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I am wanting to make a raised panel to be used in a blanket chest. I purchased a Craftsman shaper at a garage sale and do not know how to use it. I ordered and received a raised panel set but the bit is much larger than my opening in the shaper.

Does the bit ride higher than the table top? Which way do I mount the bit?

New at this----Wendell Thomass
 

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I am wanting to make a raised panel to be used in a blanket chest. I purchased a Craftsman shaper at a garage sale and do not know how to use it. I ordered and received a raised panel set but the bit is much larger than my opening in the shaper.

Does the bit ride higher than the table top? Which way do I mount the bit?

New at this----Wendell Thomass
What model (#) Craftsman shaper do you have?
 

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I had the same problem with a router in a table. I mounted the bit above the base opening and clamped a sheet of ply added to the top.
 

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Agreed. For my router table that I do cabinetry on, I have an insert made with a larger hole to clear my panel bits... but in relation to shaper cutters, 3-1/2 is not big.

A shaper cutter for panels would run about 4" D and it should still clear most shaper throats. So was wanting to see which model he had to see if it had throat bushings covering it. Also if it is 1/2" (hobby sized) or commercial sized."
 

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I had the same problem with a router in a table. I mounted the bit above the base opening and clamped a sheet of ply added to the top.
That is exactly what I had to do...and make an auxillary fence for the big cutter.
 

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Hey, Wendel; welcome!
No doubt you already are aware that a shaper is one of the most unforgiving power tools in the shop, safety wise(?)...
You don't often hear about accidents involving shapers because so few hobbyists have them. By the time they get around to needing/buying one, they're usually seasoned vets and fairly clear on the concept of spinning sharp stuff and body parts.
Scroll down to pg. 4:
http://www.busybeetools.com/product_manuals/CX303.pdf
Just in case the manual didn't come with your tool.
Be safe!
 

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+1 with Dan...

Which reminds me of Theo's saying: "Keep fingers away from sharp, spinning, whirly things!"
 

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Dangerous shapers

sell the shaper will take finger off before you know it
I totally agree with you. Years ago I aprenticed under an old fellow, that had a scar that ran from under his chin, up through his mouth and through his moustache. He was operating a radial arm without the safety guides, when the blade came off. he was home alone and walked out into the street with this blade stuck in his face, to get a ride to the hospital. He had a radial arm that had a speed adjustment on it. He would have us use it to cut out parts of cabinets. He would raise heck with us if we did not have it cranked all the way up to use it. I always tried to do all my set ups and cuts on the table saw. That radial Arm scared me to death. To this day, I am very respectful of any spinning blades.
David
 

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That would be the only black-or-white approach. <-- That life is only black or white... but in reality, most of us live in the gray between those extremes.

True- With a shaper, things can happen very fast. Cutters are expensive.

True- Some shapers can use both router bits and shaper cutters. .. and if I am doing something in volume, or many board feet of profile... that is my tool of choice.

But like with any tool: Safety should be at the forefront. For that to remain true, safety devices should remain in place. Skills should be learned in a progressive logical manner. Common sense must always be considered and applied. Some people never get a second chance to recover from doing something "Stupid". A screw driver could be dangerous in the wrong hands in the wrong circumstances.

To just say a shaper is dangerous and never be used is a blanket statement that will logically evaluate to false. To say that statement by someone who does not know how to use one or who has never learned to use one... ? What does that really say? Where is the weight in that?

I personally like shapers (, molding cutters, RAS'es, etc.). I admit that they are not for everyone. I admit that if someone does not learn to use one and just tries to rush into doing something that requires advances skills, without any skills at all.... well? That would be skipping the preparation steps required to be able to do that, both safely and in practice, not having the skills to be able to do it at all. But that is true with many things, isn't it?

Common sense has to fall into play somewhere.
 

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"...Some people never get a second chance to recover from doing something "Stupid"."

And then there are those of us with horseshoes where the sun don't shine!
I put a drywall knife right through my hand (from the back) when I was a young teenager. The guy at the lumberyard had told me to "cut" drywall...this was when it was still a fairly new product...not score it and snap it. I leaned it up against the wall, with my hand beside the cutline, and leaned into the knife with all my weight. Imagine my surprise when it pulled out and slammed forward through my hand.
The luck part? Missed everything that was important inside the hand! :)
 

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That would be the only black-or-white approach. <-- That life is only black or white... but in reality, most of us live in the gray between those extremes.

True- With a shaper, things can happen very fast. Cutters are expensive.

True- Some shapers can use both router bits and shaper cutters. .. and if I am doing something in volume, or many board feet of profile... that is my tool of choice.

But like with any tool: Safety should be at the forefront. For that to remain true, safety devices should remain in place. Skills should be learned in a progressive logical manner. Common sense must always be considered and applied. Some people never get a second chance to recover from doing something "Stupid". A screw driver could be dangerous in the wrong hands in the wrong circumstances.

To just say a shaper is dangerous and never be used is a blanket statement that will logically evaluate to false. To say that statement by someone who does not know how to use one or who has never learned to use one... ? What does that really say? Where is the weight in that?



I personally like shapers (, molding cutters, RAS'es, etc.). I admit that they are not for everyone. I admit that if someone does not learn to use one and just tries to rush into doing something that requires advances skills, without any skills at all.... well? That would be skipping the preparation steps required to be able to do that, both safely and in practice, not having the skills to be able to do it at all. But that is true with many things, isn't it?

Common sense has to fall into play somewhere.
Unfortunately, the "sense" that seems to be "common" these days will get people hurt! The common sense that many of us grew up learning isn't all that common any more.

I agree Mike, I like my RAS and my shaper. Just finished up 8 cathedral raised panel doors. Much rather use the shaper than my router table for that. Did use the router table for the flush trim work and edge profiles, though. Just don't have(yet) the cutter to do the edges, though I can do the flush trim on the shaper if I needed to.

Have had the RAS for 39 years, and the shaper for about 8 years. Would not want to be without either.

Even hand tools can cause sever injuries if used improperly. Even walking down the street can be hazardous, if you don't pay attention to what is happening around you and obey some basic safety rules.


Problem today, is people want to buy tools and just go out and use them, many(maybe even most) don't even read the owners manuals, let alone get any training on their use. That's a recipe for disaster! Yet it happens all the time.

I guess woodworking is not for everyone. If a tool terrifies you I'd recommend not using it, or at least learning the proper way to use it. I know it seems obvious to many of us, but apparently not to enough of us!

Lathes are a good example as well. Buy a lathe and some sharp pointy tools, spin up a chunk of wood and poke the sharp pointy thing into it... best to have some idea what you are doing first!

That's not to say that there aren't some very skilled, talented, self taught, craftsman out there... there are! Also a lot with life lasting injuries or worse.
 
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