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We are looking to purchase a couple of new shapers this year. Any recommendations? Looking for something that either has or can be easily outfitted with a sliding table for coping door parts. Also looking for something with removable spindles and electronic controls. Familiar with some of the brands out there but want to hear if I'm missing some and what people like. Thanks,
It's hard to give recommendations without a budget. Martin is the best shaper but if ~50k is out of reach it doesn't matter.
Removable spindle...HSK or manual?
Passage door or cabinet door coping? A lot of companies offer a model with the option of a built in tenoning table. If all you're doing is cabinet doors Martin USA sells a smaller table that bolts on to cast iron top. I'm sure there's other aftermarket options as well. If you're only coping cabinet door parts you can save some money by opting for the bolt on coping sled vs built in tenoning table.
Similar to the sliding table most companies offer the electronic controls as an option or standard depending on the model. CNC controlled is also available from Martin, SCM/Casadei, Griggio and Panhans that I know of.
The basic stripped down manual versions from most of the top companies start off around 10k. Add electronic controls and a built in sliding table will probably be north of 20k, CNC over 40k.
If you're just looking to cope cabinet door parts, have you looked at a dedicated coper instead of using a traditional shaper?
For cabinet door cope i am totally happy with a Powermatic 2700 with a Weaver air tenon jig.
Martin, Panhans, and SCMI are the only three that offer what you list. Martin is probably the best there is. Panhans is rare to see in the US.
If you are coping large door parts and need versatility, you might consider a Single End Tenoner with a tall vertical cope spindle that can hold large diameter tooling for several patterns. Again, mostly European makers and users.
Thank you all for the recommendations and opinions. I have looked at the Unique machines for making doors. Based on the cost for even the basic entry level machines I am figuring that maybe a really nice shaper may be a better option. I have looked at the Martin and SCMI models that include the features I have described above. Based on response so far it would seem that these are the really only two that we should consider.
I would also add the service, knowledge and responsiveness I've received from Martin is exceptional. Far better than any other company I've dealt with including SCM.
The SCM shapers are a good value. I'm happy with the one that I have. The other brand of shaper I'm real happy with is SAC, though they aren't available new any longer.
I'd buy Martin if I could afford it. Top of the line of what's available new, no question.
I've had my eye on a PMK coper to replace a pair of Powermatic shapers filling that roll, that I should've sent down the road a long, long time ago.
Last year I replaced two older Delta RS-15 shapers with one Felder 700 series machine. We use it mostly for cope and stick cabinet doors, but do a variety of other tasks. It has powered rise and fall with digital readout. Both cope and stick are stacked on one spindle, and easily raised or lowered accurately to the needed cutters. It has the sliding table. I wondered if the 700 series would be heavy enough, but it has been great. They do make a 900 and Format series machine.