Shaper Story

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Review by soapmaker posted 12-29-2013 12:53 AM 7061 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Shaper Story Shaper Story No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

To review my story so far, I acquired an older grizzly shaper with only the 1/2 inch spindle. I ordered the other two. When I installed them they both had runout like a bent drill bit. I I initially thought the spindle cartridge may have some sort of issue after I installed the first set of spindles. I borrowed a spindle off of my work shaper and it lined up good with a runout of .004” So I took the first set of spindles and checked them on my work machine where they still didn’t improve. So, spindles are the problem, right? So I thought. Contacted tech support with runout specs expecting to have to exchange, but they just sent new spindles checked for runout already, I was very impressed.

Then I install spindle set 2 and have the same problem as before. I call to ask if maybe the spindle cartridge had been changed at some point since both my machine and my work machine were older models. He could not answer that and thought it may not be a 1026, asked me to send some pics of the machine so they could ID it.
I did as I was asked and a few days later got a phone message saying that more spindles (pre-checked for runout) were being sent to me.

I did not know if they were sending me more 1026 spindles or spindles to a pre1026 grizzly (model ???)
I told the guy on the phone(on the 18th) not to send more spindles. I was looking for advise and knowledge.

I asked the call guy if he had the specs on the outside diameter of the g1026 spindle housing but he did not.
My shapers spindle housing is 2.755” or 2 3/4 plus paint. Is this the same? If so

I wanted to know if I can purchase, a fully assembled spindle housing/spindle cartridge for the 1026 and if so what would that cost? I would think that would eliminate all potential problems with spindle alignment unless I was still missing something. I did not want to be the guy they sent parts to multiple times at no cost and it still isn’t right.

So I tell them all of this in an email before spindle set 3 got to me hoping to stop them. It didn’t, set 3 same as first two. I got a reply _We have identified your shaper as the 3HP G1026 vintage pre 1998. The only change occurred in the spindle in the mid 1980’s. We suggest checking to make sure the spindle is sitting square to the table. Unfortunately we do not offer a complete spindle housing that is pre- assembled. We are wondering if the spindle housing is not sitting square to the table which can cause the runout._

Oh my, they have to be kidding right. So ignoring they’re thoughts on the matter I ordered a new spindle cartridge and installed it which fixed everything. Then I look at the parts list again the other day and see they’ve added the complete spindle housing to purchase. Good grief.

After a little fun with getting the wiring on the motor fixed. I got my 27 year old grizzly shaper up and running. Mounted my grizzly feeder that i picked up a few years back on it. They both run great and do almost anything I ask. Invested probably more time than money, I give $200 for the shaper and I think $300 for the feeder, extra spindles, cartridge, spacers, nuts- $100 or so. I now have a workhorse at home comparable to the smaller ones I use at work.

I’ll give the shaper four stars, with the feeder five stars. I know what this size machine is capable of and it does them well. Large panel raisers, climb cutting edge profiles, shop made molding, like butter.

I’ll give customer service four stars for trying to please the customer by sending spindles out at no cost over and over.
Actual tech support I give two stars, they were there and listened but really should have known something. I hope they are better with current machines.

I’ve rambled enough and I know the machine itself is light in this story but I thought someone here might benefit. It was actually ’s post on his shaper that made me join LJs so I could message him.

View soapmaker's profile


49 posts in 2449 days

9 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1745 posts in 3577 days

#1 posted 12-29-2013 01:03 AM

How ironic, I had that same machine and replaced the spindle cartridge after only 25 years of service.

Cured my issue at the time but have since sold that one.

,also had the motor rebuilt about the same time.

View Woodknack's profile


13383 posts in 3148 days

#2 posted 12-29-2013 03:48 AM

While the tech support was lacking it is an older machine and sounds like the customer service was excellent; this would encourage me to buy Grizzly.

-- Rick M,

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4435 days

#3 posted 12-30-2013 12:11 PM

Lots of home woodshops could benefit from stepping up to a shaper over a router table. Add a power feed and you have a seriously capable machine.

Happy to see you stuck with it and solved the problem, saving yet another old piece of machinery from the junk pile.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9550 posts in 3097 days

#4 posted 12-30-2013 02:11 PM

For a second hand 1980’s vintage shaper (what was then considered an “economy” Taiwanese machine).... I’d say the tech support you got was pretty darn good.

I recently rehabilitated an 1980’s vintage Jet CTAS cabinet saw (also considered an “economy” Taiwanese machine back in it’s day) and though the Jet support people were very polite, they no longer support the saw or inventory parts.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View soapmaker's profile


49 posts in 2449 days

#5 posted 12-30-2013 11:18 PM

Matt- the tech support I got was effectively none, they could not tell me a size on a part they currently sell for their current machine, they could not tell me if any changes in design of a specific part had occurred, and they suggested that a housing not being square to a table would produce runout. Any one who understands what runout is (and most who don’t) know that being out of square to the table would make the spindle… out of square to the table. That is all, it would still spin true, with little or at least tolerable runout. It looked like an oscillating spindle shaper. On one spindle I was getting .040” of runout, was not going to spin that under power. I just like my tech guys to have a basic understanding of how machinery works. It just seemed a bit like telling me my car is pulling to the right because of the radio station it is on, time for a new mechanic.

rant over- and of note I actually like most of the grizzly machines I have used

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4102 days

#6 posted 01-01-2014 12:08 PM

I have a shaper on my combi machine and I hardly use it because the cutters are way too expensive. I readily admit that the shaper is a much better tool than a router and gives a beautiful smooth cut, but I wouldn’t recommend one for the average woodworker unless he has access to free cutters or he can buy a used machine with a large assortment of them at a good price.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View rhett's profile


743 posts in 4435 days

#7 posted 01-02-2014 08:43 PM

A router bit adapter, can make a shaper an affordable and superior option over a router table, JMHO.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4102 days

#8 posted 01-03-2014 10:01 AM

That may be true Rhett, but a router can be taken out of the router table and held by hand which makes it more versatile. Of course there is no law against having both, but I do think the main advantage in having a shaper is using it the way it was intended. I don’t think a shaper is a bad option, but I do think a regular router is the least expensive for most folks and it does do a good job on the kind of work most are doing.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View runswithscissors's profile


3097 posts in 2793 days

#9 posted 02-10-2014 12:37 AM

Actually, listening to Rush Limbaugh on your radio can make your car veer to the right!

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

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