OT: wood shaper

I am going to have 4000 board feet of eastern white pine milled into 6" X 3/4" X 8' boards. None of the local mills will mill the V shaped tongue and
groove for me. I can buy the proper carbide bits for about $100.00 . I was thinking of making a machine that could do this for me. A simple table with fence and have the spindle mounted under in bearings with a sprocket to an old lawnmower engine. What RPM will I need at the spindle? Does this sound doable? Thanks for any ideas.
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and
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I have such a machine, built by my uncle around 50 years ago, but it has separate infeed and outfeed fences for producing shapes that cut the material back. You don't need that for your job, unless your tongues are fully radiused and cut into the parent wood, in which case you'll at least have to build up the outfeed side with some tape or shims of some kind.
Mine has an electric motor with pulleys and turns around 20,000 rpm, for use with cutters under 1" diameter. If you use larger shaper cutters you can cut back accordingly on the revs. Tongue-and-groove cutters are available in different diameters.
There are several designs in the Fine Woodworking books (Taunton Press) for such shapers and router tables. You can find them online and pay just a few bucks for the PDF files, or buy the book(s). BTW, it sounds like you have something like 10,000 or more running feet of shaping to do, if you have 4,000 rough-cut board feet that has been dressed to 6" widths and 3/4" thickness, shaping both edges. But it's pine, and, if you have a good router, building a simple router table and replacing the bearings once in that if you have to (knots are the only thing that would challenge the bearings) will be a lot cheaper than building something from scratch.
Also BTW, I would NOT do that much tongue-and-groove work on a shaper. I'd do it on a table saw with a shaper head and a set of tongue-and-groove cutters. Quicker, probably more accurate, and one hell of a lot cheaper overall. Set it up with some feather boards and it will be a piece of cake. That's about the number of running feet of pine I rip on my saw every year for a scarecrow event my wife runs in our town. It takes half a Saturday. <g>
Let me make one final suggestion. Tongue-and-grooving boards wastes a lot of material -- roughly 1/2" or slightly less per board. Something that would be easier, cheaper, maybe slightly stronger, and that wouldn't waste stock would be to groove both edges of all boards and fit splines. If its an interior application you could make splines of that thin Italian poplar ply; luan ply; or cheaper solid pine. Finally, you could use biscuits, which would be very quick. But it wouldn't give you 100% splining between the boards.
I'd go with the plywood splines unless I really wanted T&G, in which case I'd do it on the saw rather than the shaper -- and I already have both the shaper and the cutters.
Ed Huntress
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I thought the cutters were only available for shapers but I have since seen them for routers. The set I saw have 1/2" shanks, does this mean my little black and decker router with 1/4 collet is likely not big/powerful enough for these bits? I wouldn't mind buying a new router anyway. Could you describe this shaper head thing for a table saw, what does it look like and could it be used with my cheap little bench top table saw? I am not looking for standard T&G I want the style that when fited together looks like a V groove in the seam, can the table saw method produse this? Here is a link to the router bits http://www.houseoftools.com/product.htm?pid 495 BTW. Thanks for you help.

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seen
Yes, you need a bigger one for that kind of work.

Here's your excuse. <g>

look
There have been many of them on the market over the years. Sears used to have one with a single cutter, which I liked because I could easily make my own cutters out of old HSS power hacksaw blades, a bench grinder, and a Dremel (actually, I used my die grinder, but I've made similar things with the Dremel).
They're called moulding heads. Here are the current offerings from Delta:
moulding head: http://www.deltawoodworking.com/index.asp?e 9&p#96
cutters: http://www.deltawoodworking.com/index.asp?e 9&p#66
You'll see taper-fitting tongue and groove cutters on the latter page.
The multi-cutter heads are much faster but a small saw might do better with the single-cutter type, if they're still made. I've run multi-cutter types on an old 9" direct-drive Sears saw and they ran fine, but that was a cast-iron saw and pretty darned strong for the type. I use one on my 10" contractor's saw and they're good on that. However, the 3/4 hp motor I had on there originally really bogged down. Now I have 1-1/2 hp and it's much better.

is
Aha. You're making pine panelling. Well, you might have to search the vendors in Fine Woodworking to find what you want, or grind your own. I'd do the whole job with a straight tablesaw blade, myself, in multiple cuts...if it wasn't 10,000 lineal feet. <g>

My pleasure.
BTW, you'll get some more expert help on this, and probably more up-to-date info, on rec.woodworking. Those guys really know their stuff.
The first thing I'd do, though, is to go to:
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/index.asp
...and search on "router table." You'll find 763 references. Check a few of them out.
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Ed Huntress
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The single cutter style don't seem to be available anymore. I have one, went looking for the cutters. Only available in sets of 3. That's ok, I just buy the straight ones, grind the profile I want.
Ed Huntress wrote:

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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 21:45:09 GMT, "Ed Huntress"

I have a device what was always called a cabinet head. It is used on my DeWalt RAS and it can be used on a table saw as well. It has 4 individual cutters in it, and was mainly used for making lipped doors on cabinets, but you can get a vast array of cutters to do most anything imaginable with it. Look at any good online woodwoorking supply shop and they should have a cabinet head or whatever its called. Sure wouold be lots quicker on a TS or RAS than a shaper especially if you have to build the machine, and it would save lots of wear and tear on the average router. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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If it's the one I'm thinking of, they aren't cheap, but they're very good.
Ed Huntress
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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 23:17:23 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Roy) wrote:

