An excellent way to increase the speed and efficiency of your shaper when running rails and stiles is to stack your cutters. With the right set-up and coping jig you can quickly switch from rails to stiles and back again with no down time or resetting.
It all starts with your cutters and an appropriate width spacer.
Here I am using Amana’s mission style combo with a 3/4” spacer in between. More on this later.
After finding the spot you want for the groove, run your stiles being sure to mark the pieces to keep reference for the tops. I use a power feeder for this part of the operation. Anyone who uses a shaper will greatly benefit from the use of one, not to mention it keeps the fingers well away.
Here is the real trick to this set-up. The coping sled. It consists of an old miter gauge for angle adjustment, two pieces of MDF adjusted for thickness, destaco clamps and a sheet of sandpaper.
If your coping sleds bottom piece of material is the same thickness as your stock, and your spacer is the same thickness as the top piece, this sets up the top cutter for coping. This is why it’s impotant to mark the tops on the stiles. Also, prior to running any stock, after everything is adjusted, I double stick a sacrificial piece of wood to the leading edge of the sled. This helps to tame the tear out.
This method works quite well for me. Since I am attempting to make money cutting wood, any time saved is more money made. I will add that when doing rails and stile with an actual profile, I cope the ends first since any blow out is taken care of by running the stiles. There are ways to do it in reverse but that will have to wait for another day. Hopefully someone can use this information to help speed things up or just to make the job of running door parts a little less frustrating.
Parts ran for panel ends.