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Shaper or moulder4/20
Dont get excited. My decision to make is do I get a shaper with a head that can take serrated knives so i can custom grind them and do short runs of whatever i want or do I get a moulder like a w&h with the same knife grinding and all that. I have lots of power feeders. I have run lots of mouldings on a shaper in my youth with 2 knives and an upper an lower lock collar with smooth HSS bar stock. I just want to know who has gone through this before and what they did.
For the most part making small batches of molding the W&H will out perform a shaper. trying to stand tall stock up in a shaper would be more difficult than laying it flat on a table. guess that would depend on the size and shape of the part being shaped.
We have a newer W&H (6-7 yrs), I am still amazed every time we turn it on how such a small,inexpensive pc of machinery turns out such a nice pc of mldg. One of my best investments.
Well, I have never used a shaper to run moldings. I bought a Weinig six head molder in 1996. Later, I bought a W&H to only run arched moldings. I will sell it to you if you like.
I only used it for a year or two and then I bought a Micron Arch molder because I needed to do arched crowns. I doubt the W&H has 10 hours of use. I have all the attachments and it is on casters as well.
Let me know. I am a believer in having the right tool for the job. I think I have about seven sets of knives for the W&H. These knives bolt on and are only 1/4" stock so they do not fit my other molder.
So much depends on what you are to make and how long your runs are going to be. The W&H will do wider than what you would likely do on a shaper but is incredibly slow. It will also do radius work easier than on a shaper. The advantage of a real molder is completing all 4 sides in one pass at speeds several times faster than a W&H. I started by using a shaper and lock edge heads with single hand ground knives. Worked great for short runs on a heavy shaper. I now have a heavy tilt shaper that allows all sorts of interesting setups like curved crowns. Our Weinig molder and profile grinder allow quick setups via digital readouts. We have a Stegherr arch molding shaper with much better feed works than a W&H and it will trace whatever shape you put into it w/o templates. As with all horizontal spindle systems there is a limit as to how tight the curve can be and how perpendicular the pattern can be before the distortion becomes obvious. Then time for the CNC router with C-axis or 5 axis. Pick you poison! Speed, $, Time.