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Molding Head for Table Saw

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Forum topic by richgreer posted 1460 days ago 11013 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


1460 days ago

I just watched another of the old New Yankee Workshop episodes over the internet. In the episode currently available, Norm uses a molding head on his table saw. I have never seen a molding head for a table saw.

Does anyone use these things anymore?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.


28 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

448 posts in 1506 days


#1 posted 1460 days ago

I have one, actually two. One has 3 knives the other has 2. I would think the hard thing to find would be knives that are shaped the way you want. I think mine is a Craftsman Brand, I would have to look when I get home.

It came in a box with five sets of knives, tounge and groove, window sash, male and female, and a beading one.

Rick3ddd’s post below shows something similar to my reaftsman one in the Carob Cutters link.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

600 posts in 1632 days


#2 posted 1460 days ago

Actually, he gave you the link to a shaper cutter. The table saw molding head is here.
http://www.lrhent.com/magic.htm

You can get them at Amazon.

-- Gerry, http://home.comcast.net/~cncwoodworker/CNC_Woodworker.html

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


#3 posted 1460 days ago

I’m almost embarrassed. I have been involved in woodworking for a long time and for the last 3 years (since I retired) I have become a very active woodworker. Nonetheless, I had never heard of putting a molder or shaper on a table saw until I saw the old New Yankee Workshop episode today. These molders look very interesting. Are there safety concerns – like the risk of a blade flying off?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6463 posts in 1804 days


#4 posted 1460 days ago

hey rich..i inherited one from a friend some years ago…a sears model..the blades are quite safe as they have an allen screw to secure each cutter…the guy i got mine from didnt go about useing it right..and it scared him…but ive had it for some time now, and if you are safe with it just like any tool..it can be a nice addition to the shop ..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Viking's profile

Viking

857 posts in 1696 days


#5 posted 1460 days ago

Rich;

I have the Craftsman molding head also. Bought in the early 1970’s when I was restoring an 1880’s house we owned. Used it to create some replacement molding. When I bought the house it had been a rent house for over 50 years so was quite a bit of the molding that was in really bad shape because renters don’t take care of a place like an owner / occupier would.

The Craftsman molding head had three cutters and came with five different sets of cutters. Luckily all the patterns I needed were included. I felt that it was as safe as a dado head. Still have it but 95% of its use was when I was doing the house restoration.

I actually installed on my radial are saw a long time ago. You had to remove the blade guard to use it. It scared the crap out of me when I turned it on. Took it off without ever using it on the RAS. It works great on a table saw though.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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knotscott

5148 posts in 1876 days


#6 posted 1460 days ago

I had a fairly elaborate 3 knife Craftsman set for a while. They can do some things that other tools can’t but the steel blades aren’t likely to stay sharp very long. It sounds like an airplane taking off and the thing always scared me more than I was comfortable with so I sold it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


#7 posted 1460 days ago

Okay – I have to show my ignorance. Can anyone tell me the difference between a molder and a shaper?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View mike85215's profile

mike85215

127 posts in 1645 days


#8 posted 1460 days ago

Rich…I have been looking at buying a molder for my unisaw for about two months now. I like the idea of using the table saw that I already own rather than buying a shaper/molder. But I must admit that the single biggest reason that I have not done it yet is that it scares me. They are not very popular and my logic tells me that there is a reason for that. And the fact that I think their advertising is a little “cheesy” has kept me from buying one. But I am curious as to how others that have used the product thinks about it after using it.
I am glad that you started this thread as I am still considering this as an option.

View dmorrison's profile

dmorrison

145 posts in 1762 days


#9 posted 1459 days ago

Rich
I have 2 molding head units. One is a Sears 3 head cutter. Much like the Carobcutter. I also have a 2 head cutter which is like a rectangular bar that holds 2 heads at each end. I have used the Carobcutter type unit numerous times. It works well but you have to be careful about the feed rate and depth of cut. Feed to quickly or to large of a cut and it could send it back to you very quickly. It is susceptible to kick back. But if you take shallow cuts, and you can hear how its going as you feed it, It works well. The table saw with a molding head sounds like a shaper when running.

Shaper vs. molder. I have always figured it depends on the position of the arbor of the machine. A table saw with a horizontal arbor uses a molding head. A Shaper has a vertical arbor and so uses a shaper head. I may be wrong but that is always what I have seen. Another consideration is the surface being cut. The table saw will allow the flat of a piece of wood to be cut. Cutting the edge requires the wood to be fed vertically. Which is a little more tricky, for this I would rather have a shaper. But with the proper jig it can be done safely.

Now a question for those of you out there. I have considered using the molding head on the table saw to cut cove molding. I know you can do it with a normal blade and feeding the wood at an angle with a stationary fence. But why not us a molding head with a 1” flute head. I would think that it would cut smoother and do a better job on the molding. Any comments?

Dave

PS here is an article on using a molding head on a Shopsmith.

http://www.shopsmith.com/ownersite/proj_articles/tablesawmolding/

View Eagle1's profile

Eagle1

2060 posts in 1565 days


#10 posted 1459 days ago

When I bought my saw the otherday at sears. I was buying a dado blade setup. I saw the blades for the cutting heads that Norm was using.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2800 days


#11 posted 1459 days ago

These have been around for a long time, but they’re very dangerous if not used properly.

You can get severe kick back from them.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4521 posts in 1575 days


#12 posted 1459 days ago

Thanks for all the great input and advice on molder heads.

I’ve pretty well decided that I am not going to get a molder head at this time, if ever. I’ve already have lots of ways to hurt myself.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jacktheripper's profile

jacktheripper

7 posts in 1847 days


#13 posted 1459 days ago

Dado blades and molding cutters will push the board up and kick back a board much more often than a saw will- and they will turn your fingers into mince meat

When using my molding heads on the tablesaw, I never hold down the wood with my fingers. Take the time to clamp a featherboard down off the fence, or stick a magnetic one to a steel fence.

Your fingers can’t hold down nearly as well as hold downs, so you will get a better cut as well

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2800 days


#14 posted 1459 days ago

I didn’t think Sears still sold these, because of the safety issues.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

600 posts in 1632 days


#15 posted 1457 days ago

>>You can get severe kick back from them.

You can get severe kick back with a regular blade. I actually think they’re safer, if used properly. Which means using featherboards, both on the side and on top, holding your part down to the table and against the fence. Since you’re not cutting through the material, you’re chance of kickback is much less than with normal cutting. Same goes for dado blades. Been working in a cabinets shop with 4 table saws for the last 15 years, and have never seen a single case of kickback with a dado blade. I guess it comes down to knowing what you’re doing.

-- Gerry, http://home.comcast.net/~cncwoodworker/CNC_Woodworker.html

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