LumberJocks

Router vs Shaper

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by Trev1 posted 06-07-2019 04:15 AM 460 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Trev1's profile

Trev1

1 post in 41 days


06-07-2019 04:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sapele alder ash maple oak router tablesaw joining shaping modern traditional door doors

Would a router table have enough power to run entry door stiles, rails and panels? Or do I need a shaper for big stuff?


19 replies so far

View wuddoc's profile

wuddoc

349 posts in 4135 days


#1 posted 06-07-2019 07:12 AM

All depends on what is meant by “Big Stuff. Large profiles (shape) normally mean big cutters. Those cutters or knives usually have a 1.5” bore and diameter up to 6”+. They are used on a commercial 5HP or larger shaper.

Following model from grizzly.com handles 11-3/4” diameter cutters.

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-7-1-2-HP-Shaper/G9968

-- Wuddoc

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3074 posts in 991 days


#2 posted 06-07-2019 08:02 AM

Depends. Are you talking about going into Door production, where time spent is $$$$$, then by all means, a shaper of some means is going to be a good expense. If you are talking abut one or two heavy doors, then a 3HP router table set up will get done what you need done. Possibly a multi pass, or built up edge, but done. Going that direction you still have a rather capable router table to use on projects that aren’t huge in scale. With just a shaper you would eventually buy a router, maybe a couple of routers, and have a router table set up at some point, because set up for smaller work would not be in a Shapers wheelhouse.

Sometimes they come in an either way configuration, sometimes the shaper profiles, are just a shaper profile. To do the same on a router table you would need a few bits. The perfect world has you with plenty of room, and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to have both. If I had to choose, and wasn’t doing production work the router table would win a lot more that it would lose.

Cost of a Shaper is usually higher than a router table, and cutters are certainly more if quality is considered.

-- Think safe, be safe

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

2854 posts in 1238 days


#3 posted 06-07-2019 11:47 AM

Silly answer, however, a router table does nothing… It depends on the power of your router… If you use a router with sufficient grunt in your router table you might be able to pull it off ($$$).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Greg66's profile

Greg66

30 posts in 75 days


#4 posted 06-07-2019 02:04 PM

I’ve made several entry doors using a set of Freud entry door bits on a router table with the big PC motor, I think it’s 3-1/4 hp maybe 3-1/2 hp. It does a decent job if your not in a big hurry. Most of the doors I’ve built were from southern yellow pine and I made the cuts in a single pass. I built a couple from white oak and had to do about three passes to get the full profile cut. It really depends on how many doors you plan to build. If like me you’ll only make a few a year then the router setup will be fine, but if your going to build a lot of doors on a regular basis I’d recommend investing in a shaper.

View Andre's profile

Andre

2664 posts in 2223 days


#5 posted 06-07-2019 02:16 PM

I went from a Veritas router table to a 1.5 hp Grizz shaper, While I have done some 2” mouldings in Birch with no problems really not the machine for production work. For my hobby shop good investment, love a heavy chunk of cast metal that takes some effort to move around. I have replaced the factory fence with a Veritas adaptation which while light duty works fine for the 95% of the work I do on it.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4575 posts in 4159 days


#6 posted 06-07-2019 02:28 PM

The Router Table with a 3 1/4 HP 5 speed PC router..
https://www.toolbarn.com/portercable-7518.html/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping%28BSC%29&utm_keyword=Portercable-7518&utm_source=bing_shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping(BSC)&utm_term=shopping&utm_content=s8jR2qvs_pcrid_11075488918_pkw__pmt__pdv_c_product_Portercable-7518_&msclkid=138c9c56abcc1afb9f7fc0acd8345751

Is able to do the work.. but real question is how often you will do “Big Stuff”... and how much of a cut are you going to be taking. If this is something a few times a year, just use the router table, it is more versatile.

As Greg66 said, if you are going to be hogging big stuff all the time… get a shaper. There are many available used/auctions of Cabinet companies. for a great price and often with a bunch of cutters.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View TungOil's profile

TungOil

1272 posts in 912 days


#7 posted 06-07-2019 11:52 PM

Personally I’d do this on my shaper, but as others have mentioned you can get entry door cutter sets for routers as well. Hopefully Rich will chime in, I believe he makes a lot of doors and can provide good guidance here.

