or large moldings, cope-and-stick joinery variety of shaping work.

and raiscd-panci work, the shaper is in a league of its own. A table-mounted router is no match for the shaper s sheer power and continuous cutting capacity. The shaper has a large work table with a vertical spindle that projects through a circular opening. Mount your cutters on the spindle» adjust the cutter height and the fence location, and you're ready to transform a flat, square edge into the profile of your choice.

A shaper is sized according to its spindle diameter. Shapers with Vl-in.-dia. spindles acccpt small cutters for light molding work, and have lighter-duty '/2- or -V4-H1* motors. Large shapers—with -V4-in. or I-in.

Types of shapers

Benchtop shapers

| Powered by uni versa I-type motors and equipped with V2-in.-dia. spindles, these light-duty shapers have many of the characteristics of router tables. They're good for work that doesn't require a great deal of power or capacity, or when your space and budget ! are limited.

spindles—can power larger i i cutters and take on a greater spindles—can power larger i i cutters and take on a greater

Get in shape. Buying a shaper opens the door to architectural woodworking. This heavy weight can handle lar^e or intricate work like raised panels and cope-and-stick joinery.

Floor-model shapers

You'll need a floor-model shaper if you plan on building doors, making cabinets or doing other production or heavy-duty shaping work.

These machines are the choice of professional woodworkers. They're larger, heavier and more powerful than benchtop models. They can run bigger cutters that remove more material. Larger floor models are sometimes equipped with sliding tables and power feed rollers. (See Options.)

Floor-model shapers have another advantage: They're powered by an induction motor, which will run quieter and usually last longer than the universal-type motor you'll find on benchtop machines.


Most light-duty machines have solid l/2-in.-dia. spindles. Larger shapers have either solid or interchangeable spindles— 3/4-in.-dia. or larger. A selection of spindle diameters is a good feature; it allows you to use a greater variety of cutters. Some shapers also accept router-bit collets. (See Options.) If you already have a selection of router bits, it makes sense to look for a shaper that can accept a router-bit collet. Vou won't need to spend as much money on shaper cutters. A spindle lock makes installing and removing cutters easier.


Speeds for heavy-duty shapers typically range from 6,000 to 10,000 rpm. Shapers with two or more speeds let you tailor spindle speed to the type of work and to the cutter you're using. This capability can add a measure of safety when shaping with large-diameter cutters like panel-raisers, which are best run at lower speeds.

Some of the smaller, light-duty shapers use universal-type motors (the kind used on routers) that run at higher speeds—typically 10,000 rpm. At this speed, it's not safe to use larger cutters.

The fence

Most shapers come with a two-piece fence that allows you to create the smallest possible opening around the bit, providing maximum support for the workpiece.

A two-piece fence—also referred to as a split fence—is the best kind of fence to

have. This type of fence actually contains two fences that can be adjusted independently of each other. You can offset the outfeed fence for full support when machining the entire edge of a workpiece, as when shaping a half round. (See photo, below left.) Look for hold-downs on the fence assembly so you can snug the work-piece against the fence and table for safer operation. Fence shrouds equipped with a dust collection port will connect to your dust collector for handling the large amount of chips created when shaping.

Reversing switch

This manual switch turns the spindle in a reverse, or clockwise, rotation. Reversing spindle rotation allows you to invert the cutter and feed the stock from left to right—helpful when shaping long or large workpieces. Look for reversing switches that are separate from the on/off switch to prevent accidental starting.

Tilting spindle

On some higher-priced shapers, the machine's spindle can be tilted. On a tilting spindle shaper, you can adjust the cutter to different angles. This enables you to make a greater variety of cuts.

Ring inserts

Look for ring inserts that fit into the opening in the tabletop. Inserts of various diameters allow you to support the work-piece close to the cutter. This makes for safer, more accurate shaping.

Fence work. Offsetting the outfeed fence No-fence work. Shape curved parts with-lets you fully support the workpiece out a fence by supporting the workpiece while shaping the entire edge. against a starting pin and rub collar.

OPTIONS worth having

Router-bit collet.

Mounted in your shaper, this allows you to use router bits on the shaper. Not all shapers can accept a router collet. (See chart, page 60.)_

Starting pins and ballbearing rub collars. When shaping without a fence, use a starting pin to pivot the work into the cutter, and equip the spindle with a rub collar to bear against the work. (See near left photo, below.)

Sliding table. Although an expensive ($200 and up) accessory, a sliding table allows you to clamp the workpiece for safer cuts, especially on end grain.

Miter gauge with hold-downs. A less exfx'iisive alternative to a sliding table, this crosscutting device will hold the work safely for end-grain cuts.

Side extension tables.

Attach these extension wings to create a larger, stable working surface for long work.

Power feeder. Bolted to the shaper, this machine has powered wheels that grip the work and feed it past the cutter for uniform, hands-free shaping.

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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