Cleaning up a G0656X

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Forum topic by nerdbot posted 01-25-2016 07:12 PM 599 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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97 posts in 782 days

01-25-2016 07:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer helix helical

I was able to snag my first jointer this weekend off of Craigslist, a lightly-used-then-stored-for-years G0656X. I spent the weekend removing the surface rust and giving the entire thing a good cleaning. I’m about to clean the helical head, there’s a bit of sawdust caked under a bunch of the cutters, so I’ll be removing all the cutters, cleaning them up, adding a bit of oil to all the screws, etc.

I’m inclined to believe the seller’s story that it only had a couple hours of use before the previous owner passed away (and then sat unused for a couple years). When I tested the machine, I jointed a face and an edge. The jointed face/edge came out perfectly 90, but the face looked a bit scalloped/wavy across the width of the board. Since it’s my first jointer, I don’t know if I was feeding improperly, if the jointer wasn’t properly tuned, the jointer was bogged down (we didn’t have DC for the test cuts), or if the cutters were dull (he had a bunch of milled lumber as well, some of it bubinga and other exotics). The machine powers on, doesn’t make any odd noises, and is in otherwise great condition.

I haven’t run 220V in my garage yet (opportunity knocked before I was fully ready) so I haven’t yet tested the cut quality after my tune-up. Since I’ll be removing all the cutters for cleaning anyway, would there be any benefit to touching up the edges on my diamond stones? Perhaps just the flat side? I haven’t been able to find any forum posts or articles of anyone saying they’ve tried touching up the cutter heads.

6 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


748 posts in 341 days

#1 posted 01-26-2016 03:25 AM


Congratulations on the new jointer! It sounds like it is already tuned up. That is good, because it is a real pain to get the beds set exactly right.

I have no experience with spiral cutter heads but have been thinking about upgrading my planer to a spiral cutter head. Additionally I have been researching jointers with an eye to upgrading my existing jointer to one with a spiral cutter head. As a result, I have some thoughts.

I wondered myself about just how smooth the surface of a board would be after being run over a spiral cutter head. I do not recall the web site, but it stated the spiral cutter head leaves ripples in the board that are easily removed. However, I am not sure what “easily removed” means. The only photo of a spiral cutter head face planed board I found is in a video produced by Grizzly. It appears to show exactly what you described at 3:20 in the Grizzly video; and suggests this is normal. The video compares Grizzly jointers, including the one you just acquired.

I also ran across a fellow who was rotating the cutters on a spiral cutter head. He works on a Powermatic jointer, but I see no reason why his experience would not relate to your plan to remove and re-install the cutters. He rambles on up to 9:19 in the video, where he actually changes the cutters.

Any attempt at sharpening the cutters could result in cutters that are not all the same thickness. The spiral head and cutters are engineered so that the cutters line up with each other precisely at the top dead center of a cut, based in part on a consistent cutter thickness. If the cutters vary in thickness after sharpening, the quality of the cut could be diminished.

If you are concerned with one or more dull or damaged cutters, rotate all cutters to a fresh edge. Cutters have 4 cutting edges. I believe there is a reference dot on each cutting so that all cutters can be rotated in the same direction. A recommendation I read somewhere is that if one cutter is rotated, all should be rotated so that all cutters are in line at top dead center; avoiding any problems associated the variation in wear.

View MadMark's profile


968 posts in 874 days

#2 posted 01-26-2016 03:39 AM

Don’t touch up the cutters, just rotate them 90°, that is a feature of spiral cutterheads. Some scalloping is normal as the cutterhead beats with the feed rate and leaves scallops, however a spiral cutterhead should not do that. Remember too that a planer is a thicknessing tool, NOT a finishing tool. It does not replace sanding.


-- Madmark -

View nerdbot's profile


97 posts in 782 days

#3 posted 01-26-2016 05:24 AM

I knew there was probably a good reason behind not touching them up, I just couldn’t find any evidence. I’ll just clean out the gunk on the cutters and see how well they cut in their original position, and go from there. Hopefully I can wire the new outlet in the next day or so. Thanks JBrow and MadMark.

View JBrow's profile


748 posts in 341 days

#4 posted 01-26-2016 06:35 PM


Your reply suggests that you have experience with a spiral cutter head. Upgrading from my current 3 knife planer head to the spiral cutter head is a big expense. I would hate to make that upgrade only to find out that the time required to remove mill marks has increased over the time required to remove mill marks from the 3 knife planer operation or has had some other impact on milling.

How much, if any, time and effort was added to your sanding and scrapping to remove the spiral cutter head mill marks?

I assume the mill marks have no effect on joinery right off the planner; true?

Lastly, to what extent, if any, does removing the spiral cutter head mill marks change the thickness dimension from off the planer?

View runswithscissors's profile


2127 posts in 1446 days

#5 posted 01-27-2016 04:54 AM

I have the Jet JJP12-HH combo machine with the helical head (this may be a Byrd head, as they look very similar).

I jointed and planed some good sized slabs of black locust, and dulled the carbide cutters. I’m guessing the locust is not only hard but abrasive. After rotating the cutters, I ran a fair amount of well-seasoned beech through both jointer and planer. The finish was almost glass smooth, and there was no tear out, even though there was quite a bit of gnarly grain. In finishing, I will only need to do light sanding.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View nerdbot's profile


97 posts in 782 days

#6 posted 02-03-2016 03:27 AM

I finished tuning up the jointer, replaced the belt with a new link belt, and boards are coming out nice and smooth, no scalloping that I can tell.

I do have one question though – there are areas where the paint has flaked off the body, either from years of sitting around without any maintenance, or perhaps I was a bit too aggressive during my cleaning. For now I’ve just sprayed or wiped all cast iron surfaces, painted or not, with GlideCoat (similar to T-9). Do I need to do anything extra for the areas with missing paint?

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