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bobzig's picture






SgianDubh's picture

(post #94053, reply #1 of 29)

zig, I use a Felder. Good machine, about $5,000 in the crate.

The models you mention are also pretty good at their price point. Like everything else, you pay your money and get only exactly what you pay for. I imagine that the Grizzly you are interested in  will work fine within its limitations, and as long as you learn and understand those limitations you'll be in good shape.

And, by the way, there really is no need to


Not an auctioneer or a barker in your day job are you ?


Slainte, RJ. 

Do I work really hard, or do I hardly really work? 
cdwm's picture

(post #94053, reply #2 of 29)


  When it came time to upgrade my shaper, I checked out just about every one on the market. Finally, my wallet and I sat down and had a talk. I bought a good ol' used 2 speed Rockwell. I put in a new 3hp motor, reversing switch, and upgraded the fence and dust collection. Grand Total: $850 Canadian ($50 US ---- LOL!), and 2 days downtime. The new machine runs everyday and I couldn't be happier with it.

  If you're going to be using it for cabinet doors, my advise would be to try to buy a good used machine and put the money you saved into a power feed. It always makes me feel better to have a power feed between me and a big panel raising bit, and the cut quality is dramatically increased. However, if you really want to buy new, check out GENERAL. Every piece of GENERAL machinery I own is top notch, and for what it's worth, it's made in Canada. Good luck with your search.

     C. MURRAY
Upraiser's picture

(post #94053, reply #3 of 29)


I found a nearly new used Powermatic, came with lots of bits or tools.  I own several Grizzley products, they work, but they are not the quality of the Delta, Powermatic etc. I will not purchase anyothers. I am not saying that they are a problem, or a bad machine. I have friends that use them a lot.

One thing to consider. At some point in time you will need to get rid of them, the name brands are a lot easier to get your money back than the off name imports.

I would rather find a good used domestic or name brand machine than save a few bucks on the Grizzley.



bobzig's picture

(post #94053, reply #4 of 29)


Thanks for the input. I've been a little skeptical about Jet also. I've read numerous good comments on the forums. People often speak of the excellent customer service, but in the back of my mind I can't get rid of the thoughts a friend put there. He use to work for one of the major lumber chains that carried the line and said they had a lot of defects. That concerns me. I hate when equipment breaks.

I would rather spend a little more money and get something good that is going to last and be reliable, than hurry into a purchase. Been there, done that. Have learned it is better to be patient.



IronDog's picture

(post #94053, reply #5 of 29)


I have a Grizzly 3hp shaper and it works just fine. The table is machined nice and flat.

The fence required a bit of shimming to get the two halves in plane. Other than that there isn't much to a shaper. The cutters spin round and round and go up and down. No problems in other words.


You Don't Know. You Don't Want to Know. You Aren't Going to Know.
dgvffd's picture

(post #94053, reply #6 of 29)

I use a Star brand shaper with a sliding table.  3 HP.  Pretty darn sure it came from the same factory that the Grizzly stuff comes from BUT I picked up a free 3hp Grizzly the other day (owner never got around to using it) and my Star seems to be a bit beefier. 

However, as to quality of work, the Star has run about 5 hours a week on average since I purchased it years ago.  That may not seem like alot but believe me that is a huge amount for a 1 man shop!  Like over 700 hours of running time!  I have had a few little problems but I was able to take care of everyone with minimal down time. 

I USE a powerfeed about 95% of the time unless using a template and bearing.  A power feed (stock feeder) allows me to run material up to 72 FMM when I don't care about the cut quality.  When I care about the finish quality of the moldings I run the stock feeder at 13 and 26 FPM.

Here is a review of a molding head I have used very successfully on the shaper.


Douglas Vincent

Upraiser's picture

(post #94053, reply #7 of 29)


The corragated shaper blades are an inexpensive way to go for short runs.  I have used the Grizzley 1" head on a 3hp Powermatic, made some 3" wide window trim and 3"crown molding.

I use it with a power feed and have run MDF through it. It will usually do one house befor I need to sharpen them, then I usually just hone then. I don't remember how many feet I ran.

BTW I did have one come loose. That will make your day. I was running some hem/fir for window trim, lots of it.  It began to make a funny noise. I immediately shut it down.  One of the cutters was loose. It did not come out since it is held by a tapered gib and the corrigations.  I could slide it out of the top of head when it stopped.

I hone mine on a Makita power water stone, it is the same one I use to sharpen the planner blades.  It seems to work fine.

I have had a shop do it, but they take so much metal off that I could see I would be lucky to get three sharpenings out of each tool.




