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Thread: Powermatic Model 26 shaper?

  1. #1

    Powermatic Model 26 shaper?

    Is a Powermatic Model 26 shaper a good deal for $375? It doesn't include the fence, it is just the shaper with a 1-1/2hp 3 phase motor. Is it expensive to swap to a 1 phase motor or is it better to get some type of converter so that it will work with 1 phase?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
    Posts
    1,789
    I have one. I bought it new in 1990. Its a solid 3HP or 5HP machine. Most prefer 5HP so a motor swap to 5HP would be nice. If you swap motors, you will have to do something about the mag starter. Mine also has a reversing switch. You'd have to figure out how to rewire that too. Shouldn't be too hard. The fence on the model 26 is it's weakest feature IMHO. There a company, Accura, that makes a nice aftermarket fence. Amazon has it for $159. Search there to see it.

    I nice model 26 in good shape here in Phx sells for $1100-1600. The ones that are at the high end of the spectrum have 5HP motors and the 1 1/4" spindle. If this one has the larger spindle it would be worth more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Porter,TX
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    920

    Shaper

    Bob,better pull the trigger quick.I am trying to convenice myself not to purchase that shaper.He started out at 800.00 awhile back,yes its a heck of a deal,providing the spindle is all there and all parts is there.If not,hold on.Better be pics of your purchase-----Carroll

  4. #4
    He says it has a 1/2" spindle. Is it still a good buy?

  5. #5
    Three phase is doable with a rotary phase converter or a VFD (variable frequency drive). A VFD will convert single to three phase and give you infinitely variable speed to boot. I run a 7.5 HP 3ph engine lathe on single phase no problem.

    AC Tech makes affordable and versatile drives.

    http://www.actech.com/cgi-bin/site.pl?smv~r

    Drives designed for single phase input are available up to 3HP. If you have a 5HP or 7.5HP motor, you would use an oversized 3 phase model (10HP for 5hp motor, 15hp for 7.5hp motor).

    They will be available from any electrical supply store.

    It may still be cheaper to just switch the motor to single phase.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Porter,TX
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    920
    For about 100.00 more,I think you could wait and fine yourself a 3/4 spindle shaper.But at 375.00,that is less than what it would cost you to setup a good 3 1/2 PC router,table,fence,etc.The shaper will run all day long,and bits are less than router bits(unless you go the expensive bit route).Knowing that its 1/2 spindle now,I would offer him 325.00,and wait.--If you do buy it there had better be pics of it.---Carroll

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
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    1,789
    I would pass. 1/2 spindle shaper with a 1.5HP motor is about the same as a router table and a 3HP router.

  8. #8
    Joe, I have 2 of the PM26's, one from the 60's that has a 3 hp. motor and electrics from Grizzly and one from the 80's with a 2hp motor. These are good basic shapers. If you have any 1/2" cutters you will have a start. The 3/4" spindle will cost alot from PowerMatic, see if you can find one on e-bay. I wholly agree with Joe, the fence is a weak point on the machine. PM came out with a much better fence on the model 27 that will retrofit. I think $375.00 is a good price for an American pc. of iron.
    David Werkheiser

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    4,270
    This PM26 is larger than the little Jet though. I had one of those Jets for two weeks. Even it was night and day larger and more stable than my Milwaukee 3hp router. Comparing it to a router is not even close to a accurate comaprrison IMO.

    $375 is a steal even if you have to wait and find the larger spindles.

    Work on getting a VFD for it first. That makes it a variable speed shaper with easy access reverse. Depending on its size and location in your shop make an over table easy access mount for the VFD.

    Then work on building a fence or buy the Accura or Delta to get you by. I would look for a deal on a 36-812 delta fence for it. Pretty easy to drill and tap for whatever fence you need.

    Seems like a well worth it project to me. I sold my little Jet for $475 so that PM26 for $375 is a steal to me.
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  10. #10
    You can pick up spindle cartridges and/or removable spindle setup for that shaper on ebay. I used to have a #26 and #27. Basically the same shaper with different fence. They are pretty decent small shapers if you don't have room or power for a heavy duty machine.
    JR

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northwestern Connecticut
    Posts
    6,013
    Hmmm, I'm on the fence about the value there. Maybe? 1 1/2HP is a pretty light weight motor for a shaper. So I'd want at least 3HP, which puts you out some money depending on what grade (ie Baldor vrs Grizzly or other Tiawanese import), lets say $300-$700 unless you find one used, plus you will need a new starter. Most of the drum switches for reverse on the PM shapers will run either a single or three phase motor, so that should still work. I believe the spindle cartridges from PM run at or above $300, and I would want at least 3/4" but preferably 1 1/4" if the machine will take it.

    A VFD for that motor would run in the neighborhood of $250, and you could make a workable fence and panel raising hood, so that puts you into a light weight small shaper with no stock fence for $625, whose capacities you could expand in the future. I have a small 1/2" spindle shaper that I bush up to 3/4" and use for coping cabinet doors, and for that it works great. I could see that shaper working depending on your circumstances and needs presently, but I could also see by the time you add a 3HP-5HP motor, a reasonable after market fence, a new starter, a bigger spindle cartridge, well, you may just have bough a decent used shaper in ready to go condition with 1PH 220V power and a lot less hassle.

    I'd put some real numbers to the options you want to include in a shaper and add those to the cost of this machine before deciding whether it represents a value to you. It strikes me as more of a maybe than a no brainer depending on all the variables in your personal shop equation. For instance, I recently bought a 5HP minimax 3PH shaper that is considerably more tool than a PM26 for $900, and it is a complete unit with multiple spindles. For me that was a no brainer, for others maybe a maybe?

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