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Thread: Elementary Router versus Shaper Questions

  1. #1
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    Elementary Router versus Shaper Questions

    Can someone explain to me in little words what the differences are between these? Do shops typically have both? Or does one do the job of the other?

    All I know is a) the shaper is more expensive b) the shaper has a slower rotation and c) the cutters (bits?) are more expensive.

    Thanks
    cynthia
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  2. #2
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    Apples to oranges in my small opinion. Your "A" is not quite true. I already have over $600 in the router table I am going to build and I don't even have the wood yet. That $600 is probably closer to $700 if I sat down and figured it up. I could have gotten the Griz Polar 1 1/2hp shaper for less than that delivered.

    And yes I want both, but alas, no room for both.

  3. #3
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    Cynthia, our woodworking club had a program to answer just that question. Since I contributed to the program, I used my notes to prepare a web page on the subject. See www.solowoodworker.com/tools/shaper.html . Bottom line, I have a couple hand routers, but no router table. I have two shapers. You won't be the first person to roll their eyes and say I am crazy!
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia White View Post
    Can someone explain to me in little words what the differences are between these? Do shops typically have both? Or does one do the job of the other?

    All I know is a) the shaper is more expensive The tool is more expansive. But when one adds a table to a router to make it more like a shaper they are nip and tuck on the price. b) the shaper has a slower rotation and Right most of the time. c) the cutters (bits?) are more expensive. No panel raising bit from Grizzly for both machines start at $69.95

    Thanks
    cynthia
    A lot will beg to differ with me but router is a hand tool made to be used by hand. After it was made people started mounting them to benches converting them into minnie shapers. Some table saw manufactures even started putting router mounts in there table saw wings. Which at one point in time I was told it was band in the US due to safety.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  5. #5
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    I guess what it really boils down to is. A How much room do you have for machines?
    B What are you going to be doing? If your going to make cabinets by the kitchen full two or three time a month. You will want/need one if not two shapers. A router just will not hold up to that kind of production work.
    C A router can do what a shaper can (with modifications) But a shaper can not do what a router does.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  6. #6
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    I think Chuck hit the nail right on the head. Shaper for production work, router will do most everything a home shop needs. Anyway, I've never felt the need for a shaper.

  7. #7
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    Well, let's see: clearly, a shaper is not more expensive. Take *my* router table: I've got a couple hundred in the router itself. Maybe three hundred for the lift. 500 for the incra fence (doubles as my table saw fence). 300 for the router "wonder fence" that attaches to the incra. A couple hundred for the materials to build my tablesaw/ router table combo platform. Comes to, what, $1500? Probably would have been better off buying a shaper from the start. Except...

    Remember that old Johnny Cash song, "One piece at a time"? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIuo0KIqD_E ...I couldn't afford the upfront costs, so I got the whole thing piece by piece, adding when I could, building and rebuilding the platform as I went. I knew so much more by the end of the process. The whole thing is four feet by eight feet, and doubles as an assembly table for large projects. You'd laugh if you saw it, but it works for me...

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 11-18-2010 at 07:10 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken werner View Post
    I think Chuck hit the nail right on the head. Shaper for production work, router will do most everything a home shop needs. Anyway, I've never felt the need for a shaper.
    Ditto
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken werner View Post
    I think Chuck hit the nail right on the head. Shaper for production work, router will do most everything a home shop needs. Anyway, I've never felt the need for a shaper.
    That is what I said when I got my combo machine, and in the process lost my router table (which was in my table saw wing). I figured I would "make do" with the shaper in the combo machine. It was so much better than the router table that I bought a separate shaper (not a low end unit, either). As a furnituremaker (not cabinetmaker), I don't consider myself a production shop. Most production shops I know have 3 to 5 or more shapers.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  10. #10
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    http://nh.craigslist.org/tls/2083868987.html
    And the things you can find on cl
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

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