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Shapers or Routers for Lock Miters?

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Forum topic by Cowdoc posted 11-15-2013 05:46 PM 648 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cowdoc

3 posts in 422 days


11-15-2013 05:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lock miter shaper router

Going to be making a number of furniture legs and would like to use lock miter joinery. Have a fixed speed router mounted under table and a Jet 1 1/2 hp shaper (inherited-I’ve never used). Do I go with a new lock miter router bit and speed control for the Makita router or purchase a lock miter shaper? Either way I’m spending money but I would like to hear you opinions as to which may work better?.........Thanks

-- Lou, Michigan........"Just because I can, doesn't mean I should, but I probably will anyway"


7 replies so far

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Loren

7826 posts in 2399 days


#1 posted 11-15-2013 05:49 PM

Shaper cutters usually have a larger diameter and this
helps them make a better finished cut as the arc of
the cut is more with the grain than across it. Router
cutters can make a nice cut too but they achieve it
differently and may require more sanding. For a joinery
profile sanding doesn’t matter though. The shaper
may be easier for you to set up with hold-downs
as well if you have them, but a router bit would be cheaper.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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cabmaker

1311 posts in 1560 days


#2 posted 11-16-2013 02:32 AM

Shaper! No contest, but why a lock mitre and how many legs are you milling?

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waho6o9

5294 posts in 1328 days


#3 posted 11-16-2013 02:55 AM

Shaper.

If you have to make 2 set ups for what ever reason, I’d use both
a shaper and a router and make matching joins all day long.

Save scrap pieces that fit well and save for templates.

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Cowdoc

3 posts in 422 days


#4 posted 11-16-2013 10:03 AM

cabmaker, 16 legs…....you know kids, they all want Dad’s furniture because it’s cheaper (and nicer) than store bought.

Loren, I understand the larger dimension of a shaper therefore the cut is “more” with the grain. Does the weight of shaper cutters help for a more stable cutter, therefore a cleaner cut? I’m think of larger vs. smaller flywheels on motors.

Is it safe to assume that if given the option, when doing larger profile cutting, shaper over router?

Thanks for all the info!

-- Lou, Michigan........"Just because I can, doesn't mean I should, but I probably will anyway"

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runswithscissors

1242 posts in 776 days


#5 posted 11-17-2013 06:34 AM

Your shaper may be able to use router bits. I do it all the time with my 2 h.p. Jet. With a sharp bit, I don’t notice much difference in cut quality.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View BilltheDiver's profile

BilltheDiver

234 posts in 1637 days


#6 posted 11-18-2013 06:52 AM

I use lock miters on my router table. Infinity Cutting Tools now has a setup tool (2 sizes available) that really simplifies things on this bit. The joint can be finicky to set up until you get the hand of it. I am not sure if you could use the setup tool on a shaper, but it seems possible.

-- "Measure twice, cut once, count fingers"

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Loren

7826 posts in 2399 days


#7 posted 11-18-2013 07:16 AM

1/2” shank router bits perform really well. I run router bits
in my shaper because that’s what I’ve invested in. There
are situations where a shaper saves time both in removing
stock and reduced sanding, but I don’t do much of that
sort of work. I will say of using a shaper is that it saves
wear and tear on your router and may be quieter or
otherwise a bit more pleasant to use.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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