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DAClark wrote:

Just finished doing 35 feet of molding with a molding head on the RAS. I'm ready for a real shaper. The molding head works, but there is a lot of unpleasant splintering, and it's hard to hand feed the work slow enough to keep the cut smooth. But, to be real about it, I don't do all that many moldings, the molding head does work, abet crudely, and I don't really have either the money or the floor space for a shaper.
David Starr
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David Starr wrote:

If you're not running a commercial molding shop a good router in a table should do fine. Last time I was in Woodcraft they had 3-1/2 HP Freuds on sale for a ridiculously low price. One of those in a table will make molding in small volume just fine.

--
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--John
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DAClark wrote:

Lots of shaper tasks have been co-opted by better router tables.
A big shaper can't be beat for handrails, entry doors, or all-day stile and rail milling. A buddy of mine has a cheaper 1 HP shaper that really doesn't have much to offer over a good router table, along with several negatives, including cutter cost.
I would never recommend a shaper to a newbie as an early tool. A newbie that wants to use power tools WILL need a router, so that moves a shaper way down the list.
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B A R R Y wrote:

I disagree that there are better router tables...the very best of router tables is just a light weight shaper, but without the adjustability of the shaper and that 1hp shaper makes a very functional router table utilizing a router bit collet. As far as cutter cost, per production foot, you'll burn up a dozen router bits before your shaper cutter even needs sharpening. So economically, the shaper cutters are less expensive...the larger diameters make cleaner cuts...and eases the entrance of the wood into the cut...much safer. Another thing is understanding the full potential of the shaper...each cut is a joining action...so you straighten at the same time. I pass each piece twice or three times at 1/32...the first pass is a hogging cut...the second is a finish cut...and the third or even a fourth is on an as needed basis. I can joint a whole pile of lumber quicker on the shaper than a joiner...the material lays flat...and you can read the cut. With rub collars and pins, I can free hand most shapes... Putting three of four or more boards together for a panel is a snap...with a choice of interlocking shapes...corners, no problem. What I am trying to impart, here, is the potential for working wood is far greater with the shaper...than current thinking is willing to allow...
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On Wed, 21 Nov 2007 14:21:06 -0800 (PST), DAClark

There's no adjustment on the 1 HP shaper that isn't on my shop-made table. My table is heavy, as it's all MDF and ash.

It's too slow for anything except panel raisers. I've tried it, and so has the owner. With beading bits, chamfers, flutes, etc... It's sloooooow!

That's excellent, if you make 100's of the same part. Amateur and semi-pros need variety! I have over 100 router bits, some that I've used once. <G>

Have you ever used a good router table, with a split fence? <G> It's exactly the same operation, possibly with a shallower cut limit.

Let me know how that works out for face jointing. Jointers do more than create 90 degree, straight edges.

As can a router, in an easily made table with a split fence. There are plenty of high-quality tongue and groove, finger joint, etc... router bits out there. He's going to need the router anyway. One of the multi-base 2 1/4 HP kits will serve him well for years, in and out of the table, with the same cutters.

