Buying a Used Shaper
From the original questioner:
Thanks for the info. I have used the machine, but it was about 2.5 years ago and only minimally. It is in a shop that I worked out of part-time while on my way to starting my own shop. The machine has never (I think) had a power feed on it and was used for primarily free hand shaping and such. I can't find any info on Isis, which makes me leery. But it is a tilting arbor, and there will probably be a bunch of tooling that comes along with it, and the price is attractive. I am torn between picking up this 1 inch shaper or waiting and getting a 1 1/4. The piece is part of a package deal that I am involved in.
From contributor B:
It depends on what you want to do. The 1" machine is great for stile rail door cuts, more than heavy enough, but for raised panels the 1 1/4 is the way to go. Don't count out the imports. I bought one with a brand name I have never heard of and it is still running today, cast iron from the top to the bottom. The appearance isn't much, the paint was peeling when I bought it, but it runs well. Its fence adjustment is more precise than the Griego I have at three times the money. In fact, the Griego's fence is junk, not smooth, not parallel and making minor adjustments is almost impossible. Aside from that, though, the Griego is a nice machine and does have interchangeable spindles.
From contributor C:
The 1" spindle will always be a limitation. Hold out for a 1 1/4", as the standard tooling is for either this or 3/4". It won't fit the 3/4" cutter heads, and what's the point of weakening your setup by bushing out to 1 1/4" from 1"? The tilting head is a desirable feature, although I seem to get by without one.
From contributor G:
Got to say I have a 3/4 spindle and have nothing but 1 1/4 cutters. Just get a lot of various length bushings so you can mix and match for dif. stacks. Ideally I would just put a 1 1/4 on it, but my particular model needs to change the spindle carrier to be able to change the spindles. Have to agree with the above advice about Italian machines. Way better than the Taiwan stuff.
From the original questioner:
Thanks for all the info. My main concern is that I am not picking up a piece of worn out crap. But contributor P gave me some good advice. I currently have a small, lightweight Delta shaper with the interchangeable spindles from 3/4 to 1 inch and with the router spindles. As far as I am concerned, the router spindles are worthless. Yeah, they work, but just okay. The machine overall is just too lightweight for the 1 inch spindle. But like the router spindle, it works. Plus, changing out the spindles just takes time that gets me annoyed. So, ideally, I would pick up the nice Italian machine with the sliding table and 1 1/4 spindle and all the nice things, but my business is young. If things go the way they have been, it is only a matter of time before that comes, but... I am faced with this package deal opportunity that is hard to pass up. It consists of a piece of equipment that I don't necessarily need now, but might in the future, and the price is right.
From contributor J:
I was just thinking that even though the 1" spindle size will make it difficult to find cutters (with 1" bore), depending on the work you do, you could get a cutting head that will fit. Then you just buy the knives you need and you will still have a good amount of flexibility. If you move up to a bigger spindle in the future, you just replace the cutterhead and keep all your knives.
From contributor R:
I say go for the package deal and take the shaper. If you think the price for the shaper is good or great and you have the money for it, what's the worst thing to happen? Maybe you just sell it down the road for a little profit or a trade, etc. Bottom line for me is this: does the machine run well and is it complete with all its equipment? Does buying it in this package deal put me in a financial burden? If not, then take a chance on an investment. I'm a one man shop and with some risk taking and sound deal making, I have 5 dedicated shapers that stay set up all the time for their operation in making frame and panel woodwork. I can't have enough shapers. Also, if it can help you on your way to buying that 1 1/4" shaper you really want, use it as a stepping stone. Then sell it if you need to, or keep it if you want to.
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