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View Full Version : Stacking cope & stick cutters on a shaper



michael gates
06-03-2011, 10:44 AM
What is the smallest shaper I could get away with to stack cope and stick cutters on. The small cutter sets (2 5/8) would be fine. I want a dedicated shaper for my rail and style bits that I dont have to touch.

J.R. Rutter
06-03-2011, 12:41 PM
Lots of people do this on a 3/4" spindle 3 HP shaper. I would not consider anything smaller than that. But personally, I like 1-1/4" with 9 HP ;-)

Peter Quinn
06-03-2011, 1:21 PM
I agree with JR, 3 HP 3/4" would do it. I am curious what you hope to gain from stacking cutters on a basic small shaper? If your machine is large and automated like an SCMI or Martin, with quick change spindles and digital height/fence adjustments, it makes sense to throw cope stick and possibly panel cutter on one spindle for quick set ups. But I don't see the advantage on a small standard shaper to having multiple cutters on one spindle? You still have to adjust height and fence for each operation, and you now have double the weight on the spindle and a full stack in play above your work piece when using the bottom head? I prefer multiple shapers each with a dedicated cope or stick setup and dedicated fence setups if the shapers are going to be small standards.

michael gates
06-03-2011, 5:07 PM
I have a 5 hp for raising the panels and want another shaper for the cope and stick and use a sled for the cope with the top bit.

I may buy two 1.5hp shapers instead of the one 3 hp, I am looking to spend as little as possible. I am upgrading from three routers.

Peter Quinn
06-03-2011, 5:56 PM
I have a 5 hp for raising the panels and want another shaper for the cope and stick and use a sled for the cope with the top bit.

I may buy two 1.5hp shapers instead of the one 3 hp, I am looking to spend as little as possible. I am upgrading from three routers.

This is similar to my home shop set up, but I have papa bear (5hp Minimax), mama bear (3hp delta), and baby bear (1.5 hp craftsman). The Minimax does panels and any other heavy lifting like moldings or small crowns, the delta does sticking for cabinet doors or coping for entry doors wthi a sled, and the craftsman is set up to cope only cabinet doors, and for this it works well. The small shaper I got for the price of a new motor, and it tucks in a corner, always ready to go. I like this arrangement as a cost effective way to make doors very quickly.

When I had just the one 3hp delta, I would swap the cope and stick as needed, diameters were the same so fence adjustments were quick, and the sled was 1/2" thick, so I threw a 1/2" spacer on the spindle when coping and height stayed the same once set up. Super quick and accurate. I also used the 3HP machine with 1 1/4" panel raisers bushed down to the 3/4" spindle, no problems with a moderate feed rate.

Jimmy Horrocks
06-04-2011, 11:37 PM
Don't forget a decent power feeder. Really a necessity for the shaper.

Jeff Duncan
06-05-2011, 9:50 PM
Given the choice I'd get the single 3hp shaper over the 2 1-1/2's. My theory would be to always go with the better machine. Chances are if it's a smaller hp shaper, other things may likely be lighter duty too, such as bearings and whatnot. Then down the road you can always add another 3hp shaper if needed.

good luck,
JeffD

Bruce Wrenn
06-05-2011, 10:36 PM
I used to deal with a mill work shop that did just what you mention. They had an extended arbor for the shaper. It had an upper table and support bearing. Bearing was above the upper cutter. This eliminated flex. He did the stick on the original table with a power feeder, and the copes on the aux table with a sled.