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Posted on Grizzly 1.5 HP shaper or comparably priced cast iron router setup?

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2387 posts in 3782 days

#1 posted 05-20-2013 11:56 PM

We run 4 shapers (2 two hp and 2 are 4 hp) and we have one router table. We rarely ever use the router table. We have about 8 routers, mainly used for plunge routing and edge profiling while hand held. Sometimes we will have a large solid wood top that we will edge profile with hand held router. We plunge route flutes and grooves, etc…

Our shapers are very limited, though used a ton, in our shop. Each shaper is set to do one task involved with building doors. It allows us to build doors very efficiently. Honestly I love our shapers and obviously am very partial to the shaper.

PurpLev pointed out some obvious advantages. The shaper will give you more bang for your dollar than you get with the router. I cannot think of much advantage a router table has over a shaper, other than being able to remove the router from the table and use hand held (try holding a shaper upside down in your hand when edge profiling :)

Shaper is more powerful than the average router table

Shaper motor is more quiet

Shaper is heavier and should on average have less vibration

Shaper cutters are larger and have more mass, and I have found can produce a superior cut.

Generally speaking, a shaper is built much stronger than a router table. The router table, the router is held in place with a insert plate and gravity. The shaper is bolted together and mechanically stable.

I have had router collets come loose while in use. I have never had shaper nuts come loose off of spindle.

While shapers are dangerous, router tables can hurt a person also. Our own safety rules regarding our shapers make shaping relatively safe.

Run a power feeder with a shaper whenever this is possible. A baby feeder (1/4hp Grizzly is ample) is affordable but makes the shaper task relatively safe. We run a power feeder on 3 of our shapers.

When not using a power feeder, a sled needs to be utilized. The sled needs to be well designed and well built in order to ensure positive control of parts entering the cutter. Sleds are used for shaping the end of a long part, such as in cutting a tenon.

Routine maintenance and examination of cutters should be performed on regular basis, in order to ensure cutters are sharp and free of break/cracks.

shaper cutters should be used and can be added on an as needed basis and do not cost as much as some might think.

I have never had any experience with a 1 1/2 hp shaper. I would hope to look for a 3 hp shaper since that is what I have experience with. Smaller 1 hp shapers that are the equivilant to the Grizzly you list can be found on CL for 100.00 weekly. So if I were to go with a 1 or 1 1/2 hp shaper, I would grab an older model Delta or Crafstman off of CL for 100.00 and save the money. The Grizzly you are looking at is not going to be any upgrade over the many small shapers available on CL that can be had for around 100 to 150.00, sometimes 200.00.

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