Are the shaper cutters from the likes of Grizzly and MLCS decent? Grizzly's seem to be priced especially well. Any other vendors that you guys and gals like?
I ask because I just aquired (free!) a real 'pig' of a 1/2" spindle shaper that I plan on rebuilding and using. It's rusty and needs rewiring, but nothing that is out of range of my greasy elbow. :P
With the work it needs, it'll be a few weeks/months before I do any serious cutting with it . . . and it does not have the ability to use my existing router bits (no collet). Hence, I do need to start doing some research on cutters. The first task will be some T&G work.
The shaper itself has decent bones . . . it's almost identical to this one, right down to the castings and stand: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G0510Z
Only real difference is mine is a 1hp motor (reversible!) and has a fair amount of rust. It has the 'Chicago Power Tools' label and it made in Taiwan . . . so it appears it's a Harbor Freight tool of the past. Good news is, I should be able to get some parts from Grizzly if needed . . . but it doesn't look like I'll need anything. ;)
If I have to delay the building of my router table, I can't think of a better reason! }> }> :D
I have a small 1 1/2 HP Shaper and although painted blue it probably came out of the same hole in the ground.
I invariably buy MLCS or other off brand cutters and they work fine for me.
If I were doing jobs on a solely commercial basis it might make me think about buying more pricey Deerborn cutters but the grizzly/Woodcraft/Mlcs quality does a good job and although I haven't run any of them long and hard they still seem to cut very well.
I expect you know that you can get a collet for 1/2" router bits but are pricey ..to me.. at around $50
>I expect you know that you can get a collet for 1/2" router
>bits but are pricey ..to me.. at around $50
After googling around a bit . . . it looks like it's a copy of an old Rockwell, and both Jet and ShopFox make one similar to Grizzly and ShopFox has a collet available . . . I'll have to see how it all goes together (when I take it apart) and see if it can take one of those . . . that would be SWEET!! Thanks for the heads up!
The Rockwell . . . http://www.owwm.com/PhotoIndex/detail.asp?id=1090 . . . mine looks strikingly similar to the first 'before' picture . . . except I started de-rusting the table already . . . I'll have to take some pictures before I get too far with it so I have some 'befores' of my own. ;)
Just about right for 1 hp though. :P It's a 12A 1 hp reversible motor. I twisted the wires up and plugged it in and gave it a spin, smooth and quiet in both directions, with the reversing switch operating as it should. It's switchable to 230v as well.
I finished all I'll do for the table surface here at home . . . after an overnight soaking with WD followed by sanding with a 1/4 sheet power sander from 60 up to 220 with AO, then 320, 600 and 1500 automotive paper and a coat of wax . . . the table is smooth and mirror-like on half and shows pitting where it looks as if the original casting never got ground properly on the other half.
From here I may tighten/replace some bolts, add a toggle switch and call it done until I can do a proper repaint job (I really want to stop the rust!). When I get it cleaned up later, I may ask my dad to take a light pass with a surface grinder and smooth it all up . . . or not, it's not like I'm restoring a 'classic' here. ;)
So, back on topic to the cutters, I see a lot of older 1-piece HSS cutters . . . and I'm wondering how they'll fare against the pine they'd be likely to face in my shop . . . should I bite the bullet and go for the 'phancy' carbide from the get-go?? There does seem to be a higher price to be paid for shaper cutters over router bits, though likely because while I'm comparing similar profiles over at MLCS, the shapers are three wing and the router bits only two. ;)
I'd suggest getting 3/4" bore cutters vs. 1/2". You use a sleeve on the 1/2" arbor and if you get a bigger unit in the future, so much the better, they'll fit.
Regarding cutters, I have 3 or 4 Grizzly 1/2". maybe 20 Grizzly 3/4" shaper cutters and maybe another 8-10 of different brands. Carbide - definitely. Good set and variety of bearings - definitely.
I use them every so often and up to a couple hours at a time, and they work well for me.
>I'd suggest getting 3/4" bore cutters vs. 1/2". You use a
>sleeve on the 1/2" arbor and if you get a bigger unit in the
>future, so much the better, they'll fit.
3/4" with bushings . . . something I hadn't considered, but makes perfect sense to me. Also, 1/2" cutters seem to limit me on the profiles available, which tend to be smaller . . . there is a lot more out there in the 3/4" world.
I never planned on getting a shaper, this one just kind of fell in my lap, for about $20 in gas to go get it, I could not say no. If I like it, a bigger one may happen one day. }>
Two additional things I thought of. Watch the throat opening on your shaper vs the size of the cutter. Some cutters could have a problem if they are too large for the opening in your table. Same thing with your fence. I ended up making my own fence and it's a definite improvement over the factory unit.
You can also get various size sleeves and bearings though Grizzly along with the cutters. I have a number of them, most are metal while few are plastic. They used to include 2 short sleeves/adapters with each cutter, but I think now you either get plastic ones or none at all. I prefer the metal ones, they work very well.
If you ever consider larger cutters like a raised panel cutter, you can either get horizontal cut or vertical. If you go with horizontal, be advised that's a lot of cutter that's exposed. Delta sells a guard that mounts on top of the cutter. It's plastic with a bearing on it and fits right on the arbor with the cutter. I admit I didn't use one for years, but I was always a little nervous using them. This last year I finally broke down and bought one off Amazon, it's a small price for the additional protection it affords.
Remember those times you don't use a fence that you must use a starter pin when you feed your work.
>Remember those times you don't use a fence that you must use
>a starter pin when you feed your work.
Thanks for the additional tips!
The unit came with just what is in the pictures above, so no starter pins, but once I check out the threaded holes in the table and match them for sure, I'm going to get some long-shanked stainless bolts and make a half dozen or so (of differing heights) starter pins by cutting the heads off and making a slot for a screwdriver in the top.
As far as the size of the table opening, it's fairly small, only about 3" . . . so if I ever want to spin a panel raiser, I may need to wait until I build the router table, because I don't think that I'll have the height on the spindle for a verticle raiser cutter, or the power for either now that I think of it . . . certainly not a lot of table to work with either.
>Hence, I do need to start doing some research on cutters.
>The first task will be some T&G work.
After looking at some options on line, I decided to take a ride to my local Woodcraft and see some cutters up close and in person . . . I was trying to decide between the 'V-Panel' cutters and the 'Wedge' panel cutters . . . and was leaning towards the wedge . . . but they had the V-Panel on clerance for $62 (orig. $110) . . . thinner wallet prevailed. ;)
This set may double nicely as a 'rustic' stile and rail set for some utility cabinets in the basement as well. I'm going to do some test cuts and see if I like the look, if I do, I may head back and look at the panel raisers they had marked down.