Need advice on buying a shaper - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on buying a shaper

Can anyone offer advice on what brand, motor size (I do not have 3 phase), spindle size etc. shaper I should buy? I will be using it for cabinet doors, raised panels, creating moldings, custom edges etc. I already have a router table for small stuff. I am in Western North Carolina and have found very little if anything on Craig's list.
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post #2 of 11 Old 11-18-2011, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musdp View Post
Can anyone offer advice on what brand, motor size (I do not have 3 phase), spindle size etc. shaper I should buy? I will be using it for cabinet doors, raised panels, creating moldings, custom edges etc. I already have a router table for small stuff. I am in Western North Carolina and have found very little if anything on Craig's list.
If you have to have a shaper, I would get at least a 3HP (220V), and at least a 3/4" spindle, and preferably one that accepts 1" and 1 1/4". I would also recommend figuring a power feeder in your budget.






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post #3 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cabinetman

If you have to have a shaper, I would get at least a 3HP (220V), and at least a 3/4" spindle, and preferably one that accepts 1" and 1 1/4". I would also recommend figuring a power feeder in your budget.




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Thanks for the idea of a power feeder. I will do that.
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post #4 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 01:08 PM
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Being in NC you should find shapers every where you look. NC and SC are the furniture hubs of the USA. lots of companies are folding up and auctioning off there equipment. Have a look at IRS auctions or EXfactory if you want used. If you have a boat load of money and want a Ferrari of a shaper, and there rep is in your state, have a look at Martin machinery. Even if you dont have a lot of money have a look anyway, there website is like the playboy channel for woodworkers.

http://www.martin-usa.com/cms/_main/fraesen0.html

I agree with cabinetman on the spindle, always better to have all three sizes, and you may want to get a shaper with a collet spindle so you can use your 1/2 router bits. I would at least bump the horse power up to 3hp. Even if you find a good industrial shaper with 220 3p you can always switch out the motor to single phase.
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post #5 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musdp View Post
Can anyone offer advice on what brand, motor size (I do not have 3 phase), spindle size etc. shaper I should buy? I will be using it for cabinet doors, raised panels, creating moldings, custom edges etc. I already have a router table for small stuff. I am in Western North Carolina and have found very little if anything on Craig's list.
Your a man after my own heart. I love a nice powerful shaper but as mentioned the power feeder is a MUST. Just imagine a 5" diameter raised panel cutter spinning at about 8000 RPM and then feeding a big heavy plank of solid hardwood through the machine BY HAND! I think not. It's way too scary and the chance of failure goes up. The power feeder make the work much safer and more accurate.

The shapers I used to have in my production shop were 3HP 3ph with 1" spindles. I don't remember the HP of the power feeds, but at least 1/2hp. The brand was Powermatic and the spindles were not changeable. I just am not comfortable with anything but a solid, one piece spindle for safety reasons. I had the smaller shapers for the smaller cutter.

The 3HP was adaquate for most tasks but for making large cuts in hard wood I would have to make two passes, and sometimes three. Sometimes, I would set up the power feeder and some feather boards and feed the stock the same direction as the cutter head rotation for a perfectly smooth cut in difficult grain. This can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

I used to mill a lot of man-doors out of both hard wood and soft wood and used shapers a lot. They are great tools if set up and operated properly.

In my smaller one-man shop, I now just have a small shaper with a 1/4hp power feeder. I'd like to have a bigger shaper but haven't justified it yet as I am not really doing production work. As far as making my own cabinet doors, I've done them with the equipment I have but for a job of any size I have found it much more cost effective to buy the doors from one of the many custom door makers that are out there.

Bret
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post #6 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by customone
Being in NC you should find shapers every where you look. NC and SC are the furniture hubs of the USA. lots of companies are folding up and auctioning off there equipment. Have a look at IRS auctions or EXfactory if you want used. If you have a boat load of money and want a Ferrari of a shaper, and there rep is in your state, have a look at Martin machinery. Even if you dont have a lot of money have a look anyway, there website is like the playboy channel for woodworkers.

http://www.martin-usa.com/cms/_main/fraesen0.html

I agree with cabinetman on the spindle, always better to have all three sizes, and you may want to get a shaper with a collet spindle so you can use your 1/2 router bits. I would at least bump the horse power up to 3hp. Even if you find a good industrial shaper with 220 3p you can always switch out the motor to single phase.
Went to the Martin site. Pretty amazing. However, I would have to sell my Ferrari to pay for one. Ha! Thanks for the tip on EXfactory and IRS auctions.
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post #7 of 11 Old 11-19-2011, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lola Ranch

Your a man after my own heart. I love a nice powerful shaper but as mentioned the power feeder is a MUST. Just imagine a 5" diameter raised panel cutter spinning at about 8000 RPM and then feeding a big heavy plank of solid hardwood through the machine BY HAND! I think not. It's way too scary and the chance of failure goes up. The power feeder make the work much safer and more accurate.

The shapers I used to have in my production shop were 3HP 3ph with 1" spindles. I don't remember the HP of the power feeds, but at least 1/2hp. The brand was Powermatic and the spindles were not changeable. I just am not comfortable with anything but a solid, one piece spindle for safety reasons. I had the smaller shapers for the smaller cutter.

The 3HP was adaquate for most tasks but for making large cuts in hard wood I would have to make two passes, and sometimes three. Sometimes, I would set up the power feeder and some feather boards and feed the stock the same direction as the cutter head rotation for a perfectly smooth cut in difficult grain. This can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

I used to mill a lot of man-doors out of both hard wood and soft wood and used shapers a lot. They are great tools if set up and operated properly.

In my smaller one-man shop, I now just have a small shaper with a 1/4hp power feeder. I'd like to have a bigger shaper but haven't justified it yet as I am not really doing production work. As far as making my own cabinet doors, I've done them with the equipment I have but for a job of any size I have found it much more cost effective to buy the doors from one of the many custom door makers that are out there.

Bret
Thanks for the advice.
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post #8 of 11 Old 11-20-2011, 11:30 AM
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I forgot to mention this gentleman who is your neck of the woods.

Lots of Oliver machinery and has some machines for sale at times.

http://www.HessWoodwork.com
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post #9 of 11 Old 11-21-2011, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip. I used to use Oliver equipment at Cal State Long Beach in my undergraduate program studying for my degree in Industrial Arts.
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post #10 of 11 Old 11-21-2011, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musdp View Post
Can anyone offer advice on what brand, motor size (I do not have 3 phase), spindle size etc. shaper I should buy? I will be using it for cabinet doors, raised panels, creating moldings, custom edges etc. I already have a router table for small stuff. I am in Western North Carolina and have found very little if anything on Craig's list.
I use a 240V single phase 3hp Grizzly shaper, it fits all my needs. No problem doing cabinet doors, raised panels etc., if you are planning a lot of big moldings, it may be too small. I do not do a lot of big moldings on mine, but when I do, I use two cuts with a shaper head and grind my own cutter shapes.
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post #11 of 11 Old 11-21-2011, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Great. Most use a foley type molding planer for crown type of shapes.
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