vintage delta shaper(should i buy)

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Forum topic by scrapwood posted 01-06-2011 01:16 AM 16257 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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65 posts in 2813 days

01-06-2011 01:16 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I ran into a guy at work today that has a delta shaper older model ,probly home craft model # unknown at this point . this tool looks like a light duty shaper but in real good shape and also has a box of bits that go with it.He would like to get $200. for it ,and although i have not ran any wood thru it i did see it work and i do trust the guy so i feel that its probly worth it. my concerns are how well dose this tool work? what about parts for this tool? are they hard to get? how would this tool match up to just a heavy duty router table? i have a bench dog router table with large router installed and its somewhat under sized for making door rail &stilles with my cmt 1/2 bit set. so i would like to upgrade to maybe something like this. wondering if this is a good move,this tool is also kinda small so would be easy to move around on some kind of mobile base,anyone have this tool?

18 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10252 posts in 3611 days

#1 posted 01-06-2011 08:36 PM

1/2” shapers are kind of outdated, but a 3/4” or larger unit is still
a very cool machine to have on hand.

If the shaper comes with cutters you would find real use for, it
may be a good buy. If it has a router collect you’ll find uses for
it too. Shapers run a lot slower than routers, but can take some
heavier cuts routers don’t like.

If you’re raising a lot of panels, spinning those big bits will run your
routers, but a shaper can spin those 3” and bigger cutters day
in, day out and last for years.

Another benefit of shapers is you can grind your own cutters, which
is real dumb with router bits. Of course you have to balance the
cutters in the head with a shaper and do it right, but the capacity
to grind your own makes the shaper a preferred tool for reproduction

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3038 days

#2 posted 01-06-2011 09:30 PM

In general, the amateur woodworker who uses a shaper is rare and getting rarer.

High powered routers with (claimed) horsepower of 3+ can do virtually anything an amateur would want to do with respect to shaping. For many of us (maybe not you) there is a space issue. A shaper takes up some valuable floor space.

Your circumstances may be unique and, therefore, you could benefit from a shaper. You would be the exception to the rule.

I wish you well.

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

View levan's profile


472 posts in 2943 days

#3 posted 01-06-2011 09:52 PM

If this is a 1/2” spindle shaper, I don’t believe it would be much of an upgrade for you. IMHO You may want to look at another router.

-- "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right". Henry Ford

View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3698 days

#4 posted 01-07-2011 02:13 AM

Can you even BUY 1/2” shaper cutters any more?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3250 days

#5 posted 01-07-2011 04:54 PM

poopiekat—1/2” shaper cutters are rare, but you can use a 3/4” with a t-bushing. That works well, and they are relatively easy to find.

The down side to a shaper is there aren’t near as many profiles readily available, and they cost more than router bits. I use shapers extensively, but they are not necessarily the best choice for the average hobbyist.


View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3637 days

#6 posted 01-07-2011 05:09 PM

It depends on what you wont to do, I hate scremming router tables. I would rather have a shaper but thats me.

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2961 days

#7 posted 01-07-2011 05:22 PM

I have been waiting all my life to own a shaper ! It was one of those tools I never justified bying back then, when I come across a good used one, I will buy it. Don’t ask why, but I have 2 new cutters in my tool box from 30 years ago. I guess I thought if I had the ciutters I would buy the machine ? didn’t happen YET.
When I went to school and then when I worked at the cabinet shop the shaper was very nice to work on ,once it was set. On heavier cutting the shaper will keep its rpm better than a router. Most shapers had the option of reversing the rotation of cutters. This was nice at times to work on specific profiles.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3637 days

#8 posted 01-07-2011 05:35 PM

And a 1-1/2 hp shaper is good option for and homeowner.

