Router table or Shaper - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Granby, CT
Posts: 208
View harvest's Photo Album My Photos
Router table or Shaper

Which do you prefer router table or shaper? I bought a Summerfeld router table a while back and not sure if I like it still. I'm new to making doors with it and having a hard time trying to cope even on it. The fence has a pin at one end and the other adjustable with a knob to tighten it down. You square it up with a straight edge like a metal ruler off the bearing on a bit.

Really can't run a coping jig on it as the fence is not straight with the edges in the aluminum table. I've tried using a push block with a board attached to it. First door did not come out to bad but not good enough either. Remember your first one lol.
Attached Images
 
harvest is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 03:11 PM
Senior Member
 
NickDIY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 435
View NickDIY's Photo Album My Photos
Router Table - Bits are cheaper, with more variety and easier to find than cutters.
NickDIY is offline  
post #3 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 03:14 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Huntingdon Cambs UK
Posts: 163
View sancho's Photo Album My Photos
Rail and style bits have a bearing. What that means is the stock rides up against the bearing so you should be in good shape making cabinet doors.

Now whether a shaper would be better then a router table, it depends. Both have their advantages and disadvantages
sancho is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 03:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 185
View MattS's Photo Album My Photos
Ymmv - you can get reasonably cheap cutter heads for smaller spindle shapers, but most of those have such small tables that you barely gain any advantage over a high HP router. I have an old delta shaper I love using, but it's only a marginal improvement over a good router table.

You already noticed one of the challenges - that the miter slot isn't really parallel to the fence ever. I don't know how to combat that personally, so I end up just placing the face of the fence slightly off-square so it doesn't drag as I run a miter gage for end-cuts on rail & stile joints. They work fine, but it's certainly funky.
MattS is offline  
post #5 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 04:00 PM
Senior Member
 
NickDIY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 435
View NickDIY's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattS View Post
You already noticed one of the challenges - that the miter slot isn't really parallel to the fence ever. I don't know how to combat that personally, so I end up just placing the face of the fence slightly off-square so it doesn't drag as I run a miter gage for end-cuts on rail & stile joints. They work fine, but it's certainly funky.
Forgive me if I'm missing something here, but I don't really understand the problem.

For the long edges, as stated it rides the bearing on the bit and the fence can be aligned flush, but at any angle, right?

For edge coping the ends of the rails, you use the miter gauge, right? I've always just used a sacrificial back up board on the miter gauge and set the end of the workpiece flush to the end of it (no fence contact).

I've never used a combination of fence and miter gauge at the same time. I've also never used a coping jig. I guess I just don't understand why a round bit spinning laterally would ever care about parallelism...
NickDIY is offline  
post #6 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 04:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 697
View mako1's Photo Album My Photos
I'm amazed to see you guys recommending a router table over a shaper for cope and stick joinery."a Advantages and disadvantages"? Where are the disadvantages of a shaper with a 1 1/4
spindle that is designed for large cutters at slower speeds to make these cuts?With a power feed? Air ride coping jig?Shapers were designed for this work.More powerful ,accurate and faster for cope and stick.How can you consider a router equal for this?
mako1 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to mako1 For This Useful Post:
Al B Thayer (08-18-2015)
post #7 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 04:20 PM
Senior Member
 
NickDIY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 435
View NickDIY's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
for cope and stick.How can you consider a router equal for this?
To clarify - my preference is not specific to any operation. I could have purchased a small shaper for what I have into my table, lift and router. I chose the router setup because it is a more versatile tool, IMO.
NickDIY is offline  
post #8 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 04:43 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 697
View mako1's Photo Album My Photos
Nick :I understand that completely and think it's a very wise choice for your use.Just can't believe the opinions of these guys when asked this question without any details.
I think they are comparing apples to oranges as far as shapers go and I still disagree. The question was on cope and stick joinery and the shaper is a far superior tool for that operation.
mako1 is offline  
post #9 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 04:43 PM
Smart and Cool
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,740
View shoot summ's Photo Album My Photos
General shop tool, router table.

For a shop making a lot of doors, shaper.
shoot summ is online now  
post #10 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 04:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 1,733
View bauerbach's Photo Album My Photos
Im sure a shaper is the bees knees for making doors. If thats all you do...

Or if you have money/space to have both.

but for most weekend warriors, the router will be more flexible IMO.

I keep a feather board on the fence to hold it down and just push it though... a coping sled wouldnt be missed though... I generally use 6" stock, cope the ends, then rip it. when its 6" I find theres enough material to just index against the fence. Otherwise I have to use a push block.
bauerbach is offline  
post #11 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 04:50 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 185
View MattS's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickDIY View Post
For edge coping the ends of the rails, you use the miter gauge, right? I've always just used a sacrificial back up board on the miter gauge and set the end of the workpiece flush to the end of it (no fence contact).
Yes - and I think that's where my challenge has been in the past. I don't want a rounded over corner on my workpiece by accidentally starting the cut too deep, but it is really hard to figure out how far out to place that sacrificial board / fence face to get it set right against my miter gauge.

