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Forum topic by electricalD posted 878 days ago 1429 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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electricalD

115 posts in 1742 days


878 days ago

I am brand new to woodworking. My shop is up, electrical is about 80% done. I am into the researching phase and because of my inexperience, I read many books and the internet is the educating tool. Usually what I do is take each major tool and read reviews galore. And that is part of the fun.
I am looking at a router table by Jessem at the moment, in particular the “Mast-R Lift Excel II”. I don’t know when this hit the market but judging by the few reviews I could find, I figure it is relatively new to the scene. I have to say that what I did read, so far, WW’ers are impressed. But I noticed the price with the table is $999,
see this link, http://www.jessemdirect.com/category_s/6.htm . Yet I can get a 3 HP Grizzly shaper (G1026) for close to that. See this link, http://www.grizzly.com/products/3-HP-Shaper/G1026.
So, is it better to get a shaper if you are going to throw that coin for such a tool anyway? Now I know many of you have built your own tables and some pretty impressive ones at that. If you were going to fork over the cash what would you do and why? You guys are my eyes and ears.
Dan P.

-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton


11 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7431 posts in 2281 days


#1 posted 878 days ago

If you can get a router collet for your shaper you can use it
more or less like a router table. Shapers run at slower speeds
so they aren’t adapted to smaller router cutters, but they
slaughter routers in terms of power and reduced sanding
of profiles. Proper shaper tooling will cost you more, but
the wide range of rub collars and spacers make the machine
versatile too. In the end a shaper can do things a router
table cannot but the wide range of inexpensive cutters available
for routers makes them attractive too.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2029 days


#2 posted 878 days ago

If you have the money get the shaper, As Loren states, You can get a router collet for a shaper (some of the new shapers come with it). You will find that the router bits keep their edge longer, lower rpm = less heat, less heat = longer bit life.

Grizzly and shop fox have nice jointer for $1200 or less.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View electricalD's profile

electricalD

115 posts in 1742 days


#3 posted 878 days ago

Hey Loren, the Grizzly I mentioned has 2 speeds, 7000 & 10,000 rpm. It also comes with a router bit spindle for 1/4 & 1/2” shanks, as you just mentioned for $60. So I guess there is a better selection of router bits than shaper bits?

Tanks for responding Scott. Did you mean shaper bit keep their edge longer???? The other thing is that this shop is for me not a buisness but something I want to break into and hopefully when I retire I will have a decent knowlegde to make some stuff maybe to sell.

Dan

-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

View Loren's profile

Loren

7431 posts in 2281 days


#4 posted 878 days ago

No. Not really. They are just much cheaper due to being smaller,
lighter and more mass-produced than shaper cutters.

One issue with router bits is if you use them really hard the shanks
can bend a bit and then they are useless. Shaper cutters run on
a 3/4” or larger spindle. A 3/4” spindle has 2x or more steel in its
cross section compared to a 1/2” router bit, so it can take a much
heavier side load without chattering in the cut.

Not every style of work requires a shaper or big profile cutters. James
Krenov for example used router bits for small details and things
but his work shows no evidence of shaper use from what I’ve
seen. Shapers make some wild stuff possible, but if you are into
the linearity of plane, chisel and saw as Krenov was you may find
a modest router setup will meet your needs just fine. If doing
Queen Anne reproductions in contrast the shaper is nearly
essential.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Scot's profile

Scot

344 posts in 2029 days


#5 posted 878 days ago

I meant router bits used in a shaper generally keep their edge longer due to the lower rpm. Routers operate in the 10000-22000 rpm range, this is because the small low mass motors have to develop torque by spinning at the higher rpm’s. A shaper operates in the 5000-10000 rpm range, shaper motors are much heavier than router motors and develop torque through high mass at a lower rpm.

At the higher rpm’s it’s very easy to over heat a router bit, not to mention burn marks on the wood. That’s why I was very happy when manufactures started setting their machines up to use both router and shaper bits.

BTW I still like my router table too ! I just don’t have as elaborate Router/table system as I used to.

Funny how I still have a dozen or so routers around the shop though.

-- If the old masters had power tools, they would have used them. So get off your damn High Horse.

View electricalD's profile

electricalD

115 posts in 1742 days


#6 posted 878 days ago

Thanks Loren. I get your drift on the heavier shank item which makes more sense. The thing too i just realized is that I just found out I don’t fully understand the capabilities of a shaper. Which again is why I ask questions and find forums like this helpful.

Sorry Scott I missunderstood you there. So you have a shaper, is the one I quoted from grizzly a reasonable unit? And I guess I will still have a router, regardless. But I have to say that watching that video of the Jessem unit I was impressed.

So both you guys figure I should go with the shaper? I have not done any research on shapers yet and as I have said I am very new to this, very new. Thanks for taking the time to respond gentlemen.

-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1986 days


#7 posted 875 days ago

I’ve toyed around with getting a shaper myself and look at them when I see one on CL. But I don’t know that I need one. I have my router table built in to my table saw’s extension table and have not been able to do anything I need to do on it. It’s got the PC 3-1/4HP mother in it and I swing some pretty big bits when making raised panel doors without a problem. And with a shaper I see the cost of the cutters and don’t know if I want to go there.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2113 days


#8 posted 875 days ago

If you can get either, I would get the shaper. A new shaper is much more expensive than a router table, but there are many used cabinet style shapers out there in excellent condition that price very close to a good new router table. I think there are many more benefits to a shaper which others have already mentioned.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View zindel's profile

zindel

256 posts in 1283 days


#9 posted 875 days ago

Now I know my suggestion will be a bit more work, but if your new it will be a huge learning experience for you…What I did and many other jocks, buy a router plate, you could even get a lift…or a router with a built in lift such as the Triton and build your own table/fence. It will give you a lot of skills in the whole process and you will get to know the router a bit better by doing this. I just built mine and it is pretty simple…i will post pictures soon but I really did learn a lot and I love to use it, and I am more proud of the whole thing. Plus its way cheaper than spending $900 I spent maybe $80 on the table and the price of the router $185 on close out sale.

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1309 posts in 1442 days


#10 posted 875 days ago

Dan, being brand new as you say why bother with either. You ll want a router for sure. Hard to predict what direction yur new interest will take you. But with a router, you ll quickly see what its capabilities are. In the early days I had routers on hand and simply bored a hole in my outfeed table and mounted a router underneath to run what I needed and then removed it for normal use. Your going to find also that a router held in the hand will be used much more than in a table. As to your specific question: Shaper wins, no contest.

View electricalD's profile

electricalD

115 posts in 1742 days


#11 posted 875 days ago

Thanks guys for the advice although some of you say yes and some no. I think what I may do is start off small and grow some wings a bit. There’s no point in me just getting my pilot’s licence and then wanting to fly a 747.
I think the best deal for me is to get a decent table and lift and then try to build a cabinet myself. I appreciate the responses.

Dan P.

-- If there were no God, there would be no atheists, G. K. Chesterton

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