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Thread: DW735 w/shelix head - how risky to bypass breaker?

  1. #1
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    DW735 w/shelix head - how risky to bypass breaker?

    planer bypass.jpgHi folks,

    I bought a DW735 a couple of years ago that the owner had upgraded to a Shelix helical head. It has been a finicky machine for me. As many here have pointed out, the planer is not really designed to drive the helical head, and it's easy to trip the 18A internal breaker. And the breaker, once it trips a few times, seems to go on a hair trigger and get easier and easier to trip, triggering a downward cycle of despair.

    I figured this issue out relatively soon after I bought the planer two years ago. (The owner never mentioned it, but caveat emptor.) After I replaced the breaker I've gotten about a year of light use out of the machine without complaint. But now I'm in trip-town constantly again. I've ordered another breaker, and I'm wondering just how risky it is to bypass the darn thing in the meantime. Is the main risk overheating the motor? And if so, can I keep an eye on that by occasionally lifting the cover and checking it with my hand to see if it's getting hot?

    Just to save you from asking:
    * tables are waxed
    * cutters are sharp and relatively recently rotated
    * rollers are clean
    * the planer is on its own 20A circuit, 124v measured at the outlet.
    * I haven't noticed any binding or weird noises that would suggest a faulty bearing.
    * when I say it "trips easily" I mean I can only take one or two 1/64" cuts on 8" wide cherry board without getting a trip.

    Thanks in advance for thoughts. I fear I am headed eventually towards replacing this tool and my (very nice) 8" helical jointer with a 12" combo machine. I just don't have the room for a stationary planer and nothing I've read suggests that there's a significantly better benchtop planer out there.
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    Last edited by Sam Shankar; 04-11-2021 at 10:44 AM.

  2. #2
    The risk you take by bypassing the circuit breaker is that the motor may overheat and fail. I don't know how likely it is that the motor will fail from occasional overloads.

    If it was my unit, I'd either bypass the breaker or get one of a slightly larger capacity, maybe 20 amps. If you can't find one to fit, I'd make an external box with the slightly larger breaker and bypass the internal one.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
    From what I’ve read, some of the DW735s with the reduced size Shelix head had problems (I guess there’s some variance in alignment so some got less cut depth than others), where they had to be cranked down hard to make a cut. I wonder if yours has that problem, and there’s more load on the motor because it’s being cranked down so hard.

    I seem to remember reading Byrd would help exchange the cutters for people with that problem. You’re not the original owner, and they’re backed up for months, but it might not hurt to give them a call and ask.

    I’d also go with a 20A breaker, but I’d see if you could get a good discount on a full-sized replacement from Byrd.

    Bruce

  4. #4
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    If you have it connected to a dust collector, you can remove the blower from the motor. The blower blows the chips out but isn't needed if you have adequate vacuum (air flow) from your dust collector. This will reduce the load on the motor.
    Rich Aldrich

    65 miles SE of Steve Schlumpf.

    "To a pessimist, the glass is half empty; to an optimist, the glass is half full; to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be." Unknown author



  5. #5
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    What size circuit is it plugged into? Chances are it's a 20 amp circuit (but you'll have to confirm that). If so there's not much risk as 20 amps is 20 amps no matter where the breaker is located on the circuit. But the breaker in your electrical panel is most likely a higher quality one than the one in the planer. Back in the day when you could get 100w incandescent light bulbs you could add a couple to a circuit to confirm the internal circuit breaker was still operating at it's rating. For example if you plugged in three 100w bulbs into a 20 amp circuit along with your planer the breaker in the electrical panel should trip before the internal one.

    Ideally the breaker in the electrical panel is designed to protect the wiring in the house, not the tool plugged into it. But the breaker doesn't care what it's protecting. If you have it plugged into a 30 amp circuit, rare but can be found, that someone decided to wire in 20 amp outlets then you could easily do real damage to both the planer and possibly a fire. If you are not 100% sure I would suggest getting an in-line 20 amp circuit breaker. They look like a short extension cord.