RLMillard's picture

(post #94053, reply #8 of 29)

I don't know if this will help you make up your mind, but I'm using the Delta Shaper my Grandpa bought in the late 1930's. Other than the belt, everything is original and in perfect condition.

finebuilder's picture

(post #94053, reply #9 of 29)

I also have a 5 hp delta about 10 yrs old.Great m,achine except for a need to shim up the cutout that goes around the cutterhead area.  cope and stick tend to "drop" into and out of this area. any suggestions on how to do this?  Can one buy these very fine large washer shaped shims?


AJepson1's picture

(post #94053, reply #10 of 29)

miami sammi, you could drop by a tool and die shop and they would more than likely be able to help you out. all you need to do is tell them the thickness of shim that you need and they could make one out of shim stock in a few seconds.

JPGrout's picture

(post #94053, reply #11 of 29)

You might look at your insert closer. I have the same shaper and the insert has adjustment screws built into the holes where you screw it down to the main table. If you do not have this type of insert you could always make your own shims out of brass stock of the correct thickness.

As to the main topic I have The above mentioned Delta in my own shop. I also have access to a 7 1/2 hp delta, and a sliding table Felder. The felder has a tilting arbor feature as well but it seems to degrade the cut because it isn't a rigid spindle. It does allow you to modify profiles with fewer knives but I doubt if I would ever consider owning one myself. All three shapers have power feeds as well an I feel that it takes a simple machine and makes it increadibly versitle The cut quality is many times better than what you can do hand feeding stock. As was stated earlier the only feehand work I do on shapers is work requiring jigs and bearings. Joe

finebuilder's picture

(post #94053, reply #12 of 29)

You are the Man!!  Don't know how I missed the adjuster screws, but did!  Thanks loads!!!!


fdampier's picture

(post #94053, reply #13 of 29)


   the shaper you are so proud of is dead.  Delta doesn't make it any more.  Now if you buy a Delta you get a made in Tiawain piece that's way inferior to yours.  Once you under stand that the old Delta is dead you'll be better to judge the stuff that's available now.

  Grizzly, Jet, Delta, General is all made in Tiawain.   They all have their good points as well as their bad ones. I'm attracted by Grizzly's rugged simplicity and the fact that they tend to have more grunt then most for the buck. (plus I like ordering stuff whenever, rather than waiting for the store to be open)

  I learned the hard way I bought a Jet and I coulda had a  3 hp Grizzly for the same price.  World of differance between the 1 hp Jet and a 3 hp. Grizzly  Like almost 200 pounds and 2 extra hp.  {plus my Jet is only a 1/2 inch spindle not the 1/2, 3/4, 1inch interchangeable that Grizzly has.}

bobzig's picture

(post #94053, reply #14 of 29)


Have you seen or used the Grizzly since you have commented about it. I own a lot of Delta power tools, and I have had fairly good luck with them, but there are some obvious changes in quality over the past several years.

Of all the responses that have been posted, there has only been one or two Grizzly users. Either they are not responding, or they don't use the forum. I would be happy to know about good or bad experiences with Grizzly period.

It stands to reason that if they make reliable products, the shaper should not be an exception.

Being a hobbyist, I have an initial project of a ton of cabinet doors, but after that who knows. The spindle size options sure make the piece more usable for more projects. I'm just not sure I can justify spending $1500 or more for the Delta when it may not see a lot of use. I agree with your comments on the Jet and am still a little leary about it. Have you had good luck with it?

I still don't know enough about the Grizzly to feel comfortable purchasing one.



fdampier's picture

(post #94053, reply #15 of 29)


  I've gotten a bunch of stuff from Grizzly.  They make good products for the money and they are simple and basic to work on should they need help.  I bought my first Grizzly (8 inch jointer) because it was cheaper than Delta's 6 inch one and I'd had bad luck with the Delta stuff I've bought.

      It was great!  Much better than I expected.  That convinced me to try their 20 inch planer when my Delta wouldn't do the job I bought it for.  Have you ever seen a 26 foot long 6x12 white oak timber swallowed by a Grizzly?  Well I have,... several times, plus all of the timbers for my timberframe.  (It won't swallow my 12"x12" timbers but then I don't know of anything that will....)

  One of the woodworkers at work owns the 12 inch cabinet saw and he can't say enough good things about it so that's my next purchase.  I've gotten a lot of stuff from them and I'm happy enough to praise them as well as recommend them.  Woodshafters knows that I'm more than willing to comndemn when I'm not happy.

bobzig's picture

(post #94053, reply #16 of 29)


Thanks for the feedback. That is very helpful.My most recent Delta purchase was the 18" drum sander. Table height would only move about 2" right out of the box.

It took me about two hours to adjust it so it would work. And then a few hours into working with it, I attempted to adjust it a little to high and lost the adjustment again. Only took a half hour the second time since I knew what I was doing.

It was still a little disappointing to spend more time working on the equipment that working with it my first day of use. Since that I've been happy with it enough to recommend it also.

