Shelix Replacement Head Too Small in Diameter

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Review by greatview posted 12-12-2015 07:54 PM 11306 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I replaced the stock head in my DW735 with a new Shelix spiral head. It seem as if the Shelix diameter is slightly less that that of the stock head. I had to remove the blades in order to pull the old head out as they were a larger diameter than that of bearing and I couldn’t remove it intact. The Shelix head goes through the bearing seat thus is smaller that the diameter of the stock head.

Clearly the entry side is closer than before. In other words, I have to crank down the unit and the gauge says I’m removing much more than I actually am. But it used to be right on with the old head. Also, I’m getting pronounced snipe on the leading edge of the board. I’ve tried several board thicknesses but always have snipe. I had snipe with the stock head but relatively minor. I’ve tried lifting an end and have adjusted the in feed and out feed tables with no luck. The rubber on the feed rollers is really compressed.

The installation went smoothly. I watched a couple of videos and feel that the installation is correct.

The cut is smooth and the noise level is reduced. I believe that the rollers are pressing down with more force that before otherwise, the head won’t cut. It would be great if there was a way to adjust the cutting head in relation to the drive rollers but I can’t find any.

I think that this is a real problem. The Shelix head has turned my DW735 into a snipe monster. If I don’t find a solution I’ll reinstall the stock head.

-- Tom, New London, NH

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135 posts in 4003 days

13 comments so far

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Guy Dunlap

208 posts in 2747 days

#1 posted 12-12-2015 11:16 PM

Hey Tom, I had one of these installed in my DW735 right after I took it out of the box. And you’re right, it is slightly smaller. However I have not had the issue with the feed rollers or snipe. I have my in/out feed tables angle up maybe 1/32” and it works well. Just thicknessed some 8’ 6” long boards today, and again no snipe. Have you tried calling the folks at Byrd yet?

-- Guy, Indianapolis, IN - - Instagram –

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135 posts in 4003 days

#2 posted 12-13-2015 02:10 AM

I’ll call Byrd on Monday but I’m not sure what they can do to resolve this. The drive rollers are fixed and the cutter diameter has been reduced. In order for the head to cut it has to be brought down to the wood which causes the drive rollers to get compressed resulting in snipe.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View ToolCaddy's profile


13 posts in 1744 days

#3 posted 12-13-2015 03:40 AM

I had a shelix head on my DW735 for about 6 years. It worked beautifully – no snipe and a super smooth finish. I milled 500+ bdft of birdseye with no problem. Is it possible that Byrd sent you the wrong head? I hope you are able to resolve this issue.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6204 posts in 3659 days

#4 posted 12-13-2015 08:21 PM

I noticed that the Bryd head is very slightly smaller in my 735 as well. It will cause your material removal gauge to be off by 1/32”. It will say you are removing 1/32” when it actually should read zero. You can correct this by loosening the three #1 phillips screws on the gauge, and sliding the silver tab upwards. If it won’t slide far enough you may have to slot the holes a little further, or perhaps file the top edge of the silver tab to get the gauge to read correctly.

I don’t get any snipe with the Shelix though. Adjust the tables so the far edges are 3/32” higher than the planer bed (extension tables form a shallow “V” shape). In my experience 1/16” is not enough. As you approach 1/8”, you will see the snipe disappear. Support boards longer than 4’ with infeed and outfeed rollers.

Wax the planer beds to minimize friction.

For me the Shelix was a 5 star upgrade. No longer dealing with tearout in figured white oak has been fantastic.
I think once you get the planer dialed in with the table height you will be quite happy with it.
Keep us posted.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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3154 posts in 3018 days

#5 posted 12-13-2015 10:12 PM

I had no snipe with the shelix upgrade. I believe there was a statement somewhere in the installation booklet to the fact that the head was slightly smaller than the original cutter head. That and the fact that you had to take blades off the original to get it out but didn’t on the shelix is a pretty good indication that there is a difference in diameter.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View ChuckV's profile


3330 posts in 4373 days

#6 posted 12-13-2015 10:56 PM

I see a review on Amazon that agrees with your experience:
… the cutters must be more than slightly smaller, that is, my depth guage was reading 1/16 ” deep cut when actually it was more like 1/64” (quarter turn). This causes more pressure from the feed rollers which may explain the snipe I have never before experienced with this planer.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View Dutchy's profile


3793 posts in 3014 days

#7 posted 12-14-2015 08:42 AM

It would be great if there was a way to adjust the cutting head in relation to the drive rollers but I can’t find any. I don’t know this machine but normally with a thickness planer you can adjust the in- and outfeed rollers. In my opinion adjusting the rollers is the only way to solve your problem.


View pintodeluxe's profile


6204 posts in 3659 days

#8 posted 12-15-2015 04:59 PM

Were you able to resolve the issues?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View greatview's profile


135 posts in 4003 days

#9 posted 12-15-2015 05:46 PM

I’m working on rebuilding the stand so that I have better control over the in feed and out feed tables. I just came back from the lumber yard and am about to make some sawdust. I’ll post the results in a day or two.

-- Tom, New London, NH

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135 posts in 4003 days

#10 posted 12-15-2015 07:16 PM

OK, I’ve adjusted the tables and brought the snipe down to .005”. I did some more fiddling by adjusting table height and reduced the snipe to .002 – .003”. Not perfect as that amount of snipe will show when a finish is applied but maybe more aggressive sanding or the use of a card scraper will remove the snipe.

I’m still not satisfied with the reduced diameter of the cutting head as it reduces the effective maximum cutting depth. The maximum cut is now about 1/16” where before the change I could probably manage 2 to 3 times more depth. I use a fair amount of rough cut cherry and sometimes you simply have to remove a lot of material. The 1/16” max is fine for finish work.

I believe that my Sheli3 is of the proper diameter as it was a close fit through the bearing seating area. The head came with a thin sheet of clear plastic that barely made it. One of the reviews I read said the plastic sheet should remain in place during installation to protect the head.

I did hear from Garry at Byrd and I will communicate with him.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View playingwithmywood's profile


444 posts in 2443 days

#11 posted 12-18-2015 06:24 AM

I have a byrd head also and it has been great no issues

the Wixey digital height gauge is a great upgrade also

do you have the factory infeed outfeed tables ??? more photos of your setup might help others help you

View splintergroup's profile


3978 posts in 2068 days

#12 posted 12-18-2015 09:11 PM

I don’t own the DW735 (I have a Delta), but with my Delta I was able to tweak the roller positions to fine-tune the down pressure.
Looking at the diagram for the DW735, it looks like you could shim the roller brackets up as needed. You would still loose some of the minimum cut height, but it should help with the excessive roller pressure.


View KarnWoodworks's profile


9 posts in 1709 days

#13 posted 01-24-2016 08:03 AM

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