Planer upgrade

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Review by Jarrhead posted 08-31-2018 12:38 PM 2663 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Planer upgrade Planer upgrade Planer upgrade Click the pictures to enlarge them

So, I upgraded the planer in the shop. Went from the old tried and true Jet JPM-13 Planer Moulder, to a Grizzly G0453W. I wanted a little larger capacity, and a higher horsepower motor. Found the planer, used, on Craigslist for $1000. It needed a little lovin’, but overall was in pretty good shape. Some surface rust, and a worn out set of blades. The G0453W is kind of a Grizzly anomaly. They apparently only manufactured it for a year or two, and it is now discontinued. I can’t find any references on what the differences are between the current G0453 and the G0453W, other than they upped the max feed rate from 20ft per minute to 30 ft per minute. I knew going into this swap that unless the new (used) machine came with a helical head, I was going to replace it with one. There are lots of reviews on LJs (including a couple by me) and elsewhere about the virtues of helical heads over straight knife cutter heads, so I won’t repeat that here. I ordered a Byrd Shelix head from Grizzly (they have the best online price). I also ordered two new bearings, and a replacement gasket for the gearbox. All in, I’m at about $1685.40 for the used machine. The similarly equipped G0453Z (with the Grizzly helical head) is $2370. So, I am about $685 ahead doing it the used way. Another upgrade I made to this planer was the addition of a Wixey WR550 digital planer readout. That is a really nice piece of gear, and reasonably priced on Amazon for about $68.00. Repeatably accurate to within .005. About the best I could hope for in a hobby woodshop. I mounted the readout right next to the hand wheel, so it is easy to see without having to bend over and strain my eyes like I had to when reading the old planer scales. So far, very impressed. See the update posted in Comments section below.

-- trn2wud

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91 posts in 4134 days

7 comments so far

View kocgolf's profile


408 posts in 2954 days

#1 posted 08-31-2018 05:17 PM

That is a really sweat setup. You will likely never want for more, and that is a great feeling. Congrats.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1925 posts in 2745 days

#2 posted 09-01-2018 01:17 AM

Now that its set up ill be over to borrow it for 20 years or so. Just kidding. Congrats!

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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278 posts in 2062 days

#3 posted 09-01-2018 04:05 AM

That’s a pretty one

-- Alan J. Hoover, AL Keeping in mind I believe college football is only a profit center for the school.... Roll Tide!

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7196 posts in 2980 days

#4 posted 09-02-2018 07:47 AM

Neat bit of kit there Jarhead,

a question:-
Picture 2: Do you have the plactic chip defelector that mising in the picture?
Otherwise I think Kaleb has got it down pat.

-- Regards Rob

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91 posts in 4134 days

#5 posted 09-02-2018 10:22 PM

Yeah the photo was taken prior to replacing the chip deflector, to make it easier to see the new cutterhead.

-- trn2wud

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1 post in 671 days

#6 posted 09-08-2018 12:30 AM


Regarding your G0453W planer, this may help clear up the question of the “W” in your model number.

I was (still am) saving for a 20” planer and wondered what the “W” represented on the G0454ZW. I contacted Grizzly in July ‘17 and received a response from a very helpful lady in customer service, here’s an excerpt from her response: “The “W” on the model number indicates the machine is manufactured in a different factory ….. The table thickness on the G0454Z is 1 ¼” and the table thickness on the G0454ZW is 2 3/8.” The takeaway for me is the “ZW” planer has more weight and significantly more metal in it.

Hope this helps and – Go Army! :)

View Jarrhead's profile


91 posts in 4134 days

#7 posted 02-27-2019 03:58 PM

I have had lots of opportunity to use this planer, since I first posted this review. I have to say that, at first, I wasn’t impressed. Like so many other woodworkers with similar machines, I was experiencing unacceptable results on the output end of the machine. It wasn’t the quality of the cut. It was indentations from the serrated infeed roller left on the surface of the wood. Unless you took a substantial amount of material off on the cut, it would invariably leave those marks, which would have to be sanded or scraped to achieve a useable surface. It made it very hard to “sneak up” on a final dimension, like I was used to doing with my old Jet planer (that had a rubber infeed roller). I tried everything I could think of, and was prepared to take some drastic (and slightly expensive) action to rectify the situation. I had already reached out to machine shops to get quotes to have the roller diameter turned down so I could then send it to another vendor who could cover it with a sleeve of 70 duro polyurethane (a material used in many power feeding applications). All of that would not come cheap, and would bite into the ultimate value that I thought I was getting by “upgrading”. Not to mention the PITA it would be to tear the machine apart to replace the roller. While I was contemplating all of this, I did a little more research, and stumbled on this blog from Woodweb:

Contributor W in that blog had some interesting comments about setting the “roller height”. I had not previously explored that option. Rather, I did what most every other user experiencing the same problem did. I adjusted the spring tension on the roller. I noted the specs that were quoted in the blog for the roller height [below the cutterhead] (.040 by Contibutor W and .032 by the OP, which he noted was what was recommended by a technician at Powermatic). Then I went to check the roller height on my machine. It came in at about .045” below the cutterrhead. With a little trial and see, I ended up backing off the roller height to only .015” below the cutterhead. That setting still gave me reliable feeding, but completely eliminated the infeed roller serration marks on the output. I took a cut of only .005” in this test. That is the slightest cut I can measurably achieve. I used poplar for the test run since it is relatively soft. I figured if it doesn’t mar the poplar, I certainly should not have any problems with harder species of wood. So, in the end, I am once again happy with my “new” machine, and it didn’t cost me a penny more to get the results I was expecting all along.

-- trn2wud

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