was tired of sending beautiful quartersawn white oak through the planer (skewed at an angle and on the slower finishing speed), only to have the board emerge riddled with tearout. It was particularly a problem (with straight knives) planing panels where the grain direction was opposite from one board to the next.

I had to make a minor adjustment in the depth stop setting. It was 1/32” off with the new head, so I adjusted the depth stop slightly to correct it. It is easy to do with two wrenches from the outside of the planer. Loosen the stop nut and twist the threaded post clockwise to lower the thickness at a given setting.

I’ll run a few hundred board feet and do a review, but so far so good.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush



13 comments so far

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

7998 posts in 1442 days


#1 posted 12-26-2014 01:46 AM

Cool man. I hear ya about the tearout. These shelix buggers are the way to go. Planning on going that route eventually.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1633 days


#2 posted 12-26-2014 02:48 AM

I switched to a shelix on my 735 a couple months ago. No more tearout on figured wood. I still have to adjust my thickness indicator. I always use calipers when I am getting close to the thickness so don’t really care if it is right on Definitely cut down on the noise.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4852 posts in 2273 days


#3 posted 12-26-2014 02:52 AM

Good to hear your Shelix is working well Bruce.
Thanks

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View emart's profile

emart

422 posts in 2088 days


#4 posted 12-26-2014 04:50 AM

That has always been something I wanted to do on my 734 planer. it just seems like a better idea since you can change just the dull/damaged carbide instead of an entire knife.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them https://www.custommade.com/by/emeraldcrafts/

View rance's profile

rance

4245 posts in 2620 days


#5 posted 12-26-2014 05:41 AM

Very nice. I read a little a month ago about these and understand some leave you with not being able to plane as thin as the original setup. Did you find that to be true?

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4852 posts in 2273 days


#6 posted 12-26-2014 06:03 AM

1/8” is the minimum thickness the Dewalt 735 will plane to. However with the straight knives, anything less than 1/4” is asking for tearout. With the Shelix you can reliably plane down to 1/8” thick, and the stock comes out looking great (even figured oak).

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Roger's profile

Roger

19865 posts in 2264 days


#7 posted 12-26-2014 01:25 PM

Sounds like a gr8 upgrade for that planer, or any planer for that matter. Thnx for the details

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View NormG's profile

NormG

5499 posts in 2464 days


#8 posted 12-26-2014 11:45 PM

Congratulations, glad to hear the noise also went down

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View CL810's profile (online now)

CL810

3440 posts in 2448 days


#9 posted 12-28-2014 11:20 PM

Pinto, are you getting more snipe? I was getting virtually no snipe before I put the shelix head in my 735. I put the Shelix head on a couple of months ago and now I’m getting snipe almost 100% of the time. A lot of the snipe is negligible. I have the Dewalt infeed/out feed tables and like I said, snipe was not an issue for me at all.

But having said that, I won’t be taking it out. They are phenomenal in every other respect. I did some veneer work with cherry and I went down to .09” with no problems

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4852 posts in 2273 days


#10 posted 12-29-2014 04:37 AM

I didn’t notice any change in snipe with the new head. I have the tables adjusted about 1/8” higher at the outer edges, which eliminates most snipe. If the board is extra long, and I forget to lift it upward as it exits the planer I will get a little snipe, but that has always been the case.
I know I had to adjust my depth stop, which makes me wonder if feed roller pressure can be adjusted.
Let us know if you come up with a solution to the snipe problem.
Are you taking deeper cuts with the Shelix?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CL810's profile (online now)

CL810

3440 posts in 2448 days


#11 posted 12-29-2014 04:56 AM

I only take between 1/32 – 1/64” in a pass. My in table is raised about 1/16” but the out feed is less. I’ll nail this down and report back but it may be a couple of days. Do you h There is greater pressure because the shelix head is smaller in diameter.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4852 posts in 2273 days


#12 posted 12-29-2014 05:04 AM

The amount of material you are removing is quite reasonable.
Try approaching 1/8” on the infeed and outfeed adjustment and see what happens.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CL810's profile (online now)

CL810

3440 posts in 2448 days


#13 posted 12-29-2014 09:10 PM

OK, maxed out the adjustment for the feed tables and now have 3/32 differential on the infeed and 1/16” on the outfeed. Dramatic improvement. Didn’t eliminate the snipe except for one board. On the other two boards the amount of snipe was barely perceptible; couldn’t see it but could feel it. So I think you put me on the right road. Just going to have to continue to work with it.

Thanks Pinto!

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

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