I've built perhaps over 500 house doors, the majority of which were not climb cut.
My shaper is a mini max T50, and feeder is the small Delta 1/4 h.p., and has done a admirable job, but will not safely climb cut 1 3/4" doors.
I'm currently on the best job of my 40 year career, with no budget or time constraints, and need to build about 60 VGDF and White Oak doors, and would like to upgrade my feeder to allow climb cutting.
My question is this:
Given I already have mounted the small Delta feeder, and the new Powermatic feeder will be in about the same position, will the cast iron table stand up to the heavier, 158#, feeder without cracking due to the existing bolt holes?
I have no experience with this and do not want to risk cracking my shaper's table.
It's all going to depend on how the table of your shaper was constructed and how far you are going to cantilever the power head from the attach point. You could always extend a support under the table to the stand. Maybe use the hols already there for your smaller feeder to connect a support them bolted thru the side stand. Lots of ways to distribute the load over a larger area.
The table of your shaper will take more holes to mount your new power feed without problems. If you are really concerned about it why not mount the feeder on the other side of your spindle there are probably no holes there.
When you say "straddle a rib" that would make me nervous thinking you are only going to be tapping into the thin surface layer of the casting. In my world the tapped holes for the feeder locations are in a large boss that is cast into the top/ribs.
I have added feeders to a few tables that had no factory tapped holes and I set the feeder base where I would like it, then made sure it missed the ribs below, drill clearance holes in the top, and then inbound of those smaller clearance holes for machine screws that will hold a 1/2" steel plate pulled up against the underside of the top via the machine screws, then use long 1/2" bolts that pass completely through the top and into the 1/2" steel plate.
Once the plate is fastened and aligned a single time and cinched up with the machine screws (flat head countersunk into the cast iron top) you never touch it again.
I have two Comatic DC40's and two PF31's and I dont know that I would trust any of them in the lightest application tapped into only the top surface of a cast top.
I watched a kid (who was subsequently fired) day dreaming stuck a second board in before the first was through the feeder and the feeder reared up, grabbing both boards, I could see the column and the horizontal column flexing and as I was running full steam could literally see the entire corner of the saw snapping off in my mind, and barely made it to the e-stop on the saw and jerked the feeder cord out of the wall, immediately releasing the vertical column lock and raising the feeder.
Mind blown the table didnt snap even with the steel plate below or the ears didnt brake off the feeder column base.
Karl- the shop I work in occasionally has their feeder mounted on the indeed side of the shaper, and while it works it is a bit of a nuisance, at least in the space of this particular shop, but this may be the way to go.
Yea, don't have any boss built into the cast iron top, just the thickness of the table plus ribs, but your idea of mounting a backing plate under the existing table to spread the load would work just fine. Might be challenging to fit it around the existing ribs. . . .perhaps craft a backing plate (carrying over the ribs) from something like Ipe?
As you said, lots of leverage with a large feeder, and I surely cannot afford to crack the table.
I'm going to think upon this for awhile yet.
Thanks guys, I do appreciate the years of experience on this site, very knowledgable and accurate information... again thanks!
Do the two feeders have different bolt patterns and you are worried about too many hole cracking the table?
If so, why not bolt a metal adapter plate to the table using the existing bolt pattern to bolt it to the top and the adapter plate having the extra bolt pattern to fit the new feeder in it. Plate could be a chunk of aluminum or steel.
It's really hard to say without some details like where it is going to be mounted, table size/dimensions, thickness legs.
If you post a picture and detail the weight it will need to stand up to you will get much more accurate answers.
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