I've been intrigued by the Grizzly spec's and price, just hadn't seen much in the way of feedback on its performance or reliability.

Thanks again


fdampier's picture

(post #94053, reply #22 of 29)

Hi Bob,

  I just reread my post to you and realized I hadn't answered your question.  How's my Jet shaper been? well right out of the box it was terrible. nothing and I mean nothing fit or worked. as I loosened things up and readjusted things, I got it to work and now it does acceptable work except bigger boat syndrome.

  You know, once you're in the water that boat that seemed so big on the showroom floor shrinks to puny size. I now want a power feed so the work comes out better, but the damn Jet is way to tiny to hang one on, hense my looking with lust at the Grizzly 3 hp one.

  All I can say about tools is that size does count.  the most expensive way to buy a table saw is the way I did.  I started out with a table top, went to a contractors and now I want a cabinet with a sliding table.   That means I wasted over $1000.00 learning what my needs were....

  The funny thing is since the last kick-back wacked my Delta out of adjustment ...Again! I'm doing much better using a straight edge and my skil saw!  any roughness is taken out by the jointer (which I use anyway!) for cross cutting I always have used the sliding compound miter saw. I find it much easier to move a skil saw than a great big hunk-a-wood.

bobzig's picture

(post #94053, reply #23 of 29)


Sounds as if it is not uncommon for these tools to be way out of alignment right out of the box.

I know shipping probably takes it’s toll, but it almost seems obvious that these companies must not be QC’ing the products before they leave the factory.

I work in the electronic, and it use to be that 99% or more of all tape decks that were purchased, were out of alignment, right out of the box. Cost didn’t matter.

I really don’t think shipping had any effect on the adjustments, because some of the adjustments were glued once they were set, and if there is one thing to be said about electronic equipment made in Japan, if it weren’t for glue, the country would fall apart.

They love the stuff and use it where ever and when ever they can.
I’m planning on attending the Woodworking show in the Chicago area in a couple of weeks, so I hope to check out the Grizzly thee. Will probably make a purchase the following Monday.

I’ve done the same things with tools.

My problem right now is my shop is really small.

I have to move something, to use something else.

When I add a shaper, there won’t be any room for me.

Actually I can work fine in the room, but I occasionally have a buddy that comes over and we do projects together. That may be a problem from here on out.


SlyCook's picture

(post #94053, reply #25 of 29)

Hi Zig, pleased to meet you.

I use a 5 hp Powermatic and two 3 hp Grizzly shapers. And I'll tell you why.

The two Griz cost less than the Pm. BUT, they are not that great. The spindles wiggle all around when I raise and lower them. So the fence has to be reset to accommodate the spindle movement. It would be very frustrating to set up for cope and pattern cutting and get good fits. So I made great fences/guides and leave the cutters on the machines permanently. They are very good used that way.

The Pm does all my special work as well as grind out raised panels in a single pass. I've had to put a lot of work into making fences for that machine too.


bobzig's picture

(post #94053, reply #26 of 29)


Thanks for the feedback. Not exactly what I wanted to hear about the Grizzly's, but better now that later. Do you think the problem is a design flaw, a defect, or just the fact that it is inexpensive equipment.


Bob Zig

SlyCook's picture

(post #94053, reply #27 of 29)

Zig, I wish I could give you a smart answer on why the Pm is so much better. I got out a flashlight and mirror so I could peek around. The castings are almost identical. The spindle movement is constrained by steel dovetailed guides that are bolted to the castings. Apparently the machining of these guides is sloppy for Griz. Just a bit of wander here translates into a *lot* of play at the cutter.

I knew this going into the deal, bec I inspect the exact machine I buy. Part of what I wanted to offer is my advice that a shaper needs lots of accessories. One is a dial indicator mounted on a magnetic stand. I always bring it to look at equipment.

When you buy a shaper, put a blank sleeve on the spindle to cover the threads with a smooth surface. Set the indicator onto the sleeve to show horizontal movement, and crank the spindle up and down. My Pm showed smooth, beautiful vertical movement with just a thousandth or two of horizontal wander. The Grizzly's crank hard and pushed the indicator needle all over the place. Rotational stability was much better.

Making a raised panel assembly uses three cutter sets. I would never have had any fun making these with a Griz. I still had frustrations when I used just the Pm, but that was not the machine's fault. Blowing one stile and having to start from scratch, will leave some hair on anybody's shop floor.


shaperinerds.jpg39.52 KB
bobzig's picture

(post #94053, reply #28 of 29)


Thanks again.

Sure is baffling.

Did you buy the two Grizzly's at the same time and have you ever contacted Grizzly about the problem? If so, what was their response, and if not, why not?

It makes me wonder if they had a run of parts out of tolerance, and are only servicing those that bring it to their attention rather than do a recall.

