I didn’t grab many photos from the show – was a bit preoccupied funnily enough.

The MagSwitch Display

The MagSwitch Display

Saw a lot of that corner of the Carbatec stand!

Some of the timber on offer

Some of the timber on offer

Slabbing with a chainsaw on the Stihl stand

Slabbing with a chainsaw on the Stihl stand

The very large bladed Lucas Mill

The very large bladed Lucas Mill

The final photo is a really interesting upgrade for a planer or thicknesser (if you can afford the price tag)

Spiral Cutter

Spiral Cutter

It is one impressive upgrade however.  One day for my machine perhaps.  The traditional blade layout means they chip away at the surface.  Lots and lots of chips, and if the timber has any tendency to tearout, it will.

Instead, if the blades were in a spiral pattern, it means the angle of attack is a slicing action which will produce a very clean, smooth finish. In addition, and as you can see this cutter head is not made up of 2, 3 or 4 knives, but instead consists of over 60 mini knives of tungsten carbide.  It should, as an aside, make for a much easier dust extraction as there will be a much smaller, finer shaving for the DC to remove.

The beauty of the individual knives is that if you do encounter a nail or similar, or you do so much work that the blades begin to dull, you simply rotate the affected ones through 90 degrees and keep on going.  With 4 cutting edges available on each blade, the original set will really last!

4 Responses

  1. Stu,
    My club Hornsby Woodworking Mens Shed has upgraded our Carbatec planer with a spiral cutter.
    The other most significant advantage for us has been the reduction in noise, vital for a club with adjacent homes.
    Agree with all the other benifit you mention.

    • Someone at the Perth Wood School last night was extolling the virtues of the spiral cutter as well, mentioning all the above benefits. Of course, he was doing so after seeing the output of my jointer-what-has-seen-too-many-nails. 🙂

      So what IS the price tag on that cutter?

  2. The spiral array of cutters means that the head will be cutting continuously rather than 2 or 3 times per revolution. Should be quieter, smoother, and require less power.

    • Just wish I could afford/justify the $1600 odd pricetag (and that’s just for that cutter head)

      Would be an awesome thing, and works amazingly on gnarly grain

      Good points on the power and noise reductions- hadn’t thought through the other potential benefits.

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