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Is this a router, or is this a router?

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TRITON

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They appear to be trying to reinvent the router but forgetting we've had routers for a long time.
I see from their site they have a £400(ex vat) workstation for as they state..cutting box joints,a nd no doubt dovetails, mortise and tenon joints and a full range of everything there are already shop or industry made jigs and fixtures for.

Have they not heard about guide bushings :?

The latest router for the shop that already has 1/2 a dozen routers, jigs and fixtures.
Then theres the time it takes to actually complete a cut. You tube vids show the user working incredibly slowly. I know as do we all, a guide bush, a jig and you'd fly through the work, and not have to worry about going slow and steady to keep between the lines of the parameters.

Im sure there are applications for it, shame they haven't chosen to demonstrate anything different that the applications we already have and use.

And I suppose theres always room for accidental movement outwith the lines. A guide bush, inside a slot isnt going anywhere, but slip on this and it ruins the job.

CNC fitted to guide rails, controlled by servos and by a computer to a set of input requirements yes, yes and thrice yes. And who wouldnt want one of those ?. But this, sorry this maker cannot find a use for spending £3000-£4000 on it.
 

Doug B

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Of the folks I know who have them they now say they wouldn’t be without the Shaper, I guess it’s like a lot of tools if you don’t have a use for it then to you it’s a waste of money but for those who need this tools functions it’s worth every penny.
I can certainly see why it is popular with folks working on site, I can see the point that it might appear slow but making jigs to rout one off items is slower.
 

sploo

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Of the folks I know who have them they now say they wouldn’t be without the Shaper, I guess it’s like a lot of tools if you don’t have a use for it then to you it’s a waste of money but for those who need this tools functions it’s worth every penny.
I can certainly see why it is popular with folks working on site, I can see the point that it might appear slow but making jigs to rout one off items is slower.
Indeed. It also has the ability to have simple shapes configured on the device (so you don't need to go to a computer first); i.e. if you needed an 8.7cm diameter circular pocket that was 5mm deep you can just get it done.

I can see it would also be very useful for routing inlays on an otherwise mostly finished piece of furniture.

Personally I'd consider one at ~£500, but not at the current price. Though I can absolutely accept that if it's the "right" thing for a business then it could pay for itself quite quickly.
 

Distinterior

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I can see it would also be very useful for routing inlays on an otherwise mostly finished piece of furniture.
.
One of the very first videos I ever saw of the Shaper in use, was doing exactly this^^^
It was on a very large, solid timber table in a conference room and the guy was using the Shaper to cut the rebate for a really nice inlay pattern into the surface. The table was so big, it would have been a nightmare to disassemble the table and try and move the top to a workshop environment...!
 

pils

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I guess the difference is that even a very skilled person is going to have to use templates to achieve the level of precision shown in the video,,this gadget does it for you, and the way things go it might just turn up in lidles in the not too distant future,,,I will have to wait till then.
I second the Lidl approach.
 

JobandKnock

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...a handheld CNC router, who is in charge ?
's obvious - the machine.

Skynet has arrived!

Do you remember the spoof on the Fiat Mirafiori advert, "Designed by computer, made by robots..... Driven by a moron"? Can't see that getting used out on the sort of site work I've done - even on a decent shop or restaurant fit I can't see it lasting very long
 
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Doug B

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Can't see that getting used out on the sort of site work I've done - even on a decent shop or restaurant fit I can't see it lasting very long
Times are changing 40 years ago when I started the only power tools I had were a drill & a jigsaw, with the huge choice these days of different materials & finishes it would be impossible to achieve an acceptable finish in a profitable time scale on these new materials with the power tools I started with.
Power tools have progressed to the point that I can get a workshop grade finish quickly on site & the shaper is just an extension of that giving CNC quality in a handheld device.
As I said earlier whether you need it or not is down to the work you do, as for the longevity of the tool I’ve never had a problem with Festool in that regard so don’t see the shaper being any different, that said I worked with a bloke who broke a cast iron Wadkin table saw through misuse, so I guess it’s how you use your tools.
 

TRITON

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Power tools have progressed to the point that I can get a workshop grade finish quickly on site & the shaper is just an extension of that giving CNC quality in a handheld device.
" CNC quality on a handheld device" I dont know what this means.
But can you give an example of a job, on site that is, where this thing can do something a router and jig cannot. In that quality work is being done currently with said router and jig.

OK. I can see that to produce a jig, you've a fair bit to measure out, draw, cut and shape and all be accurate. But I feel the same should be stated for the cutting system on this shaper, albeit that its a bit of tape you stick down, it still needs to be accurate so a bit of measuring, lines drawn, tape applied to those lines etc etc.
But are the jobs on site that custom that you would ever need to come up with something different to the patterns we already have.
In the vid he's shown cutting parallels .The job there could be as supports for shopfitting, on a display rack or such. Which again are currently carried out by a straight edge and router.
 

Doug B

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A friend inlays images into flooring particularly in schools with the shaper he can cut any shape & size without the need for templates, I can only go on what he has said but he loves the shaper.