I have the same sort of thing I once in a while use on my Craftsman radial arm saw or the heavy iron Wards table saw (both 10")
Sears calls it a moulding head, has 4 cutters to a set, and I have about 5 diffferent sets.
Gunner
"Gun Control, the theory that a 110lb grandmother should fist fight a 250lb 19yr old criminal"
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X
was
an
sound
<<snip>>
cake.
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Ed...I have used the shaper head that you mentioned and altho I have no problem with most spinnig hard/sharp things, those just scare the tar out of me! I'd go with the shaper to do the T&G. Smaller diameter cutter running at about 12,000rpm for an 1 1/2" cutter will be more accurate than a planer head and worries me a LOT less.
Also, I'm just guessing here, but I don't think the OP has a table saw that'll drive a shaper head...they need lots of power.
If he does have a 1 1/2hp table saw, he could do it buy just ripping the tongue in 2 passes each side and the groove is done with either a dado head or two blades mounted on the arbor.
Just my $.02
Mike
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of
They do take a little getting used to. <g> You definitely want a cover on these things. I usually make one out of wood to suit the occassion, as I do with dado work. The hold-down can do double duty as a blade cover.

I suspect you're right -- at least, with multiple cutters. I'll have to see if Sears still has that single-cutter head. That's what I used on my 9" saw.

head
Exactly what I'd do...if it wasn't over 10,000 lineal feet of cutting. That makes it worth the price of the right tool.
However, if his saw has no power, the "right tool" may be a heavy-duty router and a router table.
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You could do this with a table saw. Otherwise just buy a shaper use it for this job and sell it when you are done. Cost will be cut in half.
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On Sat, 10 Jan 2004 22:05:21 -0600, "The Davenports"

Your not alone in the scare the tar out of you with those cutter heads. As good as it is and in all the eyars I and my father previoously had had it, never once do I recall a close call or an accident though, but its still a scary item. Maybe it has something to do with the awesome sound it makes, I don't know.
Another item that I do not care for is the stackable dado blades. Not the kind you dial in the width and it wobbles, but the ones that are different widths you put together to get your dado width. But then again those wobble head dado blades make me leary just as well.
Must be old age.....naw couldn't be, I was always leary of them even as a youngin. Visit my website: http://www.frugalmachinist.com Opinions expressed are those of my wifes, I had no input whatsoever. Remove "nospam" from email addy.
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For years I had two table saws, one usually set up with a dado-blade stack, and I used them nearly every day. It's quite true that a dado set or a moulding head will give you the creeps if you're used to the gentler, quieter, less-energetic cutting of a single blade, and they involve some larger forces that deserve a lot of care and respect.
But you get used to them, and they work fine if you take proper precautions. Most of us get pretty sanguine about kickback with a single-blade setup; you can't do that with a moulding head or a dado set. You must always use some kind of topside protection with a dado or moulding head -- a strong wooden "L" hold down well-clamped to the fence is my usual -- and you have to stay the hell out from behind the stock in case of kickback. Knotty pine can be a terror in that regard.
I don't think that using those things should be traumatic, however. They're different, and there are clamped-in blades in the case of the moulding head that you have to worry about getting loose, but, frankly, my 6" jointer is creepier to me than a moulding head on a table saw. If one of those jointer blades lets go (it happened to me once; fortunately I have an *old* jointer, with a very heavy, cast-iron hold-down, which shattered the blade as it came loose), you've got some serious mass flying at very high speed.
Ed Huntress
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wrote:

spindle speeds can go as high as 25,000 rpm
Yup, sounds very doable, if you cannot find a used one in your area.
Gunner

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habbi wrote:

Used three phase shapers are not expensive. Router tables are cheap. Either option would be safer and easier than rigging something up with a lawnmower engine. When you want to do things on the cheap, just remember that patience is a virtue- start looking and don't jump until a really good deal comes along.
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Standard work for a shaper with a power feed for me. Just stand there at the input side, feeding the lumber into the shaper as the previously loaded piece disappears into the machine and you will be done in short order. A second person at the outfeed end can be helpful in stacking the lumber in preperation for the cutting of the other side. The power feeds make cutting stuff like this very easy to do.
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I have an old Belsaw Planer with 5hp on it. Take out the regular blades, install the appropiate cutter, and you have power feed and perfect safety. but this is big $$
I also have the single cutter moulding head that runs in the table saw (2hp, cast iron base Sears) With the proper guide boards, (all 3 sides) this could work but I'd be a bit leery of the inevitiable knots.
And last but not least, I have a big 1/2" router mounted in the extension table. Does a nice job on this sort of thing.
So which one? The planer is nice, just feed and go. For the OP, I'd suggest a no frill high hp 1/2" router mounted in a study table with some long infeed and outfeed tables. I don't even really like feather boards, I clamp some STRAIGHT 2x4's in appropriate places so all I have to do is shove the stock in. I also have a vacumn port for my shop vac to help clear chips from the cutter head.
But of course the correct solution is a shaper with power feed. Not enough room in the shop, not enough need to make it worth while. Sigh.
habbi wrote:

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