Anyone with a Byrd Shellix head ever experience rust?

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Forum topic by ScottKaye posted 05-16-2018 09:31 PM 678 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ScottKaye's profile


782 posts in 2732 days

05-16-2018 09:31 PM

I’m a day or two away from taking delivery of a new Powermatic PJ882 Jointer. I went with the straight knife version as it was $800 cheaper than Powermatics own Helical Head on the PJ882HH. Going to quash a few rumors right now. Despite what you may read in these forums and other places on the internet, the Helical Head in a PJ882HH is NOT made by Byrd Tools. The Powermatic Helical Head is made in Tawain and is built to their specs. Now don’t get me wrong, Powermatic does use Byrd Heads in some of their planers – 15HH for one. Just not in their PJ882 model jointers as per a presale telephone conversation I had with a Powermatic Tech rep who looked up the part to be doubly sure.

So moving right along. I bought a Byrd Head for the PJ882 for $470 shipped with new bearings. My question is, has anyone ever experienced rusting on their Byrd Heads? I work out of my garage and it’s a never-ending battle trying to hold rust at bay. I’m no metal expert but it appears that the head may have some sort of coating on it. Its a dull matte gray finish like the color of a GIB BAR in a straight knife set up.

I would think it would be pretty hard to apply a coat of wax to the head. You would obviously have to take each cutter off the head. Right off the top of my head, a glaring issue is that you wouldn’t want to get any build up of wax on the cutter mount as that would change the geometry of the entire head. I suppose a light film of Top Coat couldn’t hurt but I’d rather hear from you all first if anyone has ever experienced rust on their Byrd heads. I’m in the Mid Atlantic region so we do get our fair share of humidity and my shop is unregulated as far as heat/ac. Thanks


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

8 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3283 posts in 3036 days

#1 posted 05-16-2018 10:23 PM

Hey, Scott, high quality tungsten carbide is impervious to oxidation below 600C. I don’t know if Byrd’s cutters are high quality tungsten carbide, but I suspect they are. Make another phone call unless someone here can answer that question.

-- Art

View RobS888's profile


2829 posts in 2624 days

#2 posted 05-16-2018 10:40 PM

I live in Md and have had a jet jp12hh in my garage for 3 years. No problem on the head at all.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View ScottKaye's profile


782 posts in 2732 days

#3 posted 05-16-2018 11:00 PM

Hey, Scott, high quality tungsten carbide is impervious to oxidation below 600C. I don t know if Byrd s cutters are high quality tungsten carbide, but I suspect they are. Make another phone call unless someone here can answer that question.

- AandCstyle

Art. Good idea about the phone call! Should have thought of that one myself! The cutters on the Byrd will not rust. They are c4 carbide. I was wondering about the Helical Head itself. What the cutters attach too.!
Thanks for your input, Rob. I think I’ll leave the head be as is. I’ll still have a chat with Byrd though :)


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4427 days

#4 posted 05-16-2018 11:08 PM

I expect it will, but no worse than your
jointer beds. You can wax it for protection.
The machinable steels that are easiest to
make such things with rust. Byrd builds to
price points and depends on volume to make
a profit. I wouldn’t expect they’d add an expense
by treating the steel for rust resistance.

I’ve owned many jointers and most had rust/patina
on the cutter head body to some extent. The
work doesn’t touch the head body though so it
shouldn’t discolor work anyway. I never experienced
that, though I have had unmaintained machine
tables mark work with rust.

View Bob5103's profile


159 posts in 1613 days

#5 posted 05-17-2018 12:04 AM

I have byrd cutters on my jointer and planer, live about 10 miles from the Puget Sound, and a river splits my property in half. Absolutely no rust, and I have never done anything to prevent rusting.

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2265 days

#6 posted 05-17-2018 01:46 AM

Yes. I get moisture in my shop. Doesn’t affect a thing.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ScottKaye's profile


782 posts in 2732 days

#7 posted 05-18-2018 01:32 PM

According to a conversation I just had with a very knowledgeable woman at Byrd, their heads are coated with Black Oxide and shouldn’t rust as long as they aren’t exposed to liquid. Normal humidity should not be a problem.


-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6254 posts in 3272 days

#8 posted 05-18-2018 03:56 PM

My jointer head has rust, don’t think the planer head does. But to be fair, the jointer has just sat in my garage for the last 2 years waiting for a shop. I was able to move it into the shop this past spring and noticed the rust, it’s only on the cutterhead, not the inserts. Doesn’t seem to affect anything. But i can gaurantee you it has never been wet from exposure. It has (probably) been wet from condensation, my tables haven’t rusted because they were waxed and covered with that magentic sign material that A! Jim mentioned in a post some time back.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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