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Thread: Shaper questions

  1. #1
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    Shaper questions

    My new Felder KF500 Pro has a shaper unit built in. Iíve never owned or used a shaper so Iím working my way through the process of understanding how to use it, how it compliments my router table, and the best source for cutters (Felder ones are crazy expensive)

    one thing ive found is places selling bushings to adapt 30mm and 1.25Ē cutters. Is this a valid approach, or are adapters a bad idea? Any sources for affordable but good quality cutters to get started? Any specific approaches that are better or easier on the shaper than the router?

    Iím also still not certain if my shaper unit can use router bits or not but Thinking that it canít.

    Thanks for any pointers to get to get me moving in the right direction.

  2. #2
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    Felder sells a spindle that will accommodate 1/2" router bits, but the cost ($866 for Feeder 700 series) is as much as a nice router table and lift.

    Depending on where you live, used tooling may be a good choice. For hobby use, the heads that take replaceable knives get your 'per profile' cost down close to 1/2" router bits, after your initial investment in a good head.

    I chose to go with a MAN rated head from Whitehall, but the cost of having to buy both profile knives and limiters essentially doubles your per profile cost and I have to run the head too slow due to the low rating on the Whitehall head and the screwy speeds that Minimax US machines run. Amana insert heads are popular in the US, and not outrageously expensive.

    Before buying shaper tooling, look carefully at the max speed rating of the head and compare that to your machine's speed capabilities to avoid making the expensive mistake I made buying a head that doesn't match my machines capabilities well.
    Mark McFarlane

  3. #3
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    Mark, does that spindle fit all shaper units? For some reason I thought it had to be a certain type shaper unit that was an optional item in order to use the router collet adapter spindle. I have a nice Jessem router table but floor space is a premium. If I were able to use the shaper unit to do the same functions using my router bits it would prob be worth the cost as I could sell the router table and free up space. As a small hobby store I don’t mind the machine change over that the combo might require.

    Thanks.



    Quote Originally Posted by mark mcfarlane View Post
    Felder sells a spindle that will accommodate 1/2" router bits, but the cost ($866 for Feeder 700 series) is as much as a nice router table and lift.

    Depending on where you live, used tooling may be a good choice. For hobby use, the heads that take replaceable knives get your 'per profile' cost down close to 1/2" router bits, after your initial investment in a good head.

    I chose to go with a MAN rated head from Whitehall, but the cost of having to buy both profile knives and limiters essentially doubles your per profile cost and I have to run the head too slow due to the low rating on the Whitehall head and the screwy speeds that Minimax US machines run. Amana insert heads are popular in the US, and not outrageously expensive.

    Before buying shaper tooling, look carefully at the max speed rating of the head and compare that to your machine's speed capabilities to avoid making the expensive mistake I made buying a head that doesn't match my machines capabilities well.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Mark, does that spindle fit all shaper units? For some reason I thought it had to be a certain type shaper unit that was an optional item in order to use the router collet adapter spindle. I have a nice Jessem router table but floor space is a premium. If I were able to use the shaper unit to do the same functions using my router bits it would prob be worth the cost as I could sell the router table and free up space. As a small hobby store I don’t mind the machine change over that the combo might require.

    Thanks.
    Hi Greg, the problem Mark ran into primarily had to do with some odd decisions Minimax made with respect to RPM options running on 60HZ North American power. THat's not been an issue with any of the Felder machines I've looked at because they compensate for the 50/60hz power issue with either pully sizes or different motors. Long story short, they're smarter than MiniMax because the RPM options they leave you with are consistent with "industry standards" for tooling.

    As a newbie I suggest you use Man rated, chip limiting tooling. Much safer and has been required in Europe for some time now.
    As Mark suggest, come back with the RPM options you have just to double check. Once you get into it, you'll love your shaper....very versatile machine and you have a good one.

    B

    Edit: Just looked up your machine, and it seems you have great RPM options that will allow you to run a good assortment of tooling. As Mark suggest, the style of head that allows you to change the profile by changing the knives makes most sense for lower production users. While buying limiters does increase the cost, it also makes for much safer tooling. This would be a perfect head for your machine: http://whitehill.tools/catalogue/#page=93 Page 93.
    Last edited by brent stanley; 01-26-2019 at 10:49 AM.
    https://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

  5. #5
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    Thank you. So the idea with a shaper is to buy a head and then attach different profile blades to that head as opposed to a new head/bit for each profile like on a router? If so I haven’t been thinking in those terms and that changes my understanding of a shaper. LOL




    Quote Originally Posted by brent stanley View Post
    Hi Greg, the problem Mark ran into primarily had to do with some odd decisions Minimax made with respect to RPM options running on 60HZ North American power. THat's not been an issue with any of the Felder machines I've looked at because they compensate for the 50/60hz power issue with either pully sizes or different motors. Long story short, they're smarter than MiniMax because the RPM options they leave you with are consistent with "industry standards" for tooling.

    As a newbie I suggest you use Man rated, chip limiting tooling. Much safer and has been required in Europe for some time now.
    As Mark suggest, come back with the RPM options you have just to double check. Once you get into it, you'll love your shaper....very versatile machine and you have a good one.

    B

    Edit: Just looked up your machine, and it seems you have great RPM options that will allow you to run a good assortment of tooling. As Mark suggest, the style of head that allows you to change the profile by changing the knives makes most sense for lower production users. While buying limiters does increase the cost, it also makes for much safer tooling. This would be a perfect head for your machine: http://whitehill.tools/catalogue/#page=93 Page 93.

