The Torque Workcentre will sell!

The first bid has been received – much appreciated!

It is in the acceptable range, so the auction will cease 3pm Thursday (unless a significant bid closes the auction immediately – see point 3 below)


To reiterate the rules:

It is a first-price sealed-bid auction (

(To paraphrase: A first-price sealed-bid auction is a form of auction where bidders submit one bid in a concealed fashion. The submitted bids are then compared and the person with the highest bid wins the award, and pays the amount of his bid to the seller.)

In placing a bid, you determine what the market value is for the unit, and what you’d be prepared to pay for it.  Unlike other auctions, this is not a competition with other bidders.

With some minor mods:

Point 1: there is a reserve – the first threshold (ie a price below which won’t enter the auction, and I’ll tell you in private if the price is too low) (No longer relevant, an acceptable bid has been placed)

Point 2: the auction timing starts once the first bid is received, and will run for 48 hours (unless the third point is reached)  Auction will end 3pm Thursday at the latest.

Point 3: if anyone bids high enough that it passes the second threshold, the auction ends immediately, and no further bids will be accepted, even if higher. That person immediately wins the auction.
Bids in private to

Oh, and finally, a revised bid is acceptable, so long as it is higher than the previous one submitted.

If it is good enough for the London Gold Exchange…… ;)

Spirals, Helicies, Slicing, Chipping, part 2

So now, in my opinion (!), my answers would be cutters 1,2 and 6.  All the heads have a helical design, but these three are the only ones where the cutter is at an angle to the direction of rotation, producing a slicing motion.

The rest are perpendicular to the direction of travel, producing a chipping action.  (However you may see something in the image that gives you that same opinion).

There is another identifier that you can use.   A helical head that chips will have straight-sided cutters.   A helical head that slices will have mild convexly curved edge.  If they don’t, you can experience a slight ridging running the length of the machined board.  Reading around on the forums, this seems to have caught a number of people out where they have what is meant to be the best thing since sliced bread (a helical head) and they are getting results worse than a straight-head planer.  They (or the manufacturer/supplier) hasn’t realised there are carbide inserts, and then there are carbide inserts.

Straight-sided cutter for chipper-helix heads

Radius-sided cutter for slicing-helix heads

Exaggerated radius (not for a helix head, but it is easier to see the radius so you know what I'm talking about!)

Guess it comes down to brand – if you buy something made by a (overseas) company that doesn’t actually understand what they are copying, they might have produced a helical head (with a slicing angle) and assumed straight carbide bits can be used.  Or they have avoided the problem by making something that looks like a helical head, but still chips away, rather than slicing so they can use the straight sided carbide bits.

If you want quality, unfortunately the old sayings remain true – “if you want quality, buy quality” and “quality costs”

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