Powermatic 26 Spindle Shaper

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Forum topic by BBOSIDE posted 07-13-2012 03:39 PM 14419 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2577 days

07-13-2012 03:39 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tool question shaping

I’m considering buying a used Powermatic 26 shaper 3 HP.
The machine was new in 85± It’s in very nice condition was only used once.
On one pair of kitchen doors back when it was new.
Person I’m buying it from bought it new and was a hobbyist.

It has been sitting ever since.

My question is what is a machine like this worth today?
What would people be willing to send on a machine like this.

The machine comes with 1/2” and 3/4” spindles. Both manuals come with the machine.

I understand this machine is no longer manufactured.

Any thoughts are welcome on this machine.
Looking for feedback from people that own one and have experience using this unit.
I’m a very small start up shop and can not afford to make a mistake buying a machine.

This will be my first shaper I will own and I’m making the change from a bench type router table.
I understand the tooling will not interchange.
This will be my first used purchase.

All thoughts and feed back are well come.

18 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8539 posts in 2813 days

#1 posted 07-13-2012 04:05 PM

I would ask Powermatic on the availability on parts and ask any concerns you might have on the shaper.
Purchasing a good shaper is wise, but if there are no parts for it when something goes wrong, what are
you going to do?

Then again, the odds are nothing is going to go wrong because it is a powermatic.

Keep us posted and good luck my friend.

View BBOSIDE's profile


7 posts in 2577 days

#2 posted 07-13-2012 04:20 PM

I spoke with Powermatic parts are available for this model. They made it for a long time.
The maxim spindle diameter is 1”. Should I look at the 27 model this machine has 1.25” spindles.
The machine I’m looking at is 1986.

I’m not sure of my future plans. Just looking to have a well rounded work shop.

I was looking into new router tables and 3 hp router. This becomes expensive fast.
I thought shaper could be the better long term investment.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#3 posted 07-13-2012 04:30 PM

It’s a nice machine. I both owned and sold one in the span of a year after I completed a large molding project. Knives, ESPECIALLY custom knives drive the price up really quick. I miss the power of the shaper but the router table with a 3hp router gets me by now. If the price is right and you’ve got the floorspace, I think you’ll have this tool for a long, long time.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#4 posted 07-13-2012 04:32 PM

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View BBOSIDE's profile


7 posts in 2577 days

#5 posted 07-13-2012 05:22 PM

How was the dust collections on this with a 4” hose attached?

Why did you sell your machine?

What do you mean you miss the power? 3 hp should be 3 hp not matter the machine?
maybe I’m wrong dont have enough experience.

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2929 days

#6 posted 07-13-2012 06:00 PM

Well, 3hp = 3hp, that’s true. But the stationary shaper just seemed to plow through stock much easier. It may be that I’m hesitant to abuse my 3 1/4hp table router, not sure. Perhaps it’s an amperage thing, I’m not sure.
I sold mine simply because I completed my molding project and I only had enough room in my tiny shop for one shaper/router. I could put the router in my tablesaw wing and entirely free up the shaper’s footprint. That’s all. I had no complaints whatsoever with the machine and I’ve like older PM stuff ever since.
Oops, forgot: I don’t recall how I connected the DC (this was about 6 years ago). I don’t recall dust being a really big issue, so I think it must have worked OK. I would have been using a JET 2hp at the time.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3884 days

#7 posted 07-13-2012 06:11 PM

thats a nice machine. too bad the spindle only goes to 1” as most higher grade cutters mfg. today are bored 1-1/4” you should still be able to get 3/4” bored tooling for it though.

As for 3hp = 3hp – that is referencing the electrical input of the motor, but what is very different between a universal motor (that screams) to a belt driving induction motor (that hums nicely) is how much of that electrical energy is transferred to the cutterhead. a 3hp router can be bogged down, something that is unlikely to happen with a 3hp shaper. the shaper simply has a TON of torque – so be careful with it, cause it won’t stop for anything.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3783 days

#8 posted 07-13-2012 11:54 PM

I cannot say enough good things about our Grizzly 3 hp shaper, could not have done near what we have done without it. I now want a 5 hp shaper addition for panel raising. My advice is to get that shaper if the price is right and the condition is good.

It is my understanding Powermatic made some real quality machines back in the 80s. If it has been owned by a person doing things as a hobby I would think the shaper has tons of life left.

Parts replacement availability would be my biggest concern.

As for the value, I would begin with comparable new prices, go to about 50% the new cost and begin deducting for things such as age and condition. Just as a ball park figure, based on listings I have seen in my area, I would likely attempt to get the shaper some where around 400.00 +/-. I know a brand new Grizzly 3 hp can be bought for around 1,100.00 or so shipped. So in my mind if the price begins getting too steep I might as well go with a new machine.

Don’t know if this helps any or not. I just know as a buyer, my goal is to get the machine as cheap as possible while remaining fair.

-- .

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#9 posted 07-14-2012 12:38 AM

Worth at least $500 but if you have to buy accessories
that are missing that’s a bummer. Does it come with
cutters? If so, big bonus ‘cause they are spendy.

Those basic shapers by Powermatic et al may not really be
much better than the imported ones. I paid $250 awhile
back for a 3HP Shop Fox and it was a helluva deal. I check
my local listings most days for shapers and prices vary but
pro shops seem to offload them for around $400 in general
for the Lobo and Grizzlys, etc… common imported brands
used in smaller cabinet shops.

