General Shaper Questions

Greetings,
I've done some reading, but am still a bit confused as to the advantages of a shaper vs. a router table. Good shapers seems to be somewhat pricey, so I'm just wondering why. Does a shaper essentially act like a dedicated router table with more horsepower? Where does one get the different profiles? Just use standard router bits?
-m
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Difference is more or less like the circular saw to Unisaw continuum. Best shapers will haul big bits continuously, smaller will still out cut equal "horse(shit)power" routers, and their table has all the niceties that you ever wanted, and have to buy in a router table. I've got a 1.5 HP mini shaper and a 3.5 HSP router in a table, and when I've got feet and feet to run, the shaper's the best.
They don't do dados, though.

of
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Check out CMT's new line of shaper cutters. You buy the cutterhead "body", and then buy profiles that bolt on and off. Inexpensive bits for shapers($20+). No affiliation! Tom Work at your leisure!
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Check out Pat Warner's website for a discusssion.
Generally speaking, a router is for short runs on small work. Yes, you can do panel raising on a router table, but large bits can be downright dangerous.
A shaper is a hefty piece of heavy iron with a powerful motor--as high as 5hp. It can spin a much heavier cutter at lower speeds for longer periods of time.
Think of a router that works in units of seconds. A hundred seconds is a long time to use a router, even on a table.
A shaper works in units of shifts.
Take a look at this:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G9933
$3,500 is the price, and that from a "cheap" far-east manufacturer.
If you're making kitchen cabinets, you put your rail cutter in side A, your stile cutter in side B, and your panel raiser in side C. Then you make cabinet doors for several days worth of production.
Try that on a router table.
Now . .how do I that THAT from SWMBO . . .
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One more thing I forgot to mention, the bits on larger machines are different from router bits in the fact that they do not have a shank on them, they just slip over the shank that is installed on your machine. If you read about larger shapers, usually they will come with different size shanks common sizes are 1/2" and 3/4". --dave
wrote:

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U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles wrote:
[snip]

Umm. It IS on sale: a hunnert bucks off. :-)     j4
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Yes, but it's too wide to stow against the wall when she parks the minivan . . .
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U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles wrote:

She parks a CAR in your SHOP!!??
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Yeah, isn't that strange?
About a year ago, I took delivery of my Uncle's machine shop. When I built the house, I designed it with an exposed basement and double- doors to the back, specifically because I knew this would happen at some point. I think the funniest comment was from one guy at work who said "She lets you put a lathe and milling machines in the house?!?!?!", as if this was something unusual. I explained to him what I explained to her, that the house was designed around those tools before I met my wife.
But...parking a vehicle in a workshop. That is too strange. Next you're going to tell me that that heat-controlled chamber in the kitchen isn't for annealing metal parts, it's for cooking food or something. Sheesh.
Dave "still hear about that one, years later I do..." Hinz
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U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles wrote:

You're comparing a hand-held tool to a stationary tool. I run a half-ton router/table in my shop and it's perfectly happy to run for days at a time; though my longest (continuous) cut to date has been just under four hours.
The spindle (motor) is capable of developing 5HP over its entire speed range (0 - 24,000 RPM in 0.1 RPM steps). At 20,000 RPM (the fastest I've ever asked it to go) it runs more quietly than my PC speed block sander. The downside is (as you've probably already guessed) that the the spindle (all by itself) cost more than the G9933.
An acquaintance on the east coast uses his to make raised panel cabinet doors - multiple doors at a time from a single sheet of MDF - all day long, day after day.
AND it can cut deep mortises and dovetails and T-slots - things I still haven't figured out how to do with my shaper... (-:
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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wrote:

(snippage)
Well yeah. That's what the OP wanted to know--the difference between a router and a table and a shaper, why a shaper cost so much more.
Your setup sounds like its price was getting into the Shaper Zone.
You have pictures? Your description sounds more than a little drool worthy.
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Much more expensive than that. It sounds like he was talking about a CNC router, a completely different tool than what was being discussed.
news:sV0_c.3

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CW wrote:

Well, yes /and/ no. Shapers are nearly always "heavy iron" and most routers are portable, handheld tools - but routers need not be portable - or handheld.
If you could watch this thing run, you'd never confuse it with a shaper.
(...and should you ever be in central Iowa and drop in at the shop, I'll put on at least a short demonstration so you'll have that chance. :-)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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The point was, and is, portable routers in tables were what was being discussed. I seriously doubt that I will ever be anyplace in Iowa. I do know, however, that compared to the machines I deal with daily, I wouldn't find yours to be that impressive. Not to say it is not a fine machine. I'm sure it is.

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U-CDK_CHARLES\Charles wrote:

Do grandparents carry pictures of their kids' latest? Ha!
Visit http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/interest.html - there are pix at the "ShopBot Dust Collection" system; and "Miscellaneous" links. I give fair warning that if you're downloading over a dial-up connection, it may take a while (sorry, my bad design.)
If you find this stuff interesting, there are ShopBot links on the "Home" page.
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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You are on the right track. A shaper is a dedicated router table (of sorts) with more HP. I suppose you could put regular router bits in a smaller shaper, but real shapers take large bits (usually 3/4" or larger shank), and are more geared to large production work. I do a fair amount of panel raising for doors, fireplace surrounds, cabinet doors, and wainscoting and use a large shaper to cut the stiles, rails, and panels. The panel raising bit I use most is 6" in diameter, and is driven by 2 HP motor. It sounds like a large aircraft taking off with the panel raising bit in it, but it will raise a large reveal panel in one pass. The first time a ran a shaper, it kinda scared the hell out of me. I was quite comfortable with any other wood working equipment, but that thing.....well, I'm adjusted to it now, even enjoy it. If you are skittish running a table saw, a large shaper is probably not what you need yet. There are smaller shapers though, I've seen bench top models recently that take 1/4" and 1/2" shank bits (common router size) and look real convenient. Set the bench top up for a project and use your router to do the other things-like dados etc, that would require the tool to be used out of the table. If you opt for the big shaper, I'd suggest finding one with a larger table, and purchase a sled to cut stiles and rails and a feeder (these are WONDERFUL for sending the panels through and keeps the fingers away from the cutter) . The larger bits can become expensive, and not available just anywhere. Check online and wood working stores in your area. Have fun! -dave

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Just picked up the 1 1/2 HP Grizzly Shaper and for under $500.00 I would find it very hard to believe that one could do a better,safer,easier and more efficient job of shaping wood. I also had the delima of making my own router table with a precision lift but after factoring the cost and time needed to put it together it was a nobrainer to spend almost 1/2 as much on the shaper. Best of Luck!
PS- Router bits mounted in the router bit adapter have been doing fine so far and shaper bits (taiwanese) are fine for home use and they are reasonablly priced.
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