Is a shaper worth having?


My router table is a POS, and I have been planning a new one for some time now. While I love my Bosch 1617, I was going to buy a new 15a router for the new table.
I just saw an ad for an old 1hp shaper. I haven't seen it yet, but they claim it is in good shape, takes all router bits, has a 1hp motor, and weighs 160 pounds. I am thinking it might make a good substitute for the new router/router table. It will certainly be cheaper. But I have never even used a shaper, so I would appreciate some advice.
Do they take router bits and work well with them? The 1hp motor sounds weaker than my 2hp 1617, but I suspect they can't be compared like that. How will a 1hp shaper perform compared to a router? Can you just compare amps, or do they not compare since the motor types are different?
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Toller wrote:

modern shapers come with 5 HP motors...
Dave
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I have a SECO 3 HP shaper and can hardly imagine needing more power. I have had to slow it down for some interlocked grain hickory crossgrain cuts, but generally it swings a 5" panel raiser in a full cut effortlessly. If you want to do doors, I'd grab it immediately!
160 lb is a lot. Is there a stand?
Our club auction has a C'man shaper or two most every year. They sell for &5-125, often with several cutters. I have one I use for rails, stiles, and drawer front edges. It is 3/4 HP and has more than enough power for those uses. It only takes up to about 2" cutters, but has plenty of power for any of those.
A handheld router excels on warped, ringed, or twisted boards.
Wilson

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Did you see where he said it's a 1 HP motor?

160# is hardly anything for a shaper.
[snip]

I see you're still struggling with the concept of proper stock selection and preparation... :-)

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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David wrote:

...
Might want to look at the following links...
http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.aspx?itemnumber=G0510Z http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.aspx?itemnumber=G1035
:)
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Is a shaper worth having? Yes, but you might not want to jump into the1HP shaper or a shaper at all until you give the router table capability a bit more attention.
The gap between router table capablity and shaper capability has narrowed quite a bit during recent years and there is grey zone in the middle of these capabilities that both can handle well. .
I, like you, have an old POS aluminum top router table that spends most of its time hanging on the wall. I recently decided to build a descent router table between the extended tracks on my cabinet saw. I hope this is going to be a stopgap solution until I have more space; so I am spending most of my time building a good fence with DC and adjustment capabilities. My Bosch will reside there first, but I expect to eventually buy a bigger router which, in a sense, narrows that capability gap.
Unless you do a lot of doors, large trim or other projects requiring you to mill larger stock or larger quantites, you might want to consider souping up your router table capability. I have found that building router and drill press tables are kind of fun and I end up with what I want.
I don't think you are stepping up with a 1HP shaper (most today are in the 2-5hp range). I don't know the price but I'll bet similar bucks will build a nice router setup.
RonB
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Here's my thoughts... A decent router can do things that a shaper can't do (freehand, certain profiles like non-through cuts, etc), but for certain types of production stuff, the shaper is the way to go. If you've got tons of raised panel doors to do, the shaper would allow you to do them faster and possibly better.
As far as the 1 hp shaper vs. the 3 hp router, if you compare the amps used, you'll probably find them pretty close. Then there's the difference between the motor types, their intended use, etc. For example, my router and tablesaw are both rated for about the same number of amps, but I'm pretty sure that the tablesaw motor would kick the router's butt when it came to running for extended periods at full power. So I don't think they're really comparable.
One other note re: taking all router bits, keep in mind that shaper heads are often 3 bladed, and router bits are often 2 bladed. A router will typically spin the bit at 22,000 rpm (depending on variable speed, of course), and the shaper will spin at around 7K to 10K. The cuts per minute would be kept about the same, if you use the appropriate bit for the appropriate tool (22K * 2 = 44,000, 10K * 3 = 30,000), but if you use the router bit in the shaper, you'll get half the intended cuts per minute. The quality of the cut will probably be reduced, and probably the life of the bit. Check out www.grizzly.com for some available shapers, as well as bits (I think).
If I was you and had a decent router, and I had the money, room and could justify the bits, I'd look at getting the shaper (assuming it's priced right, and in good shape). I'd build my own router table for the times that makes sense.
--
Clint
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i just purchased a 5hp shaper with a power feeder. takes 1 1/4" cutters. i **love** it, and will never look back.
the speed and quality of cut is well worth the money ... at least for me. if time is not of the essence, it might be overkill.
the cutters are not cheap. i just got a rail/stile set for it, $500. obviously smaller cutters are less expensive.
good luck!
---- dz
Toller wrote:

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Toller writes:

It's like comparing oranges and apples.
Both are fruits, but that is about it.
Shapers are notorious for causing injury, they can be very nasty.
My guess is that it is mostly operator error, but that is little consolation if you lose a finger.
OTOH, if you have a production operation and need to make a lot of custom moldings, it is the piece of equipment for the job.
Just give it a lot of respect.
If you use router bits larger than 1" dia, then you must start slowing down the router RPM below 25,000.
Most router bits specify their top operating RPM.
Time for something like a Porter Cable 7538 multi speed mounted in a table.
The flexibility of a good table mounted router is tough to beat.
I spent my money building the NYW router table and dropping in a 7538.
The whole thing was less than $500.
I consider it money well spent.
YMMV.
Lew
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The one in the shaper is rated at average power. The one in the router is rated at maximum power. As the maximum power is twice the average, the two motors are about the same. However, the one in the shaper is rated for a much higher duty cycle, hence it will last longer. In additon, the induction motors have no brushes to wear out. About all that ever breaks are the capacitors.
Jim
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Toller wrote:

...
That's about the right size/weight for the Delta light-duty shaper which was supplied w/ either 3/4 or 1 hp motor. It isn't in production any longer but Grizzly at least is still making a knock-off which you can see at http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.aspx?itemnumber=G0510Z
I would caution strongly against the "table-top" router/shaper which may be what they're talking about--it isn't a very good machine--I was most disappointed w/ it after I got it as a second small shaper in order to allow me to leave a small setup in place on it for the cope cut on full length tenons.
It's still in production -- rather than take the time for loading the Delta site as well, they Grizzly knock-off of it is at http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.aspx?itemnumber=G8693

Most small shapers to have router bit collets, but a shaper is not a router and shouldn't be confused w/ one. I particular, the spindle speed for a shaper is roughly 10k rpm max, whereas a router is roughly 20-25k. For large diameter bits, this difference is as critical, but for smaller diameter bits which may also only be two flute as opposed to three, the cuts/sec will be 10/20*2/3 = 1/3 of what it would be on a router. Add to this the smaller diameter and the tip speed is also much less.
OTOH, w/ full-size shaper cutters, there are three wings and the diameter is 2" or greater and the tip speed is much greater.

1hp shaper for a 1/2" spindle will be plenty assuming it's a real rating (which the Delta is, of course). I wouldn't be w/o a shaper for what I do, but I make a lot of windows, doors, mostly architectural so am dealing w/ 1-1/8" or 1-3/4" stock. For small cabinet work only, the router would probably be sufficient.
In summary, they're two different machines. Typically the shaper table will be much more solid as compared to the run-of-the-mill router table and the fence will probably be better than most of them except for some of the very pricey ones.
HTH...
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I bought it $140. It looks exactly like the Grizzly. The motor is 14a, but is actually bigger than the 18a motor on my TS. I wonder what that's about.

I will hold onto my old router table, with the 1617, for small stuff.
Thanks.
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Duane don't forget, the RAS makes a great shaper and moulder......
R ;-)
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Rumpty wrote:

Not!
The operative word here is "great"... :)
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