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Router bits in shaper experiences?

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Forum topic by pbeamtn posted 01-02-2010 06:49 PM 11132 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pbeamtn

13 posts in 2551 days


01-02-2010 06:49 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shaper feeder router bit

I just purchased my first shaper for my home shop. It is a Lobo 3HP with a 1” spindle. It has a mount for a feeder, but the feeder was not available. The only shaper cutter I have is the one it came with, which was used in a Corian shop, and not much use to me. However, when this cutter spins, the machine is really scary—I don’t think I want to put my hands anywhere close.

Anyway, if money were not an issue, I would certainly get a full set of cutters and a power feeder. Since it is an issue, I’m thinking about buying an adapter to use my existing router bits. Anybody have any experience with this? I have not been filled with terror using my router bits in a router table, so I think I could get some utility out of the machine until I find a used feeder. I would then take my router out of my home made table, and use it as it was intended. The router bit adapter is $89 from Lobo, and I would hate to waste money that could be put towards cutters and a feeder.


5 replies so far

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Don

514 posts in 2539 days


#1 posted 01-03-2010 01:36 AM

How wide is the shaper bit and what speed was it running at? If it sounded really scary you may have had the speed set too high for the size of the bit. Shaper blades are often much wider than router bits and need to run at a slower speed. The same is true for a wide router bit like a panel cutter. A router can be just as scary if you run a wide bit at high speed.

I’ve used router bits in shapers like you describe and never had a problem. It’s a good econmical way to get more use ot of your shaper and router bits.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

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,

2387 posts in 3013 days


#2 posted 01-03-2010 02:29 AM

I tried to use router bits with my Grizzly 3 hp shaper and it did not work so well for me. One reason was more on user error. Almost a year later I know where I went wrong, too much to explain though. Take away user error and maybe it would have been just fine. Anyway, after some scary issues with it I decided a shaper was designed to run shaper cutters. If you think of the two different set ups, they are distinctly different. A router bit usually has 2 flutes and a typical router runs between 10000 to 20000 RPMs, so do the math and see how many cuts your bit makes per minute when using the router. A shaper cutter is larger on average, also has 3 flutes and overall more mass. My shaper has two speeds, I think it is 7000 RPM and 10000 RPM. So if you place a small router bit with 2 flutes on the shaper your cuts per minute is drastically reduced, I personally feel that the bit would operate at it’s optimal performance above 10000 RPM which my shaper will not do.

About the cost, bits are affordable and I feel the quality is fairly good at MLCS. We use our shaper just to do doors and we have a router table in the wing of the TS for running our router bits for different edge profiles. So we only own 3 cope and stick profiles and 2 panel profile bits and we practically run a small family cabinet business with that set up. If a customer ever wants a different profile I would just work the bit cost into the estimate. I hope this helps some.

www.topqualitycabinets.net

-- .

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pbeamtn

13 posts in 2551 days


#3 posted 01-03-2010 03:55 AM

Thanks for the replies. My biggest concern on using router bits in a shaper is RPM. This is supposed to be a 2 speed shaper with 8K and 10K RPMs, but the pulleys have been replaced so it is a single speed running ~ 10K.

The cutter that came with it is about 3” wide and 3” tall. It weighs a lot. There was a customized fence made for it, and the cutout was only slightly bigger than the cutter, which probably added some noise and a “wow” factor. The scale of the cutter is just so much bigger than what I am accustomed to.

I’ve been looking at the MLCS catalog, and there are a lot of things I like. All of them, however are router bits. I really like the mitered door bits.

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,

2387 posts in 3013 days


#4 posted 01-04-2010 03:38 AM

I think you will be happy with your shaper, I remember when I first started using my shaper, it was very intimidating. I would recommend being very careful and ensure you know which way your bit is spinning before use. My bits have cutters facing different directions so I have to switch directions on the shaper a lot. You should also consider a power feeder adventually for a lot of the tasks. We are in the market for a power feeder right now. Just looking for a good deal.

-- .

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pbeamtn

13 posts in 2551 days


#5 posted 03-15-2010 07:16 PM

I thought I would give a little update for posterity. I purchased the 1/2” collet for my Lobo shaper, and it has one big issue—to change bits, I have to go underneath and loosen a bolt, just like changing a spindle. This makes changing cutters a huge hassle, and I was thinking it was just not worth it.

Last week, however, I discovered the collet extender from MLCS, so I bought it, and now I can change bits from the top like a civilized person. I have not done a lot of cutting, but I have proved that it works pretty well. I’m still keeping my eyes open for shaper cutter bargains, but at least I can now work with the router bits I have until I acquire a decent collection of cutters.

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