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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Should I buy a SHELIX head with or without new Bearings?
One of the carbide inserts is rotated at a totally different angle from all the others. Is this this correct?
Why are there holes drilled into my SHELIX Head?
What grade carbide are the Insert Knives?
What is important to know when replacing insert knives?
Are the replacement carbide inserts the same for all SHELIX heads?
When will my order ship?


Should I buy a SHELIX head with or without new Bearings?
SHELIX Head with Bearings pre-mounted

Most SHELIX cutter heads are being offered to purchase with or without new bearings. If you choose to purchase new bearings along, they will be pre-installed onto the shaft where possible. There are machines where one or both bearings can only be installed during the installation (i.e. you have to slide the shaft through a hole in the machine housing first) and if that is the case with your machine, the bearing(s) will be supplied loose. As all SHELIX heads are being produced based on an original head that a customer has sent in, we have never seen the actual machine to determine whether or not the bearings can be pre-installed. If we do not have any records from a previous customer (or from you) regarding your machine, the bearings will always be supplied loose. Please determine prior to your order if the pre-installation of the bearings is possible for your machine and let us know.

If you will need new bearings mainly depends on two factors:

1. If your machine is not too old yet and has not run like 24/7, you could assume that the old bearings on the shaft that you have right now are still in good condition and you could continue using them on your new SHELIX head.

2. Most important is the question of who will replace the cutter head once you order and receive your new SHELIX head. Most bearings are press fitted onto the shaft and they are sometimes really hard to remove. If you don't have the experience with this and not the right tools, you might end up destroying them. If you are like most woodworkers, you also know how to use a wrench and probably intend to do it yourself. If this is the case, your best bet is to remove the cutter head and try to get the old bearings off before you order your new SHELIX head. On the downside, you'd either spend additional time in re-assembling your machine or you can't use your machine until you receive your new SHELIX head.  Most customers purchase their SHELIX head with new bearings as this will ensure they don’t have an unpleasant surprise during installation.

One of the carbide inserts is rotated at a totally different angle from all the others. Is this this correct?

SHELIX Head with rabbeting knife

Some of the Jointers that use these heads come with a rabbeting attachment and for that reason, the first knife is sitting at a different angle to allow cutting from the side as well. However, that knife is still in perfect alignment with the others although it may appear to the eye like it is sitting at a different height. So please don’t worry as this is on purpose and it will not affect the performance of your jointer.

Why are there holes drilled into my SHELIX Head?

(See Image above) The holes in the SHELIX Heads are a result of balancing the head. When the head rotates in your machine at high speed, any uneven weight distribution, (eg. the carbide inserts intentionally being arranged in offset rows), would lead to vibration. Depending on the application, this is dealt with in different ways. On your car rims for example, they add weights to the lighter side to compensate. On the SHELIX heads, weights cannot be added, so holes are drilled into the heavier side to compensate and perfectly balance the cutterhead.

What grade carbide are the Insert Knives?

The carbide insert knives on every SHELIX head are made from carbide, grade C-4. With normal operation on natural woods, you can expect this carbide to last 10 to 20 times longer than your old steel knives. Furthermore, these little insert knives are sharpened on all four edges and when they wear out, you simply rotate them 90 degrees to the next available edge. This increases the life span to 40 to 80 times longer than steel knives!

Carbide is extremely hard and if you happen to hit a rock or a nail that was hidden in the wood, occasionally, a knife can break. This is why it is a good idea to order some replacement knives along with your new SHELIX head.
 

What is important to know when replacing insert knives?

When installing new insert knives:

  • Let the screw head guide the insert into its proper position.
  • Ensure the insert is flat on the seat and right up against the back of the seat but not riding up on the back!  
  • The torque required is 40 to 45 INCH Lbs.. (NOT FT. Lbs.). 

To ensure a proper torque, the use of a torque screwdriver or torque wrench is recommended. These tools are being offered on this website under Accessories.
Please also download here a PDF file with complete instructions.

Are the replacement carbide inserts the same for all SHELIX heads?

Yes, the carbide inserts are exactly the same for ALL SHELIX heads. If you order a SHELIX head for your jointer and your planer, or even for your shaper, all carbide inserts are identical and a single supply of some replacement knives will ensure you always have replacements for whatever SHELIX head you need them for..

When will my order ship?

Please refer to our section “Delivery Information