I have a small cabinet shop with one 3hp shaper that I use to make raised
panel doors. Anyone that has done that knows what a pain it is. I am
considering buying two Delta or Jet 1 1/2 hp shapers for the stiles and
rails. I will move the 1/2 hp feeder back an forth from the 3hp machine
(for raised panels) to the stile cutting shaper. The Jet has less capacity
under the nut and in travel, so I am strongly leaning toward the Delta. I
am reticent to consider Grizzly, Woodtek or other cheaper machines. I am
afraid of getting one with too much runout and getting less than quality
cuts out of about $1,000 I have in this set of cutters. And, I am in a real
time bind on this job (~150 doors), so there is nearly an immediate need to
get the shapers up and running without any problems. I am open to any
My main question is - Will these shapers cut an oak/maple stile or rail in
one pass, and are they heavy enough to put my feeder on?
Note: I tried CMT router stile and rail bits in my router tables, but there
was way too much chip out in red oak. Far more than my shaper.
Any feedback to help make my decision is appreciated.
I have a grizzleguts shaper, and have been using it for many years with no
problems. As far as run out and the like in the cheaper machines I have not
experienced problems in that area .Basically they are all made in the same
place probably using the same bearings etc and similar talent on the machine
tools. Anyone who thinks a Chinaman cannot do as well as a westerner has to
From your post I gather you want to use one machine for stiles and rails,
the other for raised panels. I only have the one machine and so I do ALL my
stiles and rails ,then I set up to do ALL my raised panel work.
As far as chip out goes I do careful consider the grain on each piece so as
to minimize cuts against the grain and even then almost never try and do the
full cut in one shot even though the machine might be capable of doing so .
I personally find a final cut taking a small amount off gives me a finer
finish resulting in less sanding and also gives me a chance to change the
cut to take care of imperfections.
One other thing a power feed not only saves fingers but allows a constant
feed rate and more even cuts .
I have done several raised panel rooms/ libraries using the above techniques
in both white oak and maghogany.
Regarding chip out using router vs shaper cutters . I think it has a lot to
do with cutter geometry, operating tip speed, grain direction, depth of cut
and material being milled .....mjh
I would recomend that you buy another 3hp Delta shaper and stack your
male and female on each other. Just raise and lower your cutters to
match the job. This would save floor space and some $$. You could
mount another feeder and just swing it out of the way when not needed.
If you do decide to go with two 1 1/2hp shapers, yes they will run
the rail and style cutters just fine. Buying another 3hp shaper would
fit into your operation and has a good re-sale value if you do decide
that you no longer need it. Good luck,
Mike from American Sycamore
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