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Thread: Review of GO453 Planer- Shelix install and initial use.

  1. #1

    Review of GO453 Planer- Shelix install and initial use.

    This review is from the hobbiest perspective for intermittent home use. I have previously had an older Delta and newer Makita 12" benchtop planer. I decided on this Grizzly 15" planer because of price and with specific goals in mind.

    First I wanted to cut noise and the shelix heads are known for the noise decrease. What can I say? It's true, especially I assume due to adding the link belts when I switched out the head. It takes 3 of the 60" belts. I use hearing protection because the noise with the dust collector (louder than the planer) is slightly uncomfortable. None of that howling bother the neighbors noise that the benchtops put out though.

    I wanted to eliminate much of my sanding time without buying a large sander. Yep, that goal is met. I've just done a bit of work with some curly maple, teak, quarter sawn white oak and lace wood. If the piece doesn't need thicknessing I just measure the board, set the depth for a short 1/16 th less and run it through once. Just takes a couple minutes with 150 or 180 grit sandpaper to eliminate the grid marks from the roller on the planer. Depending on the wood these are virtually impossible to see or slightly noticable after planing. They are the only marks so far. The helix cutting ability without tear out has been much discussed and my results have been excellent so far.

    Dust collection. I found a 1 HP jet collector on Craig's for $90 and added their canister filter. Collection approaches 100% but again I'm a hobbiest making things like a window frame with the teak so results may vary.

    Portability. Easier than I anticipated to move it around, no more trouble than the router, easier that a table saw.

    Snipe. Very little. It took about 3 boards to work this out. I just feed firmly following the wood with some pressure for another 10 seconds after the grab and provide a gentle lift pressure catching the board on exit. What little snipe I had on one of the teak 1x4's dissapeared with the 150 grit in a sanding block.

    Shelix installation, I purchased the head through Grizzly when buying the planer. I have not done much machine/engine work since the VW bus I had in '72. I was quite concerned about screwing this up. I printed the generic instructions from the shelix site and marched out to the garage with them and the manual. There was nothing I didn't get or could not accomplish if I messed with the step long enough. I broke it up into short sessions, after work and so on, took a week probably using 8 hrs time. I could do it now in 3 since I now am familiar with how this thing goes together, someone used to working on machinery could beat that. No bearing puller or specialty tools required.

    Hope this helps someone,
    Larry
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    Last edited by Larry Rasmussen; 11-18-2007 at 4:27 PM. Reason: wrong year on the VW bus comment

  2. #2
    That is good news. The guy at Muncy said bearing pullers were necessary to change out the old cutter head on that planer. I too had looked at this planer, since it was on sale, but shucks, I had since decided a wood lathe would be next, maybe even a baby-doo yellow one .

  3. #3
    Larry how is the build quality? I can't decide between this planer, the steel city and Powermatic with helical head.

  4. #4

    Barry it is decent build quality but no gem.

    I think with the shelix head I have about $1200 into this unit. I was relieved that the machining and fit were quite decent since I had to take it apart. Finish is ok, table isn't as polished as their next step up piece, castings not quite as clean, bit of vibration. Overall very good buy. That said if I could get a shelix for $1500 or $1600, especially installed I'd be looking for a bit tighter fit and finish overall.
    Regards,
    Larry

  5. #5

    Grizzly service said use a hammer and block of wood.

    Worked fine on the bearings I had to switch over at end of shaft. If you want to change any of the other bearings it may be different story. Larry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    112
    Barry,
    I've got the PM 15HH and it is great. Fit and finish is excellent; I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. It is more money but if you can swing it I'd do it. I like the 5 year wrranty too.

  7. #7

    I looked the the PM15HH white paper

    I went and looked up some of the competing machines after posting last night and many appear to be on same basic structure. The only difference on paper I can discern between the PM15HH and Griz is the smooth outfeed roller. They also made reference to a polished table surface and the Griz is as I said more smooth commercial in description than polished like the high end stuff. I am not defending the Griz particularly but would opine the difference between it and a machine like the PM would not be $1000 worth. Now if the PM was discounted quite a bit you would have a really tempting upgrade. I will run the griz a little more and look at it critically. I probably overstated by using "vibration" as a descriptor. I'm not sure anything really purrs in this category of tool.

    I am posting now mostly to ad a comment. I went down to Sun Machinery and looked at a planer with a spiral cutterhead with blade style cutters. They are quick insert blades, disposable use, no adjustment, affordable. I think this style would provide a viable alternative especially for the hobbiest that did not want to do the work to install the helix. I would have had the head installed and delivered and come out $100 or two cheaper.

    Larry

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