I may be overthinking it or just not seeing an obvious way. I run a few pieces of scrap through until I get it set right then I'm all set to run out all of my cuts. It isn't a major deal, just annoying that there doesn't seem to be a mechanism to make my fence parallel to my miter slot.
MattS is offline  
post #12 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 05:15 PM
Senior Member
 
NickDIY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 435
View NickDIY's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by mako1 View Post
The question was on cope and stick joinery and the shaper is a far superior tool for that operation.
I took it different, I guess. I thought it was a general which do you prefer with a by-the-way about the specific joinery. I guess it's just in how you read it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattS View Post
Yes - and I think that's where my challenge has been in the past. I don't want a rounded over corner on my workpiece by accidentally starting the cut too deep, but it is really hard to figure out how far out to place that sacrificial board / fence face to get it set right against my miter gauge.
I hog out most of the waste in several passes. When I'm down to the last pass, I grip down firmly, plunge cut the piece into the bearing and carefully climb cut it out. I shut the router off, put the piece back onto the bit for alignment and screw the scrap to the gauge. Since this edge hits the bearing precisely, all I ever do is manually align the workpiece to this edge.

Plunging and climb cutting this way probably aren't the safest things in the world, but on my equipment, this feels comfortable to me. Maybe not so on a little portable router table or a dinky miter gauge...
NickDIY is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NickDIY For This Useful Post:
MattS (08-18-2015)
post #13 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Granby, CT
Posts: 208
View harvest's Photo Album My Photos
I seem to have a problem with coping lately and not getting it straight even. Was thinking maybe a coping jig might be helpful. Now that I have this Somerfeld router table just don't seem to happy with it. I'm running a Triton 3 1/4 hp router under it. Nice thing with this router is I don't need the holder to raise and lower it as its built in to fine adjust it. I just don't like the fence being uneven as it hooks up.

Maybe I'll try a jig. Would love to have a shaper too.
harvest is offline  
post #14 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 05:35 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Cleveland Ohio
Posts: 185
View MattS's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickDIY View Post
I took it different, I guess. I thought it was a general which do you prefer with a by-the-way about the specific joinery. I guess it's just in how you read it...



I hog out most of the waste in several passes. When I'm down to the last pass, I grip down firmly, plunge cut the piece into the bearing and carefully climb cut it out. I shut the router off, put the piece back onto the bit for alignment and screw the scrap to the gauge. Since this edge hits the bearing precisely, all I ever do is manually align the workpiece to this edge.

Plunging and climb cutting this way probably aren't the safest things in the world, but on my equipment, this feels comfortable to me. Maybe not so on a little portable router table or a dinky miter gauge...
I might try your approach some time - I don't take multiple passes with my shaper, I just hog it all out in one single pass and it handles it easily for the stuff I'm doing (just poplar 3/4 for rail/stile doors, so it's pretty easy cutting). Thanks for the detail, that is helpful and useful!
MattS is offline  
post #15 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 05:44 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 11,807
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
General shop tool, router table.

For a shop making a lot of doors, shaper.
Good, simple, straight forward answer.

Most of us are in the General Shop Tool category.

George
GeorgeC is online now  
post #16 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 06:35 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,991
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Shaper. But that depends on the shaper. I have a Grizzly shaper I don't care for and is gathering rust and cob webs. Then I have a Northfield shaper which is one of the best investments I every made. You can buy shaper steel and cut and grind your own designs of molding or even copy some old obsolete molding you can't buy anymore. It has enough power you can run cabinet door panels in one pass and run panels all day without it overheating.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #17 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 07:07 PM
Tool Fanactic
 
WarnerConstInc.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Auburn, In
Posts: 1,898
View WarnerConstInc.'s Photo Album My Photos
Shaper. Tooling is not that expensive, shaper is way more versatile then a router table.

I don't make cope and stick cabinet doors either.
WarnerConstInc. is offline  
post #18 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 07:59 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 25,874
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
depends on your shop

For a home shop, without question... router in a table with a lift. I have 3 of them.

For a production shop making lots of cabinets with thicker material, doors, moldings,.... 3 HP shaper or larger.

I have a small 1 HP shaper, an old Craftsman, rarely used.
I set it up "permanently" with a glue joint cutter. If I were joining a lot of 3/4" boards, I'd use it way more.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is offline  
post #19 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 08:43 PM
Tool Fanactic
 
WarnerConstInc.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Auburn, In
Posts: 1,898
View WarnerConstInc.'s Photo Album My Photos
I think a shaper should have at least a 7.5hp motor......

I do quite a bit of shaping to a pattern, curved parts and such.

Some parts are 4" thick.
WarnerConstInc. is offline  
post #20 of 22 Old 08-18-2015, 09:06 PM
Wood Snob
 
Al B Thayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 5,960
View Al B Thayer's Photo Album My Photos
I have both but do use the router table more now that I don't make cabinets and a lot of raised panel doors.

The shaper is much better for panel doors. For one the cutters are full sized. On the router they are smaller and don't look as nice. I used a router on a shaker style because it didn't require a raised panel.

If you don't have a good router lift, table and fence your going to chase the settings more and be far more frustrated dialing it in. You may not even notice slight slippage or flexing that gives you undesirable results.

Shaper cutters run slower because they have 3 knives and a larger diameter giving you a higher tip speed.

Some cuts on a router table can't be done on a shaper.

Al


Al B Thayer is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Router Table Suggestions pd417 Power Tools & Machinery 21 07-02-2016 07:17 PM
Router Table, CL find tchara Power Tools & Machinery 18 08-20-2015 11:53 PM
attaching a table top vadim04 General Woodworking Discussion 5 08-16-2015 02:43 PM
Router bit set purchase tchara Power Tools & Machinery 8 08-08-2015 03:26 PM
Craftsman Table saw Attachment tchara Power Tools & Machinery 4 08-03-2015 01:05 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome