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  • Router Table vs. Shaper?

    I am wondering why I see a lot of talk about router tables and very little about shapers? I have virtualy no experience with either being a newbie woodworker with high hopes of becoming skilled someday (far far in the future). At first I assumed it was cost based but then I came accross SHOP FOX W1701 1-Horsepower Shaper from Amazon for $386.00 and free shipping. It seems to be very competative compared to router + table. I know the bits are more $$ but I assume they last longer. On that note, can you use router bits in a shaper (with the correct chuck size)?


    Thanks

    Rowdy55

  • #2
    Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

    Good question and you will get many different answers to this. My experience leads me to believe that someone might want to use the router free hand, yet have the ability to mount it to build doors, cut slots, make small to medium sized moldings, etc, etc... Some may want a dedicated machine with enough HP to handle any task in high volume such as raised panels, heavy moldings. Vibration is also at a minimum with a big cast iron shaper. They are built for long hours and heavy use.

    For a high volume shop, a shaper is the way to go. For casual/serious woodworking or even the weekend hobbyist, the router/table may be the best option.
    Of course if you like to spend $$$ then go with the shaper. (But I'm sure you'll find that you will need a router as well.)

    Now the SF shaper is a good price, but it may be hard to lift it to cut a mortise.

    My router and table have met my needs on RP doors, moldings, etc... All in what you want i guess.
    Last edited by Altima 3.5; 03-27-2009, 08:48 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

      There is also this issue of "What can I fit in that empty spot on my table saw?"

      It's there and most of us can't stand it.

      It's a great use for that space.

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      • #4
        Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

        IMO, the router is a more versatile tool and with consideration to it's many applications, the initial low cost, great variety of bits, and jigs available, it's a much better investment.

        I too have looked at shapers and consider them to be rather expensive in consideration of their dedicated task. Perhaps I've missed something, but a shaper just doesn't appear to be cost effective unless you have a need to make one heckava lot of molding.

        Still, there's always that "gotta have" everything for the shop! My pocket book seems to a major retraint though!

        CWS

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        • #5
          Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

          Originally posted by Altima 3.5 View Post
          Now the SF shaper is a good price, but it may be hard to lift it to cut a mortise.

          rofl..good point.

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          • #6
            Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

            Shaper takes larger cutters - for crown moldings, or for cope+stile doors. Also if you are running a production line on doors, or other pieces that require lots of edge shaping to them a shaper will handle the load better than a router in a table. the router table is for smaller scale work, and lighter duty.

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            • #7
              Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

              Shaper blades are very very expensive. I can't see a hobbiest needing a shaper. Try cutting a dado with a shaper, It can't be done! If your in the cabinet business then a shaper becomes an essential tool that you must have to work efficiently and make money. A router mounted in a table is much more versatile and cost effective to a hobbiest than a shaper could ever be.

              millman

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              • #8
                Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

                Originally posted by millman View Post
                .....A router mounted in a table is much more versatile and cost effective to a hobbiest than a shaper could ever be....

                millman

                Versatile yes, cost effective....I just spent $300 for a router and $250 for lifter to put in my router table... But I do agree

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                • #9
                  Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

                  Originally posted by millman View Post
                  A router mounted in a table is much more versatile and cost effective to a hobbiest than a shaper could ever be.

                  millman
                  I just bought a Freud that included a lift for just over $100. I consider that a very good value.
                  Jerry

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                  • #10
                    Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

                    You undoubtedly also need a router (or maybe several) but I think the SF 1hp shaper is a very good Idea. I will be getting one shortly myself. This model has interchangeable spindles so it will use router bits as well as shaper heads. For $386.00 and free shipping its a great deal. Try putting together a table with fence, router lift, and high-power router motor for less than twice that amount or more! Also, a 1 hp induction motor compares very favorably with a 3 hp rated universal motor. If you felt the absolute need, you can get a varible frequency controller so you can run the induction motor as a variable speed unit which would give you a range of zero rpm to about 3 times the rated speed of the motor.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Router Table vs. Shaper?

                      I'm thinking serious on buying the sf shaper.Anyone have 1 yet?

                      If so are you happy with it?
                      Thanks Sam

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