I am looking to replace a 5hp Powermatic PM2700 that I have never been happy with since the day I first pushed the power button. Itís leaving a rippled finish on everything that is going through the machine lately. I was, and still am considering replacing it with a 5hp Baileigh Industrial sliding table/tilting spindle shaper, the price is what I like most about it.
Because I am limited to single phase power there is not much to choose from buying used so I would most likely be buying new, and since I donít want to make another mistake with a low quality machine, I am also considering upgrading to a few other machines.
Looking at Laguna S45T 5hp
MiniMax TW 45C 4.8hp
Or a Felder F700Z 4hp
I canít find much information on any of these shapers listed, but especially the Laguna. The only thing I do know about is that it is made in Italy.
Most of the work I do on my shaper is cabinet doors. I also do some custom molding work with a steel corrugated head and custom knives. I feel this head beats the hell out of the bearings on the Powermatic, especially when I have large knives installed in the head. Also, the Powermatic only goes down to 7500 rpms, Iíd like to run this head a bit slower. I also do some final dimensioning of square stock for face frames,and beveling. I donít ever see myself using tooling designed for cutting large tennons.
The reason I am leaning towards the sliding table versions of the European machines is because I have noticed that they donít provide a miter bar slot. Sometimes it nice to just grab the miter gauge when you want to make a full cut and a narrow board instead of making a sled.
I have a Felder F700Z that I bought used about 10 years ago. It has a 5 hp, 3 phase motor. The sliding table with the crosscut fence, tenoning table, and cam clamp all work very smoothly with no slop. We use it mainly for tenoning cabinet door rails and thicker frames up to 1.75 thick. It has 2 dust collection ports that work well. Overall, I'd say it has been a solid performer for us.
The only negative thing I'd say about it is some of the plastic parts, like the ratcheting handles on the fence clamps have been less than durable. But, I would say the same thing about some of my other european machinery.
Italian, with a 3 phase generator, will get you running very well. Don't think you canít have 3 phase power. It is easy.
I had a P-matic, and the sliding dovetails the spindle moved in were always wearing and going loose. Just a bad design.
The real Italian (not Laguna) have a cylindrical cartridge that holds the spindle rigid. And this cartridge mounts to the bottom of the heavy cast table. Weight is your ally with shapers. Weight in the right places. Scmi, EMA, Casadei are all good machines. You can find them used or at auction.
You will really appreciate the mass when you are raising panels. Add a power feeder (keep your fingers, and save your back) and a good digital readout, and you will find life easy and enjoyable.
I also am in the market for a much needed new or used shaper. I had my machine rep pushing a new SCM Nova tf 110
I am not the most knowledgable on fine details of different machines but wondering what everyone thinks of this machine? It has aluminum fences which I am worried about.
Can anyone reccomend a GREAT 9 - 10 hp
shaper with QUALITY bones and cast precision adjustable infeed and outfeed fences? Or am I just being paranoid and the SCM with aluminum fences will be fine.
As Mr Basto said - Martin. They are the finest. No compromises.
Panhans, if you can find one in the US, are also good.
Not sure what you are making, but the aluminum fences should not be a problem. I usually add a wood face or replace the fences with well machined wood, and let the cutters take out a bit of the fence for a supported cut. Easy to replace.
In the 1970's, I worked everyday with a Tegle and Sonner - a Norwegian machine with cast iron fences on huge rails. Super heavy machine, with a flywheel. Took about 5 minutes to wind down when shut off. Once, the kip handle on the infeed fence came lose and it went into a cutter. The pitch of the machine never even changed as it chewed its way very smoothly into that cast iron.
I think I have narrowed down my choices between a Felder F700z and a MiniMax TW55. Both are coming in around $9000. Iím leaning towards the MiniMax.
doorshopguy, I will only be using one shaper. I will end up selling the Powermatic and a Delta 3hp machine.
I feel that the Powermatic would probably be more reliable, regarding bearing life, if I used a 3/4 spindle in the machine exclusively. I use all larger 1 1/4Ē bore cutters, some steel rabbeting cutters, and a heavy steel Schmidt insert head for some custom moldings. These larger diameter cutters, think of a longer lever, exert more force through the spindle and into the bearings. The bearings just canít hold up to the forces, especially with the Schmidt head installed with deep cutting inserts. It wonít be long before the bearings start wearing again and the shaper starts producing a rippled finish in my pieces again.
I put a dial indicator on the spindle yesterday to see what itís doing. Just spinning the spindle by hand there is only .001 of runout, but when I push and pull on the spindle with moderate pressure Iím moving the spindle .008-.010. Every time the cutting knife hits the wood, the spindle is actually bouncing off the wood causing a rippled finish.
Also the 2 speeds is a problem, the machine runs too fast with that Schmidt head with big cutters in there. The slowest it will go is 7500rpm. It sounds like the machine will take flight! I donít feel it is safe, but at least I can hide behind the power feeder.
I have one of the large shaper heads used to run Williams and Hussey knives...i think its 5" tall. Bought that long ago before i bought the Williams and Hussey molder. That head got me by on a custom base molding run but it is less than ideal to run moldings that way on a shaper. If you do any custom molding runs, a small molder machine like the W&H makes the job easy.
If you are going to be using only one shaper for all your operations i would recommend an Aigner top of the line fence.
I have a large Casadei italian shaper and the fence it came with is rather crude as far as adjutments go but i keep it setup only for raised panels so its ok for me.
Only reason i ever need that head again is if i had to run it on a tilting spindle shaper.
The quill replacement on the PM2700 is super easy and you will get more money for the machine if its in good running condition.
