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Thread: Makita 2020 Jointer upgraded with Byrd Shelix helical segmented cutter head

  1. #1
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    Makita 2020 Jointer upgraded with Byrd Shelix helical segmented cutter head

    Upgraded my old Makita 2020 jointer with a Byrd Shelix head. I think this is the first Makita 2020 to be upgraded as neither Byrd nor anyone else had ever made a cutter head for this machine.

    Here is a YouTube video of the upgrade:
    https://youtu.be/Vjf-RWCMAT4

    Here is a folder with upgrade guide in PDF format, and additional information on Makita 2020 including instruction book and parts list:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folde...ZPupTGUERwunWy


    In the past, I took the Makita straight blades to a good sharpening shop that returned them with cutting edge ground dead straight, but that shop went out of business in the 2009 recession, and I have not been able to find another shop that will grind straight. I tried sharpening the blades with a Makita 9820-2 grinder. Easy to get them sharp, but took considerable effort to get them straight to within 0.001 inch, which is just barely acceptable. My enjoyment of woodworking was declining because too much effort and stress was going into sharpening. That was my main motivation for switching to a segmented cutter head but I found other advantages as well.

    I really like using the jointer with Shelix head. I took the time to get the head perfectly parallel to the outfeed table. This required placing 0.001 inch brass shim-stock under two bolts as shown in video. Now it will stay parallel, no more fiddling with straight blades. Results are now very consistent.

    Snipe is almost non-existent because I can set the outfeed table very close to the cutting edge. Tear-out is rare, even when a board is planed against the grain, which is sometimes necessary when grain changes direction over length of board. Even though I wear ear protection, I can notice the machine is quieter and does not have that screaming sound that comes with straight blades. When a blade gets nicked, I just have to rotate one or two cutters and back to work with no further adjustments. Compare that with the heartbreak of nicked straight blades that require grinding, sharpening, and setting to get back in business. And one more thing: the Shelix head cutting length is 8.1 inch, which enables proper rabbiting which was not possible with the 8 inch straight blades, because they did not project beyond the table.

    The Makita 2020 has a 120V 12A series motor. Changing to a 2 HP induction motor would be a good improvement, and I will make this upgrade if the Makita motor ever burns out. I have been running some 7 inch wide hard white maple over the jointer, taking 0.01 inch cuts, and the Makita motor does OK. I tried a 0.02 cut and had to go a little slower but sill acceptable. With a 0.04 cut had to go quite slow to keep the motor speed up so did not feel right. When jointing the edge of a board I can take off as much as I want without slowing down the feed rate. Some people have reported that they have to feed slower with a segmented cutter head but I don’t notice the difference.

    Cost of upgrading Makita 2020 was about 1/4 the cost of buying a Powermatic 60HH with Shelix head. These machines are comparable in table length, and they both use parallelogram table height adjustment. The Powermatic is a heavier machine and has a more powerful motor. Aside from cost, another reason I decided to upgrade the Makita rather then buying a Powermatic is that I have a medium size shop and often have to move machines around to work with longer materials. Also, I have a wooden floor supported by floor joists, so don’t want to take a chance with really heavy machines.
    Last edited by Steven Woodward; 09-28-2020 at 6:07 PM. Reason: format was messed up

  2. #2
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    Cool machine, I haven't seen too many of those outside Japan, particularly in North America.

    Glad you were able to keep it going!

  3. #3
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    I agree with peter the jointer is interesting.
    Itís a bridge style jointer medium sized. Or is it? I donít know
    I think you might need more hp it sounded a little bogged down.
    Nice video Steven
    Aj

  4. #4
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    Where geographically were machines like this available? Looks like a nice machine.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2020
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    Port Hope, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zac wingert View Post
    Where geographically were machines like this available? Looks like a nice machine.
    I purchased my Makita 2020 in 1986 from Atlas Machinery in Toronto. Makita 2020 jointers do occasionally appear on used market in North America. Not sure about other countries

  6. #6
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    I really enjoyed that video. Good presentation and editing.

  7. #7
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    Very well put together video.
    Why did you decide to shim the bearing housing as opposed to raising the table on that side using the cams?

  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
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    New York, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zac wingert View Post
    Where geographically were machines like this available? Looks like a nice machine.
    Mostly Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia, possibly Australia. Makita still makes some extremely nice stationary machines, wish they'd gotten it together to export more of them to North America.



    http://www.kanemasa-k.com/up.php?cat...uid=480&page=1

  9. #9
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    Jun 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gibney View Post
    Very well put together video.
    Why did you decide to shim the bearing housing as opposed to raising the table on that side using the cams?
    I was reluctant to mess with the cams that adjust the parallelogram mechanism under the tables, because if I change one table then it will not be coplanar with the other table, and I don't have a long precision straight edge to line up the tables. I didn't know what thickness of brass shim would be required, so was anticipating some trial and error, which would be easy and predictable with the shim method. As it turned out I got lucky on first try.

  10. #10
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    What a great well done video, I really enjoyed that. I think I need to checkout your other videos.

    My only concern was while you were running wood your shirt was hanging down in the vicinity of the jointer. There was plenty of room, but, it still made me nervous.

  11. #11
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    Jun 2020
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    Port Hope, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    What a great well done video, I really enjoyed that. I think I need to checkout your other videos.

    My only concern was while you were running wood your shirt was hanging down in the vicinity of the jointer. There was plenty of room, but, it still made me nervous.
    I really do appreciate that safety tip. I am safety conscious in the shop, but that is something that I missed. Must keep my shirt tucked in from now on ! Thanks again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
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    Port Hope, Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    What a great well done video, I really enjoyed that. I think I need to checkout your other videos.

    My only concern was while you were running wood your shirt was hanging down in the vicinity of the jointer. There was plenty of room, but, it still made me nervous.
    inspired by Andrew, I made this sign for myself, and maybe others will use the idea too.
    IMG_1285.jpg
    Last edited by Steven Woodward; 09-29-2020 at 4:20 PM.

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