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A friend gave me a wonderful OLD router and table, belt driven, Montgomery Ward Model 93FD865A. I don't have much routing experience but I've never seen one like this. Anyway, it only came with one router bit, and I am scratching my head figuring out how to adapt the spindle on the router to be able to accept the modern 1/4 inch shaft router bits. I have photos attached of the router assembled, and also disassembled to show the center spindle, which apparently doesn't come off. Help! What do I do?
 

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Out of curiosity, GB, what is the diameter of the arbor? What is the threading on it? Imperial obviously but Right hand, Left hand?
One could hope that it's a standard size, but even then you might be able to get an adapter for a different bore if it's not.

* upon checking, 3/4" seems to be the norm for shaft size.
 

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Shaper bits come in a variety of bores and some advertised having router adapters which I assume was an arbor that had a collet. If you could find a 1/2 arbor for router bits you could use a reducer but I don't know that it would work very well. Shapers turn a lot slower than routers and small bits like 1/4" need to turn pretty fast, at least 18,000 rpm I would say. Shaper bits come up with some regularity on ebay but you need to get ones with the bore that are compatible with the one on your machine. The shapers with 1 1/4" bores are usually around 5 hp plus I think.
 
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Out of curiosity, GB, what is the diameter of the arbor? What is the threading on it? Imperial obviously but Right hand, Left hand?
One could hope that it's a standard size, but even then you might be able to get an adapter for a different bore if it's not.

* upon checking, 3/4" seems to be the norm for shaft size.
According to the description in the third link I provided from vintagemachinery.org that shaper came with 1/2" and 5/16" spindles.
 

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I had a Grizzly shaper one time and it had a router bit chuck adapter. I tried router bits in it and did not have great success. The shaper turned at too slow of rpms for the 2 flute router bits, Shaper bits are a minimum of 3 flutes,so the cutters are cutting 1/3 more per rpm. I finally sold it and bought a router table and mounted my router on it.
Herb
 

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The shaper turned at too slow of rpms for the 2 flute router bits
Number of flutes is not the issue. A 3 flute tool cuts at the same speed as a 2 flute tool. It just takes a shallower cut, all else being equal.

The reason shapers spin slower, is that they use larger diameter tool, which give faster cutting speeds at the cutting edge.
Wood needs to be cut at a minimum speed to get a clean cut. Too slow, and the bit grabs the wood and tears it apart, instead of cleanly slicing it.
This is why router bits don't work well in a shaper. They would work best with large diameter cutters, at a minimum of 8,000-10,000 rpm.

If that thing only has a 1/2" arbor, you should be able to use 3/4" bore cutters.
It looks like these comes with a 1/2" spacer or bushing.
https://www.toolstoday.com/shaper-cutters/carbide-tipped-raised-panel-shaper-cutters.html?bore=107
 

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Paul
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Speed could probably be increased by changing pulleys.
 

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Number of flutes is not the issue. A 3 flute tool cuts at the same speed as a 2 flute tool. It just takes a shallower cut, all else being equal.

Now think of what’s happening when you cut wood. A two-wing router bit at 21,000 rpm provides 42,000 cuts per minute, which is part of the reason for the great cut quality you typically see from router bits. A two-wing cutter in a shaper at 10,000 rpm would only provide 20,000 cuts per minute, so cut quality can suffer. The solution? Most shaper cutters are four-wing instead of two-wing which, as a rule, also makes shaper cutters more expensive than router bits.

Herb
 

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Sorry, but I disagree.
A shaper gives a far better cut quality than a router, and it's due to the larger diameter, not the number of cuts/minute.
Cuts per minute is meaningless without knowing how fast the wood is being fed into the cutter. Cuts per inch would provide more info. Due to it's larger diameter, a shaper is typically slicing through the wood at the same speeds a router is.
A 1/2" router bits cutting edge is moving about 29mph at 20,000rpm.
A 3" shaper cutter is moving at 70+mph at only 8,000 rpm. SO it's cutting nearly 3x faster at less than half the rpm.


Shaper cutters are more expensive than router bits because they are often 3-5 inches in diameter, rather than 1/2" to 2", and can have 3-5x more carbide in them.
 

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Mike
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Welcome to the router forums,

That looks a lot like my Delta made back in the 50's. Shapers were made to run large amounts of molding and trim for furniture and building industries. If you really want to use it make sure you leave any guards in place and if lacks guards you might consider adding some. Don't wear long-sleeved clothing that is loose, it could pull your hand and arm into the blades if it grabs a loose sleeve.
 
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