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Forum topic by SPalm posted 10-15-2007 03:46 PM 13621 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5326 posts in 4123 days

10-15-2007 03:46 PM

What do you guys think of having a shaper? I just spotted a Delta 43-355 on Craigslist for the asking price of $400. It seems to be a discontinued or hard to find machine. Retails for around $950 (?). It is 1.5 hp and has a 1/2 and 3/4 inch interchangeable spindle. It looks like about the size of machine (180 pounds) that I can get into my basement and operate without having to run special wiring which is a big plus to me.

So…. Is this too small for a shaper and I should just stick with a router table? I have a 3 hp Ryobi mounted in simple home built one right now. Seems like the way to go for raised panels, but what else? Shaper cutters are a bit pricy. It can use router bits with an optional accessory collet, anyone done this? Jet and Grizzly have about this size for around $550 new, but I’d have to pay shipping.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

5 replies so far

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4278 days

#1 posted 10-15-2007 04:11 PM

There seems to be some polarity to this discussion, as with all things woodworking. In the home shop that already has a router table in it, I think you can make better use of your tool money. The shapers will spin panel raising bits with some authority, but they don’t turn fast enough to spin smaller bits. Shaper bits are expensive, so you are buying a $400 pane raiser.

There will be differing opinions in this thread. I don’t have a shaper and am only commenting on a few discussions I’ve read on the same question.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View waroland's profile


48 posts in 4128 days

#2 posted 10-15-2007 04:53 PM

I have a 1.5 hp JET that I purchased for one project (Kitchen Caninets) that required a custom made cutter. I bought it in Nashville @ the outlet store for JET at a good price. I haven’t had a project that required the use of the Shaper since, but if I do I have it on standby. I saved enough on the kitchen cabinets that the cost of the shaper and custom cutters were not a real problem and SWMBO is real happy with the results.

-- waroland, Mount Juliet, TN

View SPalm's profile


5326 posts in 4123 days

#3 posted 10-16-2007 03:12 PM

Thanks guys. I guess I am not going to purchase. I wasn’t sure if this was a tool that I didn’t know I was missing. You know those life changing items that you discover like a Biesemeyer fence, biscuit cutter, brad nailer, etc.

Tom, you are right. It would be better to spend to upgrade my bandsaw or jointer, or on my dream; a surface sander.

Waroland, I hear you on the payback of tools. The aforementioned tools were bought for building new kitchen cabinets. The return on investment is great. And a Jet outlet? Don’t get me near it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4203 days

#4 posted 10-16-2007 06:29 PM

Main concern is the 1.5 HP motor. I don’t have a shaper yet but was told not to go below 3HP and 1” spindle.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View edp's profile


109 posts in 4202 days

#5 posted 10-20-2007 09:05 AM

I have 2 shapers with dedicated tooling on each The 1½ hp Grizzly has the 4.625” panel raiser with back cutter mounted on it and the ¾ hp Delta has an Ogee cutter for drawer face and door edges mounted on it. Both units were purchased used on *bay at a significant savings compared to new and certainly fill a nitch. I keep them in a side shed when not being used so they don’t eat up the floor space but I wouldn’t want to be without them when wrapping up a kitchen or cabinet project.


-- Come on in, the beer is cold and the wood is dry.

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