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3049 days

#9 posted 01-07-2011 05:38 PM

I picked a 1950’s King-Seeley 1/2” shaper with a 1HP motor on it for $50.00 last summer. Grizzly has 1/2” bits
for it, which are less expensive than the 3/4” bits. I like it for rounding off the edges on smaller pieces and
cutting molding on long strips. It has worked fine for what I do. Mine was in sad shape, so if the bits that
come with yours are bits you can use, it is probably worth the money if it will fit in your shop.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2830 days

#10 posted 01-07-2011 05:57 PM

Back when we were making tables and cabinets and before we got our first molder we had seven shapers and and four or five also had feeders. I love shapers because they have a lot of power and they can be used for all sorts of things. They are great for making doors, especially if you have two or three. However, the shaper cutters are expensive if you buy good ones. Nevertheless, if you go to auctions shaper cutters can be had for very reasonable prices but need to be inspected by a decent sharpening shop before use. One of the draw backs to shapers is that they have a reputation of being very dangerous. I will say that as many times as we used them we never had a serious accident occur on a shaper so I don’t know how dependable that reputation is but we had a friend here in town who made oak furniture and he had lost 3 or 4 fingers to shapers at different times. I don’t know specifically about the machine that you are talking about but if I had room in my home shop I would surely like to have a shaper and even a feeder to go with it. Feeders can be picked up at auctions for very little money. Fortunately, I still have access to a few shapers that we still have at the plant but we mostly use molders now.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View scrapwood's profile


65 posts in 2813 days

#11 posted 01-08-2011 03:48 AM

Thanks for the replies folks ,we’ll yes i did buy the tool,going to try to post pics of this tool.the modle # that it had on it was 80-9317 delta .can’t seem to find any info on that particular number.the spindle is 1/2’ and the motor is only 1/2 hp,maby that can be upgraded. all the cutters look like in good shape and first pass with one seemed to cut well,i was plesently supprised with the low noise level of this unit. and my neibors will be too.i really like how you raise and lower the spindle very accesable,it is also fairly small and withthe right mobile base i will find and location for it.also you can find bits ,just today the new grizz catolog came and in there page 498 were two pages of bits and at a reasonable price.during my search for info on this tool ran across a tool junky like myself and he did a real nice job building a larger table surface around and except for the speed difference look like to me a real nice router table.

View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3698 days

#12 posted 01-08-2011 04:26 AM

I guess I’ll hafta re-assemble my 1/2” AMT shaper kit, I quit using it years ago when “Woodworker’s Warehouse” in New England discontinued selling them. Now I see that Woodworker’s Warehouse is gone, and 1/2 shaper cutters are alive and well! Hardest part is finding a 3750 rpm reversible motor! Nice job on the rebuild, scrapwood! Show us what it can do!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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65 posts in 2813 days

#13 posted 01-08-2011 04:28 PM

Yes ,grizziy has them for a reasonable price,and seem to have a decient collection,although searching further i found them to be alot more expensive at other suppliers.the motor is only 1/2 hp and would like to upgrade to a 3/4 or 1 hp.but what is the reason for having a reversible motor?

View poopiekat's profile


4349 posts in 3698 days

#14 posted 01-08-2011 09:37 PM

@scrapwood: You don’t really need a reversible motor, except that you CAN flip a cutter upside-down on the spindle and use a different part of the profile that would be impossible to do with a router. It’s a great feature if you have a cutter with a complicated profile. You’ll need to reverse the direction of feed as well as the rotation in order to take advantage of this feature. Ya gotta be sure of what you’re doing, with all the changing around of procedures and stuff. Mentioning the relative quietness of a small shaper has got me thinking…and I have quite a few new-old Black and Decker 1/2” shaper cutters that are still in the wrappers! I really ought to get my AMT shaper running again. You really don’t need anything bigger than a 1/2 horsepower motor, you’ll discover, unless you have your spindle screaming at higher than 10,000 rpm which is dangerous. I set my pulleys for double-speed, with an old 3750 rpm 1/3 horse motor.

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 1860 days

#15 posted 04-29-2013 01:35 PM

I guess by now you know that a shaper is much better at shaping than a router. These guys who say otherwise must not have used one very much. When you add up the cost of a decent 3 hp router, a table, an insert, router lift etc.. it can easily run over $1000.00. A 1 HP induction motor can do anything the best 3 HP universal motor can do and more and all the extras are built in. You can use a 1/2 adapter collar with 3/4 cutters. I’m looking at the rockwell 43-110 your shaper is patterned after on Craigslist and was wondering about the maximum diameter of the cutter it will accept. I had a Jet 1HP shaper used for rail and stile and panel raising and loved it, will this one accommodate panel raising bits?

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