Dewalt Planer
#6
Have a DW735 Dewalt planer and the projects I've been doing lately am using it a lot. Am wondering if anybody has one that they installed a helical cutter head on. If so, who made it, and would you do it again? How hard was the installation?
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#7
Installed a Byrd on my DW735 7 or so years ago. Hobbyist, mostly figured hardwoods. Would do it again for sure. Except for 2 broken cutters (my fault--ran a very loose knot through)--the rest are still on the first of 4 sides. Time to rotate. Install was pretty straight forward with Byrd's well-done guide.

Background--my 735 was a display model from Sears on clearance when they stopped selling Dewalt planers in-store. If memory serves, i paid under $300 for the planer. Used 3 sets of knives in the first year (both sides), then spent just over $300 on the Byrd at the time. Have spent less than $10 on two cutters since and wood comes off the tool in much better shape--so i'm thinking long-term i not only have gotten some quality improvement, but guessing that i'm nearing break-even on knife savings (if not already a bit ahead).

Can't lie...I'd love to have a 15" or 20" iron machine--but in my opinion i can't justify it for what i do and the results i get. The DW735 is loud--helical head reduced that a little, but not enough to remove the ear muffs!!
earl
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#8
I made the move to the Byrd head maybe 5 years ago.  Possibly the best tool decision I've made.

My DW735 was getting old and tired, but was able to sell it for $300.  Found a new one on Craig's List, still in the box, for $500.  IIRC the Byrd was $400.  The instructions are great!  Also, videos on the internet were helpful.  IMHO the smooth running Byrd head will extend the life of the planer.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
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#9
The main complaint I've seen with helical heads and DW735 planers is that helical heads require more power than straight knives and the DeWalt 735 is kinda marginal there. What is the experience of actual users? Have to be careful about how deep cuts to make?
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#10
I make shallow cuts anyway, so hasn't been a problem. I'm not convinced that the Byrd takes more power than dull straight blades. And...the factory blades fall off quickly enough that i tended to ride them longer than i should have so i was seeing the Byrd as a reduction in power needed when i made the change.

Been a while, but i went through a streak of running 9"-11" wide by 9-10 long poplar, cherry and hickory--both 4/4 and 8/4--even with roller stands i had to help the feed a bit. These days i just rough-cut the length first instead of lifting that much weight. Again, probably was the wrong planer to ask it to feed 80-100 pound boards!!
earl
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