Shaper turned router table

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Project by cpd011 posted 05-26-2013 02:23 AM 2117 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So a year and a half ago I inherited via a chain of uncles my grandpa’s 1947 unisaw, lathe and a delta shaper. I took the shaper apart, cleaned it all up and built a mobile cart and drawers for it. I added new fences and a larger table to it as well as some dust collection. a year later and the motor went and died on me. I had never really used it for anything and frankly it kind of scared me. I checked the capacitor and the centrifugal switch and the problem was beyond my capabilities. Since the motor was a 3450 rpm I couldn’t find an easy replacement. I already have a nice router table so I put this up on craigslist. No bites.

I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away. The cart was cut down in height for a new 14” bandsaw but the cute little cast iron table was staring at me. I said they, that would make a cute heavy little portable router table. I turned it over and tried to figure a way to mount the router base to the underside of the table but the cast iron ribs get in the way and would not allow the router collet to rise nearly high enough. I decided to build a router lift. I thought about using a moving wedge to lift it which led me to the idea of using a bearing riding inside of and angled groove (see picture 2). The assembly which moves up and down (picture 4) slides up and down in dadoed rails. The side crank (picture 3) pushes/pulls the 3 sided box with the angled slots from side to side forcing the assembly up and down. It all moves surprisingly smoothly an I love the idea of the side crank. The whole unit with the heavy shaper fence on top weighs a good 50 pounds and stands about 14 inches high to the table top. The first picture is a little fuzzy but that is the whole unit sitting on my bench. Picture 5 and 6 show the original yet refurbished shaper before I really frankensteined it.

Mind you, I have no real use for a 2nd shaper table and this was more of a proof in concept for me. It was quick and dirty construction but didn’t cost me a cent. I haven’t put it through a torture test but I don’t believe there will be any height creep simply because the upward/downward force would have to change into a lateral force (angular?), I just sprained my noggin.

Thanks for looking.

2 comments so far

View easiersaidthandone's profile


82 posts in 3012 days

#1 posted 05-26-2013 04:25 AM

Great job re-purposing an old tool!

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1926 posts in 2857 days

#2 posted 05-26-2013 10:45 PM

That looks rock solid. Should be a winner for you. Great job

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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