Author Topic: Router Table versus Shaper  (Read 2351 times)

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Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 866
Router Table versus Shaper
« on: November 27, 2019, 02:36 PM »
Any preference for one over the other?

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Offline TSO_Products

  • Retailer
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  • Posts: 121
    • TSO Products LLC
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 03:12 PM »
@JimH2- can you describe the application in some detail?
DiY or Pro, production or custom one-off pieces, etc etc
there is a place for each of these given a particular situation.


Hans

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 866
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2019, 04:10 PM »
@JimH2- can you describe the application in some detail?
DiY or Pro, production or custom one-off pieces, etc etc
there is a place for each of these given a particular situation.
Hans

Pro for some production items (cabinet doors and drawer fronts) as well as non-production items.

Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 542
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2019, 04:13 PM »
I also am curious about this.
In my research , I found that the Shaper uses a real big bit at a slower rpm. Seems they do some of the same stuff, but the a shaper seems more industrial .
I’m looking forward to the responses .
Charlie


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Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 866
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 05:26 PM »
I'll add that I'd like to be able to use some of the larger router bits that I already have if possible or advisable.

Offline Slowlearner

  • Posts: 65
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2019, 05:40 PM »
Waiting on info. Seems like a cool toy that ill never fully use but ill probaly buy lol

Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 696
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2019, 06:46 PM »
In a nutshell, router tables and shapers serve a similar function, but shapers are designed for much larger tooling than what a regular router table can spin. Typically you'd see shapers used for raising panels, finger jointing, glue joint cutters, pattern tracing, and tenoning. Note that many of the European machines use a 30mm arbor so you can mount saw blades on the arbor.

Many shapers also have a tilting arbor, allowing you to come up with some creative profiles.

For reference, router motors used in a router tables will be ale to spin in excess of 20,000 rpm, whereas most shapers will have a spindle rpm in the 3,000-10,000 rpm range, though the Felder machines have a special spindle that allows the use of 1/2" shank router bits that spins at 15,000 rpm.

Video of an example of shaper work at 13:20-15:35

I'm currently using a Incra router table with a Jessem 3hp motor and am very happy with it.

https://www.incra.com/router_table_fences-ls_super_sys.html

I just ordered a Hammer A3-41, once I've recovered from that I plan on next acquiring a Felder F-700Z shaper to handle entry doors and larger joinery projects: https://www.felder-group.com/us-us/products/shapers/tilting-shaper-f-700-z.html
« Last Edit: November 27, 2019, 07:32 PM by Tom Gensmer »
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Offline pettyconstruction

  • Posts: 542
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2019, 10:46 PM »
Wow nice machine and tub


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Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 156
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2019, 11:14 PM »
All depends what you plan to use it for. A shaper can do most of what a router can do plus a whole lot more. If you have the space, then get both. The cost of a very high end router table setup is a drop in the bucket compared to shaper tooling.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2747
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2019, 04:48 PM »
A friend had a business of making plantation shutters using a shaper. When he installed a new cutter, he put a containment cylinder around the cutter and let it run for 30 minutes.

Occasionally, the cutter would come apart and only once would a piece penetrate the containment cylinder.

Large router bits running at high speed and any shaper cutter can be dangerous.
Birdhunter

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6627
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2019, 10:22 PM »
Let’s put this into terms we can all understand.

If you catch a finger with a router, you lose the nail or the first part of the digit.

If you catch a finger with a shaper, you lose the entire finger.

Offline egmiii

  • Posts: 156
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2019, 11:09 PM »
Let’s put this into terms we can all understand.

If you catch a finger with a router, you lose the nail or the first part of the digit.

If you catch a finger with a shaper, you lose the entire finger.

If you’re lucky. I’d bet many lose the hand.

