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Shaper fence setup11/23
I put this indicator set up on the shaper fence to align the outfeed side of the fence to the cutter head. Made setup super easy and accurate. I offset the fences about 1/16-3/32 to make a full cut when running cabinet door parts and indicating the fence to the cutter produces very straight parts. I’m finding machinists tools really help for machine setup. I’m mostly self taught and have learned a lot from here, hopefully this will help someone else.
I need to invest in more fine measuring equipment.
We do an adjustable outboard fence for sticking and sizing both face frame and door parts. It'd be tough to set up like we have on a rolling top like that though
I have kicked around setting up another shaper with offset fences to act as a jointer to straighten out whatever curls up after the slr.
Typically you take a ruler and set the infeed table so it makes your 1/16 cut. Take a sample piece of wood 16”-24” lond and do a free hand test cut about 6” in length. Set the outfeed table using that test piece.
We use a basic outboard fence when sizing cabinet parts. Faster setup and more accurate.
I second Adam, much better way for both setup and straightening and sizing. Sizing anything by removing a set amount makes no sense.
I never mentioned anything about sizing parts in my post. I do occasionally use an outboard fence to run door parts, but sometimes when running door/end panel parts for a kitchen you will have stiles and rails of different widths which would mean moving the outboard fence for each width.
This method is no more difficult or time consuming than using a straight edge and there is 0 error. No chance of snipe, or cutting bows or tapers into the door parts.
All you are doing is getting the outfeed fence in-line with the cutter head. That can also be done with a stick of wood and get it within .001 at least by eye. The challenging step is to get the inboard fence/cutter head/outboard fence all working together.
We’ve got all of the machinist gauges. We only really use dial/digital calipers. I can setup jointer knives with a stick of wood with pencil marks faster than my dial indicator.
The issue you run into with wood is we are moving the material versus machining fixed pieces of metal. The reality is the cut matters not how it’s all measured.
Sharp pencil line is 1/64”. Cut it in half on a miter saw and you are at 1/128” accuracy that’s .008” by eye. Machining on a lathe or milling machine is typically .001” accuracy.
Depending on your budget a Shaper with an NC controlled fence and spindle make it a different machine. The up front cost is significant. If you are doing it right your tooling is all insert carbide and you need spindles (HSK63F) for all your setups (you can stack tools on each spindle).
We have this setup, because you have such fine control of the fence and spindle setting up the tool the first time is easier than a traditional machine. We could not do what we do without it. You can walk up and make a few sticks of anything in minutes. Anyone can be successful with it.
We also have a few dedicated shapers for high volume operations.
I realize this is not for everyone but if you reach the point where it makes sense it is a game changer, go and don't look back.
Marc, our outboard fence has digital readouts. Two clamps hold the fence that rides on cheap linear bearings.
Adjustments are quick, easy, repeatable, and accurate.
Used to be, and probably still is, when you buy a top of the line Weinig, they give you a nice 12" straightedge to set up with. Nothing more. Intimidating until you know how easy it is to use.
It is used as Adam describes. Same as a jointer set-up, with setting the outfeed table in line with the knives.
A shaper with DRO fences is a dream for us, but then we only have a few repeatable set-ups, but it would be heaven to have those so easily set.
My machinist (?) tools, in the order of usefulness: