Dust Collection and Planer Noise

Airflow from a new dust collection made a planer noisier, but switching to helical insert tooling made it quieter again. January 12, 2015

From the original questioner:
I have a small shop and I just installed an Oneida V-3000 in it. The system works wonderfully but my satisfaction turned to disappointment when I hooked up my 15" planer (5" connection.) What had been a moderately noisy machine turned into an incredibly noisy beast that hurts the ears, even with ear muffs on! The noise is definitely related to the flow of air through the planer because it returns to its normal tolerable noise level when I close the blast gate that serves the planer. (I haven't experienced the same problem with the other equipment hooked up to the collector.) Is this a problem that someone has found a solution for, other than disconnecting the collector, or buying a spiral cutter head?

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From contributor F:
I don't have a solution, but it is normal for the airflow through the planer to increase the volume. It's not normal for it to hurt your ears with ear muffs on though? I would first check your ear protection to make sure it is a sufficient rating. They come in several different ranges. I use Peltor's with the radio built in and they work well enough for me anyway. Secondly, if you can afford it then the Byrd heads are really pretty quiet. I'm not sure if there are other ways to "tune" a planers noise down. Hopefully someone else may come along and have more info!

From Contributor S:
Mine is loud too. It is caused by the air moving over the knives and also the chip breaker. The closer the chip breaker to the head the louder it is. The closer the chip breaker to the head and the more suction you have equals no chip-out but a loud planer. I to would get stronger ear muffs.

From Contributor K:
I use Oneida's Pro 2000 with my 20" planer set up with the Byrd head. I don't have any excessive noise issues with my setup. I had used this planer a few times without dust collection when I first got it (had to finish a job that I was in the middle of when the previous lunchbox planer croaked). We were quite impressed with how much quieter this bigger planer was then the little planer w/ straight knives that it replaced. IMHO the Byrd head was worth every penny for both the reduced noise and the improved quality of the cut provided, even in difficult to plane woods.

From the original questioner:
The Byrd head makes a huge difference in the noise. One thing I found that helped before I bought the Byrd head was to put a tapered shim under the chip deflector so the knives were passing it in more of a shearing pass than a straight pass. I used a shim cut from hardwood that was 5/16 to 0" in the width of the knife. You may need longer bolts for the chip defector. Also you need to be able to adjust the shimmed side forward to maintain proper clearance. All that being said, in my opinion with all the other benefits of the Byrd head it is a no brainer.

From Contributor K:
I suspect that your noise issue might be something specific with your 15" planer. I am glad that you were able to minimize the issue with the tapered shim. I purchased my Powermatic 20" planer with the Byrd Shellical cutter head installed by the manufacturer and have used it with several different variations of dust collection before moving into my larger shop space and hooking up to Oneida's Pro 2000 system. Even my woodworking friends and colleagues who have worked in my shop have commented on how quiet this planer is compared to other machines that they know. My previous planer, a 12" lunchbox model, was significantly louder than this new one. (I went through two of those before buying a decently sized machine). I am glad that you have figured out a way to minimize the noise level of your setup.

From the original questioner:
I didn't make that very clear. The shim was in my 20" planer before I installed the Byrd head and it still had a straight four knife head. I noticed the closer the chip deflector was to the head the more noise it made. The shim did help that situation a bit. Once I installed the Byrd head there was as you know an incredible reduction in noise. No shim required. That and the virtually chip free cuts and long interval between knife changes mean I won't be going back to a straight knife system.

From contributor M:
I recently replaced the head of a 4 knife grizzly 8" planer with a Byrd Shelix. I found the new head to be noisier, though it cuts great.