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Thread: Spiral head for Jointer? Just simple question...

  1. #1
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    Spiral head for Jointer? Just simple question...

    I know this has been hashed out many times over, I just wanted to ask with out causing to much of an uproar.

    I work with a lot of highly figured woods, very hard and difficult grains. I'm tired of tearout. I'm also tired of the very hard woods nicking the blades and then I end up with a line in the wood that has to be sanded out and the blades shifted a little.

    (I know I will never get away from sanding.)

    If I switch to a spiral head for a jointer, will this eliminate all my tearout, or just help a little?

    thanks,

    Brian
    That's not even a smile! That's just a bunch of teeth playing with my mind!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I don't use much of the figured woods but I have a 6 inch Grizzly jointer with the spiral head and I've been very pleased with everything I've run thru it.
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  3. #3
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    brian, i dont have a spiral head on anything but wished i di and i do work with figured woods some.. i end up using a drum sander to get mine clean.. i have seen a piece of birsdeye maple, heavy eye go across the bed of a jonter with a byrd head in it and never had any tearout,,took the same peice and revered the direction and got no tearout..now to me that was impressive the only reason i didnt get a jointer or a planer with a byrd head or shealix head was the cash flow..and even now i am still so close to gettin one for the planer..but it hasnt shown up yet..get the insert type head not the slanted blades.. the little square blades that can be replaced easily when yu get the nail yu missed or a knot that was to hard..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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  4. #4
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    In the February 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking, Glen Huey wrote one of the most coherent articles that I have ever read. It was about upgrading your cutter head. In it he talks about the two types of stagger tooth cutter heads. You need to get this article to have a real understanding of your options. Before I read this article, I believed that one type was better than the other for my needs, now I believe the other is. One of the conclusions in his article was that he would only get a new stagger tooth cutter head for his planer and not for his jointer. He did not believe it was worth it, since you will end up running both sides of the board through your planer anyway after flattening it on the jointer. Waste of money putting it in the jointer.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
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  5. #5
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    Just saw a 15" PM planer for 1900 bucks with one in it. I can tell ya if the 1900 was in my check book it wouldn't be now
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Satko View Post
    In the February 2011 issue of Popular Woodworking, Glen Huey wrote one of the most coherent articles that I have ever read. It was about upgrading your cutter head. In it he talks about the two types of stagger tooth cutter heads. You need to get this article to have a real understanding of your options. Before I read this article, I believed that one type was better than the other for my needs, now I believe the other is. One of the conclusions in his article was that he would only get a new stagger tooth cutter head for his planer and not for his jointer. He did not believe it was worth it, since you will end up running both sides of the board through your planer anyway after flattening it on the jointer. Waste of money putting it in the jointer.
    I would agree. I don't find the jointed face to be good enough even when everything is coming up roses, it will be lightly planed.

    I have a Tersa head in my planer and will be buying a Tersa head when I get a new jointer. I can plane birdseye without a single popped eye and no problems with any wood I have used yet, and I do a lot of work with exotics. The finish quality of the Tersa head is better than I have seen from a segmented head. That could be the planer itself though, the segmented heads were in lessor machines.

    In my current jointer I use the Esta Disposablade system so I never have to reset heights.

  7. #7
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    I can only tell you my experience which is limited pretty much to my shop ;-) Like you I use a fair amount of figured woods and was tired of tearout. I upgraded the jointer and was very pleased. I then upgraded the planer so tearout and I have pretty much parted ways. I create a lot less thin stock to use later but, I get to use the boards I had selected for a project more often now

    The thoughts on having one machine with a spiral and the other not doesn't work for me. Some tearout is deep enough that if I have to plane it out, my piece loses "dimensional usability" and goes into the scrap bin anyway.

    I have been running the same initial side of the four-sided carbide cutters of my jointer for almost 2 years and they still cut great. The planer is still quite new but I expect I'll get similar performance. In 2 years I would have had my jointer knives sharpened 3 times and bought another set to start on (YMMV, some knives last longer than others and can be usable after more sharpenings). At this rate if I take care of my health, I may swap a few inserts in my lifetime

    Others will have had different experiences but, that's my story
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-17-2011 at 11:34 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    I can only tell you my experience which is limited pretty much to my shop ;-) Like you I use a fair amount of figured woods and was tired of tearout. I upgraded the jointer and was very pleased. I then upgraded the planer so tearout and I have pretty much parted ways. I create a lot less thin stock to use later but, I get to use the boards I had selected for a project more often now

    The thoughts on having one machine with a spiral and the other not doesn't work for me. Some tearout is deep enough that if I have to plane it out, my piece loses "dimensional usability" and goes into the scrap bin anyway.

    I have been running the same initial side of the four-sided carbide cutters of my jointer for almost 2 years and they still cut great. The planer is still quite new but I expect I'll get similar performance. In 2 years I would have had my jointer knives sharpened 3 times and bought another set to start on (YMMV, some knives last longer than others and can be usable after more sharpenings). At this rate if I take care of my health, I may swap a few inserts in my lifetime

    Others will have had different experiences but, that's my story
    I have been tossing around the idea of picking up a planer with one of these heads just for rough stock for just this reason. My planer does an awesome job but I still hate running dirty rough stock through it.

  9. #9
    Hmmm, I've been bouncing around the idea of writing up my thoughts on this debate. Coincidentally, I just finished it yesterday!

    Short synopsis: You should get the helical head regardless of whether it produces a better finish. In the long run, the helical costs less.

    http://www.thewoodnerd.com/articles/...-straight.html
    ------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.thewoodnerd.com

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