router table/shaper

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Forum topic by nitehorse posted 04-28-2018 05:22 PM 924 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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72 posts in 728 days

04-28-2018 05:22 PM

Anyone ever made a router table from a shaper? I have seen some old shapers for sale around $100. Most of the tables were a bit rusty but I can easily get rid of surface rust.


8 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4256 days

#1 posted 04-28-2018 05:26 PM

I attached a router to an anodized aluminum
shaper table made by Kity. It was off a small
combination machine. I had to mill off some
of the ribbing underneath to make room for
the router base. Because it was aluminum and
I had an overarm router it wasn’t difficult to do.

Of course you might be able to make a router
lift and do away with the issue of fitting a router
base underneath and parallel to the shaper top.

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2633 days

#2 posted 04-30-2018 04:14 AM

In a way it’s kind of ironic you want to make a shaper into a router table, since the router table originated as the poor man’s shaper. Reminds me of the cartoon where a soldier asks the smith to beat his sword into a plowshare; when it turns out to make a crappy plowshare, he asks if it can be beaten back into a sword.

I’m assuming you have the shaper, or can get one cheap. Is it one of the old 50s—60s models for the home hobbyist? They didn’t have a very large table, typically, and only had a 1/2” spindle. Have you checked underneath to see if there would be any ribbing in the iron that would be problematic? If it’s cast iron you want, Rockler, and I think Grizzly have cast iron router tables. Not cheap, but most router tables of high quality aren’t.

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

View nitehorse's profile


72 posts in 728 days

#3 posted 04-30-2018 08:17 PM

I do not own either. Well I do have a Bosch plunge router.
From advice and opinions on Lumberjocks it appeared a router was more appropriate than a shaper for doing hobby non-production work. Dangerous and expensive bits. I am not a novice at having my fingers near stuff that moves but I appreciated their comments.
Yes the old shapers were antiques but looks like the tables were cast iron. The only problem with those I have seen is the tables appear to be small like this one which may take a bit of work to cleanup if its possible.
Oh, the good news for today is it looks like I am going to get my G0453Z pretty soon as they are now available on their website

View runswithscissors's profile


3081 posts in 2633 days

#4 posted 04-30-2018 09:47 PM

I see no reason to regard a shaper as more dangerous than a router if either type is misused. It’s the really big cutters on a shaper that are scary. I have a medium size shaper—A Jet 2 hp in the old blue style. Came off CL, and cost me less than a comparable new router table (though I have made my own router tables). I regularly use router bits in it. Although it is claimed that the shaper doesn’t spin them up fast enough (10,000 rpm on high setting), I haven’t noticed that to be a problem.

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

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1148 days

#5 posted 04-30-2018 10:02 PM

I purchased my shaper instead of a router table. I have a router wing on my table saw. I keep a round over bit in it for quick jobs. I like the idea of a 3/4 inch spindle instead of 1/2 inch. I feel like my shaper is more stable than a router table. I think my rabbet cutter on my shaper does a better job than the dado bit on my router table. As for getting my fingers close to cutters. That never happens with me. I make a sled for every operation and use hold downs for keeping work firmly locked in place and my hands away from the cutters. I’ve made raised panel doors on a router table and a shaper. I’ll take a shaper for that operation any day.

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View TungOil's profile


1372 posts in 1103 days

#6 posted 05-01-2018 01:05 AM

I ve made raised panel doors on a router table and a shaper. I ll take a shaper for that operation any day.

- Kelster58

me too. I have both a shaper and a router table in the extension on my TS. The router is handy for smaller work, but a shaper with a power feeder is far safer than a router table for large work like panel raising. It produces a nicer cut as well.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Bishop78's profile


14 posts in 624 days

#7 posted 05-12-2018 09:16 AM

A shaper is way more dangerous than a routertable. If you don´t have the device that pushes your workpiece you have the real danger of kickback.

It gives your very consistent results and saves you from harming yourself.

Cabinetmaker in germany for example have to use this. If the don´t and something happens well you are on your own.

If you do woodworking as a hobby and need a strong router…check the triton with 2400 watts and an integrated liftsystem in the routerbase way better choice for you i think

View bc4393's profile


86 posts in 1751 days

#8 posted 05-14-2018 04:18 PM

Yessir :) The work was done by a talented machinist in the detroit area. Works great. Probably my sweetest machine in the shop.

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