Need info, installing a Byrd Shelix head on a Hammer A3-31

jgt1942

New User
jgt
My current plan is to install a Byrd Shelix head on my Hammer A3-31 but before I make the purchase I'd like to get more information regarding the installation. So far my search for such has not produced anything helpful. Does anyone have any information? I have seen a few videos regarding other machines but I fear that the A3-31 may have some unique challenges.
 

Mark Johnson

Mark
Corporate Member
I would call Hammer. They have helix heads for their machines. I have the A3 -41 with the helix heads and it works great. Also their support guys were very helpful when I called in the past.
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
I would call Brian Gumpper at Holbren Precision Cutting Tools. He should be able to tell you everything you need to know. They have free shipping and usually the best price (they give discounts to WoodNet and other forum members.) I got my planer and jointer Sheelix heads from them. Byrd Shelix Head for Felder Planers

As discussed in this old SMC thread, about putting a Byrd Sheelix on the A3-31, many folks recommend you get the Sheelix with new bearings installed, just in case you "modify" the old ones during removal and re-installation.
 

jgt1942

New User
jgt
I would call Hammer. They have helix heads for their machines. I have the A3 -41 with the helix heads and it works great. Also their support guys were very helpful when I called in the past.
Mark, Hammer recommends against any aftermarket head and does not offer their Quiet head as an upgrade. You can get the Quiet head only when purchased with the A3 unit. They want you to purchase a new machine.
 

jgt1942

New User
jgt
I would call Brian Gumpper at Holbren Precision Cutting Tools. He should be able to tell you everything you need to know. They have free shipping and usually the best price (they give discounts to WoodNet and other forum members.) I got my planer and jointer Sheelix heads from them. Byrd Shelix Head for Felder Planers

As discussed in this old SMC thread, about putting a Byrd Sheelix on the A3-31, many folks recommend you get the Sheelix with new bearings installed, just in case you "modify" the old ones during removal and re-installation.
I just sent an email, too late in the day to call. Thanks
 

jgt1942

New User
jgt
may want to check out the Felder Owners Group (FOG) (felderownersgroup groups.io Group). Lots of knowlegable people on that group. That is my first step whenever I have some issues with my Felder equipment.
Cheers,
Bernhard
Thanks for the suggestion and link. I looked and learned a few things but still need a lot more info.
Interesting before Felder released their Quite head as an option per the group Felder offered the Byrd head as an option. Now they state they do not recommend any aftermarket heads, but to get the Quiet head you must purchase a new machine.
 

jgt1942

New User
jgt
After a lot of research, it appears that before Felder released their Quiet Head per customer request they would install the Byrd Head on the PJ. After releasing their own head they stated that they did NOT recommend 3rd party heads and only offered the Quiet Head on new machines, e.g. you had to purchase a new machine to get it.

I'm still looking for more information.
 

jgt1942

New User
jgt
After a LOT of research, I had some info where the most helpful was a document where a Hammer C3-31 had been upgraded. Thus, I started with this, very quickly I realized that it was a good reference but LOTS of differences. To hopefully eliminate serious issues I started to document my process.
There were two phases to my process. First I translated the parts diagram and because I'm a bit anal about some things I spent a lot of time correcting minor document issues. The second was the actual procedure. Because I was taking a LOT of pictures and creating hand-written notes all of which were then placed in a Word document. All of this took a LOT of time.
The entire process was spread over two weeks where I spent about a week on each phase.
Because I'm well over the hill in age, I do take breaks more often than when I was younger.
Because the completed document consists of 39 pages I have attached the completed document in PDF format.
Comments/suggestions/donations would be appreciated.
 

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Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
After a LOT of research, I had some info where the most helpful was a document where a Hammer C3-31 had been upgraded. Thus, I started with this, very quickly I realized that it was a good reference but LOTS of differences. To hopefully eliminate serious issues I started to document my process.
There were two phases to my process. First I translated the parts diagram and because I'm a bit anal about some things I spent a lot of time correcting minor document issues. The second was the actual procedure. Because I was taking a LOT of pictures and creating hand-written notes all of which were then placed in a Word document. All of this took a LOT of time.
The entire process was spread over two weeks where I spent about a week on each phase.
Because I'm well over the hill in age, I do take breaks more often than when I was younger.
Because the completed document consists of 39 pages I have attached the completed document in PDF format.
Comments/suggestions/donations would be appreciated.
That is (a lot of) and a nice piece of work right there!
 

Alan in Little Washington

Alan Schaffter
Corporate Member
Wow, a lot of work, but nice job!

Now, what is the abbreviated results/recommendation? Is it a doable, worth doing, better left to machine expert, etc. and is the quality of cut worth the effort and expense (FYI, have Byrd heads on my 15" planer and 8" jointer.)?
 

jgt1942

New User
jgt
Alan, For me, it is/was well worth the upgrade. The cut is SUPER smooth, much quieter and the wood goes through much easier. I think with my instructions it is very doable and highly likely you could complete the process in under 4 hours. Also, I think almost any woodworker can do the upgrade. BTW it takes 3-4 weeks to receive the head after you order. Byrd does not have them sitting on the shelf waiting to be shipped.
Because I spent soooooo much time in the documentation phase it is very difficult to determine how much time I spent on the upgrade itself. Also because I did not have an accurate road map I went down a few paths that just sucked up a LOT of time.
I agree that labeling/bagging all the parts did take extra time but during the reassembly, I discovered it was SOOOOOO much easier to find ALL the darn parts I needed for a step. At the end of the reassembly, there were NO Missing or Extra parts! YEA!!!

The reinstall was much faster mainly because I could reference the install. For the most part, it was the reverse of the uninstall of the old head but I did make a few minor changes to the flow.
The total cost of the head was about $960, I ordered the bearings (they were pressed on by Byrd), some extra cutters, and extra screws.
Because I now have a larger shop, "IF" I did not have the A3-31, I would get a 20" planer and a separate joiner (I think, at least that is my current thought). However, I'm very happy with what I have.
 

jgt1942

New User
jgt
$960!!!
Must be a small diameter head. I want to put one on my 20" Delta RC51- check out the price on that sucker!! o_O
Wow, for about 3k USD you can get what I got. Good grief!!!! That would be a no for me. I do have a slow speed wet Sharpener and did consider just staying with the cutter knives and even purchased the blade Sharpener attachment but never used it.
 

gmakra

George
Senior User
Byrd Shelix offers a 10 % discount to veterans.
Talk to Sarah at Byrd.
I have done 3 different conversions with Byrd and their stuff and support is excellent.
 

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