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Shelix cutterhead on Makita 20401/25
Have a Makita 2040 that must be 35 years old. I've recovered the rollers and it runs fine but I hate changing the blades and tear out is always a concern. It's a solid machine and I don't really see the need to buy a new planer. The profile of the 2040 is perfect in the room I have.
I'd like to know if anyone has put a Shelix cutter head in one of these and what their experience has been before I lay out $1200.
Thanks for any input.
Phil I cant believe there would be any difference in results from one machine to another. I replaced the head on my Powermatic 24 several years ago and it was one of the smartest things I have done. Tearout reduced and most important I don't have to resharpen blades every few weeks. It is very easy to rotate the 4 sided carbide inserts. You won't regret it
I would have a hard time putting that kind of money into that machine.I used to have one myself and it did a great job on all but the most highly figured woods with the standard cutterhead, but it was terribly underpowered and screamingly loud. I think the tearout improvement would be slight and the power issue might be worsened, as I have seen several complaints from Shelix adopters that they could not take as heavy cuts as before the changeover. You would probably be better served looking at a new helical head machine.
I've never owned one but my impression was also that of an under powered machine. Please let me know if I am wrong.
Before I put the Shellix head on my Powermatic 100 (12" industrial planer no long manufactured) with a 3 hp motor I could comfortably cut 1/8" off a 12" wide poplar board and 1/4" off a 6" to 8" wide piece of oak.
Since putting the Shellix head on the planer I've had to upgrade the planer to a 5hp motor and still can't remove 1/8" off any 12" wide board with the exception of pine.
Don't misunderstand.......I am very happy with the Shellix head and would not go back. The trade off though is the reduction in power. This is because there are always insert cutters in contact with the wood. As such the planer head has no rest period between knife strikes as on a standard 3-knife cutter head.
Thanks to everyone for your comments. I decided to wait and get a Powermatic after I expand my shop. I never considered that my machine might be underpowered, so JR, and BH, your observations were very valuable.