Shaper as a first shop tool to buy?

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Forum topic by Buckethead posted 05-26-2013 01:45 AM 4087 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 2875 days

05-26-2013 01:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shaper

It seems a bit silly to consider a shaper as the first real piece of shop equipment, but this looks like it might be a deal.

The seller claims it needs to have $150 in parts to put it to rights, so there’s that, but a 3HP shaper for $150 (plus any needed parts) seems like it should be grabbed up.

Funny thing, I live about 2 hours away from this, but I have a job in Gainesville which will require my presence within a few more days.

I’m unfamiliar with the brand (Transpower), and have little enough experience with shapers to get taken by a smooth talker. Any thoughts? Jump on it? Run away?

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

13 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 3045 days

#1 posted 05-26-2013 01:50 AM

I read it as saying it would cost you $150 in parts, and he’s asking $150 for what’s there. So that’s $300 – if he’s telling the truth about parts being available and their pricing. Transpower isn’t in business aymore. If you don’t have any other tools, a shaper is pretty worthless. And even if you do have other tools, a decent router can do most of what a shaper does at a lower cost. If it was me, I’d pass.

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View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3696 days

#2 posted 05-26-2013 02:04 AM

I second Joe’s motion.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View jeffl's profile


289 posts in 4317 days

#3 posted 05-26-2013 02:04 AM

I bought a shaper to build some cabinet doors years ago and used it the one time .

-- Jeff,

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2871 posts in 3928 days

#4 posted 05-26-2013 02:06 AM

I would pass also. I have two table mounted routers and one shaper. I NEVER use the shaper and it was given to me. Yes it works and has many cutters with it. Routers work better for me.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 3255 days

#5 posted 05-26-2013 02:11 AM

Save your money and look for a table saw. To me that is the cornerstone of your shop.

View GT350's profile


384 posts in 2988 days

#6 posted 05-26-2013 02:12 AM

I wouldn’t buy the shaper either. I bought a jet shaper several years ago and I m going to build a router table and sell the shaper. If I was just starting out and wanted to start collecting tools I would get a table saw, jointer and planer, router and router table in that order.

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 2875 days

#7 posted 05-26-2013 02:14 AM

I’m glad I asked, the only thing I would ever use this for would have been cabinet doors, and I really only need a few of those.

I do have quite a few tools, but all are intended for field usage, including the worlds crappiest ryobi table saw. It was a gift… And I paid too much. ( really not so terrible but there are little nylon pads which seem to have worn, and the blade moves side to side… Defeats the whole purpose)

Thanks for the responses… I am all kinds of excited to find some great tools for the shop, but I guess I’m getting ahead of myself. A Shaper wasn’t really on my radar, but I have seen what a decent 3hp cabinet saw goes for. I thought it might be too good a deal to pass. A nice (or reasonably nice) Table Saw is really first on my list.

I sound like my wife… Lol… It was on sale! I saved $xxxx!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Moron's profile


5048 posts in 4900 days

#8 posted 05-26-2013 04:19 AM

i fail to see any reason to purchase a shaper as a “1st’ tool

deal or not

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View widdle's profile


2073 posts in 4005 days

#9 posted 05-26-2013 04:39 AM

Cheap’s expensive…

View waho6o9's profile


8996 posts in 3583 days

#10 posted 05-26-2013 04:52 AM

+1 widdle

View runswithscissors's profile


3128 posts in 3031 days

#11 posted 05-26-2013 05:22 AM

Going against the stream here; I used to have a router table, with a PC 7518 router in it, and moved to a 1.5 horse Grizzly shaper that I found on CL. Then ran into an extremely good deal on a Jet 2 h.p. shaper (one of the old blue generation), and haven’t looked back. You can use router bits in a shaper (which I do), and it has the advantage with shaper cutters—or some of the router bits with removable/reversible cutters—that you can flip the cutter over and reverse direction. This is nice when you are running into reverse grain issues, such as shaping the edges of a disk or oval. And the induction motor never bogs down, which the router used to do with a heavy cut.

Just another angle.

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

View mikedddd's profile


148 posts in 4236 days

#12 posted 05-26-2013 01:45 PM

A shaper for your first shop tool will be no more useful then a router table as your first shop tool. Nether one is of any use without other tools.

You should be on the lookout for a good tablesaw for your first shop tool.

-- Mike

View kizerpea's profile


775 posts in 3374 days

#13 posted 05-27-2013 11:53 AM

+ 1 with moron


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