Installing a Shelix Head on a Delta 22-580 Planer

by Allan "AHill" Hill

This tutorial first appeared on theWoodNet woodworking forum. It was compiled and reproduced here for easier public consumption. All text and images are the property of Allan Hill.

I have FINALLY managed to successfully install a Byrd Shelix spiral cutterhead with carbide inserts on my Delta 22-580 2-speed lunchbox planer. Many of the Delta lunchbox planers are similarly designed, so these instructions might work on other models. No guarantees!

I purchased my Shelix head from Holbren. Great service! The head is packed in very heavy cardboard, and wood blocks protect each end of the cutterhead. The left side bearing is installed. The right side bearing is loose in a box. You'll see why later. Included in the box is a screwdriver handle and a torx hex head insert to remove and/or rotate the carbide inserts. Also included are several spare carbide inserts. Nice touch!

So, first, some suggestions, warnings, and disclaimers:

-Download or copy a parts list from or a similar website. Not entirely necessary, but it does help if you damage a part in the process. Just note that there are many parts for the 22-580 that are obsolete. If you damage one, you're on your own.

-Take pictures as you go. Take pics before and after removal of parts. Take closeups of fasteners or details.

-Have an organized space to keep removed parts. Place fasteners with parts that are removed. Try to keep similar parts in the same location.

-Clean as you go. It’s amazing how much debris collects in nooks and crannies. Before vacuuming, MAKE SURE loose parts are secured. I accidentally sucked a spring into my shop vac and ended up removing the bag and fishing it out with a magnet. Messy.

-Resist the urge to remove parts that don’t need to be removed.

-The entire process should be performed while the machine is UNPLUGGED.

I recommend a slight change sequence of the assembly process.

1. Install the guide rails.
2. Install the raise/lower chain guard.
3. Install the guide bar tube and guide bar.
4. Install the cutterhead lock and spring.
5. Install the cutterhead pulley.
6. Install the poly-v belt and re-tension by rotating the motor and tightening the motor bolts.
7. Install the drive pulley cover.
8. Re-attach the height tape to the frame.
9. Install the cutterhead lock bar tube.
10. Install and tighten the cutterhead lock bar.
11. Install the side covers.
12. Install the right and left top covers with the top roller.
13. Install the depth stop knob.
14. Install the height adjustment knob.
15. Install the cutterhead lock knob.
16. Install the chip deflector and dust collection plenum.
17. Install the top cover plates.
18. Recalibrate the depth/height indicator.
19. Test by standing to the side of the planer without running a piece of lumber before feeding lumber.

I hope this all helps. I tested mine with some rough cut curly maple. Probably 90% of the tearout is eliminated, and the surface is silky smooth. The other big benefit is the noise is GREATLY reduced.

One other warning. I cannot emphasize that you DO NOT have to remove the gearbox housing to accomplish this installation. I did, and it added at least 3 days to my process. The gearbox has bushings that act as spacers between the inside and outside plates, and if you remove the entire assembly, you will more than likely liberate a ball bearing that serves as a detent for the speed adjustment. In order to reinstall the ball bearing, I had to remove the motor (more fun!). 


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