You want to be a master of the woodworking shaper? All it takes is the right tools the right tips and tricks, and a little practice, and you'll be painting wood like a pro in no time! Think of a shaper as akin to a router, only bigger and more powerful. It also has larger cutters, which comes in handy if you are cutting pieces of wood that is a little wider, such as crown moldings or raised panels.
The size and spindle diameter will differ from one shaper to the next. The shafts, or spindles, usually range from a quarter to a half an inch or so. Horsepower will vary as well, usually between 2 – 5 horsepower. If one hp is sufficient just go with a router instead.
Contrary to what one might think, shapes are actually quiter than most routers too. A shaper's cutters spin at 7 – 10 thousand RPMs and a router will turn 20-25 thousand.
Shapers also have the convenience of being able to run both backwards and forwards, which is very beneficial when making certain cuts. However, you must always be certain of what direction the blade is set to spin in prior to turning it on, because feeding wood into the cutter the wrong way will send that board flying. It can hurt someone very badly if it hits them, even kill them.
A shaper can be one of the most perilous objects in a woodworking shop. That is why it is so important to respect it and always be careful around it. There is no reason to fear it though, really, just as long as you take your time and always away by a few safety tips. For starters, your shaper should have come with a plastic safety guard. Use it. It will prevent most possible injuries.
Fixtures and jigs are also a big help in decreasing injuries. They can help you make better cuts as well. The starter pin is something else that was probably included with your shaper that you will want to use. The starter pin is a metal rod that is threaded at one end and screws in to a hole a few inches from the cutter. Holding the wood against the starter pin and then feeding it through the cutter is the correct way to do a freehand cut.
The best safety device available is a power feeder. The great thing about these is that it keeps your hands safely away from the cutter. The only problem with these is that they can be expensive.
One final tip is never attempt to shape a small piece of wood. Always shape a larger piece and rip it down afterwards.
When taking the proper care and precaution, you can avoid injury using a woodworking shaper. Just remember to always think first, and if that little voice in your hade tells you that something sounds dangerous, just do not do it.
Source by Allan Clearpool