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Blog entry by Alex Lane posted 03-17-2008 12:44 AM 10794 reads 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have completed preliminary stages of machining a custom helical cutterhead for my DeWalt 733 Planer.
The design is what I came up with from looking at other companies’ designs.
This is what I created in my CAD software.


Here is a video of the machining process to this point… DON’T WORRY, THERE’S MORE TO COME!

This video is over 16 Minutes, but I think you’ll enjoy it.

If this doesn’t load correctly try this link:
click here

See my first Topic SHELIX CUTTERHEAD

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

19 comments so far

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 5538 days

#1 posted 03-17-2008 01:01 AM

I’m looking forward to the end product.

But take a clue from John (gyzmodyne) Watching glue dry is not a productive use of time.
There’s a reason why Norm Abram only shows how to do one of a repetitive task.

It is interesting. It’s not something I’ve seen before. I learned something and I thank you.

It’s just a little too much of the same thing for someone who only wants a cursory overview.

My $.03.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

594 posts in 5341 days

#2 posted 03-17-2008 01:09 AM

You’d be surprised how much I cut out of the original footage and how much I ran the video at 2X speed. Unfortunately, that’s what it takes to cut metal—-lots of time—-much more than we woodworkers are used to.

Bear with me!! ;-D

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5472 days

#3 posted 03-17-2008 01:10 AM

Massive undertaking with such a small machine.
It looks like you have blastoff for the body.
Could you edit outthe reality for those of us with little time left? <g>


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5851 days

#4 posted 03-17-2008 01:29 AM

Looks great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 5219 days

#5 posted 03-17-2008 02:04 AM

wow thats amazing. can’t wait to see the final product.

View FrankA's profile


139 posts in 5230 days

#6 posted 03-17-2008 02:24 AM

I enjoyed it very much and cant wait to see how you finish it.

-- Frank Auge---Nichols NY----"My opinion is neither copyrighted nor trademarked, but it is price competitive."

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 5193 days

#7 posted 03-17-2008 02:32 AM

You can make your own tool parts!!!! lucky. Wish It coudl do that. Great job.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27248 posts in 5272 days

#8 posted 03-17-2008 02:39 AM

Very interesting video. To have access to this type of equipment represents a wonderful opportunity.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View hisparadox's profile


16 posts in 5189 days

#9 posted 03-17-2008 02:39 AM

my question is will you be making these for sale to others? if so, how much, and what “specs” do you need to make them for machines other than the dewalt?

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

594 posts in 5341 days

#10 posted 03-17-2008 02:47 AM

TopE5, That annoying hisssssssssssssssssss you hear a misting unit on the machine. Those two nozzles aimed at the cutter are shooting atomized coolant and compressed air and keep the operation extremely cool and lubricated.

Bob#2, I understand how boring it must be to watch the same thing over and over and over and…..sorry, I got carried away, LOL. I’ve already cut the video length down by roughly 70%. That’s about the best I can do and still convey what’s going on. As far as a small machine, I might put up a picture of the Haas VF0 I’m running this part in. It sure isn’t small….20 (Twenty) horsepower, 8000 RPM, 20 tool capacity, and over 200 inches-per-minute rapid feed rates. By the way, Whaddya mean by “It looks like you have blastoff for the body?”

Thanks all for viewing. I’ll keep you updated.

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5439 days

#11 posted 03-17-2008 04:02 AM

Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Jim Boehm's profile

Jim Boehm

40 posts in 5190 days

#12 posted 03-17-2008 04:05 AM

This looks great! Way to go, designing something like this Alan! I can’t wait to see it when it is done.

-- "Knowledge is King! It is never too late to learn something new." - Jim

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5516 days

#13 posted 03-17-2008 10:25 AM

This is going to be a very interesting project to follow. I’ll take one for my Delta planer :-))

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

594 posts in 5341 days

#14 posted 03-17-2008 01:36 PM

Sorry guys!! I’m not intent on making these for others right now. I chose to do this project for my own enjoyment (and for a good grade in my CNC classes). I also was hoping to avoid the $800+ that companies like Byrd Tool charge for a 12” cutterhead—-besides, they don’t even make a cutterhead for my DeWalt—-so if I wanted one, I had to do the dirty work.

I would unfortunately have to charge someone else at least the same price as other companies do for a custom helical head because of all the time I spent working on this. Yes this is my first one, and I wouldn’t make some of the same mistakes next time, but I don’t think I would do it for profit unless I actually owned all the proper machinery. I will have spent nearly $220 on carbide inserts and screws when this is over, and the remainder of the value (which lies in my time and effort) far exceeds, in my opinion the $800 or so that Byrd would charge for a similar piece of tooling.

It’s just a one-of-a-kind piece that I sure hope will throw some chips in the near future.

We woodworkers know how valuable time is when making a project, whether for ourselves or for a customer—-and that always drives the asking price up.

If you REALLY want a custom cutterhead and have $800-1000 extra cash laying around, Please don’t hesitate to contact OR

They both have great products.

—-keep snoring! (Sawing logs, that is.)

-- Alex...builder of wooden wings for vintage sport biplanes...I'm your wingman :)

View tooldad's profile


665 posts in 5165 days

#15 posted 04-10-2008 06:03 AM

You can make my life easier and make one for the DW 735 also. I would love to have that 20” at home, but the $2500 price tag is a little too much for home right down. I know you previously commented this is just for you, but I might be interested in an identical head because I think my wife’s grandfather has the same Dewalt planer as you. I know it is dewalt, and it is not the 735. Let me know if either making one for the 735 is possible (first choice) or making a duplicate for a 733 is an option. I am in St Louis area. Tooldad

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