Insert cutter systems for shapers?


Have any of you had any experience with insert cutter systems for shapers like the ones from CMT or Amana? I DAGS and didn't find any reviews or opinions. I know I'm bucking the current popular trend by using a shaper instead of a router table, but it's what I have so... The insert systems seem like a good idea because you get a whole bunch of profiles for alot less than you would pay for the individual cutters and the inserts are quite reasonable when it comes time to replace them. What I would like to know is if the quality of cut is similar to the individual cutters and if the inserts hold up for a reasonable amount of time. I just don't like to buy things that I haven't used or at least talked to someone who has used them. I have become gun shy over the years because too often I have been bit in the butt by things that don't work like they are supposed too. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks in advance. I sure appreciate all of you who take the time and effort to share your knowledge and expertise. You have saved my bacon more than once. Happy sawdust, BC
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I have the CMT system. So far it has worked just fine on Cherry, Maple, and Poplar. Seems like a good solution for light duty work and provides a good selection of profiles at a reasonable price. If I were going to do production-like work, I would probably spring for the dedicated cutters though.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jim Artherholt snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net

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[snip]
My biggest concern with those is,how well do the knives stay put in use? Losing one at 10000rpm would be a Bad Thing.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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This is a fair question. CMT dealt with the issue by having the cutters mount over two pins in the head and then used a wedge shaped gib in a tapered cut out in the head. The gib has a countersunk hole to capture the screw that holds it in place. Entire system seems quite well thought out and reliable, much better than the way that craftsman holds the cutters in their TS molding heads. In the end, it all boils down to being very careful to mount the cutters correctly and double check everything, but I believe it is safe.
My concern on some of the cutters, such as the cope and stick, is that there are relatively long pieces of the cutter stock that are not supported on the back side. These, IMHO, are more likely to break off and therefore require extra diligence in feeding. In the single purpose cutters, the body extends out farther and only a relatively small amount of the carbide knife is unsupported, thus reducing the breakage likelihood.
~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jim Artherholt snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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Thanks Jim, I appreciate the input. BC
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I have not seen these cutters but insert tooling started in metalworking. Likely they have taken their insert fastening methods from there also. I have cut thousands of pounds of metal with insert cutters and never had one come out. Speeds tend to be lower(6000 rpm or less) but cutting forces much higher. I wouldn't have any reservations in using them.
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Take a serious look at using a RAS for your shaping and moulding operations using the "Delta 3 knife system". You can produce all sorts of shapes and out of flat mouldings with less than 20 knife sets. The master book on shaping and moulding on the RAS was written by Walley Kunkel "How To Master The Radial Saw". http://mrsawdust.com/contents.php
--
Rumpty

Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
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I have the Grizzly system. Can't comment thus far on knife life as I have only used it for a single molding job (about 20 LF of cherry) , but initial cuts were very smooth and the results reasonably good. Biggest issue was jigging and set-up to feed through smoothly and without causing snipe -- that would be true for dedicated or insert cutters.
The system appears to be well thought-out in terms of assuring that the knives don't depart the cutterhead during use, but care and multiple checks to assure that all fasteners have been secured and tightened is a good idea.
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+ If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough +--------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
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Mark & Juanita wrote: ...

Curiousity...what's the arbor diameter and OD of the cutter (w/ knives, roughly)? I've not ventured that direction as have only the LD Delta so far and am uncomfortable w/ really large diameter, heavy cutters on the 1/2" spindle....
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wrote:

The set I have is 3/4" arbor. The OD is about 3". Grizzly indicates that they expect a minimum 1 1/2 HP shaper for these cutters. I suspect a light duty shaper may be at a disadvantage.
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

...
Thanks, I fugured that would be the case.
HP isn't my concern, it's the 1/2" arbor and large diameter which translates into high mass...
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(You might get more info by looking at more professionally oriented forums.) The ones I've seen and used are all quite stout and do an excellent job. They aren't cheap, but are definitely less expensive than a comparable set of single use cutters. The question for you is whether you will need/want all the different profiles.
--
Jeff Thunder
Dept. of Mathematical Sciences
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