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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 3HP router (Milwaukee) to make raised panels for new interior doors that I am making. These doors are 1 3/8" thick, as are the panels, and made of Red Oak. The panel cutting bit is 3 1/2" in diameter so it is quite the beast.

This is the first time I have made panels this thick so I thought the new router would buzz right through them but I am finding that I can only take a very small bite on each pass (about 1/16") and even then with a lot of burning. With 4 edges on each of two sides and six panels per door this amounts to 48 passes for each 1/16 of an inch of thickness per door (and I have 5 more doors to make) making this job much more difficult than first imagined. Each panel requires about 5 or 6 passes to complete. When I try to take a deeper cut the router stops altogether as though it is overheated but it is only slightly warm to the touch. I am feeding the wood quite slowly (about 1/2" per second on the cross grain and probably twice that fast on the long grain with the router set a the lowest speed-level 1). I am getting unacceptably rough edges with a lot of tear out where the panel meets the fence.

Do I have a defective router, am I trying to hog off too much material in each pass or should a 3HP router easily handle this work in one or two passes?

I am considering returning the router and replacing it with a shaper but have no experience with them. Will a shaper profile the entire panel (one side) in a single pass or will I have to incrementally process it like the router. I am considering a shaper with an auto-feeder but this represents quite an investment.
 

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If you are using the same profile as the router bit the shaper will take it in one pass. A 3HP router is no where near as powerful as a 3HP shaper. One is a universal motor and the other is an induction motor. 3HP requires at least 2200 watts to get there. You can't get that out of a 15a outlet, max is 1800 watts. I spin a 5" cutter on my 3HP shaper which takes a 1 1/2" cut. Most woods I can do in one pass. The job I am working on now is with White Oak and the end grain requires 2 passes or the shaper will bog down. I use a stock feeder at 14 fpm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are using the same profile as the router bit the shaper will take it in one pass. A 3HP router is no where near as powerful as a 3HP shaper. One is a universal motor and the other is an induction motor. 3HP requires at least 2200 watts to get there. You can't get that out of a 15a outlet, max is 1800 watts. I spin a 5" cutter on my 3HP shaper which takes a 1 1/2" cut. Most woods I can do in one pass. The job I am working on now is with White Oak and the end grain requires 2 passes or the shaper will bog down. I use a stock feeder at 14 fpm.
Thanks Leo,
That was the answer I pretty much expected; tried the less expensive router route first but it looks like I am going to have to buck up for the shaper. I appreciate your time.

Tom
 

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where's my table saw?
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can you keep both?

I'd keep the Milwaukee router,if it's a 5625-20, it's a great one. You may have one that is defective, it's hard to tell. If purchased from Amazon they will exchange it, no problem.
Router and shapers are really different tools, even though they have a similar appearance. The router is not reversable like a shaper, and has 5 speeds unlike the shaper which has 2 speeds usually 7000 and 10,000 RPMs. Like Leo said the motor and arbor on the shaper is much more robust and will perform heavier cuts with ease.
One of our members built a oak door using only a table router.
This thread: Building oak front door
 

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maybe you could remove some of the wood on your table saw to speed things up. I've done that so the router or shaper doenn't have to work so hard. Or sub the job out to a cabinet shop, buying a shaper to do a few doors seems like quite an exspense.
 
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