Planers & Jointers blade questions


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Old 01-29-06, 11:08 AM
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Planers & Jointers blade questions

What is best, straight knives or a spiral cutterhead. Looking at Grizzly models and would like your input.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-29-06, 11:45 AM
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Of course, a spiral positioned set of blades is desirable. The cut will be smoother with less kickback or chattering. But golly the price difference. Is double the price worth it? If you do it professionally, probably. If you do it occasionally, definitely not.
 
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Old 01-29-06, 07:18 PM
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I have a lower priced planer with straight knifes and am well satisfied with its performance. The only trouble I've ever had out of it was when I errantly let a piece of wood with a nail run through it. Chipped one knife but since it was on the outside edge I let it slide since it only reappears on full width boards. I do not use it profesionally though.
 
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Old 01-30-06, 06:42 PM
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Blade life?

Do any of you have info on the blade life or expectancy on the spiral cutterheads. Also maybe on replacement cost of spiral blade systems.

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Old 02-06-06, 06:56 AM
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Best for mesquite

Back to the spiral vs. straight blades, would one be significantly better than the other on mesquite. I have a huge supply of good mesquite and am building furniture pieces out of it.
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Old 02-06-06, 05:55 PM
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Very timely is your question. Wood magazine reviewed 8" jointers in this months (Feb/Mar) issue. They actually preferred the straight blades. The bottom line quote from the article: "Frankly, unless you frequently joint a lot of figured woods, we're not convinced that spiral cutterheads are worth the extra money: In domestic hardwoods, we found the surface left by most straight-knife cutterheads smoother." Who would've thunk. I guess we could classify Mesquite as a "domestic hardwood." They recommended the Powermatic 60B ($1200) but said the Grizzly G0586 (straight blade) comes "nicely featured" for about half that price.

I personally own a Grizzly G1182ZHW 6"x47" jointer (straight blades) and have been satisfied with it. I wish I had chosen the model with handwheels instead of the levers (I see they no longer offer the lever controls) and I wish I had gone with the 8". You can typically straighten a board 1.5x the length of the jointer bed so a 4 foot jointer will straighten at most a 6 ft long board. I have wasted a lot of lumber since I often have to cut down 8-10ft boards to 4-6ft just to true them up and the cut-offs just end up sitting around until I find a use (usually test pieces for the router table) and it would be real nice to be able to true-up an 8ft 2x4 occasionally instead of spending 20 minutes at the yard trying to find a straight one....

Back to blades. My blades are really dull after 4 years (face jointing oak and mahogany really kills HSS in a hurry) and I am procrastinating sharpening or replacing them for fear of getting them back in perfectly aligned and I don't want to spend the bucks for a Magna-set to set them. I figured the carbide spiral heads would give a lot longer service (since you get 4 cutter faces that can be rotated as needed) and they claim to be "self-aligning."

Though smoothness is not necessarily the most important characteristic for a jointer. You typically removed cup,warp and bow on the jointer and then smooth the faces on the planer starting with the jointed face down.

Unfortunately, Wood did not review planers this month...

Snarksdad
 
 

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