Shaper or router?

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Is there a shaper that would do the jobs of router with an induction motor for less than $500 ? Jamffer
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wrote:

Perhaps you could provide more information about what you want to do. There are some things a router can do that *no* shaper can do at any price, and some things that are done better by one than by the other.
Regardless... if your budget is limited, consider buying a used shaper. It's just like buying a car: would you rather have a used Lexus, or a new Kia?
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

People don't part with high quality stuff often , maybe an estate sale? I was thinking about getting a router for my table saw router extension. But didn't know if I could get a reasonably quiet one because they all are brush motor units and tend to be more noisy than induction. But a shaper might hold router bits and do table router and shaper jobs a bit quieter , my guess. Also is there a (quiet) router available? Jamffer
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I use a shaper and it is very noisy but it is not the motor it is the cutters.
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wrote:

Shapers can be limited in use which makes routers within router tables more attractive. A good router table reduces dust and noise, provides a good fence that you can clamp on featherboards, and has a convenient ON/OFF switch. A good 3HP router is about $250. Another $250 for the parts to make a good router table. You'll probably spend $500 on bits. There are no "quiet" routers.
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So I guess that a good variable/sp router is the best way to go. One with enough hp to run large bits at slower speed. I have a router table w/kit in table saw ext. $500 on bits sounds a bit steep. Thanks all. Jamffer
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I'd agree with that - MUCH more versatile than a shaper. If money is your main concern, Amazon shows a Hitachi 3.25hp for $160 and a Makita 3.25hp for $200. I have a Dewalt 2.25HP, and I've never bogged it down, but I haven't done any panel-raising or anything with really big bits. $500 is a lot for bits if you buy them all at once, but I've easily accumulated at least a couple hundred dollars worth - buy them as you need them and I can't imagine you'll need $500 up front for bits. Check out the recent Fine Woodworking magazine for a comparison of several major brands. I'd highly recommend that you thoughtfully peruse patwarner.com - LOTS of info on routers, and he's a regular poster here. Andy
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wrote:

That's kind of hit-or-miss. Best thing to do IMO is to keep your eyes open *everywhere* you think you might see one advertised: auction and estate sale listings in your local newspaper, craigslist, eBay, even here on the newsgroup. That's how I got mine -- a fellow wRecker (thanks, Jeff!) upgraded to a larger shaper, and offered his Powermatic for sale here.

Quieter, yes -- but not as well. Shaper spindles spin at about half the speed of router motors, so a router bit used on a shaper will not give as clean a cut as the same bit used in a good-quality router.
They do different jobs. There's some overlap, but they're not interchangeable.

No.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

I guess I just don't agree with you . I have both and the shaper does a smoother job. The bits are 3 cutter bits and the mass of the machine is just better.
The router does a goos job for some things but when it comes to raising panels or cope and stick door making, the shaper is my preference.

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wrote:

I think Lowell and Doug are talking about things a bit differently... If I'm reading this right Doug was referring to using router bits in a shaper and Lowell was referring to using shaper cutters in the shaper and router bits in the router. From that respect I think they're both right. I've got a router table for router bits and a shaper for shaper cutters... The surface speed of the larger diameter shaper cutters is not much different than that of the router bits in a router.
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wrote:

Yes, I mis-read Doug's post. I can't use router bits on my Rockwell shaper (1970's version), so using router bits on a shaper is something I was un-aware of.
I can tell you my 1 hp 1970's shaper is much superior for door making than my routers in a table are. I have PC 690, DW610 and DW620, they are good routers.
I have two sets of door cutters for my shaper, a Rockwell cove and bead and a Bosch ovolo. They just really do a smooth job. The bits are much more expensive that router bits. They are pretty much a lifetime investment though.
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Exactly.
Quite right, and in my experience the smoothness of cuts made by a shaper using shaper cutters, and that of cuts made by a router using router bits, are quite comparable.
For small or one-of-a-kind jobs, my preference is for the router in most cases, largely because router bits are typically *much* cheaper than shaper cutters. OTOH, for large or repetitive jobs, I prefer the shaper: it's quieter and faster, and the dust collection is much better.
--
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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as a jointer. When he found out that didn't work very well it just sat in his basement for 15 years. I found it didn't substitute for a router table, and sold it for $175.
Hint, they don't replace router tables or jointers; but are available.
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The others have addressed one vs. the other, and the noise should be addressed with a good set of muffs, or plugs with the highest NR rating you can buy. Noise induced hearing loss is a most easily prevented disabilty. OSHA says 85dbA can be safely tolerated for 8 hrs... each additional 5 dbA cuts the time in half. A Snapper 28" riding mower at full throttle with the blade engaged measured 102dbA 4" from the engine (rider ear height)... safe exposure time was less than required to mow the lawn! I don't have it at my finger tips, but posted here once the levels of a variety of woodworking machines (the tailed kind). Most generate enough noise to warrant protection, and the newer muffs with a mike that shuts down when excessive noise allow communication or just awareness when safe, and protect when needed. Mine won't let me hear my hand clap... just the echo! Tom
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The Makita RF1101, 2-1/4 HP router is one of the quietest (81 dB) 2 others I seen said they were 93 db and the other 98 db. The difference between 81 db and 98 db is very significant. One other router said that it was whisper quiet Hmm that sounds suspicious.
I have good muffs and a db meter and tinnitus from 25 years of rock band work. It's difficult to get db levels for various machines online. My 3/8" drill is quiet 68 db my drill press is 50 db wood lathe is 52 db running 80 db cutting. Band saw is 86 db but tablesaw is 89 run and 100+ cutting. All measured at normal head operation distance. Shopvac was 105 db before and 60 db after I built soundproof case. Anything much over 80 db I wear muffs. Jamffer
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I wish everyone were as cautious... I fit hearing aids to so many who weren't or didn't know better. They're not as good as the real thing. Tom
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Ghamph wrote:

Shapers typically go too slow for all but the largest router bits.
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Don't know exactly what you mean by "do the jobs of router", but Grizzly has a couple of small shapers for less than $500 IIRC. I think they can accept 1/2" shank router bits, if that's what you mean. Andy
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industrial style table router for extended use for speed and time. I assume it would be a bit quieter also. Wouldn't replace a hand router though. What's the quietest router , if you know? Jamffer
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wrote:

Yeah, sort of. Shaper motors don't spin nearly as fast as router motors (typically 8-10K rpm vs 20-25K for a router), so you should not expect as clean a cut when using router bits in a collet on a shaper as you would get from the same bits used in a router.
OTOH, shaper motors have a *lot* more torque, and are much better suited to jobs such as cutting raised panels. You can take off much more wood in one pass with a shaper cutter than you can with a router bit, and still get a very smooth cut. Shaper cutters normally have three cutting edges (vs. two on a router bit), which partially makes up for the slower speed.

You assume incorrectly -- it's a *lot* quieter. :-)

[mental picture of The Incredible Hulk holding a shaper upside down and guiding it along the edge of a tabletop]

One that's turned off.
Seriously, it's kind of like asking "what's the quietest jackhammer?" Anything with a 25,000 rpm motor is going to make a lot of noise. In my mind, there's not really much of a difference between "obnoxiously noisy" and "unbearably noisy"; you need ear protection in either case. And if your shop is in your garage, don't run the router at 11pm with the overhead door open, like the guy across the street did a few years ago -- tends to bug your neighbors a bit.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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