Woodworking Machines – Spotlight on Molders

By November 21, 2017Uncategorized

Let us take a brief look at some of the different types of woodworking machines available. There are many different brands and machines you can buy for your workshop, each suited for different tasks. Today we are looking at two very different kinds of moulder; a spindle moulder and a planer moulder.

What is a Spindle Molder?

A spindle moulder (or wood wood shaper in American) does a similar job to a router except a spindle moulder is a stationary machine designed to carry out large volumes of work. It has more power than the hand held router, and has the ability to use much larger cutters, such as those needed for raised panels or crown mouldings. There is also a great variety of cutters to choose from for your spindle moulder. Usually belt driven, a spindle moulder's cutter will be turning at less than around 12,000 rpm, making it fairly quiet among woodworking machines! A variety of brands build spindle moulders such as Martin, Robland, Jet, Trend and M Power, and they are available as full size or compact versions. What can I use it for?

Common Features

  • You can get non-tiling and tilting versions – offering more flexibility, and allowing the operator to machine a piece from beneath
  • Some come with ultra-modern touch screen controls which minimize set up times
  • The cutting direction is reversible
  • Adjustable cutting heights
  • Removable masks for curved molding jobs
  • Optional table extensions allow for larger pieces to be machined


The spindle moulder is often considered to be one of the most dangerous woodworking machines, but there is a variety of safety equipment that can minimize the risk. The most basic is a plastic guard which comes with the molder and sets above the cutter. It spins freely and is intended to prevent the operator's hands inadvertently touching the cutter. At the other end of the scale, you can get a power feeder which keeps the operator's hands far away from the cutters.

What is a Planer Molder?

Available with small four head configurations up to a massive twelve heads, a planer moulder is an extremely fast, efficient and safe way of processing solid pieces of wood. The larger machines can process timber at over a hundred meters per minute. They are designed to shape wood with their profiled cutters, enabling the operator to plane on all sides, mold on all sides, or a combination of the two.

Common Features

  • Feed rollers for both the infeed and the outfeed providing a stable and smooth outfeed even for thin or smooth materials
  • A straightening table to ensure the timber enters the machine at the right angle
  • Digital readouts for all the spindle movements
  • Axial adjustment of horizontal and vertical spindles
  • Lubrication points to enable the operator to grease all the critical parts
  • Width and thickness can often be programmed in with a controller to speed up the process


All woodworking machines should be treated carefully – never use a machine before you know how to operate it safely. However, the planer moulder is among the safer woodwork machines as the whole unit is usually housed within a safety enclosure which acts as a chip guard. The operator's hands should not go near anything dangerous. As an added benefit, the safety enclosure reduces the noise the machine produces.

Source by John Markfield

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar