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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The great debate.... I have a $1,200+/- budget and don't really want to go the cheap tool (Shop Fox, Grizzly) route because I've read too many bad reviews. I'm gonna build some exterior doors, so I'll be using some 1 3/4" stock and some pretty long pieces. Fox Shop has a 2 1/2 hp that has both spindles and router bit collets. Does anybody know of another manufacturer that has a machine that does the same?

Let's hear it.... what's worked for you? What do you suggest?
 

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If I look at bad reviews I wouldn't buy anything or would think everything with no bad reviews is BS.

I have a 3hp Grizzly. It is fine, no complaints and good value for the Dollar.. The guide fence grinding is not perfect. Have to shim the mdf parts ever so slightly, some of that is MDF also. The bed extension needed to be finessed flush and all the edges needed to be de-burred. No big deal. It's a rock solid power house.

Came with a 1/2" collet spindle and I picked up a 1/4" one for 56 dollars.

Router verses fixed spindle shaper. Even the monster Porter Cable, which I have and use, has way more chatter vs the shaper. Stick and cope cuts, sigh, works OK on the big router...SO MUCH cleaner and smoother on the shaper. Panel cuts- I'll go shaper every time.



Shaper in Action
Not door work tho
 

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I'm also running a 3hp grizzly with 3/4 spindle & have the router bit adapter for it. Things been a workhorse for me for the past 7-8 years, with no issues. Been a very good ROI. Shapers do OK with the router bits, but they don't turn the same RPM's as a router, so you don't get as seamless of a cut.
 

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Would you consider used equipment?
There seems to be a lot of used shapers out there On Craig's list.
One huge benefit to this would be getting the cutters with the machine. You will easily spend more on tooling than the machine if you put a shaper to use.

You asked about brands. Delta also has the router collets for their shaper. And I've seen Reliant models on craigslist with the spindle and collet for cheap money (around $400).

I can't speak for the quality of these smaller machines though, because my two shapers are both 7.5 hp with 1-1/4" spindles.

Bob
 

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Though shapers a routers are similar in function, they serve different purposes. If you're only doing a few doors, a 3-1/4 to 3-1/2 hp router would do the trick. If you!re going to be doing a this on a regular basis, a shaper all the way.

Router bits are significantly less expensive, but shaper cutters are easier to get sharpened. Shapers are also more efficient and give better results faster. Plus, by the time you buy a decent router and table, you're pretty close to the price if a decent shaper.
 

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General's smallest is a nice setup. I think its $1700 though. Dust collection is good and buy the cmt interchangeable and you can get almost any stock knife for between 20-100 bucks of some 300 profiles.

I wouldn't put a router through that kind of stress but that's me on doors.
 

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Deckhead said:
I wouldn't put a router through that kind of stress but that's me on doors.
That's why I suggested a router for only a few doors. You would have to do several passes, even with a large router, to create those profiles. It would just be too slow for production work. Trying to hog that much out in only a couple passes would kill the bearings in a router in short order, and you would still have to move the material slowly, and would certainly get some burning. One or two doors at a shot and on rare occasions, sure. If this is the case you would probably better farming out the work anyway.
 

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I have mostly grizzly equipment for 10 pluss years never left me down. I wouldn't think twice about buying more. Infact just had an 18" open end sander come on tues very nice for what it will be used for

Only issue I have is you have to go up to the 3hp unit for 1 1/4 spindel but its not offten you need a cutter head that size
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, here's the verdict. I bought a Bosch router table ($179) that I'm gonna set up in the shop for my small stuff and I'm ordering a Shop Fox 2 1/2 hp shaper ($1,132) to handle the bigger jobs plus some production stuff I want to play with after I finish the exterior doors, mainly plantation shutters and Bahama shutters.

After I posted this I kept researching and though I did find a couple of bad reviews, the good ones I got here far outwiegh those few bad ones. You never really know who the reviewer is... could be an employee of the competitor.

Thanks again for the input.
 
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