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Forum topic by mtjim posted 05-28-2016 02:49 PM 556 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mtjim

8 posts in 189 days


05-28-2016 02:49 PM

Hi I am looking at purchasing a shaper for my shop. I do not have a commercial shop but have spent enough time working in one to appreciate good equipment and don’t what to buy something that will not perform well. However, unfortunately I do have a budget. I really like the price point and features of the 3hp Leguna but after reading the negative reviews here and elsewhere I am scared to get a shaper from them. Does anyone have recent experience with them or their shapers? Does anyone have any suggestions of different machines? I have also considered the 5 hp jet. I like the powermatic but I think that it is out of my price range. I have used a 3/4” delta before and wasn’t very happy with the fence (we ended up making our own). I would like to use a 1 1/4” spindle because I would like to be able to use some insert tooling but I maybe could be convinced otherwise. Any suggestions?


13 replies so far

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JBrow

812 posts in 379 days


#1 posted 05-28-2016 05:12 PM

mtjim,

I purchased the Laguna Tools Compact Shaper 4 Speed 3HP, Model MSHAP4SPD-3-0130, a little more than a year ago. I posted a review of this machine on LJ a few months ago. This is my first shaper and I continue to appreciate its performance in pursuit of my hobby. Initially I thought I would use the machine in lieu of a router with router bits. However, after buying an Infinity set of cabinet door ¾” cutters, I made the switch and added some profile cutters, although insert cutters would probably be more economical. I considered insert cutters but concluded set-up was faster and more reliable with solid bodied cutters than insert cutters.

A few of the features that drew me to the Laguna shaper, in addition to the price point, were the spindle lock, its power, the inclusion of a router collet, and ¾” and 1-1/4” spindles. In my view, the Laguna fence is well designed. It has a cast iron split fence base. One half of the split base offers a micro in/out adjusting feature. The extruded aluminum fence slides over and locks against the cast iron fence base. The adjusting screws in the cast iron base allow the aluminum fence to be adjusted perfectly perpendicular to the table. The ends of the aluminum fence at the cutters are beveled allowing the fence halves to be brought close to the cutters. The aluminum fence has two slots on the face and a slot on top. These slots provide a lot of flexibility in setting up hold downs. Other features I found when I received the machine is a self-centering mitre gauge and drilled and taped holes in the two rear corners of the cast iron table. These holes are intended to accept a power feeder (which I do not have). The machine is enough power to raise walnut panels for raised panel doors without bogging down with the Infinity raise panel cutter. But if driving 1-1/4”cutters or stacked cutters, additional power may come in handy.

Dust collection on the Laguna shaper is far from perfect. The table side 4” dust port collects a lot of shavings, but a significant amount escape the table side 4” port and end up in the cabinet. After I added a second 4” dust port in the cabinet at the floor of the cabinet and collect shavings from both the upper and lower dust ports, this problem was eliminated. I suspect this dust collection issue is not unique to Laguna, and would also be found on most shapers in the price range of a hobbyist.

The only negative issue with this machine is that an insert ring, that set flush with the table when the machine was new and during use on its first project, set just a hair proud of the table on my next project. Inexplicitly, the insert ring now sets flush with the table. The insert ring has no height adjusting set screws and seems to be a precision cast/milled part. I have not contacted Laguna regarding this problem and since I have experienced no other problems with the machine and a little fiddling addressed the problem well enough to use the machine, I doubt I will contact Laguna.

There is a recent post on LJ wherein a fellow LJ experienced a problem with his Laguna dust collector. He seemed very satisfied with Laguna’s customer service who addressed his problem.

In summary, I think the Laguna shaper I purchased is a good value.

http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/7042": http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/7042

I have no experience with any Jet equipment, so I cannot comment on the Jet 5hp model. However its power is a nice feature. I have several Powermatic machines and they all perform well. The oldest of the lot is about 15 years old and continues to perform as it did when new. I have no other knowledge of their shapers, but Grizzly offers shapers at 5 hp and may be worth a look. I do have one of the more expensive Grizzly 17” bandsaws and I am happy with its performance.

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jar944

88 posts in 897 days


#2 posted 05-28-2016 05:28 PM

I have both a 3hp delta hd, and a 5hp grizzly tilting sliding shaper (the grizzly is the same import model sold by baleigh, laguna and a few others)

The grizzly is far better than the delta, but both have quirks, mostly awful fences. The other gripe I have is the belt tension setup on the grizzly, it is a poor engineering design.

It does cut wood well, so for the price I paid (used) I’m happy with it.

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chiseler

121 posts in 348 days


#3 posted 05-28-2016 08:50 PM

I found that the lower end shapers,say powermatic on down have crappy fences,and what I would usually do is span the two sections of fence with a sacrificial pc. of wood.because I haven’t had the need to offset the two halves yet,and I have done quite a bit of shaper work in my day.my favorite “lower” cost machine is the SCMI.that’s what I would get if I could afford it.I just love SCMI machinery

But Martin is the ultimate IMHO
good luck with your choice

-- Scott.Triangle,NY Becareful and don't forget...They cut meat too!

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jar944

88 posts in 897 days


#4 posted 05-28-2016 08:59 PM

The outboard fence (and you need a power feed other use one) solves a lot of the problems of a poor inboard fence, and some that even a great fence can’t over come by the nature of the large gap in the std Fence..