My suggestion would be to get a phase converter first. I spent right around $3,000 for a 30 HP unit that will easily run my 37" wide belt, 24" planer, and any other 3 phase equipment I'm likely to buy. Now you can shop the heavy duty shapers that are available on the used market. I bought 2 Invicta units w/ power feeders that are in very decent shape, very heavy duty, and my total expenditure including the phase converter is still under that $9,000 number, plus I have much more flexibility in upgrading the rest of my equipment. Now, if that used Martin comes along at an auction, you can bid on it ( but I might too).
I will be fixing the Powermatic, I already have the bearings. Iíve changed them enough times already so Iím pretty good at it. I just press them off the spindle and press new ones on. No need to replace the whole quill assembly.
I also have a W&H molder too, but sometimes the shaper is the better machine to use for various reasons.
All good points John, I cannot argue with any of them. Iím pretty happy with most of the machinery in my shop. I just donít see myself utilizing most of these really big industrial 3 phase machines. I just need something better and more reliable than my Powermatic.
I would buy an SCM in a heart beat, you may have issues as most are 3 phase, however they are fantastic machines. Martin is way over priced unless you can find a good used one for a reasonable price.
I guess it depends on how much you use it, but I would stay away from all the off shore stuff like powermatic, delta, king, etc.
W &H moulders are designed for running some curved mouldings or a few pieces of a moulding, but for any amount of mouldings you will be there until the cows come home.
I just seen a couple used MiniMax shapers for asking price of about $2500 Canadian each, I think they were T 50ís. I will check it out.
Personally, I'd look for something used. $9k will get you a lot in the secondary market. Big and heavy is what you want in a shaper. Modern powermatic is hobbyist grade.
SCM class shapers are decent.
SAC is an excellent value, just don't expect anything electrical to work well.
Griggio stuff is good.
Obviously Martin, but add already stated, expensive.
I don't have experience with Casadei, but it looks similar in quality to SCM.
Cantek is a good value too.
I'm not overly impressed with Felder, for the price point I feel the machines should be more substantial than they are.
I agree with much of what's been said already. If you can find a used Martin, they do come up from time to time, and IMO it's the best bang for the buck no question. I've owned 2 older Martin T-21 machines and also own about the same vintage SCM T-160, (their top of the line shaper at that time), the SCM is a great machine, but it's not a Martin, and there's nothing in a brochure that could tell you why. It's one of those things you just learn by using them.
I'm sure some of the other high end European machines would be great as well, I just would have a hard time spending $9k on what I'd consider essentially new entry level commercial machines. I think when I had all 3 of my shapers, (2 Martins and the SCM), I had less than $9k into the lot. They all required some work to get going, but are essentially good for many years to come now.
A good used Martin w/ 7.5 hp or SCM with 8hp could be run off an inexpensive VFD and still have plenty of power to run most stuff without noticing any power drop. Don't mean to badger you about it, but when the consensus from many advises for something..... it's generally good to at least think it through thoroughly:>)
First off, I really do appreciate everybody who took the time to offer their guidance and opinions.
I ended up ordering a FELDER F700Z today. I think it will fill my needs just right.
I am a 1.5 man shop, myself and a helper. Iím the only one setting up and running the shaper. Like I said at the beginning of the thread, my primary use is for making cabinet doors, my kitchens typically only have 20-40 doors. For these types of jobs Iíll also run various moldings, or use the machine to bring my face frame material to final widths. Occasionally I will also use it for pattern work. Iím constantly changing setups.
If I had a used machinery broker anywhere near me I would have considered taking a drive to see what they had. Even searching Craigslist within 200 miles of me did not reveal anything worth looking at. I just wasnít comfortable buying a used machine like this without at least looking at it and seeing it run.
But anyway, all of this leads me to one last question. I honestly donít know what types of operations require 7.5-10hp? Large tennon cutting for passage doors? Maybe running two raised panel cutters to raise both sides of a raised panel on a passage door? Very high feed rates for running large volumes of materials? Iím currently running a 5hp single phase machine and I donít feel like Iíve ever needed more power.
So i guess you cant add an outboard fence to the sliding table? I know everyones different but i can not see using that shaper for every door process plus everything else you want to do. Is your shop so small that you only can have one shaper? I dont see how your setup times wont kill you with that machine. Im a one man shop and have 6 shapers but if i could only have one it would be the absolute top Martin with no having to fuss around.
I saw a video on YouTube of a guy with a Felder who made one for his machine and will be doing the same with mine. It is similar to what I use now.
Doorshopguy, I'm not trying to be a wise ass, but do you really think 5 minutes for a tooling change is a time killer? I've always only run one shaper in my shop. Maybe not the most efficient , but it's what I've got to work with.
There were a lot of good responses. David is right on as usual. Shapers seem to be mis-understood machines. Over the years I've had many. The first ones were Delta and a new PM26, pure junk. Sorry PM guys. Heavy quill assemblies with big bearings make all the difference. My shapers all have 5 or 7.5 hp 3 phase motors, 1 1/4" spindles. Run so smooth you can balance a nickel on edge while taking a heavy cut. 4 have power feeds, worth every penny! I've never had a Martin but seem to be really nicely designed. All of the 5 shapers, 6 if you count the Stegherr that runs curved casing, were bought used. 3 are set up for one operation. My favorite is a Gomad with readouts for elevation and tilt. Weighs a bit over 2000#. 3 phase motors are very simple and last a long time. I've got a molder so I run the same heads on the shapers when needed. Production tooling is insert carbide. Records are kept of repeated items and a digital ht. gage used to set tooling and drop in spacers to set fences. Yes, that's old fashioned, but quick and simple. No test parts wasted.
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