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Router table or Spindle Moulder

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Dave_G

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Hi,

I have been toying with the idea of getting a router table. In the main I will use it for making finger joints and cabinet doors. Today I have been offered a used and in good working condition Jet spindle moulder, for only a few pounds more than a Trend professional router table.

So, the router table or the spindle moulder? Which will offer the most flexibility? Should I go for the stand alone moulder?

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

David[/i]
 

simuk

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Problem i have found with the spindle moulder is, there isn't much info out there showing you how to get the full benefit out of it.

I have purchased Basic Spindle Moulding by Roy Sutton which is a must for the beginner but thats about it.

In the future i am going to make some storm proof casement windows, which should involve the spindle moulder , and would love to purchase a a book or video to help me and guide me safely through the task.

Simon
 

jasonB

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You will find it almost impossible to do finger joints an a spindle moulder, its not that easy on a router table as a few recent threads have shown.

If your doors are in timber then the spindle will be better, if they are MDF then you will have to lay out a lot of money for TCT cutters as the usual HSS ones loose their edge very quickly in MDF.

I have both and use whatever is best for the job in hand.

Jason
 

woodshavings

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For basic spindle moulder training, attend one of the Record free training/demonstartion sessions on the C26 Universal - It used to be on the Maxi 26, but I guess the dem is essentially the same.

The use of guards, feed rate, safety points etc are all covered. It is usually demonstrated using raised panel cutter.

Although the C26 is a universal, its use in spindle moulder mode is virtually identical to a standalone.

John
 

ProShop

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I agree that there's very little help & advice with reference to spindle moulding. That's propably due to spindle moulders have always been in the domain of proffesional workshops and large factory style machine shops and when companies bought these machines as part of the package was the appropiate training to go with it. Some of this training took several days and on some moulders it was weeks, so books etc were not needed. What few manuals that were available mainly consisted of machine maintenance

Things are changing in more recent times and moulders are moving into smaller workshops, DIY, & home hobbyist's and as mentioned in this thread there is becoming a need for such publications.

And has been mentioned in an earlier thread the lack of promotional literature to the benefits of spindle moulding by the various importers and manufactures and retailers.

I have found in my experience over the years :) that if you want to make big items you need big machines.

IMHO Doors, window frames, door frames etc, the spindle moulder wins hands down every time.
 

Steve Maskery

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This is an interesting debate.

I have both and my router table (Norm with an improved fence) gets used on virtually every project.

My SM gets used once or twice a year.

There is nothing wrong with it, and for some jobs it beats the RT hands down. Raising panels, for example, and using profiling jigs.

But a RT is so much more versatile and is easier to set up and use.

The big advantage of SM used to be cutter costs - very low compared with a large complex router cutter, but even that isn't as true as it was, as technology has made cutters cheaper.

If you are making big stuff, doors and windows etc, then, as Felderman suggests, a SM is the right tool for the job. But for smaller stuff in a home workshop, I'd say a good RT is more useful. Certainly if I was starting from scratch now I wouldn't buy a SM at all, and the money saved would buy some pretty darn big router cutters.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
Cheers
Steve
 

ProShop

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One of the main problems I found with Router tables was how poor the fences were, and how fiddly it was to adjust the cutter height, which I found very frustrating and time consuming, only to find I was having to make so many passes to achieve my goal. Some of the RT's that were available were IMHO pretty dire affairs :( . So I bit the bullet and went for the Spindle moulder and haven't looked back. I still use a hand held router quite a bit though

But since I joined this forum I find that there are some very imaginative members making their own tables utilising some good quality fence equipment from various suppliers and even fitting router lifts which has certainly from my past experiences have made the router table come of age.

As for cutters costs, these have come down in price on both sides, routers and SM, and the quality and choice has gone up considerably. There seems to be a very competitive market out there which has helped in this direction.

I think it's what you get used to and or what makes you feel comfortable with which helps the decision making.
 

Chris Knight

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I went to Kempton Park on Saturday and saw sets of quite decent looking router cutters in both 1/4 inch and 1/2 shanks for about £35 for a set of around 30 cutters.

I looked at them fairly carefully - they had quite a good thickness of well machined carbide, and were actually useful shapes by and large. Cutter and shank lengths were a bit mean but for just over a quid each I reckon they were super value. Were it not for the fact hat I had all the profiles (often in cutters that cost more than the entire set!) I would have bought a set of these. Of course - maybe they fly to pieces when used and that thought put me off a bit - I have argued along those lines here before!
 

JFC

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If your only doing cabinet doors and finger joints then like most have said go for the router table ,there is a great door making kit for the router but the raised panel cutter doesn't fit thro the hole in the table on a trend RT .
I found the Trend RT very flimsy and gave mine away in the end .
i've now got a Record table with sliding bed and its a far more stable machine but i did pay for someone to make up a fixing plate as the clamps record supply to hold the router don't hold the router very well . i've also made my own mdf fence up and screwed it to the record fence as that also isn't great . But the sliding bed makes up for these downfalls and its a pleasure to do raised panels on the record RT .
Im just getting into spindle moulding and if you get larger jobs like matching old mouldings or like said by others windows and doors then the spindle is the machine for you . Having said that i've been making windows and doors on the RT for the last few years .
If you decide not to go for the spindle any chance of having a look :lol: mine is about 80 years old and i really should upgrade it !
 
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