View Full Version : Helical head carnage.. Warning, Pic heavy

Rick Fisher
05-04-2010, 2:21 AM
Let me preface this post by telling that this damage is no reflection of General. I was planing a piece of 4/4 Padauk .. It was jointed on one side, but nowhere near the same thickness ..

I was lazy and way under estimated the thickness in the middle of the board, causing an impressive overload on the planer.

The result was a large bang and the Piece of Padauk actually breaking apart inside the planer head. The piece of Paudauk that came out of the planer looked like a shark had bitten it in half..

Anyway.. The resulting damage was impressive. Most of the real carnage was to the knives..

This is the head ..


These are a couple of close up shots..



In total, I had to replace 8 cutters and flip 3 after carefully inspecting them.

This is the remainder of 8 of them after removing the gib's holding the knives in place.



I had to replace one gib.. The rest survived..


This is the remainder of 8 cutters and a gib.. the rest went into the shop vac..


Joe Jensen
05-04-2010, 2:24 AM
WOW, impressive for sure. I'm surprised just wood did that. those cutters are WAY heavier than the Byrd inserts. Are you sure there wasn't some surprise in the wood?

Rick Fisher
05-04-2010, 2:31 AM
I dunno.. maybe..

A bunch of the wood damage went up the dust chute.. Maybe there was something in that wood.. ?

I do know that I overloaded it .. I remember thinking.. " This was dumb " just before the boom.. I should lower the table and see if there was any other damage ..

Joe Jensen
05-04-2010, 2:35 AM
I thought the ceramic cutters were the whole cutter/gib. I didn't realize that setup was just a thin carbide knife. Where did you get spare gibs?

It's hard to believe that carbide shards would break a steel gib

Neal Clayton
05-04-2010, 2:37 AM
helper made that mistake on mine once, i have a woodmaster, which is way lighter than yours, of course, since it's all 1/4 and 3/8 steel rather than iron.

on mine, when the motor siezed the pent up energy transferred to the frame and bounced the planer off of the ground.

was pretty impressive, to see a multi-hundred pound piece of steel bang and fly up in the air a few inches, but thankfully no permanent damage.

Van Huskey
05-04-2010, 2:46 AM
WOW! Also I have never seen a helical head like that, am I correct the inserts just have two surfaces, since they are rectangular instead of square.

Rick Fisher
05-04-2010, 2:50 AM
Its a different type of head for sure.. Laguna uses it in some of there tools..

The Gib presses the knife into the head, you turn the screw, which pushes the gib harder against the knife..

I cant really figure out what happened.. it seems that I just overloaded it by being sloppy and lazy.. I also don't remember why I have spare gib's.. lol. I have a drawer full of planer stuff.. They where in there.. lol

Anyway.. I will be more respectful in the future..


Yeah.. the cutters are 2 sided .. I believe they are made by the same company in Germany that makes all the carbide cutters. I think the company is called Tigra. They make Carbide cutters in about 100 different sizes .. including this style, the Byrd style and about 98 more.. They have Solid Carbide Tersa knives and more.. I think there are loads of cutter configurations that we just never see..

Mitchell Andrus
05-04-2010, 7:36 AM
Yep.... WOW.

I'd check to see that your feed limit height is set properly. I've seen limit bars on even ancient planers... keeps new hires from cutting too deep.

I'd be inclined to think a knife shattered and caused a cascade failure rather than a cut a little too deep. Of course, if you fed the wood 'backwards' and climbed the grain, you could easily have jammed the blades.