The best thing is it can be as cheap as a piece of ply and some clamps (well other than the power feeder)

View mtjim's profile

mtjim

8 posts in 189 days


#5 posted 05-30-2016 02:17 PM

Thanks for the information guys. I did see your review of the laguna and that was partly what made me consider them but then I also began seeing some of the other posts. Now admittedly they are mostly older posts so who knows what it is like now. The most recent post did seem like they were treated quite well so maybe I will have to reconsider. The jet is on a pretty good sale right now so it’s not much more than the Grizzly and it looks like it has a better fence set-up so that is why I am considering them. I don’t know much about the quality of their product, though. I am sure that the SCMI would be a GREAT machine but I doubt I can justify the price. Thanks for the pictures of the fence set-up. We used this set-up in the shop that I worked at to run our stiles and rails. It is a nice set-up.

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mtjim

8 posts in 189 days


#6 posted 05-30-2016 02:20 PM

Thanks for the information guys. I did see your review of the laguna and that was partly what made me consider them but then I also began seeing some of the other posts. Now admittedly they are mostly older posts so who knows what it is like now. The most recent post did seem like they were treated quite well so maybe I will have to reconsider. The jet is on a pretty good sale right now so it’s not much more than the Grizzly and it looks like it has a better fence set-up so that is why I am considering them. I don’t know much about the quality of their product, though. I am sure that the SCMI would be a GREAT machine but I doubt I can justify the price. Thanks for the pictures of the fence set-up. We used this set-up in the shop that I worked at to run our stiles and rails. It is a nice set-up.

I also need a power feed. Is it a good idea to have the 4 wheel machine or is a smaller 3 wheel just as good?

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unbob

718 posts in 1363 days


#7 posted 05-30-2016 04:57 PM

I was looking at the 5hp Jet and others, for much less, shapers like SCMI, and Delta Invicta are out there used, Those have much better fences. I would suggest 5hp minimum for a 1 1/4”spindle.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

812 posts in 379 days


#8 posted 05-30-2016 06:05 PM

mtjim,

I have little knowledge of power feeders and have yet to conclude that I should add this accessory. I have thought a little about this accessory and share my no-experience comments.

A third option in power feeders is available. This style offers a track drive rather than a series of rollers. Its advantage would seem that the track maintains full contact with the stock. The three roller version may be less reliable in keeping stock moving through the shaper at a constant feed rate. Fewer rollers would mean less contact with the stock and a greater likelihood of slipping during the cut.

The other important feature of power feeders you did not mention is the power. From what I understand, greater power will handle a wider variety of tasks and tend to keep the stock moving at a constant feed rate.

If multiple light cuts are taken to achieve a full depth of cut, I would think any of the power feeder styles would work well. Full depth deep one pass cuts probably require a lot of power and a lot of contact with the stock.

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jar944

88 posts in 897 days


#9 posted 05-30-2016 07:01 PM

The choice between 3 or 4 wheels as well as feeder hp really depends on the size of the shaper. The 1 hp 4 wheel versions are very large, and dwarf most 3hp shapers.

The general consensus is the 3 wheel 1/2 hp feeders are about the perfect size for a delta hd/powermatic 26 sized shaper. That’s not to say a 1 hp won’t fit, they are just considerably heavier.

For a 5hp 40” table sized shaper the 3 or 4 wheeled 1 hp are typical. That’s not to say the 1/2 hp feeders won’t work on a 5hp shaper. I have a 1/2 hp 3 wheel on my 5 hp shaper (because it came with it) it works fine and never needed more power. I don’t think I ever took less that a full depth pass, however im not running a 5” corrugated knife head either

The tracked feeders are really for small parts that are too short to run through a wheeled feeder.

Really though imho a shaper needs a feeder to get its full capability.

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mtjim

8 posts in 189 days


#10 posted 06-02-2016 01:03 AM

There is a Mini Max t40 sharper for sale locally for $1200. Does anyone know if this is a good machine and what would be a reasonable price. I have not looked at it yet so don’t know about how good of shape it is in. Can you still get parts for it? Thanks.

View Alan72's profile

Alan72

187 posts in 1492 days


#11 posted 06-02-2016 01:12 AM

Have you looked at any of the shapers from Baileigh tools. I have one of their large Mortise Machine and really like it. I also have a 3hp SteelCity shaper that is same as the Luguna’s. The steel City shaper is a huge upgrade from my 1.5hp Grizzly shaper and I am glad I upgraded.

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wuddoc

93 posts in 3177 days


#12 posted 06-02-2016 03:56 AM

With 1 1/4” bore you have the opportunity for larger diameter tooling, meaning deeper and fewer profile cuts. This requires more HP along with using a power feeder for safety purposes. Some items that you might look for in a power feeder include:
Horse power
Variable speed control
Forward and reverse option
Types of wheel material available
Durometer of wheel material
Length of horizontal arm
Method used to lock horizontal arm and connector to feeder motor housing
Wheels or belt is kept clean
Shaper table is kept clean

We use the 3HP Grizzly Sharper. The unit comes with interchangeable spindles including 1/2”, 3/4” and 1”. To work with 1 1/4” knives we purchased a Grizzly straight bushing that fits over the 1” spindle thus increasing the spindle OD to 1 1/4” .
We started with the Grizzly 1/4 HP feeder but the horizontal arm was not long enough so we increased to the 1/2HP unit. We use the 1/4 HP feeder on the table saw and jointer.

-- Wuddoc

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jar944

88 posts in 897 days


#13 posted 06-02-2016 09:28 AM



There is a Mini Max t40 sharper for sale locally for $1200. Does anyone know if this is a good machine and what would be a reasonable price. I have not looked at it yet so don t know about how good of shape it is in. Can you still get parts for it? Thanks.

- mtjim

I have no personal experience with one however there have been some good discussions about the t40 on the sawmillcreek site. It would seem that it is a good industrial machine with the caveat of a less-than-perfect fence. The other possible issue is that they came in three phase. You may want to check out saw Mill creek for more in-depth information

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