Offline Lincoln

  • Posts: 41
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2019, 08:00 PM »
I worked with shapers (we call them spindle moulders, in Aus) a lot when I was an apprentice joiner. We had one permanently set up for raising panels and another for running stiles and rails, mouldings etc, etc.
They are a very intimidating machine and require training from an experienced operator. Frankly, I'm surprised that the general public can go into a tool supplier and buy one.
Running door components isn't too bad, safety wise, it's the large cutters that are harder to guard that used to worry me.
Unless you have a specific need for big tooling, or run a LOT of doors, a quality router table would be my choice.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1910
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2019, 08:20 PM »
Let’s put this into terms we can all understand.
If you catch a finger with a router, you lose the nail or the first part of the digit.
If you catch a finger with a shaper, you lose the entire finger.
Sure, but then you don't hold stock with your hands with large cutters. Either power feeder or clamped to sliding table.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2019, 12:34 PM by Svar »

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 6627
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2019, 09:35 PM »
While looking at some Amana tooling today I came across this article.

https://www.toolstoday.com/g-11-router-bits-vs-shaper-cutters?ne_ppc_id=1043070230&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxvXk1OyQ5gIVxMDACh12Yg21EAAYASAAEgLDRPD_BwE

Also of note, Amana tooling to produce simple Mission style doors with a router is $136. The same style tooling to produce simple Mission style doors with a shaper is $320.

A shaper is really a high production piece of equipment that you can run for hours at a time. A router not so much...that's the reason that for small/hobby CNC router tables, router spindles that have a coolant are a very popular option.

Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5926
  • Festool Baby.....
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2019, 10:55 AM »
On top of everything thats been discussed. A router table is / can be mobile. A shaper is not.

A couple of years ago I loaded my tools up in the back of my truck, drove to Oregon (17hrs 1 way) to build some doors for a friend of mine. It was a visit /work sort of thing.

Couldnt do that with a shaper.

Offline jeffinsgf

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Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2019, 09:45 AM »
I've seen a shift over the years. 30 years ago, small shapers were fairly common in personal and small professional shops. As routers got bigger and variable speed routers came on the scene, shapers started losing ground. I still have and occasionally use a 3/4" spindle shaper, and every time I do, I wonder why I don't use it more and my router table less. It's quieter, burns less (because of lower speed), produces a better finish (in most cases), and can take significantly heavier cuts, reducing the total machining time.

That said, I'm not sure I would buy a 3/4" spindle shaper today. The tooling is hard to come by and expensive when you do find it. In a production setting, 30mm or 1-1/4" is the preferred size. Router bits are where all the innovation is going today...at least for the small shop market.

I'm not sure I buy into the argument that router tables are safer than shapers. Both will change your life forever in a fraction of a second. They all deserve respect, careful set up and the use of guards, hold-downs, featherboards and push blocks. 

Offline JD2720

  • Posts: 1106
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2019, 09:51 AM »
There is lots of 3/4" tooling here.

3/4 bore shaper cutters

Offline JimD

  • Posts: 409
Re: Router Table versus Shaper
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2019, 03:33 PM »
I made one kitchen using a router table in addition to other projects.  It has raised panel doors of oak.  I think the edge shaping was 1.25 inches or a little more.  That is about the max for a router and requires slowing down the bit.  I had to make multiple passes to raise a panel.  The coping and sticking was easily done in one pass but the material removed was less than 3/8 of an inch.

I haven't used a shaper since high school but I am sure they can do the panel raising in one pass and do larger edge shaping and deeper cope and sticking. 

Some of the doors I made were pretty large and the little stub tenons produced by the cope and stick cuts did not fail.

If I needed to make even one large kitchen with raised panel doors I would try to find a way to use a shaper at this point.  A router just takes too long.  Bits are cheaper for a router but will also need to be replaced more frequently. 

For my projects for the forseeable future my router table is fine.  I'm just making furniture for myself and my kids with no raised panel doors planned. 

I also made shutters for a different houses windows using my router table.  The bit I used was vertical and could cut the profile in one pass but 4 cuts were required to make the stock for the louvers.  Works but slow.  For a hobbiest like me it's fine as long as you have the patience.