  6. #6
    The troubleshooting guide has a section on tripping breakers which suggests this planer is finicky from the factory. Dull knives, depth of cut, feed rate are listed as potential causes. And NO you can't bypass the breaker it's there to protect the wiring in your house/shop from starting a fire.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Coolidge View Post
    The troubleshooting guide has a section on tripping breakers which suggests this planer is finicky from the factory. Dull knives, depth of cut, feed rate are listed as potential causes. And NO you can't bypass the breaker it's there to protect the wiring in your house/shop from starting a fire.
    I believe the OP is talking about the overload protection in the machine. Not the house breaker box

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    I believe the OP is talking about the overload protection in the machine. Not the house breaker box

    An even worse idea imo.

  9. #9
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    I ran mine for a while, without the breaker installed. The breaker that comes installed started popping almost right away. After installing a new breaker, I have not had any issues.
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  10. #10
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    My concern here is the thousands of these machines that run fine. Makes me wonder why the few having trouble (even after replacing the overload device) are having it. This is obviously not a problem with the machine design. A few bad parts that got by QA maybe. Once replaced though, all should be well. If the canary falls of the perch, you don't nail him to it ;-)
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  11. #11
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    Have you actually taken the amp draw with a meter to observe trip point.I had similar problem with jet dust collection.popping at 6 amps and circuit breaker was 15.installed new breaker and no more problems.

  12. #12
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    1) In general, I share everyone's head-scratch about the excess power draw here. On one hand, that ain't right, but on the other, tons of people report this problem after the Shelix upgrade. And *of course* I'm not talking about defeating the 20A breaker on the house panel.

    2) Disconnecting the fan from the motor is brilliant. I have it on a dust collector, so chips shouldn't be a problem.

    3) How much of a useful diagnostic is the exterior temperature of the motor? After I did the bypass, I ran a mid-sized (for me) planing job, hand-checking motor warmth throughout. It barely warmed up. No question I would have tripped the breaker with the job repeatedly if it had been installed.

    4) How do I know if I have a "reduced size Shelix head?" I certainly haven't had the sense that I am 'cranking things down' to get it to cut, but I don't have anything to compare to either. The planer is a model year 2012, so it's not THAT old and presumably the Shelix is younger than that.

    5) I haven't taken the amp draw with a meter. I haven't ever tripped the 20A panel breaker either.

    I ordered two new breakers at $12 ea. If a new one settles things down, I'll go with it for a while and then, if things get bad again in a year, I'll swap it out for the second new one and put the whole works up for sale (with appropriate warnings/disclaimers etc.--I don't need bad karma!). I get far too little woodworking time as it is and I'd rather spend it using machines than repairing them.

  13. #13
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    I have just recently been dealing with the very same issue (overload breaker on machine tripping much too easily). I just today installed a replacement breaker, and it seems to be much better. Would need to plane some more to be sure, but after about 30 bf, it hasn't tripped, and I'm sure it would have with original part. The knife longevity on this machine is horrible! I would love to get helical heads, but no money for that anytime soon.

  14. #14
    The best explanation I’ve seeen is at https://shelixheads.com/SHELIX_for_d...laner_(DW-735) which claims Byrd will exchange them for $50 (and 6 months of wait at this point). I don’t know if that would really explain it though.

    One thing that I think hasn’t been mentioned in this thread is measuring the voltage while the planer is planing wood. It might not hurt to swap out the 18A for a 20A breaker, but if your voltage is dropping from 124V to 100V while working, you might have a different wiring problem.

    Bruce

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Wisecup View Post
    I have just recently been dealing with the very same issue (overload breaker on machine tripping much too easily). I just today installed a replacement breaker, and it seems to be much better. Would need to plane some more to be sure, but after about 30 bf, it hasn't tripped, and I'm sure it would have with original part. The knife longevity on this machine is horrible! I would love to get helical heads, but no money for that anytime soon.

    What are you running through the planer?

    I have had a 735 for nine moths, and I have run about 1000 board feet of lumber through it, two faces. All the wood has gone through my rough planer first. Any sand has been cleaned off. Still, I haven't changed the knives yet. They are the steel ones from the factory. I make sure the wood never touches the floor.

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