Spindle moulder Heads

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Forum topic by Yettiman posted 04-16-2009 11:50 PM 2138 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Yettiman's profile


163 posts in 4593 days

04-16-2009 11:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question router shaping


I am looking to buy a spindle Moulder but would appreciate some advice on the various Cutter heads.

I know that they come in different diameters, why?

I am thinking about getting a Universal cutter with interchangable blades.

Why use a 90 mm when I could use a 120mm? and vice versa?

Many many thanks for any advice

-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

4 replies so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4592 days

#1 posted 04-17-2009 02:36 AM

Are you talking about a moulding head to mount on a shaper? There are many reasons for different diameters. Some shapers have variable motors and can be adjusted to have optimum revolutions per minute that is specked out be the manufacturer of the cutter head with that particular cutter. Other shapers run at one speed and the different cutter diameters accomodate the single speed problem by being able spin at a desireable and and safe speed. A cutter can be very dangerous if run too slow or too fast. The manufacturer designs and applies a recommended safe operating speed range for a particular cutter.
I have a variable 7 1/2 HP shaper that has uses different spindles. The spindle shafts are of different diameters so I can have more options of cutters available for purchase. 3/4” bore cutters are much less costly than 1 1/4” or 30mm bore cutters. The larger bore cutters are normally made for long term industrial uses. I have some cutters that weigh around 12 lbs each. The mass is so great and finely balanced that getting a smooth cut is almost guaranteed. The heavier a machine the less vibration and thus more consistent and smoother cuts are achieved.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4616 days

#2 posted 04-17-2009 03:51 AM

Shaping and molding are often confused, but the cutters and modes of operation are quite different. My molding head accomodates three interchangeable blades and is mounted on the table saw shaft. It’s purpose is straight line surface cutting.

The shaper cutter has three integral cutting surfaces and is mounted on a vertical spindle. Cutters usually come with 1/2’ or 3/4” spindle openings. In this regard, the shaper operates in a manner similar to a router mounted beneath a router table.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4860 days

#3 posted 04-17-2009 04:04 AM

I like my Amana aluminum head (maybe about 120mm dia). Theres a big selection of precut knives you can order and you can also buy blanks and grind your own. I’m not crazy about the ones that come with “limiters” (like a supposed kickback safety feature which means you have to buy them when you buy knives). I been using shapers for 30 years and see zero advantage for such a feature.

Most common spindle sizes are also accomodated.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Yettiman's profile


163 posts in 4593 days

#4 posted 04-18-2009 11:08 AM

Many thanks,

I have included a link to the type (but not the actual one) of machine I am thinking of.

It has a vertical shaft 30mm and the speed of the revolutions is controlled by changing the belt settings.

The universal head does indeed use knives and limiters (although I have been told it can run without the limiters) but that it is MUCH safer with them.

Here is a picture of the type of head I mean

I am still confused why I would not simple choose the widest cutter head I could fit, what is the advantage of the smaller head.

Both take the same knives. I ‘think’ that the smaller head would run faster (this is based on how a router table works), but is this important?

At $100+ per haed I can only afford one head at the moment.

I do mean a shaper, in Europe we call them Spindle moulders

-- Keep your tools sharp, your mind sharper and the coffee hot

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