Spindle moulder or router table?

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countrybumpkin

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Hi knowledgeable folk
Still loving this forum, so much knowledge out there.
a question.
I intend on making some basic looking oak windows, will be double glazed (no special profiles just chamfers to look like puttied windows)
What would you guys and gals recommend I could get a way with to machine the main body of the frames and casements? Looking to purchase a spindle moulder or router table less than a grand.
I am a chippy by trade, worked in a few joiners shops so no how to use machinery safely.
any help and suggestions much appreciated 🙏🏻
thanks
 

Doug B

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Definitely a spindle moulder if you’re doing a lot of rebating, it’s much fast & leaves a cleaner finish on the timber with far less breakout, don’t get me wrong you can use a router table for windows I have in the long distance past but the spindle makes it so much easier.
 

countrybumpkin

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Definitely a spindle moulder if you’re doing a lot of rebating, it’s much fast & leaves a cleaner finish on the timber with far less breakout, don’t get me wrong you can use a router table for windows I have in the long distance past but the spindle makes it so much easier.
Thank you for your reply.
that was the way I was leaning. Would you recommend any particular brand below £1k? I have looked at secondhand, but the moving of it would be an issue.
thanks
 

baldkev

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Ive got an old axminster spindle i bought last year. The main thing to consider is actually tooling.... mine came with nothing. I now have a euro block, some cutters. I want a rebate block, vari angle block and wobble saw..... but it all costs 🙃 so aim for a 30mm bore and if possible get something with tooling
 

countrybumpkin

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I had one of these for a while, bought it used off Gumtree for about £200 and sold it on for the same a couple of years later.

Performed much better than I expected and light enough to chuck in the back of a car. Look a bit dated now but worth watching out for one.

Definitely will keep a look out as I picked up a elektra beckum plainer thicknesser. Amazing bit of kit.
 

countrybumpkin

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Ive got an old axminster spindle i bought last year. The main thing to consider is actually tooling.... mine came with nothing. I now have a euro block, some cutters. I want a rebate block, vari angle block and wobble saw..... but it all costs 🙃 so aim for a 30mm bore and if possible get something with tooling
Thanks for the advice 👍
 

Devmeister

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The shaper or spindle molder. As said the 30 mm is the way go. Get a cutter block that will take a variety of steel knives. Many of these heads or blocks come with a variety of knives with most likely the ones you need. Router tables are the fad but I think the English term is “a bit of a bodge”. Shapers cut differently and once you see how, you will never go back. Many smaller shapers also have collet spindles to run the occasional router bit. I run a router bit to cut blind dado grooves every once on a while.
 

TRITON

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Spindle moulders are by far the most dangerous machine any of us can operate. Anything goes wrong it happens fast and violently. So shaw guards, or any such guarding that prevents you from getting close to the cutter block is paramount. This is not a machine to take lightly, no matter who confident or experienced you are.
Small cuts in multiple passes are very important. Too big a cut can result in a total disaster, not only to the component, but to yourself. So limiters are the order of the day, and modern tooling, not some giant block you found on ebay.

Stay safe out there ladies ;)
 

Spectric

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I can understand how a big industrial spindle moulder is better because having seen one at work in a local timber mill they are impressive but for the home woodworker will a smaller version be any where near as good? I had always thought they came into their own when you wanted to produce say skirting in a large batch, but if they are better and can take router bits then why does anyone buy a router table?
 

Mrs C

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I can understand how a big industrial spindle moulder is better because having seen one at work in a local timber mill they are impressive but for the home woodworker will a smaller version be any where near as good? I had always thought they came into their own when you wanted to produce say skirting in a large batch, but if they are better and can take router bits then why does anyone buy a router table?

Cost, size, weight and power supplies are why people buy router tables. And like anything, once you have used a spindle you wouldn’t want to go back to a router table, except for small work.

The cast iron bed of a spindle and the additional power makes it a lot easier to get good consistent cuts over longer lengths of timber.

Also, as per the above post, the spindle requires a huge amount of respect and quite rightly should frighten the average hobby woodworker.
 

Devmeister

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The spindle molder is the queen of the shop but I can understand why some think it’s dangerous.

The split fence was designed to do a jointed cut. The infeed fence is set back a bit from the out feed fence like on a jointer. The issue in doing a jointed cut is the gap in which the cutter rests. A small work piece can get sucked into the gap and thrown about. You will need to check your diapers when this happens.

Most cuts especially with beginners do not need to be jointed so you you would use a slab of day 6 or 12 mm MDF as a fence cover. Move the fence back to let the cutter peak out. This gets you the advantage of both safety and a zero clearance fence.

shaper cutters differ from router bits by having way different hook and relief angles. They run slower and can take much deeper cuts and don’t burn the wood like router bits can.

smaller shapers often use collet spindles allowing them to use router bits. Here you have a machine that works like a router table.
 

Devmeister

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Router tables are a fad in modern woodworking. Their principle is that of a shaper. It allows the occasional woodworker to do simple small shaper operations without having to resort to a shaper.

I just read the MCLS router table lift advertisement. You can now raise and lower your router bit using an app on your smart phone.

Personally I have issues with the modern arms race on the industry especially the hobby market.

You get lured into this false belief that a router can do anything. Then you bolt one to a table. Now you need a box full of expensive cutters. Oh but you need a special fence. But now you need a precision lift. But it’s still a pain so now you need a digital lift that runs off your iPhone. Etc etc etc

At the end of the day ask yourself what you wish to make and how deep you want to go into this world.

On some drawers I make, I actually use a wood bodied grooving plane to cut my bottom dados.

Not because I am old fashioned but because the groove width and depth and location are preset in the tool. Grab the plane, a few strokes and I am done. No messing with cityets, shims, fence positions etc. Judy grab and go.
 

Devmeister

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Are shapers dangerous? I saw one fellow cutting veneer for musical instruments but didn’t have a bandsaw.

so he took the fence off the shaper and installed a 12 inch circular saw blade. He would run the board thru the shaper, flip the board and run it again as he lifted the veneer sheet free.

no fence…. No guards… nothing! Clearly this is an accident looking to happen. It’s not the shapers fault. It’s the judgement of the operator!
 

recipio

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A spindle moulder excels at machining joints - and you will need a sliding table for that. I would also suggest a power feeder which actually makes the machine a lot safer to use. I bought a cheapo' Deft' machine based purely on price ( £600 ) which has neither and now regret it .
You should find a machine on the secondhand market with these features ?
 

TRITON

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I'd the fence move when doing deep moulding in oak. Completely my own fault, didnt crank it down hard enough, 3 phase minimax.
Was about 1/2 way along an 8' section when it spat it back out. Left the machine at a high rate of knots. Took out a small cheapo bandsaw, knocking it clean off the bench some 5' away and embedded itself about 12" into a wall about 12' away.
The bandsaw wasnt repairable. It was terminally injured.
Because i've been trained in college i feed from the front, and therefore wasnt standing it the firing line as more unfamiliar with the dangers might well have been.

My boss in that shop isnt trained, he's a designer but not trained in a machine shop. Panel raising a long section he machined off the top of three of his fingers beyond the first knuckle.
 

clogs

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there are other makes and some even bench mounted.....
I have a little Kitty for working away.....
single phase, 30mm shaft.....
it's not industrial but is OK for the odd shop fitting jobs....
u can buy a good mixed blade kit for not a lot.....and semi specials can be had for £20 a pair or less.....loads on line......
I have a 4-5HP shaper at home....
 
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