Powermatic 23

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Forum topic by plag52 posted 06-23-2010 12:24 PM 10525 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 3461 days

06-23-2010 12:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have an opportunity to purchase a Powermatic model 23 shaper. I would be replacing a router table with this machine. Does anyone have an opinion on the quality of this shaper and can anyone tell me where to get parts for it. Thanks

-- Paul, CT

2 replies so far

View Abe Low's profile

Abe Low

111 posts in 4413 days

#1 posted 10-23-2010 06:29 AM

The only thing the Powermatic 23 has in comon with a router table is the spindle turns. The model 23 I have has a reversible motor. That comes in handy because it allows the flipping over of the cutter. Try that with a router. Also it is a lot heavier, quieter, and will last a lot longer than any router I know of. Parts are another thing if you are not too mechanically inclined. The bearing in the spindles are standard bearings that you should be able to find at any good bearing supply shop. The drive belt is a standard “v” belt. Carefully measure it’s length when replacing or use the numbers on the old belt. Raising and lowering the spindle couldn’t be simpler as opposed to the better router raisers that are complex but let you raise the cutter in precise increments.
good shaping.

-- Abe Low, Fine furniture, Sacramento, CA

View Doer's profile


22 posts in 3390 days

#2 posted 10-27-2010 10:18 PM

Moving from a router table to a shaper is like going from a mo-ped to a Harley. Hopefully this machine is a 2-speed unit that will allow you to turn the cutters 10k or by changing the belt position in the cabinet to a 7k speed. The larger diameter cutterheads will nessitate the slower speed. You will also get sticker shock when you buy cutterheads for these machines. Most likely you will have a 3/4” spindle and these cutters are most nearly two to three times more costly than router bits. If you are making raised panel doors, there is no comparison to the finish and power you will enjoy, however, I suggest you acquire a guide book for reference regarding the use of this machine and is associated safety concerns. This machine can hurt you and never, and I mean never, make climb cuts with a shaper unless you have a power feeder. With all that said, a shaper is a very versatile machine that can save you a lot of cash if you need moldings with larger profiles and especially if you are making raised panels in hardwood. Do not replace your router table. Keep it, you will find out that there are many things that a shaper can do but it is a bigger machine than you need for some cuts and the tooling is expensive. It is always good to have both.


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