I'd been thinking along the same lines recently. Some of the smaller
benchtop shaper tables are pretty price competitive w/ the fancier
router tables. I mean, once you figure the $$$ for a 3hp router, a
lift, a premium fence system, remote start i.e. not having to reach
under to the motor all the time, and then the cost of materials for the
router table cabinet, it can get *real* pricey. $6-700+. Obviously,
router tables can be built for much less, but they'd be more spartan
(not always a bad thing).
The biggest arguments I received involved the overall flexibility of the
router table, especially if you build your own top and fence systems, as
far as joinery is concerned. Maybe not quite as powerful, or as long of
a duty cycle as a shaper w/ an induction motor, but then most of us are
hobbyists, not pros. Supposedly the shaper works better for production
setups. More expensive bits, etc., though some of the little ones do
offer adapters to take router bits.
Kind of a grey area. If you come up w/ good reasons one way or another,
let us know.
Built my router table out of 2 x 4's and melamine (much larger then a bench
top shaper), don't have a lift, and more often then not just use a straight
edged board clamped to the table for a fence. Cost, at the most $100.00.
Been using it for years with no problems.
Yes I have a fancy costly fence but nine time out of ten the straight edged
board is faster and easier to set up and is all that is needed. Also on the
plus side is that when not in use with the router the table gives me large
extra work surface.
Depends on whether you have the other stuff more important to you than a
shaper. If you've run out of stuff to buy then yes you need a shaper.
Actually, I have both and the shaper is definitely a more robust machine and
is capable of cutting wood with a bigger cutter, but a router could handle
most tasks for me. I generally use my shaper because it's more convenient
for me and has a better fence. Plus, I got a great price on the shaper so I
bought it even though I didn't have a plan to do so until it fell into my
lap. Look at a sight like Grizzly where you can see some of the shaper
cutters you can buy and then consider you needs. My guess is that if you
have to ask then you probably don't need a shaper yet.
Larry C in Auburn, WA
"Raymond D. Hodil Jr." < email@example.com> wrote in message
You planning on building paneled house doors not
cabinet doors, stair cases, make your own T&G
flooring, tall, long moulding. Sort of like a
pickup truck. Haul a few sheets of ply or a quarter
yard of gravel or sand or do you want to haul
15 or 20 sheets of ply or sheet rock, a yard of
sand or gravel ...
With the router you might use a stock feeder for
climb cuts. With a shaper you will need a stock
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