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Thread: Scary Shaper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Scary Shaper

    I have a healthy respect for all of my power tools but the 3hp Northwood shaper that just came my way surprised me with the quick realization that this machine could do some serious bodily damage if things went wrong. Maybe it was the noise it created with the attached cutter (not as noisy without) or the speed of the massive 1 1/4" spindle. Regardless, the machine was intimidating at first startup and awesome in the way it easily shaped a test piece. My only previous experience with a similar forming tool were with hand held routers and a small Jet shaper. Can't wait to tackle some projects with it.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    I have a healthy respect for all of my power tools but the 3hp Northwood shaper that just came my way surprised me with the quick realization that this machine could do some serious bodily damage if things went wrong. Maybe it was the noise it created with the attached cutter (not as noisy without) or the speed of the massive 1 1/4" spindle. Regardless, the machine was intimidating at first startup and awesome in the way it easily shaped a test piece. My only previous experience with a similar forming tool were with hand held routers and a small Jet shaper. Can't wait to tackle some projects with it.
    Welcome to arguably the most versatile tool in the shop! Wait till you are around a even bigger machine spinning dinner plate sized tenon discs!

    As with any shop machine they can give you a serious bite. I was lucky enough to be around an instructor in the UK when I first experienced a spindle moulder. I would consider a thorough study of this book essential before you use it. https://amzn.to/2QkbpOy

    B
    https://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

  3. #3
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    from fine hoimebuilding

    I got a chance to go buy the supply house where the Northwood equipment was originally purchased. As far as I can determine it is the same Northwood that makes the big industrial CNC routers. They had purchased a far east company that manufactured the smaller industrial equipment, and sold it under thier name. It was subsequentially repurchased by the original owner and is now called Northtech Industrial Machinery. I did not have time to look over the few pieces of Northtech equipment that they had setting on diplay.
    Does anyone have opinions on Northtech?

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Looks very much like my Northwood in form and construction. The differences seem to be a larger 7.5hp motor compared to my 3hp, twin belts driving the spindle compared to one on mine, separate on/off switch and some changes to the fence. Otherwise it looks about the same.

  6. #6
    If you think that's scary wait until you do your first templated cathedral panel with that cutter spinning in the open air with no fence to be seen.

  7. #7
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    Steve

    Once you get used to a shaper, you'll wonder why this wasn't one of the first machines you brought into the shop.
    There have been quite a few threads on the shaper this past year. Lots of good info contained in them.
    Be safe with it and take it easy until your comfort level goes up.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  8. #8
    If you are using solid cutters or a lock edge collar you shouldn't have much danger if you are careful. My shaper collar is one that uses the smooth edge knives. You have to be sure when making cutters that both knives are as close alike as possible and more important the same weight. One knife can be a half of a gram heavier than the other and you want to run for cover when you turn the machine on. If you are making your own cutters it would make the machine run a lot smoother if you would weigh them and make them the same weight. It also makes for less wear on the bearings.

  9. #9
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    You should use push sticks when shaping smaller pieces.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Graywacz View Post
    If you think that's scary wait until you do your first templated cathedral panel with that cutter spinning in the open air with no fence to be seen.
    Nightmare. I am out.

    My respect for people that win their lives working with a such tool!

  11. #11
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    I disagree with both of the last two posters. First as the O.P. is new to shaper use he should not be even considering tooling with collars,period. A euroblock cutterhead with the two pin knife system would be a far better starting point. I am sure that Brent will chime in here shortly and talk about Whitehill cutters. That will be good advice. You will very soon realize that you have half of a machine. the other half is a power feeder,they make cleaner cuts possible because of the constant feed rate. The other massive bonus is safety,it keeps your hands away from danger. A power feeder is the way to feed smaller pieces through a shaper. Brent gave very good advice on that book as well,that would be a good start.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kees View Post
    I disagree with both of the last two posters. First as the O.P. is new to shaper use he should not be even considering tooling with collars,period. A euroblock cutterhead with the two pin knife system would be a far better starting point. I am sure that Brent will chime in here shortly and talk about Whitehill cutters. That will be good advice. You will very soon realize that you have half of a machine. the other half is a power feeder,they make cleaner cuts possible because of the constant feed rate. The other massive bonus is safety,it keeps your hands away from danger. A power feeder is the way to feed smaller pieces through a shaper. Brent gave very good advice on that book as well,that would be a good start.
    I didn't expect to receive the response and good advice that followed my original post. Fortunately the shaper came with a 1hp power feeder. It has a 3 phase motor which I intend to purchase a VFD to power it. I also need to replace the wheels. The book mentioned earlier is also on my buy list. I'm just now beginning to realize the benefit that this tool will provide. Thanks all!

  13. #13
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    Mar 2006
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    The Northtech spindle housing looks like a dead ringer for the Northwood 101. You should be able to get a 3/4" spindle and a router spindle from them that would fit.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Mathews View Post
    I didn't expect to receive the response and good advice that followed my original post. Fortunately the shaper came with a 1hp power feeder. It has a 3 phase motor which I intend to purchase a VFD to power it. I also need to replace the wheels. The book mentioned earlier is also on my buy list. I'm just now beginning to realize the benefit that this tool will provide. Thanks all!
    I've been using a shaper almost daily for a long time now and I turn to it for a lot of things folks don't realize shapers get used for. That book will get you very excited about your machine when you see the doors it opens up!

    1 HP may well mean it's a good sized feeder which is nice. I use a VFD on my small feeder but typically choose the gearing that allows the motor to spin as fast as possible to ensure cooling.

    B
    https://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kees View Post
    I disagree with both of the last two posters. First as the O.P. is new to shaper use he should not be even considering tooling with collars,period. A euroblock cutterhead with the two pin knife system would be a far better starting point. I am sure that Brent will chime in here shortly and talk about Whitehill cutters. That will be good advice. You will very soon realize that you have half of a machine. the other half is a power feeder,they make cleaner cuts possible because of the constant feed rate. The other massive bonus is safety,it keeps your hands away from danger. A power feeder is the way to feed smaller pieces through a shaper. Brent gave very good advice on that book as well,that would be a good start.
    Well said Mike. Chip limiting tooling for newcomers is a much better way to get started, coupled with a bunch of safety homework. Round form carbide tipped cutters (that are made to chip limiting standards) might be easiest but limiter-style/euroblock is a lot more flexible and less expensive for a lot of folks in the long run.
    https://www.youtube.com/c/DovetailTimberworks

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