I have outsourced my doors for years but recently put in the equipment to do it in house. I've done two kitchens in maple, but this week we are doing a painted set and the doors are five piece with a MDF panel. After running about 40 MDF raised panels through the shaper I had a few maple ones to do and was really surprised at how the MDF dulled the raised panel cutter! It is now burning the maple.
I'm fairly new to MDF and didn't realize it dulled cutters like that. So my question is this, should I get another cutter and just swap while the other is being sharpened? Or just keep one for woods and one for MDF? I'm definitely going to keep using the MDF because it just saves a ton of labor and money. I'd be money ahead even if I had to sharpen after every set. Also, I've seen some shaper heads that have replacement tips? I'm thinking in the long run it might be less expensive to invest in a head and just replace the tips when needed? I don't know much about that so any help would be appreciated.
From Contributor E:
By all means keep one panel raiser just for MDF. The moment even carbide touches it it wears it enough that it won't cut hardwood like it used to. It will cut MDF for a long time, but you just have to keep one dedicated for that, unless you're ready to move up to diamond tooling.