-- 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 Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1179 posts in 3004 days


#8 posted 06-08-2019 12:06 AM

I use a router table with a Bosch 2.25 router with no problems. I just got done making 29 doors for my kitchen cabinets and mud room.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

158 posts in 144 days


#9 posted 06-08-2019 12:11 AM



Personally I’d do this on my shaper, but as others have mentioned you can get entry door cutter sets for routers as well. Hopefully Rich will chime in, I believe he makes a lot of doors and can provide good guidance here.

- TungOil

Rich uses a 454 chevy motor hooked up to a car rim turning 75,000 rpm
hehehehe

View Rich's profile

Rich

4552 posts in 1006 days


#10 posted 06-08-2019 12:14 AM


Personally I’d do this on my shaper, but as others have mentioned you can get entry door cutter sets for routers as well. Hopefully Rich will chime in, I believe he makes a lot of doors and can provide good guidance here.

- TungOil

Not much to add. I do interior (1-3/8) and entry door (1-3/4”) stick cuts in one pass with a Freud bit set and my Bosch 2-1/4hp router. Cope cuts take more passes due to the diameter of the cutter and the length of the tenon.

The router can even handle the panel raising bit (3-1/2” dia) in one pass, although I do two for better control.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Embler's profile

Embler

7 posts in 47 days


#11 posted 06-08-2019 01:37 AM

1. I have a great deal of trouble keeping my lumber perfectly flat on the table when doing long pieces like door stiles. Using a router hand held and whatever bushings or guides are appropriate works better for me. When I use a table -router or shaper – and look down the long slot I cut to receive the panel and find it wanders off center here and there ruins my whole day. I am sure there are really good techniques for preventing this, but only one has worked for me which is -

2. A shaper and power feeder.

3. I have a router table, shaper, and hand held router. The shaper is used a lot – with or without the feeder. The hand held router is used from time to time. The router table is used very. very little.

I suspect that this is largely a matter of what one gets used to, although I used a router table alone for many years. I must also note that there are some cuts one can make with a router table that are not possible with a shaper.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4552 posts in 1006 days


#12 posted 06-08-2019 01:42 AM


1. I have a great deal of trouble keeping my lumber perfectly flat on the table when doing long pieces like door stiles.

- Embler

I use two sets of feather boards. Two front and back of the bit to hold the stile to the fence, and two mounted to the fence to hold the board flat to the table.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Embler's profile

Embler

7 posts in 47 days


#13 posted 06-08-2019 01:47 AM


I use a router table with a Bosch 2.25 router with no problems. I just got done making 29 doors for my kitchen cabinets and mud room.
- Woodmaster1

As an interesting coincidence, I just finished 29 doors for our kitchen. You can see that the cherry doors have not aged to match the face frame yet. I did them with my shaper.

View Rich's profile

Rich

4552 posts in 1006 days


#14 posted 06-08-2019 03:01 AM


As an interesting coincidence, I just finished 29 doors for our kitchen.

- Embler

Those are nice, but the thread is specifically about running entry door stiles on a router table. An entry door is typically around 36” wide, 80” tall and 1-3/4” thick. You’re generally around 100 lbs or more depending on the wood. In other words, much bigger than cabinet doors.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

View Embler's profile

Embler

7 posts in 47 days


#15 posted 06-08-2019 03:57 AM

Those are nice, but the thread is specifically about running entry door stiles on a router table. An entry door is typically around 36” wide, 80” tall and 1-3/4” thick. You re generally around 100 lbs or more depending on the wood. In other words, much bigger than cabinet doors.

- Rich

Ah… but the point is that I chose to use the shaper rather than my router table on these much smaller doors – none of which are more than 46” tall. There is no way I – emphasizing the personal pronoun – I would attempt entry doors on a router table. That other people do so I understand. I personally know some who have done entry doors professionally on router tables. It is just that I am able to get much more consistent results on larger projects with the power and larger cutters of a shaper. All this may well be a reflection of my own lack of skills. But if my own child asked me which way to go here I would strongly advise the shaper. On the other hand, if someone has a lot of experience with a router, and has a lot of comfort and confidence with them, then a router table makes perfect sense.

I have taken note of the suggestion above about using four feather boards. I’ve tried many times with just two and had only mixed results. I can see where four might make all the difference. Thank you.

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com