It's not often that one power tool makes a separate power tool perform well. But that is precisely what happens when a power table feed is paired with a table saw, shaper, or router table. What's so special about a power table feed? Value these advantages well it is unsafe to feed timber against a large shaper or router bit. The need to get your fingertips close to the bit is removed by a power table feed.
Pushing long wood sticks through a shaper or router will produce marks of stop/start and chatter in the wood. This is removed with a power-table feed. For broad kitchen or trim ventures, constant feeding of stock is both tiring and rough on the shoulders. The power table feed doesn't care, and hours will run while you just feedstock on one hand and grab the other.
If you have ever tried to feed into a router, shaper or table saw thousands or hundreds of strips of wood manually, you know that a few things go wrong: delay marks in the stock as you reposition your hands to force the wood in. Chance of damage as the rotating parts or blades are more exposed to your palms. Yes, you should use feather blocks to keep the pressure on. A power table feed, however, is a serious improvement that enables:
1. Constant downward pressure and wood velocity relative to the bit or blade
2. Improved protection as the risk is close to the nylon rubbers, not the fingers
3. Faster output, as the force behind the feed, is not you.
Through connecting to the tabletop of your computers, a power table feed works, and swivels in place when in operation, and swivels back out of place while not in use. It operates by using three or four nylon rollers that draw the wood through the blade or bit and produce down pressure on the table. And by angling the power table marginally against the fence, as the stock is machined, it can hold the stock squarely in the right position.
How do you determine which choice is better to run on your shaper, with a wide range of power table feeds to choose from? We address this question and dissect how the power table feed is suitable for shapers in your woodworking shop to decide.
By analyzing three wheels vs. four-wheel power table feeds, feeding shorter elements, and pace capacities, we split this down. In doing so, we concentrate on the feeds of the mid to heavy-duty power table and not the feeds of the light-duty limited power table.
Three Wheel Power Table Feeds
Three-wheel power table feeds have a lower weight and smaller footprint for three-wheel control. Three power table feeds are around 5 inches shorter and six lbs lighter. Some consumers have suggested that it is easier to move with reduced weight and footprint. The average price differential is very substantial from a three to four-wheel power table feed of the same model, and when swapping the rollers out it needs to be replaced by one less roller.
Four-Wheel Power Table Feeds
With these power table feeds, placement is smoother, since the cutter head is positioned between the two center rollers of a four-wheel power table feed, meaning you simply need to pivot the power table feed to change the toe while adjusting the orientation of the feed. When changing feed paths, three-wheel power table feeds often involve changing the location of the power table feed to the cutter.
With the extra wheel, four-wheel power table feeds also provide more hold-down, leading to a more stable feed, particularly when feeding larger and longer sections. A three and four-wheel power table feed owner claimed that with the four-wheel power table feed, he encountered "less sniping". Another four-wheel power table feed user didn't see any drawback to four rollers and when feeding passage door sections or longer moldings, he particularly liked the extra roller.
As the advantages usually outweigh the higher expense, four-wheel power table feeds are more commonly favored over three-wheel power table feeds. Aside from the expense, as the footprint and weight gap are small, there is no major drawback to four wheels. A three-wheel power table feed will fulfill the requirements for those operating cabinet doors and small trims on a small shaper where climbing cutting is not common. You can't go wrong with the four-wheel power table feed if you're not positive.
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