Nobody doubts that at all. But for a total beginner's first three machines?
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Let me preface what follows by noting that I've got a 3 hp TEFC shaper that spins a 7" diameter, 1 1/4" bore 2 knives cutter head at 5000 rpms. The split fence allows each to be set independent of the other - and I've got a sliding table to deal with end grain work. I've also got a Dewalt 621 plunge router and a Dewalt 625 plunge router, each with their own router table plate, the latter router for large diameter bits (panel raising) AND a JoinTech Cabinet Maker fence a fence positioning system (if you haven't see the JoinTech set up you probably have seen the Incra)
With both the shaper and the router set up, a major issue is the size of the space around the cutter where wood can be pulled in BEHIND the fence. With the JoinTech c abinet maker fence, the fence is a two parter, with replaceable Zero Clearance Inserts which you cut to match the bit you're using (for smaller router bits you get two "profiles" per ZC insert). The stock CANNOT get behind the fence. With the shaper there is no zero clearance capability and if you use multiple passes - hog out close, finer semifinish pass and then a final very light pass - you must reset the fences farther apart with each pass AND farther back - and you still have that "stock pull behind the " problem. With the shaper, if you move the fences back for the next pass - and -forget to move the fences apart - you get a horrible noise when you turn the shaper on because the cutter will be cutting your fence first.
Depending on if you're using a cutter head with changeable knives rather than a dedicated cutter you have no depth of cut limiter as you do with modern router bits. That means that the cutter CAN try to bite off more than it can chew - the result typically being the stock being flung back and away from the cutter.
Handfeeding a router bit is common, Hand feeding a shaper is - well lets just say a power feeder would be a very handy thing to have - even with a set of rub collars that let you do your multiple passes thing,' one collar per type of pass.
For a newbie who is going to make solid wood furniture I'd go with a decent cabinet saw, an 8" joiner, tables the longer the better and a 12" bench top planer, the Dewalt 755(or is it the 735? - the one with the chip extractor fan.
charlie b
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DAClark wrote:
I was arguing in favor of the shaper for its woodworking

I agree with that, and I'm often amazed that people jump through so many hoops to buy a giant router, lift mechanisms and all that and never mention a shaper, which even the small 1/2" shaper is far more powerful than a portable router I think. I know they rate them at 3.5 HP but my shaper motor is much bigger and I'm pretty certain has more beef than any portable shop router.

Certainly it has lost out to the router. Big shops don't count as they have specialty machines for everything. Home shops pressed for room and/or money can get by with a good router.
I have been in many shops

I don't see as any different than a router in a table. My router table works the same as my shaper. I guess I have bigger cutters in my shaper but they have some pretty beefy router cutters around that would be pretty dangerous, particularly if you can't moderate the speed a little.

Agreed but not sure what learning you need for a shaper vs router table? Actually, I think a shaper is easier to use and does a better job with less burning issues and smoother cutting but really, not much different stuff to be learned.
--
Jack
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Jack Stein wrote:

... and a whole bunch quieter. Even with hearing protection, that's something to be considered.
Thus far, I have found the Grizzly shaper cutters to be adequate for home shop use and readily affordable.
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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Mark & Juanita wrote:

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Gentlemen... This is a tough group, alright...and the argument over which technology is best for each application has infinite possibilities. I grew up in this current era of technology, being young I accepted technology as my inherent right over those men that had come before...and it served me well. I have had a dozen shops, from one-car garage to 60,000 square feet, with a dozen sets of equipments, ranging in value from junk to a $250,000 tool base, and employing up to a two-dozen qualified cabinetmakers. I have designed and built commercial and residential fixtures, furnitures, liturgical works, office furniture...and many more things than I can remember...and I did it from the workbench, not the front office. Technology is more than a set of tools...it is a state of mind. A man can build a box utilizing all of technology...or a better box with simple handtools. Wood was the first material that man could shape to his own imagination...working wood is the original source of all technology. The technology that each of us would embrace is the technology we know...and isn't that the beauty of working wood...because the first ways that man ever worked wood still applies. In fact, the greatest detail in wood, still, may only be accomplished by hand with a single edge of steel... And the first principles of working wood...to cut, to shape, to fasten...are the same as they have always been. So, regardless of all technology, man remains the greatest technology of all...and wood...an infinite phenomena.
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Gentlemen... This is a tough group, alright...and the argument over which technology is best for each application has infinite possibilities. I grew up in this current era of technology, being young I accepted technology as my inherent right over those men that had come before...and it served me well. I have had a dozen shops, from one-car garage to 60,000 square feet, with a dozen sets of equipments, ranging in value from junk to a $250,000 tool base, and employing up to a two-dozen qualified cabinetmakers. I have designed and built commercial and residential fixtures, furnitures, liturgical works, office furniture...and many more things than I can remember...and I did it from the workbench, not the front office. Technology is more than a set of tools...it is a state of mind. A man can build a box utilizing all of technology...or a better box with simple handtools. Wood was the first material that man could shape to his own imagination...working wood is the original source of all technology. The technology that each of us would embrace is the technology we know...and isn't that the beauty of working wood...because the first ways that man ever worked wood still applies. In fact, the greatest detail in wood, still, may only be accomplished by hand with a single edge of steel... And the first principles of working wood...to cut, to shape, to fasten...are the same as they have always been. So, regardless of all technology, man remains the greatest technology of all...and wood...an infinite phenomena.
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| | How do you attach table tops to the apron?
Pocket screws work well for me, but I am sure that there are better ways.
Have a good day, woodstuff
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Jay Pique wrote:

For solid wood tops, I like shop-made wooden blocks that mate with grooves in the back of the apron, or metal "zee" fasteners in similar apron grooves.
Plywood or composite tops can be screwed dead tight with pocket screws or corner blocks, as they won't move.
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| Jay Pique wrote: | > | > How do you attach table tops to the apron? | > JP | | For solid wood tops, I like shop-made wooden blocks that mate with | grooves in the back of the apron, or metal "zee" fasteners in similar | apron grooves. | | Plywood or composite tops can be screwed dead tight with pocket screws | or corner blocks, as they won't move. | Good post, this is a real good fastening method.
have a good day, woodstuff
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"B A R R Y" wrote:
| For solid wood tops, I like shop-made wooden blocks that mate with | grooves in the back of the apron, or metal "zee" fasteners in similar | apron grooves.
I just made some clips laminating some scrap 1/4 Birch ply pieces together.
Lew
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Table Saw Router, Planer
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Ray, I have to cite four tools that I feel are necessary - for me - three just won't cut it (sorry about the pun)
Table saw Jointer Planer Band saw.
A hand held plunge router with a good fence/guide system would be a needed item and if posible a means to mount your router in the side table of the table saw would be a great plus. As has been pointed out elsewhere in this group, you could egde joint on the router which could minimize the need for a jointer but I could not get away with that for the stuff that I try to make. Marc
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Table saw (of course) band saw jointer
You can mount a router in one wing of the table saw and not have to take up space with a router table.
Dick Durbin Tallahassee
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Ray S. & Nayda Katzaman wrote:

1. Table saw, no doubt.
2. Drum sander (Performax). Not many would agree with me but it has done more for my ability to "make stuff" than anything else after a saw. I can dress raw lumber and thickness plane with it. A thickness planer would do it faster but no better and probably not as well. It is just wonderful to be able to easily get all parts of something the same thickness AND well sanded. For all practical purposes, it also surface joins...and up to 32" to boot :)
3. A harder choice and up for grabs... (a) drill press - handy but I spent decades without one (b) joiner - also handy, used to do it quite satisfactorily on a router table (c) lathe - lots of fun and a real time saver when you need round stuff (d) combo disc/belt sander - useful but one can do without (e) scroll saw - unless you are into intricate things, not real handy (f) band saw - I think I'd opt for this as #3. I use mine quite a bit mostly for resawing. In fact, if I had space & $$, I'd have TWO of them...one for resawing, another set up with a narrow, fine blade as they are a real PITA to change blades.
--

dadiOH
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Ray S. & Nayda Katzaman wrote:

What kind of work do you want to do? If you're primarily a turner then the answer is going to be different from if you're primarily a box maker or a furniture maker or whatever.
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--John
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wrote:

By far the most useful thing is a good bench -- hard to do anything if you don't have a good flat spot on which to work. With a good bench you can do lots of one-off things with hand tools about as fast setting up a machine. Without a good bench, layout, dry fit and glue up is much harder and more frustrating.
Everything else is an efficiency device. Since there is a three device limit and it's a garshop, I'm guessing the limitation is really on space and thigns have to be stowed when not in use. If so I'd put efficiency per sq ft high for a smaller full-size band saw, and a table saw (using the bench as outfeed table). I'd go with a dust collector on wheels for the the third. Other stationary machines may vary a lot in space efficiency depending on what you build. hex -30-
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