Best Dedicated Tool for a Straight Groove

over and over, until the world gets the message. Router, shaper, or table saw? November 27, 2007

Question
I need to purchase a router that I can mount on a table with power stock feeder running about 20 per minute. It will be used to cut a wide, deep channel in 5 wide 10 long boards. After setting the correct height for the router bit, the router will remain untouched until a new bit is needed. The router will need to have an accurate height adjustment and remain solidly in place. Which router and brand should I buy? Im putting my Porter-Cable 890 routers in the garbage.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor J:
Sounds like it's time for a shaper.



From contributor E:
A small shaper with a collet for router bits is going to outlast any ten routers you can buy these days. It will make a good, stable platform for a stock feeder as well.


From contributor P:
Shaper or tablesaw and dado head. The router would burn up well before the bit got dull at that rate.


From contributor K:
You're better off setting up a table saw with a dado cutter, or if you need a perfect 90 degree cut, use a groover. You could use a stripped down contractor saw without the extension wings. You could probably find a used contractor saw cheaper than a PC 3518 router and it'll cut much faster with a better finish than the router bit.


From the original questioner:
What is a groover?


From contributor T:
A groover is like a thick saw blade. You can order them in any cutting width you want. The best ones are the two piece designs that can be shimmed back to proper cutting width after sharpening. The simplest way to do what you are doing is still just a dado set like contributor K suggested.


From contributor M:
How about a Belsaw, Woodmaster, William Hussey, or Jet type moulder?


From the original questioner:
Which method shaper, dado or molder would create the straightest line? I am running the channel the length of the board and it must be perfectly straight.


From contributor P:
The straightness is mostly a function of your setup, not the tool. The router would probably be the worst since tool deflection, vibration, and chip evacuation would be a problem. A decent contractor's saw, power feeder and a groover or dado head, as said, would be best. I use adjustable groovers on the shaper and love them. No tear out. A small molder would typically have issues with tear out, so that may not be a good choice.