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Thread: Whats the difference

  1. #1
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    Whats the difference

    Toni posted recently on the acquisition of a router and lift for a shop table router system. When i saw the Polar line and saw this unit

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/1-1-...-Series/G1035P

    I could not help but think that surely this is the way to go given the price of the unit.

    So whats the difference between a dedicated shaper versus a dedicated router table with lift and decent table.

    I aint ever seen one of these or worked on one so i am asking?

    Other than motor size.
    cheers

  2. #2
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    You basically have your answer. Shapers run slower and use larger cutters. Some folks use collets to allow router bits on shapers but success would be fairly specific to the bit, speed and operator.

    For the enthusiast or those doing production runs in the home shop, a shaper would seem like the way to go. The better ones tilt and reverse which is cool. For me, the RT is a good fit; low cost for cutters (a low end ogee RP router bit from MLCS = $25 vs. a low end ogee RP shaper cutter from MLCS = $72; not that I recommend low end cutters, just an example), lots of profiles, lots of after-market stuff.

    I got my router, lift and table top all on sale (at different times) and have less cash in them than one would spend today. I know that a lot of home shop folks really love their shapers and I don't have one so my input is very limited and subject to what I have experience with. If my lift would tilt like the higher end shaper spindles do I could be in heaven.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-10-2010 at 11:32 PM. Reason: sp
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Toni posted recently on the acquisition of a router and lift for a shop table router system. When i saw the Polar line and saw this unit

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/1-1-...-Series/G1035P

    I could not help but think that surely this is the way to go given the price of the unit.

    So whats the difference between a dedicated shaper versus a dedicated router table with lift and decent table.

    I aint ever seen one of these or worked on one so i am asking?

    Other than motor size.
    Rob
    I have never had more than $200.00 in any router and table combination I have ever used. Many of the newer routers can be adjusted from a access hole on the base. I can't imagine spending the money on a table/lift or a shaper that many do unless it is production or semi production. You can do everything with a router mounted on a board and held in a workmate you can do with the fancy stuff. It just takes a little more time. The best setup I ever had was a router mounted in a table saw wing that I used for years...

    I have never spent the time to do this on my new saw and use the board mounted in the workmate...

    This isn't to criticize those that do as we all spend our money as we want, but I have found the simple router setups very satisfactory. I did have a couple of the early cheap sears metal tables and found them near useless. The board in the workmate is very good.

    Garry

  4. #4
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    I agree with Gary, that these expensive lifts and such are not needed. I have a router mounted in the wing of my table saw and have the router on a blue plate that I think I paid around $20 for.to change bits and set the heright I just lift the router out of the table. It doesn't take any time. I like the fact that it takes up zero floor space since the table saw is already doing that and the table saw fence come in real handy also. I have used the lifts in other shops but find them no easier to use then my setup. $20 a piece of scrap melamine and a dedicated router. that my whole cost.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    +1 for what Gary and Don said.
    I will add that if one is doing production stuff the shaper is the way to go.
    Router tables and lifts are just small shapers that fit under tables instead of taking up floor space.
    Kinda like using a shovel (router and table) to dig a foundation hole instead of an excavator (shaper)
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  6. #6
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    I like Chuck's analogy.

    The way I see it - is if you are going to spend the money for a heavy duty router and lift, then spending nearly the same amount on a shaper makes sense.

    You can do the lighter router bit work on the shaper, and you can do the heavier work with the larger router bits (raised panel) on the shaper, and you can go beyond the router work into the shaper bits and such. So you have a wider range of options with the shaper than you do with the router table approach. You cannot use shaper bits in a router (that I know of) Not having to pull the router out of the table, or fiddle around with settings while mounted in the table is also a plus. I am sure it can be done, and many are successful - lots of woodworkers have router tables. Light, multiple passes may be required.

    If you only need a light duty router for the work you plan to do - and maybe occasional heavy work, then the shaper is overkill and over priced. A heavy duty router and lift would also be overkill. You can get by with a lighter router and a board with a hole in it.

    I plan to go with a shaper myself. I have a light duty router for the non-table routing chores, and like the idea of using the shaper for raised panel doors, and other things easier done with a shaper - with less fuss and bother. I have run raised panel doors on router tables and put quite a strain on the router (and myself) - even taking multiple passes. Not a big problem if they are rare occurrences, but one pass on the shaper would have gotten the job done quicker and safer.

    There is also something about the sound of a shaper spinning up with a monster bit - and the wind in your face...
    Last edited by Rick Prosser; 06-10-2010 at 08:47 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Prosser View Post
    I

    There is also something about the sound of a shaper spinning up with a monster bit - and the wind in your face...
    Kinda makes the hair on your arm stand up when that 5" 4 winged panel bit wicks up don't it.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  8. #8
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    If I ever do raised panels with a router it will be a vertical bit. I just hope the panels aren't 6 foot tall.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Foster View Post
    If I ever do raised panels with a router it will be a vertical bit. I just hope the panels aren't 6 foot tall.
    Gonna have to build your self one corker of a jig to keep that router on the shinny side of the board.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Toni posted recently on the acquisition of a router and lift for a shop table router system. When i saw the Polar line and saw this unit

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/1-1-...-Series/G1035P

    I could not help but think that surely this is the way to go given the price of the unit.

    So whats the difference between a dedicated shaper versus a dedicated router table with lift and decent table.

    I aint ever seen one of these or worked on one so i am asking?

    Other than motor size.
    Rob we have 2 of those exact same shapers at work we use one for stiles and one for cope cuts. They are alright and you can bog them down. If you have the space a shaper would be the way to go.

    Don I have to disagree with you. I can see a night and day difference between a router lift and just a router mounted to an aluminum plate. I won't go back and it will be a cold day you know where before I ever give my router lift up. Adjustments are so much easier, precise and quicker. And yes I have also tried the routers with built in above table adjustment.

    If I had the room I still don't think I would get a shaper just due to the investment I already have in bits for my router. But you never know and loml could surprise me one day!

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