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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2014, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Default Router vs shaper

Looking for some advise, I am a fairly new woodworker still slowly getting tools. I have an old craftsman router table and want to upgrade. Looking at the expense of router tables (even building your own, fence, plate, etc.) would it pay to buy a shaper that has router bit adapter? I have a PC690LR I can use for my hand routing jobs. My projects now are small ones but would like to try cabinets someday.Thanks, Joey
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by joeyd View Post
Looking for some advise, I am a fairly new woodworker still slowly getting tools. I have an old craftsman router table and want to upgrade. Looking at the expense of router tables (even building your own, fence, plate, etc.) would it pay to buy a shaper that has router bit adapter? I have a PC690LR I can use for my hand routing jobs. My projects now are small ones but would like to try cabinets someday.Thanks, Joey
Maybe this helps you a little:
http://www.routerforums.com/table-mo...ter-table.html

At least its a bump for you
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 01:15 PM
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Joey, any savings over a router table will be spent many times over on the cost of shaper cutters! Although there are shapers with router spindle adapters, the hi end shaper spindle speed is about the same as low end router speeds. The cut quality will not be the same, and lower feed rates will be required.

Shaper cutters regain the surface speed due to the larger diameter of the cutters.

Shapers are nice for large production runs, but the router is much more versatile.

By the way, I have less money in my router table than in my used when purchased shaper(not including my Incra Jig )!

The largest advantage to shapers occurs only with multi $1000 units, unless you find a real bargain on a used machine. The larger the table and heavier the machine, also larger motors and bearings, the smoother the cuts.

I have done raised panel doors on both router table and shapers. I do prefer the shaper, but unless you are looking at production quantities, I'd probably stick with the router table!

Short of the router bit adapter models, there are things you can do with the router table that a shaper won't/can't do. Even with the adapter, most shaper tables won't allow setting the fence back as far as router tables will. And there is still the low speed issue!

Just my 2 cents worth!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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Last edited by Dmeadows; 07-16-2014 at 01:16 PM. Reason: SP
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 01:48 PM
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Joey one thing to keep in mind is if you used an adaptor for router bits , the speed may be to slow in some cases . The shapers from GI are adjustable from 3000 to 10,000 rpm where as a router may go as high as 27000 rpm

I don’t always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate

Last edited by RainMan 2.0; 07-16-2014 at 01:50 PM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Default router vs shaper

Thanks Guys for your advise. I guess I am trying to kill too many birds with one stone. I am going to go for a nice router table instead. Are there any great tables at a decent price or would you recommend building one. Thanks again for sharing your expertise, Joey
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 03:46 PM
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Joey I would build my own and there is lots of old posts that you can look at by using the Community Search function. If you prefer to buy, Grizzley has a functional table for about $130 although some members who have tried them have complained about flatness.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmeadows View Post
Joey, any savings over a router table will be spent many times over on the cost of shaper cutters! Although there are shapers with router spindle adapters, the hi end shaper spindle speed is about the same as low end router speeds. The cut quality will not be the same, and lower feed rates will be required.

Shaper cutters regain the surface speed due to the larger diameter of the cutters.

Shapers are nice for large production runs, but the router is much more versatile.

By the way, I have less money in my router table than in my used when purchased shaper(not including my Incra Jig )!

The largest advantage to shapers occurs only with multi $1000 units, unless you find a real bargain on a used machine. The larger the table and heavier the machine, also larger motors and bearings, the smoother the cuts.

I have done raised panel doors on both router table and shapers. I do prefer the shaper, but unless you are looking at production quantities, I'd probably stick with the router table!

Short of the router bit adapter models, there are things you can do with the router table that a shaper won't/can't do. Even with the adapter, most shaper tables won't allow setting the fence back as far as router tables will. And there is still the low speed issue!

Just my 2 cents worth!
That wasn't two cents worth, Duane, that was a wealth of knowledge, and even though I didn't ask the question, let me say ! I learned something new today!

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 06:25 PM
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I have both tools but as a begining user you can get by with very simplified materials to start and decide later what you will be doing most and what makes sense for you. Router table can be as simple as a square of plywood clamped to the edge of a workbench with a fence just a board knotched out for the bit and clamped to that table. Get in and use the router for a few simple projects and see what your need will be.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2014, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyd View Post
Thanks Guys for your advise. I guess I am trying to kill too many birds with one stone. I am going to go for a nice router table instead. Are there any great tables at a decent price or would you recommend building one. Thanks again for sharing your expertise, Joey
You will always get the same answer here , build your own lol . I am buying a top possibly and building from that point down . Incra's tops are expensive though but I kinda want there LS positioner system .
You'll learn more building the whole thing from scratch though . Whether you think that is necessary is up to you

I must say that it would be very disappointing to buy a top only to find it's warped , and it has happened here from what I've read .
If you use MDF and a torsion box underneath it for support you'll be well ahead of the game .
I'm not sure if you own a table saw though as it would be kinda helpful for building a router table

I don’t always insulate , but when I do .
Ok ,I never insulate

Last edited by RainMan 2.0; 07-16-2014 at 06:57 PM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys and Barb for the advise. Rainman1, I have the Grizzly hybrid table saw and I am going to build my own table. I will use 3/4 MDF, double with formica on both sides (read this somewhere, sounds sturdy). Still trying to decide whether to make it independent or add it to my table saw wing. Any input on this would also be appreciated. Thanks Joey
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