Wood shaper question


I had acquired a used Craftsman wood shaper 15 years ago and still have not set it up. It has a heavy cast iron table, 3 hp motor, and I believe, a 1/2" spindle. HOWEVER, I note on all of the wood working shows that everybody (Norm, etc.) is using router tables for their work, including raised panels.
Is this thing really worth setting up? Am I better of with a large router table? Does one need both? If I don't plan on doing large doors, what will the shaper do for me that a router could not?
All replies appreciated,
Ivan Vegvary
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The shaper will run for hours. It will also handle large bits with considerably less pucker factor, rotating, as it does at a lower speed, and with a real 1.5 HP behind it.
If you have the room, leave it set up with one of the dual roundover bits on it for that most common of tasks. Acquire cutters for cope/mold and panel raising as you require.
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Ivan,
There has been quite a bit posted here on this topic already. I'd do a search even after you get the replies from this post.
A lot has been said about speed vs. number of knives on the tool vs quality. But it all boils down to one major thing. Use! Both will work for the majority of the work that any shop will do. Although, routers will be over worked in higher production runs. Bigger bit requirements. And, abuse of constant use.
Since you have the machine already you will likely come out ahead if you use it instead of buying a router and setting up a table to do the job. Your shaper cutters will likely cost more in the long run. But, the money that has to be spend to go the router way on top of the cutters will cost 3 or 4 times the shaper cutters alone.
Good luck!
Roy
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Advantages:     a) much quieter than a screaming router     b) much more precise for setup
Disadvantages     a) cutters more expensive
In both cases, safety is paramount, a router table or a shaper can throw material with amazing results -- the shaper does have more real power behind those throws.
For hobby use, I've found Grizzly shaper cutters to be very reasonably priced and work very well.
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[...]

Cutter price can be cut somewhat if you get a cutter head with exchangeable blades, so for different profiles you would only need to change the blades and anti-kickback-irons. Such heads can be seen here: (sorry, text is french only) http://www.hmdiffusion.com/aoCCatalogue.jrun?Destination=pageFamille&numsousfamilleX
I don't know where to get them in the US.
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On Wed, 28 Sep 2005 09:57:17 +0200, Juergen Hannappel

Grizzly has a similar item: <http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=g2320>
Had a terrible time finding it on the web page; I finally had to break out the printed catalog. It doesn't show up when you do a search for "shaper cutters", or shaper anything for that matter.
Afterwards, I found that a search for "moulding head" will get you there.
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[...]

Ouwww! Not even for a power feeder such an Item should be used, because the knifes are helb by friction only, they are not secured (as they have to be in Europe) by a shape fitting holder (like two holes at the knives back edge that fit over twp plugs in the cutterhead). Also for manual feeding the anti-kikckback irons that limit chip size are missing.
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Juergen Hannappel wrote:

...
They're not just friction, they're a tapered wedge altho it doesn't show well owing to the angle of the picture.
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writes:

Not only that, but it's also corrugated so it is locked in when the gib is tightened. So you have a wedged gib and corrugated knives, not just friction, holding the knives in the head. Just wanted to clear up any misconceptions.
Tom Plamann
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On Thu, 29 Sep 2005 09:11:33 +0200, Juergen Hannappel

The blades are held in the same way as any jointer or planer blades that I have ever seen are held in.
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Is a shaper what we brits call a spindle moulder? The advantages over a router are: fast accurate cutting of small and large profiles including ones too big for a router, relatively quiet and dust free, continuous operation possible with a power feed, very cheap cutters possible if you make your own - (you can accurately copy any moulding at all), can be used with a wobble saw tool which replaces dozens of router cutters at a stroke. Utterly superior in every way except for being more expensive and not portable.
Jacob
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Yes.
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Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Thu, 29 Sep 2005 09:11:33 +0200, Juergen Hannappel

As others have pointed out, there is more than friction holding the knives into the head. The knives and head are corrugated, and a tapered wedge holds them into the head. No different, and actually somewhat more secure than a jointer or planer knife.
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Mark & Juanita wrote:

JH is used to the German rules...
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