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Balanced Tooling in Planer cutterheads9/23
Several years ago someone on the forum explained a principle related to tooling in shaper cutter heads.
Our planer has a terse head that can receive 4 blades. We run it with only two blades. There are two dummy inserts in the empty slots to balance the weight of the head while it rotates but these dummies do not make any contribution to the cut.
For some reason we were advised to use only two blades. It had something to do with chip evacuation and, as I recall, something to do with tooling life.
Could somebody explain this logic to me again. It made a lot of sense at the time and I would like to better teach this principle to some of the younger crew members.
This thread should be kicked over to the
The table saw is an easy way to explain the cutter heads. Everyone uses the ts. Very quickly you understand the feed speeds with your hands between the different blades. Rip blades have less teeth, faster feed rates, and large chips. Finish blades are the opposite.
The basics are more teeth/cutters better finish. More teeth slower feed rate. More teeth yields smaller chips.
The tooling life is because of cutter protrusion. One of the cutters is always higher than the other. It does more work than the rest and then dulls quickly. In a 4 knife head you could end up with 3 dull knives and 1 sharp one. Then you sharpen/change. Effectively you wasted a knife.
In a Tersa head the knives should all be exactly the same height, so the above theory may not be relevant.
It can be more economic to use less cutters. It all depends on your finish requirements. You can always slow your feed speeds to get more cuts per inch.