Should I Invest In A Wood Shaper?
A wood shaper is woodworking equipment that is used in molding cuts into pieces of wood. The basic design of a wood shaper is a rotating spindle mounted on a router table. Wood shapers are large machines. They have quieter engines and can handle larger bits.
This tool is best suited for shaping the edges of pieces of wood such as for ornamental designs or raised door panels. A shaper and an inverted router perform almost similar functions.
Wood shapers are regarded as dangerous equipment because the revolving cutting head spins at very high speeds. It can turn into a projectile. These tools are especially dangerous if you’re shaping an irregular, knotty or curved piece of wood. It is, therefore, not advisable to shape a piece of wood shorter than 12 inches as this increases the chances of your fingers and hands getting caught in the blade. Make sure to read the manual that comes from your wood shaper’s manufacturer and ensure you fully understand and follow all the recommendations and instructions before you begin to work.
What Can I Do With a Wood Shaper?
Many people would want to know what they can do with a shaper before investing their money in one. These tools are great for woodworkers who make molding such as crown molding, which can add beauty and height to a room. With a router, it can take a long time to do enough trim pieces for your living room as compared to the time it would time to make the same number of pieces with a shaper.
Shapers are great for people who work with a lot of pieces of wood on a regular basis. The blades used in shapers remains sharp even for hundreds of cuts and will still give you a smooth finish on every piece of wood that you work on.
Another benefit of wood shapers is that it can allow you bend and shape each piece of wood. Let’s say you want to make a valuable rocking chair for your kid that they will use for many years and take it with them when moving out. A wood shaper will let you create perfectly curved boards to place on the bottom of the chair to make it appear smooth and classy
Who really needs a wood shaper? The simple answer to that is that this tool is mainly used by door makers, including both those who make interior and exterior doors for home and cabinet doors like those used in modern kitchens. Wood shapers allow one to cut panels into the door to add dimension and texture when creating a design. On cabinet doors, these tools allow you to create edging along the sides of the door.
So, now that you know what you can do with a woodworking shaper let’s briefly discuss how to use this tool.
How To Use a Wood Shaper
- Prepare the work area: Ensure that the area you intend to work is clutter-free and doesn’t have other pieces of equipment and materials. Make sure to have an exhaust system in place to minimize dust, which can interfere with your smooth working.
- Choose a blade: There are different blades for making simple grooves to complex cuts. Choose a blade that is appropriate for the task at hand and secure it to the shaper head.
- Adjust the Fence: The fence has two vertical pieces that move forward and backward. They can also be closed or opened by pushing them apart or together. The fence acts as safety equipment. Adjust the fence close to the blade. For a smaller blade, the fence can be narrowed. For a wider blade, the fence should be opened up more.
- Make the cut: Turn on the machine and exhaust system and apply pressure to the wood both against the fence and downward. Push the piece of wood slowly towards the rotating blade. Don’t allow your fingers to go near the rotating blade.
Wrap Up -- Should I Invest In A Wood Shaper?
I would advise you to invest in a wood shaper if you want to make smooth cuts for making wooden display items such as cabinet doors, panel doors, or any other furniture where smoothness and precision are needed. It is a valuable tool for any woodworker. It really is just a matter if you do enough work of the type suited for a wood shaper to justify the investment. Of course, you may just want one… which works too!