The tape doesn’t need to be that accurately put down with regard to accurately making out, it just needs to be roughly equally spaced so the machine can read it as it’s using it to position itself.
 

JobandKnock

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My comments were as much to do with the nature of the environment as anything else. Everything, and I do mean everything on a site gets hammered from time to time and I would be very concerned about the durability, long term accuracy and serviceability of something like this. I can see a use for CNC in the workshop, but other than potentially as a deskilling device I'm not sure I see this being much use in most situations I come across.

And as for "artwork" on floors, I've seen it made up in the workshop and brought out to site and I don't see there being much advantage in this, if any, other than as a retro fit. Either way, not really a useful tool to many at this stage
 
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Doug B

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Why deskilling @JobandKnock the only reason I don’t own one is I don’t have the computer skills to program one same goes for a traditional CNC though I don’t really have room for that option which is why I‘m interested in the Shaper.

Whilst the machine might be new to some folks they’ve been on the market for 5 years & clearly Festool see a future in the technology or they wouldn‘t have bought the Shaper company.
 

JobandKnock

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Why deskilling @JobandKnock the only reason I don’t own one is I don’t have the computer skills to program one same goes for a traditional CNC though I don’t really have room for that option which is why I‘m interested in the Shaper.
For starters you don't really need computer programming skills any more and haven't for more than a decade because there are a lot of CADCAM packages out there which can generate a tool path for the CNC directly from your (CAD) drawings. It is just another skill to acquire and if you have ever done any technical drawing in the past you are already part way there. Learning G and M (machine code) whilst potentially interesting is often unnecessary

As I said, I don't see this as a game changer in the construction industry - it is only a 1/4in or 8mm low power router unit, isn't it? If someone can give me examples of real world bulk jobs that this can speed up, then, maybe, just maybe, I will review my opinions. As it stands it is just another fancy "toys for the boys" item
 

Spectric

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The days of numerical control have past, I used to email CAD drawings to a firm who would then laser cut the parts out of a sheet of steel, could be 2mm to 10mm and even though I can write software in several languages all I needed for this was a drawing. Most things have gone this way, once upon a time we spent ages writing "ladder logic" for PLC's but now you use a graphical programing enviroment that is like putting a jigsaw together. But as for that Shaper CNC thing at the moment to me it is a gimmick, what can it do that a router and template not do?
 

paulrbarnard

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The days of numerical control have past, I used to email CAD drawings to a firm who would then laser cut the parts out of a sheet of steel, could be 2mm to 10mm and even though I can write software in several languages all I needed for this was a drawing. Most things have gone this way, once upon a time we spent ages writing "ladder logic" for PLC's but now you use a graphical programing enviroment that is like putting a jigsaw together. But as for that Shaper CNC thing at the moment to me it is a gimmick, what can it do that a router and template not do?
I think the point is it can do very accurate one off or low volume work without having to make a template, which for a complex inlay would be a very tricky job in itself.
 

Spectric

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That is strange because normaly CNC is used for batch work, one off's and specials are done manualy. I suppose this is like the modern sewing machine with built in functions and the ability to download your own, but as yet not convinced. This could be because I am not in tune with Festool, I know they aim to deliver a system that will allow Joe bloggs to pick up woodworking with a minimal learning curve but I love jigs, @Steve Maskery is also a jig fan when you watch his videos and see what he uses.
 

Doug B

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For starters you don't really need computer programming skills any more and haven't for more than a decade because there are a lot of CADCAM packages out there which can generate a tool path for the CNC directly from your (CAD) drawings. It is just another skill to acquire and if you have ever done any technical drawing in the past you are already part way there. Learning G and M (machine code) whilst potentially interesting is often unnecessary

As I said, I don't see this as a game changer in the construction industry - it is only a 1/4in or 8mm low power router unit, isn't it? If someone can give me examples of real world bulk jobs that this can speed up, then, maybe, just maybe, I will review my opinions. As it stands it is just another fancy "toys for the boys" item
I don’t think it’s aimed at the construction industry per se or for bulk jobs, that’s the work of large static cnc’s which can be programmed to churn out large volumes, it’s aimed at folks like myself wanting one off jobs on a small scale. Dismissing it because you don’t have a use for it doesn’t mean it hasn’t got worth to others that’s like me saying HGV’s are worthless as I can’t drive one :unsure:

At the moment anything I want cut on a CNC I have to take to a friend, he as I understand it programs the measurements on my sketch into the CAD program on his computer & then the CNC cuts out exactly what he’s drawn, this is a skill set I don’t have mainly down to my age having never been taught about computers or indeed not owning a computer, so I definitely don’t think of imputting this kind of information into a machine as deskilling, quite the opposite.

I believe the Shaper will take up to a half inch or 12mm cutter but the unit itself is only around 1hp but for it’s intended use I don’t think you would need more power it’s not made to be ripping through laminate worktops etc.

I honestly don’t understand the negativity when it comes to items like this, this is what builds progress, as others have said they’ll wait till Lidl start selling them, whilst probably said in jest this is how it works eventually this technology will trickle down but at the moment it is expensive as it’s at the fore front with all the expense that goes with that.
 
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