Getting a shaper with less than a 3HP motor is creating
more work for yourself. In a shaper the difference between
1.5HP and 3HP in terms of ability to just hog off the wood
is big.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3884 days

#10 posted 07-14-2012 12:41 AM

@PurpleLev – I have a 2HP overarm router and it is about
3 times the power of a big 3 hp handheld router. Just
scary really and only 2hp.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51457 posts in 3716 days

#11 posted 07-14-2012 02:59 AM

I would love to have the PM 26. I think up to $800 if its in good shape would be reasonable. You wont have problems with parts. I have been watching for one locally for a year or so now. Let us know what you decided.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View AHuxley's profile


874 posts in 3557 days

#12 posted 07-14-2012 03:18 AM

First there is NO comparison between a 3hp universal motored router and a 3hp induction motored shaper, at LEAST twice the power.

I suggest looking for a shaper that takes a 1.25” spindle, my first choices on the low budget end would be a PM 27 or Delta HD. Of the two the Deltas tend to sell cheaper. Thats is the reason I wouldn’t recommend a Grizzly G1026.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2437 days

#13 posted 07-14-2012 08:03 PM

It would be a good shaper and as for the spindle issue I would just get a good pair of t-bushings for it so you can use the 1.25 cutter heads easy enough.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View restored's profile


53 posts in 2328 days

#14 posted 03-13-2017 07:05 PM

Sorry you received 13 reply’s and I believe 2 answers to your question. I really don’t mean to be a wise guy, and have create bad feelings, but you gave the history of the machine. Honestly I myself, may be only me, I don’t look at a machine like this like a new truck. Once it leaves the yard it is drastically drops in value. I tend to look at what would it cost you if you went out and bought new. The same replacement model. Okay you don’t have the option of a 1 1/4” spindle. But you are getting both a 1/2’ and 3/4”. These parts add up. I will just be honest, I think most everyone wants to pay about half the value, of what the machine is easily worth. Even if it was used once a week for the entire time. I would consider this to be very light use. You did say it was used for cabinet doors. Once. You got one price of 800. I think if you paid 800 you stole it. What does the machine cost new. I myself, only me, believe most machines are worth at least half of the new price, and then you must take into account what comes with it. Spindles, bushings etc. sure add up fast. I have a older model (Blue) Jet 3 HP, and I have a 3.35 HP router table. The router just doesn’t have near the power of the shaper. If you don’t know your future plans, but your thinking about your 1 1/4” spindle limitations, your router table and table and lift, and Incra fence is going to set you back 100’s more than the shaper and you will still have only a 1/2” spindle. Powermatic is typically great at having replacement parts. Wouldn’t most here search used on ebay first anyways for parts. I have a draw full of spindles, bushings spacers, inserts, for my Jet, that alone would cost 1000.00. I wouldn’t sell my Jet for less than that. And it would sell also. Good luck, I know this is real late but I believe is still relevant to buying used machinery today 5 years later. I have the chance to pick up the same model and a 66 table saw for will a jet dust collector for 2 grand. I know I ccan make a few bucks and end up with a dust collector. A pretty good return on your money.

-- KRT

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1156 days

#15 posted 03-14-2017 02:22 AM


I took a quick look at ebay and my local Craigslist and conclude the value of the PM 26 shaper could be from $500 to $1000, but I would lean toward to the low end of this range. From what I have seen of Powermatic, their machines are well built and the shaper should last a long time, especially if it has only seen limited duty.

When diving into the shaper world, I may be worthwhile to become familiar with shaper cutters. Grizzly, Infinity Tools, MLCS, and others sell ¾” bore full body cutters. As Gshepherd mentioned, a 1-1/4” bore cutter could be placed on a smaller spindle with a bushing, but the larger bore cutters cost a little more and I would be hesitant to bush a ¾” spindle out to 1-1/4”. The shaper cutters, being of a larger cutting diameter than a router bit, will generally produce a smoother cut, but shaper cutters cost roughly twice the price of a comparable router bits. Used shaper cutters seem readily available on ebay and, from time to time, on Craigslist at discounted prices.

Insert cutter heads may be more economical than full bodied cutters, after the cutter head is bought. Knives for various profiles can be purchased for less than the full body cutters. Since I have not used insert cutters, I cannot say how well this style of cutter works.

You mentioned that you understood that tooling is not interchangeable; I assume between the router and shaper. However, with a ½” spindle, router bits could be used in the shaper. Router bits on the shaper produce nice enough cuts but offer fewer cuts per foot than the larger diameter shaper cutters. Even with a slow feed rate, some additional sanding may be required when a router bit is used.

I made the switch from the router table to a 3hp shaper and am glad I did. The shaper is simply better built, heavier with less vibration, offers a greater height adjusting range, can take deeper cuts in one pass, and seems to produce overall better results. I would think that a shaper would also last longer and be more reliable over time than a router in a table. Although I have not made the plunge, a commercial shop could probably benefit from a power feeder. It would be difficult to set a power feeder on a router table.

From what I have seen of shapers, dust collection is table side through the cutter guard. However, a lot of shavings accumulate inside the cabinet, and do so quickly. Therefore, if there is not a dust port in the cabinet, it may be worthwhile to add a 4” port and collect shavings both from the guard and from inside the cabinet.

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