The other thing I would like to know is, if you contacted Grizzly, how did they respond to problems.

Almost nothing worse than being left out in the cold when you have a problem.

To many manufacturers are only interested in selling new equipment and not servicing what they sell. So much of that in the electronics business it isn't even funny.


dgvffd's picture

(post #94053, reply #29 of 29)


5642.28 in reply to 5642.27 

Zig, I wish I could give you a smart answer on why the Pm is so much better. I got out a flashlight and mirror so I could peek around. The castings are almost identical. The spindle movement is constrained by steel dovetailed guides that are bolted to the castings. Apparently the machining of these guides is sloppy for Griz. Just a bit of wander here translates into a *lot* of play at the cutter.


The splindle movement in the up down direction constrained by the steel dovetail guides are adjustable. You should be able to tighten them up and rid yourself of most if not all of the play.  I completely dissassembled a Star brand shaper, pretty identical, and was able to, upon reassembly tighten the dovetail gibs up so that the play was minimal.


Douglas Vincent


ecomma's picture

(post #94053, reply #17 of 29)

I run a Powermatic Model 26, equipped with a 2 hp. Baldor Motor.  I bought mine new about 14 years ago for about 1,300.00.  You could probably find a model 26, or good used Delta on e-bay or from a used machinery dealer like Odie White Machinery in Texas.  If you do your homework you will find a Powermatic 27 new runs over 2,000.00 dollars now but you can find a 26 in the 900 to 1000 dollar range.  I'm not knocking Grizzley or anything, but there are thousands of Powermatic shapers out there over 25+years old still operating daily, you can't knock that record.  Good Luck


fdampier's picture

(post #94053, reply #18 of 29)

Like many others I have heard the stories of how great delta/ general is/was.

  I too wanted good quality stuff. But first everthing had to fit my budget.  I had certain tasks that had to be completed  (like building a 5000 sq.ft. timber frame house out of rough sawn wood and finishing it to cabinet standards)  I could have bought Delta everything, heck who hasn't heard great stories about grandpa's table saw?

  All I can say is that I hate repeat, HATE the Delta stuff I've got and love the Grizzly stuff. I see no reason I can't hand it down to my grandchildren.  Basic, simple to work on and  does a nice job.

  I repeat the Delta / General stuff etc. isn't up to the standards of the old stuff, it's made in the same place that the Grizzly is, but there isn't the middle man  markup, you buy direct.

sschefer's picture

(post #94053, reply #19 of 29)

Jeeze Frenchy, bad day on the Delta Service Hotline or what...ROFLOL. Nope... ROFLMAO.... Damn its nice to hear someone say something absolutely politicaly incorrect, this is what I think, straight forward and totaly honest for once......Thanks you made my day! How's the house doing ?


Steve - in Northern California

Edited 4/9/2002 9:25:29 PM ET by Steve Schefer

Edited 4/9/2002 9:53:03 PM ET by Steve Schefer

AJepson1's picture

(post #94053, reply #20 of 29)

Frenchy, only general international is made in Taiwan. General machines are made in Canada and are still as good as they were when they first started out. they are also more expensive, but your paying for skilled labour. also, i'll bet the workers at general take a lot more pride in their work then the taiwanese do, which has its benefits for the consumer.

BTW, laguna makes a planer that can handle 12" thick.

fdampier's picture

(post #94053, reply #21 of 29)

Too late,

 yesterday I plained the 12x12 timber.  (two passes per side with the Mikita1806B), it wasn't real elegent but it worked.   While I have one more 12"x 12" x24 foot long timber,  I'm gonna leave that one rough.  It's over the garage door and the only part visable will be the bottom, behind a row of stone,on top of the garage door.

 the rest of the beams can be run through the Grizzly.

   I bet a 20 inch General cost a little more than the $1300 I paid for my Grizzly

  Now on a differant tack, I wonder why  people defend their choice of tools?  (myself included)   I think I do it because I see value and hope others do too, thus reinforcing my decision.

  Actually I'd be interested in some kinda poll where ownership is the requirement, and hours/bd.ft. records are kept.

  I was at the sharpening service a month ago and a guy brought in a set of planer blades for a 6inch Delta.  They weren't very dull, just a touch up would be all that was required.  I asked him about his Delta and he waxed lyrical about how great it was,  48 years without any breakdowns. This was only the second time he sharpened them.

            HMMMMmmm!  48 years and the blades sharpened twice? I wonder just how much use it has gotten...

  I sharpen  blades about once a week sometimes more.

0697's picture

(post #94053, reply #24 of 29)

Andrew - your right on about General in Canada.  They are some of the best machines around.  Only Northfield can top them, but at 3 times the cost I'd stick with General.



Edited 4/12/2002 11:36:55 AM ET by Lar Summitt