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Shapers are set up like a jointer: they machine the same edge that guides them. This works well for larger pieces, but it makes it difficult to machine small moldings to close tolerances since the finish dimension is dependent on a prior operation, not the final cutting. A sticker fence works like a planer with the piece guided off the back edge.

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This fence has a 4:1 slope so moving it 1" changes the cut by 1/4". A dial indicator gives a direct readout of the change in width. There's a spring loaded hold down on the infeed side to accommodate variations in the initial width.
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The outfeed hold down is moved out of the way to show the cutter. This is the second pass on a lozenge shaped molding with the curved first surface running in a cope cut guide. This setup holds +/- 0.003" so joinery corners of the molding are very clean.
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The finished latticework headboard.
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I got the idea from a 2 head molder that made glazing bars for divided lite windows. These were hard to run on older push fed molders because the small tenoned endwork wouldn't stay aligned. Now I use it for any small profile. For pieces under about 1/8", I sometimes put a 3" rubber wheel with sanding sleeve on the shaper spindle.
Ah OK I thought you may have built a feed system into the fence. I've never heard anyone call them a sticker fence, just outboard or back fence. I run a back fence for most / all full profile cuts. Though mine are just boards clamped to the table.
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Speaking of stickers I foolishly passed on this American #1 sash sticker a few years ago.
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394 Posts
JohnGi my question is "Is your cutter head spinning in the direction of the feed? And if so how do you prevent kickback from "climb cutting?"
As a newbie years ago, I used my router fence like I would on the table saw, putting the work between the cutter and the fence. I started the cut and the piece took off like SpaceX's rocket! I never did that again, but that's what I am seeing in your photos, right? Both you guys are awesome with your setups and feeders and shapers.
I am impressed. Thanks for this discussion.
I thought I was seeing that too, but wasn't sure. You definitely never want to climb-cut with a back fence, not even with a power feeder.
I'd bet money he is conventional cutting in that setup, the first pic looks like a setup check, and the finger board / hold down is set for a conventional feed.

I typically won't climb cut, unless the wood is argumentative. The finish is never as clean as conventional cutting, but it's better than tear out everywhere. One of those back fence pics I posted above is climb cutting, I wouldn't do it with rubber wheels on a feeder.

Back to old obscure machines. My Millbury 106lt 5 head tenoner.
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