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Thread: New to Spindle Shaper

  1. #1

    New to Spindle Shaper

    I was recently able to purchase a 3HP Delta shaper with a fixed 1 inch spindle. It was a steal and I am getting set to build a ton of cabinet doors and so I thought it was a good purchase. I have two basic questions:

    1. I assume that i can buy 1.25 inch bore cutters and use them with the appropriate 1.25 to 1 inch collar. I am finding far more of a selection in the 1.25 inch cutters. Anything I should be aware of when buying cutters?

    2. The fence system is a bit cumbersome. I'm sure I can make do but are there any aftermarket fence systems specifically made for spindle shapers?

    Thanks for any additional advice. Cheers.

  2. #2
    What speeds does that machine have ? Some of the old ones only have 8000 rpm, that's OK for the 4 inch diameter
    tooling , but too slow for small diameter sets. 10,000 rpm is needed for the small diameter sets , or you can have
    trouble with the cope-stick fit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Regarding the fence, many shaper operators build their own fences to get around the limitations of the Delta fence. I have two home made fences plus a modified factory fence for my shaper.

  4. #4
    The best shaper fence is an Aigner (sp?) bud they are expensive, and I am not sure if their availability or practicality on a used 3HP Delta shaper. If you are comfortable drilling and taping the cast iron top you could always purchase a used fence online from the likes of SCMI, Invicta, or Sac or any number of heavy duty industrial shaper manufactures. I will say, however, that all of the light duty manufacturers such as Grizzly, Powermatic, Jet, Delta, ect all use pretty similar designs on their fence setups and in my opinion non of them are optimal. I am sure that the big 7.5HP models that they sell probably have better fences than their 3HP to 5HP machines.

    On cutters, my suggestion is to buy the best and never have to replace them or at least not in this decade. Freeborn makes the best brazed tooling and is what I typically run. I am getting ready to start using their insert cutters myself but unless you are doing this for a living you could do just fine on their brazed tooling instead of insert tooling.

  5. #5
    I am almost certain that an Aigner fence is too big to physically fit on a machine of the OP's size. As others have mentioned, no person ever has been in love with the fences on their budget shaper. If you're a one-person operation, you just make a bunch of fences for whichever task. If you're a pro shop, then you have several shapers and each has its own setup (or spend $$$ for a machine with programmability). +1 for Freeborn tooling, BTW.

    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  6. #6
    Thank you all for the replies. The machine is two speed. I will look into the Freeborn cutters and the Aigner fence.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Northern Virginia
    As Erik mentioned the Aigner won't fit, and even if it did it is just a replacement for the wooden parts of the fence.

    Shim the stock fence into alignment and to be square to the table and leave it alone. Hopefully you have a power feeder as well as that will allow you to use a outboard fence (aka a back fence)

    For cabinet door sticking a outboard fence is the way to go.

    Complete aftermarket fences dont exist and orphaned fences are extremely rare to find. You will either need to build your own or work with what you have.

  8. #8
    I'm with Jared on the fence idea. It's not a great fence but I'd take a little time to get it square and then use it when you can, but you'll still end up using homemade ones sometimes too.

    I have some Freeborn stuff and it's great, but it's all a one-trick-pony for big money. I'd go for a small euroblock for that one cutterhead, just change the knives for whatever you need.

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