  6. #6
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    Greg

    I'll try to answer from the perspective of a hobbiest/DIY'r. I'm definitely not an expert, but I have used shapers for many years. None quite as nice as yours.

    QUOTE=Greg Parrish;2891695]My new Felder KF500 Pro has a shaper unit built in. I’ve never owned or used a shaper so I’m working my way through the process of understanding how to use it, how it compliments my router table, and the best source for cutters (Felder ones are crazy expensive)

    One thing ive found is places selling bushings to adapt 30mm and 1.25” cutters. Is this a valid approach, or are adapters a bad idea?
    This is a valid approach within reason. It does allow for some adaption of smaller diameter shaper spindles to utilize tooling that may not necessarily be made with a smaller bore, but cutter weight and diameter are the more important aspects.

    Any sources for affordable but good quality cutters to get started? Any specific approaches that are better or easier on the shaper than the router?
    I myself use Amana brazed carbide cutters that I buy from Amazon. They're not "cheap", but they also don't break the bank. Most of the cutters I've purchased have been straight cutters, or glue joint cutters. It's doubtful I will ever run enough material through one, except for maybe the 1/4" slot cutter, to worry about wearing them out. I also have a large assortment of cutters, and cabinet sets, that came with the machine, but I've yet to find a use for those other than a T&G set.
    A nice rebate cutter, a T&G set, glue edge cutter and maybe a lock miter would be a start. I've also been looking at the CMT insert "system" for radius profiles.


    I’m also still not certain if my shaper unit can use router bits or not but Thinking that it can’t.
    I know that mine does, but the speed, in RPM,of a router bit in my shaper is too slow for any but the largest diameter router bits.

    Thanks for any pointers to get to get me moving in the right direction.[/QUOTE]

    Here are a few good links.

    There was a thread on shapers a while back with a lot of good info. Here is the link;
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....-me-on-Shapers

    There is also a good video for basic shaper operations on You Tube. Here is that link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n6yTHMBX54

    Here is one from one of the folks here on the forum explaining shaper cutters;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mylYGzZC2yU
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 01-26-2019 at 1:10 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Thank you. So the idea with a shaper is to buy a head and then attach different profile blades to that head as opposed to a new head/bit for each profile like on a router? If so I haven’t been thinking in those terms and that changes my understanding of a shaper. LOL
    The 1/2" collet spindle I referenced is for the 700 series machines. Felder will have a different one for your machine.

    Shaper tooling comes in a couple styles. You can purchase a head with fixed tooling that cuts one profile, or you can purchase a head that has interchangeable profile knives. The interchangeable-knives heads come in a couple slightly different formats, depending on how the knives mounts. Insert heads and single-profile heads are available in different steels and carbide. For a hobbyist the interchangeable-knives type head makes sense, running tens or hundreds of feet of a given profile. For a production shop running thousands of feet of the same door or moulding profile, a massive single profile head makes sense.
    Mark McFarlane

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    Thanks Mike and Mark

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Thanks Mike and Mark
    Your welcome Greg. I went through the same quest and education about 6 months ago. I also have a nice, accurate router table and I tend to go there first if I can rout a profile rather than purchasing new tooling for the shaper. The shaper is faster (can do very heavy cuts in one pass) and cleaner, but old habits are hard to break.
    Mark McFarlane

  10. #10
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    Greg
    If you have the space keep your router in the table. It gives you additional flexibility. A shaper does have a minimum cutter diameter simply because of the spindle size(s). A router can have a much,much, smaller diameter bit. Good for template work

    If you should ever make your own cabinets, and doors, the shaper is just levels above a router in a table for that task. There is no comparison. I also bought a used power feeder this past December. It's nice.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  11. #11
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    The first thing you will learn is the shaper itself is the cheap part. Cutters and cutterheads will quickly add up. A power feeder is also something that really should be included with the machine,it makes it way safer and consistent. My advice is to start with a" Euroblock"type cutterhead from CMT, or Amana. The knives are available in close to 100 profiles,HSS and relatively cheap. The heads themselves are simple to switch knives and a very safe design for holding knives. There is also MAN rated tooling that is a good idea if you will be feeding by hand. Brent already pointed you to Whitehill . These heads are a good place to start,you will not outgrow them.

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    I’m not sure about the power feeder yet but I understand your comments. I’d probably have to upgrade my power supply for that as I’m setup to only run my Oneida V3000 and one other 220v tool at a time. Looks like the power feeder would add another 220v motor that I would need capacity for, right?

    thanks for all the info though. I’ll look at the other cutter heads you mentioned also.

  13. #13
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    Something like this Mike Kees? This is for making trim profiles but includes a bunch of blades as a kit. Says it fits 30mm.

    https://www.amazon.com/Amana-Tool-SC.../dp/B000P4LWLM

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    Something like this Mike Kees? This is for making trim profiles but includes a bunch of blades as a kit. Says it fits 30mm.

    https://www.amazon.com/Amana-Tool-SC.../dp/B000P4LWLM
    Unless you want all the specific profiles included, I've found it better to but the head and knives separately. Cmt knives are $14, I prefer amana heads.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Parrish View Post
    I’m not sure about the power feeder yet but I understand your comments. I’d probably have to upgrade my power supply for that as I’m setup to only run my Oneida V3000 and one other 220v tool at a time. Looks like the power feeder would add another 220v motor that I would need capacity for, right?

    thanks for all the info though. I’ll look at the other cutter heads you mentioned also.
    Feeders have very low power requirements. You wouldn't need more capacity unless you were over the limit already.

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