Unique 250 Door shaper, Anyone have any information?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by , posted 06-16-2013 02:15 PM 4840 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3516 days

06-16-2013 02:15 PM

I do not own this shaper, nor am I currently involved in purchasing one. But I always look to the future and seem to be constantly looking for improvements here and there in skill and tooling. That said, I see the Unique 250 at auctions from time to time and figure it is just a matter of time before we consider purchasing the machine used. currently has one and the current bid is 3,500.00 which I feel is affordable. It is one shaper that takes the place of 3 or our 4 shapers. I talk to my wife about it and we could sell 3 of our current shapers while keeping one shaper for our Door lip shaper (since the unique 250 does not do the door lip cut).

The unique shaper would cost us very little from an auction after we sell a few of our other shapers. The unique shaper is 7.5 hp and 3 phase. So the 3 phase would be an issue at first. Not sure what cutters we can use but we currently have a large inventory of Freeborn and LRH insert type cutters that are 1 1/4” bore. So I am thinking we have the cutters we would need.

Well I am being tempted but I really would like to find more information about this shaper before taking the plunge. I have seen youtube videos and it is very slick in the way it works. In fact, I see that arched doors can be built without even using a bandsaw to cut the arches. Very cool.

Any input is welcome. Thanks

-- .

8 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10278 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 06-16-2013 03:08 PM

I’m often tempted to replace a machine when I see
something cooler on the used market, but it’s got to
the point where dealing with selling the old machine
is a hassle.

Unless you are going to be a door shop (got a wide
belt?) specialized door making gear may not save
you a whole lot of time. I know doors are a lot
of work and as a pro you want to optimize as much
as you can within your means. However, other
machines can speed up your casework in other

View AlanBienlein's profile


159 posts in 2643 days

#2 posted 06-16-2013 06:16 PM

All three cutters are mounted on one spindle. There are also pneumatic stops for the cope, stick and panel raising operations. We have one at work and it basically only gets used for arched or cathedral raised panel doors.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3254 days

#3 posted 06-16-2013 07:50 PM

I agree with James on outsourcing doors and drawer boxes for that matter. I used a pro-cut door machine for years and loved that particular machine (worth checking into if determined to build your own doors).

It took me years to swallow my pride simply because I wanted to say I built everything myself and started outsourcing my doors and dovetailed drawer boxes.

I even tried using the excuse I could build them better, faster and cheaper…...............I was wrong on all accounts!

-- John @

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3516 days

#4 posted 06-17-2013 02:52 AM

The shaper does intrigue me for some obvious reasons. In time I believe I will add the Unique 250 or a shaper with similar capabilities as I don’t see myself outsourcing anytime soon. I would love to be backed up on the schedule that outsourcing was mandatory but currently if we were to outsource we would run the risk of working ourselves out of work. If I had been outsourcing our doors this year we would have ran out of work 8 weeks ago.

We do have 2 cabinet door sources in Austin, one is Patton doors (I have never bought from them) and we have Taylor Craft. We bought doors from Taylor Craft in the past but my wife had to re sand all of the doors because we found swirl marks in the doors from their DA or ROS. The easy part of building doors is the building of the doors, the hard part is the sanding of the doors so if you screw that up, and I have to correct the sanding, I might as well have built them myself to begin with.

At some point in our future we will probably get to where we are lining up 2 kitchens per month and will be outsourcing doors, no doubt and I look forward to it. At this time we can complete an entire kitchen job with building doors in approximately 4 weeks +/-. Since we have only sold 5 kitchen jobs since Jan, I need to keep as much work in house as possible.

I guess all in all, I am just dreaming. I need to remain focused and finish out our building which I am looking forward to. It will save us a fair amount of money having our own building and so I hope to be able upgrade a lot of our equipment after getting into our new building.

Thanks for the input everyone, it was helpful.

-- .

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3706 days

#5 posted 06-17-2013 03:06 AM

I have seen them in action and must say they are really nice. They will actually cut the stiles, rails, and cope and stick plus the raised panel in a couple of minutes. They are quite impressive machines. Make sure you buy a machine that has at least one set of cutters. Preferably many sets. Cutters are extremely expensive. But, they are inexpensive in the long run because they use insert cutters.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3516 days

#6 posted 06-17-2013 03:14 AM


I have not read much about the Unique in detail and that was the one thing I was not sure about. I already have a good inventory of 1 1/4 ID LRH cutter heads that accept insert knives. It would be a bummer to have to purchase all new cutters but like anything else, it could happen one profile at a time.

I lean on CL and auctions so I will end up with what I am able to afford on the used market. There is one available on but I cannot justify the expense at this time. I do see the Unique shaper on online auctions a fair amount so I think the opportunity to buy used will present itself.

Thanks for the input.

-- .

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3516 days

#7 posted 06-17-2013 03:18 AM

John, I also like that they will do arched doors without the need to bandsaw your arches. I think that is cool. My next job is an arched door job and my last job was arched as well.

a few other things I like a lot about the shaper is:

It seems to reduce some of the potential human error I find we can have at times.

It seems to have better clamping ability than our current set up, so that there seems to be more positive control over the work piece at all times when using the Unique shaper set up.

Set up from one cut to another seems quick and accurate. Our current set up is pretty decent so no real complaint with our current set up of 4 shapers. But I do feel the Unique would be a bit more accurate.

And, I think the Unique set up appears safer with the cutter head being mostly shielded from the user. While we have not had any issues, and maintaining cutters is key here, but I hear horror stories of cutters exploding and operators being killed with shrapnel.

-- .

View jacobreeve's profile


4 posts in 1240 days

#8 posted 12-03-2014 04:13 AM

Only the basic wood working materials I known for door shaping, I never know that its about 250 of them stuff to use as door shaper, I perhaps not able to have any idea how to use them. Those basic stuff I know was only those basic tools that I always see at, every time I visit their showroom to get idea of woodworking.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics