One-Horsepower Versus One-Half-Horsepower Power Feeders

What can a half-horsepower power feeder accomplish? August 3, 2009

I have 1 hp powerfeeders in my shop, on shapers. I came across a 1/2 hp one and was wondering: is there much difference? The 1/8 hp one is worthless.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor J:
The 1/2 hp feeders that I have used have a slightly different joint articulation setup. Other than that, they were almost on the same level as the 1 hp versions - plenty of power, but the lighter weight makes them slightly less effective for part stability in the cut. They do fine for lighter machines where the cut is smaller with less vibration - nothing like the 1/8 HP Versafeeders.

From contributor A:
I have a 1/2 hp Comatic on a 3 hp shaper. It's worked great for ten years. I have run 14' boards with it, however it was pushing its limits. I primarily use that shaper for door parts, misc. small mouldings, and the like. But I have at times run a ton of moulding with it. I never had a problem running large MDF raised panels in one pass. The quality and ruggedness is the equivalent of the 1 hp, in a smaller package. Due to its lack of weight a long heavy board might slow it down. The speeds are adjustable by changing the sprockets only. No electronic speed control. I only switch the speed when running long runs of moulding.

From the original questioner:
Thanks guys, I'm putting 1/2 hp powerfeeder on a 3 hp shaper dedicated to make a small bead – that’s it. The 1 hp feeders stay on the 5 and 7 1/2 hp shapers which we've had great success milling all kinds of profiles at all lengths, just was unsure.