3/4" Spindle Shaper review

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Review by robscastle posted 02-22-2013 11:09 PM 4518 views 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
3/4" Spindle Shaper review 3/4" Spindle Shaper review 3/4" Spindle Shaper review Click the pictures to enlarge them

My Spindle Shaper review CT 22CS

Carba tec branded ¾” spindle shaper
Motor is 1 ½ hp
Cast iron table 565×400
Table spindle opening up to 135mm
2 speed pulley system 7000 and 9000 RPM
4” dust extracton chute
Router collets ½ and ¼ “
Spindle travel 36mm
Spindle shaft ¾”

Overall appearance
The shaper appears to be a generic model from PRC or Taiwan branded to suit resellers, it is physically exactly the same as a Jet, Grizzly and Hafco models to name a few I have seen and compared.
The only electrical difference being it does not have a reversing switch.

Reason for purchasing.
I had a home made router table which was not producing accurate repeatable results, mainly due to me stacking other equipment on it and distorting the table.
All was not lost as the insert and top became the base for this one.

Unpacking and commissioning
The machine came pre assembled and only required the assembly of the fence and associated hold down clamps.
First impressions the wooden fence barely suitable, the instruction booklet was poorly produced showed a lack of proof reading .

Set up and operation
The machine functioned well overall, the first very obvious observation was its lack of high pitched noise as compared to a router.

Acuracy of cut.
The accuracy and repeatability as good as you could set up, take the time and check everything and its perfect every time.

Spindle postion
The position of the cutter is achieved vertically by a hand wheel and locked by a rotating arm. The hand wheel lacked a clearly identifiable relationship relating to direction of it and that of the direction of the spindle. It is there but very hard to see when the machine is operating and micro adjustments are required.
So some after market labelling was applied showing raising and lowering in relation to handle rotation
The locking handle had the standard brake on brake off symbol but again is obscured by the table when looking from above. See photo No 3.

Spindle Travel
This model of shaper has a spindle travel of 36mm, which is a definite limitation when using the router collet.
For example if making box joints and the like in material it can only be about 100mm wide and then the material has to be reversed to cut completely.
How to get more travel

Using a router collet.
This could be overcome with long shank router bits or extenders and re setting them in the collet, but ventures into the dangerous practice in my opinion.

Using spindle cutters
It can be increased if using a 25mm wide shaper bits by 70mm simply by reassembling the spacer collars but again required powering off and possibly disturbing the initial set up positioning.

This is a definite factor to be considered when purchasing.
However for general edge work it is not a problem at all.

Fence adjustment for material removal
The fence has an elongated clamp opening to allow about 35mm of rough initial setup adjustment.
Both the infeed and outfeed fences have over 40mm of “micrometer” screw adjustment available at about 2mm per screw rotation.

Waste extraction
The waste extraction system works however in my personal opinion the waste extraction may be improved with baffling the open areas with EPE or a similar product. This is a common problem with almost any woodworking machine were there is both an adjustability requirement and dust waste extraction needed.
See a separate blog I did on a fan extraction mod in an attempt to improve waste extraction along with utilising the storage area beneath the motor

Safety devices
Power switch good
Guards by virtue of its operation the guards fitted are adequate for the job however the cylinderical perspex spindle guard (I assume its for router bits) required constant checking and adjustment to prevent it vibrating loose.
This guard has to be removed when using cutter heads.

Surface finish
The enclosure and associated parts are finished well
Cast iron top
The cast iron top is ground to a very smooth finish making preservation and cleaning easy.

Quality of construction on par for PRC items
Ease of operation Easy to use
Value for money definitely
Not so good points

Spindle travel (typical of a machine this size) The instruction book, dust cavities, the base fills with waste.

The size of and the timber used in the fences is borderline, but good for using as a template for a better one.
I made many different fences specifically to do various jobs, one being continous sided fence to prevent and movement as work entered and left the cutter, also a high back one, of which is visible in photo No 2 and No 3.

Cutting slots in material over 30 to 35mm in from the edge.
As the machine is basically an edge finishing machine this is not possible with the supplied fence.
It can be achieved simply by making a custom fence and replacing the existing one.(See photo No 2.

Safety issues
Nil, however ensure if modifications are carried out you are competent in using the machine in its modified form. “Guards removed for clarity” comes to mind! In particular if fitting an after market cutter head (see photo No1) with replaceable knives the machine is now configured for an operation that you may see reported as “the most dangerous machine in your workshop” and will definitely hum!! and do a great job in the process.


-- Regards Rob

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