Sharing One Power Feeder Between Two Shapers

Photos and description of a swing-arm-mounted stock feeder that serves two different shapers. July 28, 2006

While reading the Knowledge Base articles on stock feeders, I came upon a comment by a contributor R that said he had a feeder set up to swing between two shapers. I'd sure like to see a picture of that setup, if he happens to see this.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor R:
I also do this between my panel raiser and my sticking shaper. I simply set the two machines together like this, facing the front. I have the panel raiser on the right turned back 90 degrees from the other machine with the back left corner of the panel raiser touching the back right corner of the sticking shaper. The feeder is bolted to the panel raiser on the back left side of the table near where the two tops touch. This allows the feeder to be swiveled around to reach both machines. You may need to bolt both machines together somehow or to the floor so they can't be moved from close proximity to each other. This is the feeder setup on the panel raiser:

This is the setup with the feeder swiveled around to the sticker shaper:

From contributor A:
I'm intrigued by that sizing fence setup on your "sticker" shaper. Is that an aftermarket bandsaw fence or a homemade job? It looks pretty fast to set to an exact width. Does it have a second rail that's out of view?

From contributor R:
That is a Tru-Grip 4-footer clamp I attached to an Accurate Technologies Pro-Scale and use as an outboard fence. I am in the process of redesigning it to be fitted with 80/20 Inc. extrusions and uni-bearings to give a more rigid assembly. The way you see it in the pic, the read head is mounted on the underside of the right end and locks in place with a cam and bolt fitting into the T slot of the extrusion. At the left end that you can't see, the Tru-Grip clamp clamps over the whole width of the white laminated top. It's very fast to set up and acquire accuracies to + or - .005" in board width.

From the original questioner:
I really appreciate the pictures, but now I'm gonna ask some dumb questions. Please keep in mind I'm brand new to shaper ops.

1. What is the difference between a panel raiser and a stick shaper?
2. What is a stick shaper (spindle shaper?)
3. It appears that you have a Formica top on both of these machines. Why?

From contributor R:
These are simply basic shapers that are set up for dedicated operations. The panel raiser is only used for cutting raised panels. The sticking shaper is set up for only cutting the sticking profile of frame and panel door parts (the edge cut that the panel actually tucks into). I don't know where the term "sticking" came from in relationship to that type of cut; it's what I learned 20 years ago. All total, I use 4 dedicated shapers, each with its own purpose.

Yes, the shapers have Baltic birch ply laminated with plastic laminate as a finished top. These shapers came as a 3 shaper set that Powermatic put together about 15 years ago that I believe they called an "Accu-door System." I don't know if they still do this or not, but what they did was create a shaper design they called a Powerstack shaper that has a pneumatic cylinder mounted to the bottom of the spindle that with the flip of an air switch, will push the spindle up or down a measured amount to allow you to make a change in tooling that is already setup on the spindle and minimize down time. As part of the package, they put this enlarged auxiliary top on the machine to give more top surface to do arched top shaping on the machines using an air flotation jig. I then modified them further to accommodate the outboard fence to fit my needs. When I want to use the air float jig, I simply slide the fence off the guide's rails, remove the main fence and put down the air float jig.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor C:
If you have heavy cast iron shapers or other machinery which you need to move a power feeder around to, the way I do it is I welded a 4" steel pipe on top of a pallet jack so I can just wheel it over to the machines and put the pallet jack under the machine and jack it up so the weight of the machine holds the pallet jack tight to the machine. Then you can adjust the power feed to where you need it. All of my machines are raised up so the pallet jack can slide under them. It works very well.