phone  (937) 890-5197

Shopsmith Forums


12 posts 1 2

Moulding cutter

#521 by Ed in Tampa » Wed Sep 27, 2006 5:37 pm

I have owned my Shopsmith for 25+ years and I don't know when I bought the moulding head cutter but I have one with 5 sets of cutters.

I got it out today to experiment with it. First thing I noticed as best I can tell nothing in any of the Shopsmith documentation tells which way the head is to rotate. I even looking in Woodworking for Everyone book.

In the instruction they tell you to mount the cutter so the sharp end, non beveled side is facing the mounting screw. This make sense since that side has a bevel around the hole that the bearing goes into.
I mounted the cutter so again this edge side addressed the wood rather than the bevel. I think that is right. Again this insured centrifical force made the bearing lock into the cutter holes if you didn't tighten the screws.

However I did have an interesting session. I can't tell you the last time I shot wood around my shop. But today I did. Thank goodness I had the presence of mind to make sure I wasn't standing in front of it and I was using push blocks.

I managed to cut up one push block and I did get hit with one piece of wood that shot out 90 degree to the axis of the cutter. Wow! I tried slow speed, high speed various cutting depths and etc.

Two things I found in my desire to hold the wood I was evidently pushing so hard that the table was actually going down which of course increased the cutting depth and etc.

The moulding head cutter seems to stress both the machine and I know it stressed me.

I will admit after I locked everything down solid, turned the SS speed up and made sure my depth of cut was fairly swallow and took my time I did manage to produce some very nice cuts. But wow on the learning curve.

Anyone else tried the moulder cutter? What were your experiences?

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

#522 by reible » Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:18 pm


Sorry to say I don't have the shopsmith brand.... but I think most of them work the same way.

The inserts should be in so that the tallest part hits the wood first and the bevel ground part is clearance. Does that make sense? If not I can go shoot a few pictures. It sounds like you did it right anyway.

In my pre router days this was all I had to do moldings with and worked well. Mine has not been out much in the last few years as I have adopted other ways to do things..... you can read this as getting more involved with routers.

If you were seeing a lot of movement/chipping/throwing my guess would be you were taking to big a bite. In most cases you go with from 1/8" to 3/16" on full width cutters... on very hard wood you might even be limited to less then an 1/8" per pass. They cut very fast and produce lots of sawdust and they howl while running... And the edges will most likely need sanding.

Since mine was designed for typical table saw it will run to 3600+ rpm, shopsmith will most likely do the same but some where it should tell you the limits.

As a side comment I have one of these that has only one insert... not the three like most of them have. I got it as a gift but it looks so unbalanced I never used it... it is sill brand new sitting a box somewhere. The one I do use looks more like a thin version of the shopsmith one.


Post a reply  Reply with quote 

#524 by Ed in Tampa » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:34 pm

I think I'm going back to the router too. The reason I investigated the moulder is I thought I had the cutter I needed. However as it turns out I don't. So I'm left with the choice buy a cutter for the router or one for the moulder.

After yesterdays experience I think I'm going with the router thank you!:p

I will say yesterday with the moulder did get my blood pumping. Scariest I have been in a long time. :eek:

I'm just so very happy I had the presence of mind to get the guards, push block and to stand out of the way. Like I said my one push block which served me will untouch for 25+ years got wounded. :)

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

Same here.....

#525 by chiroindixon » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:56 pm

I had a similar experience with my molding attachment. More than just several pieces came flying back. (Yes, I followed all precautions and directions.)

I put the entire outfit up after a blade broke up and came flying past my cheek.

I made the big shift to a high quality router table......and use it whenever I can. Much easier to stay "out of the line of fire".

Anyone want a molder head with 4 and 2/3 sets of blades?

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

Molding Heads

#527 by dulltool » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:54 pm

Ed. My 1955 edition of "Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone" shows the 3 bladed molding cutter used with the S.S. table saw and a sacrifical fence is attached to the rip fence. I recommend you also incorporate the use of featherboards when ever you mill with the grain. For cross grain molding I would suggest you clamp the work to a sliding table. GOOD LUCK!!
P.S. I prefer using a spindle shaper for this type of work!

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

depth of cut

#531 by Unregistered » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:44 pm

I don't have the SS molding head but I have a single cutter version by craftsman. Yes, the sharp edge, tall edge should encounter the wood first, that is also the surfact you would sharpen if you were to use one that long. if you change the other edge you alter the profile. The Key to using one of these heads is SHALLOW, VERY SHALLOW cuts. I have to be desperate to get mine out of the drawer. Having had an experience simular to yours with wood shards hurtling around me and memories of kickbacks buried in the drywall. Give me a router table any day. Life is to short to spend it with a chunk of wood buried in my arm.

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

#532 by Ed in Tampa » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:18 pm

dulltool wrote:Ed. My 1955 edition of "Power Tool Woodworking for Everyone" shows the 3 bladed molding cutter used with the S.S. table saw and a sacrifical fence is attached to the rip fence. I recommend you also incorporate the use of featherboards when ever you mill with the grain. For cross grain molding I would suggest you clamp the work to a sliding table. GOOD LUCK!!
P.S. I prefer using a spindle shaper for this type of work!

I asked this question on the Yahoo forum and got some good feedback. The problem was I was making my depth of cut too deep. I then compounded the problem by trying to control the wood by using brute force to keep it on the table. This in turn was causing the table to creep down and thus increasing my depth of cut.

I went back to the scaps of wood and pieced each on together, in each case there was tool marks in wood nearly 3/4 deep. This means the tool had to be projecting at least this much when it hit the wood.

I should have used more feather board or saw buddies to keep the wood firmly pressed to the table but not putting any downward force on the table supports pushing the whole thing down.

Secondly I probably was rushing the cut since past experience with a router has taught me maple will burn fairly easily.

There is a guy Alan from England that apparently uses the moulder head cutter fairly frequently and highly recommends it.

I may order some cutters and give it one more try.

If I had my preferrence I would have a dedicated moulding cutting machine. One that is built like a planner where you place the cutters in a horizontal shaft and like a planner feed the wood through. In fact if I could find an old lunch box planner I might try to make one. You would have to lower the drum speed but it should be fairly easy conversion.

A shaper or router may be a problem for the cut I need.

I want to product moulding about 1 1/4 -1 3/8 inch wide 3/4 inch thick. Starting from one edge I want to make a cut like is produced by SS cutter 555041 so the wood would have a 1/8-1/4 inch ledge about 1/2 the thickness of the board then a hump ending in another 1/8-1/4 inch ledge, that ledge then transitions into a cove cut with SS cutter 505565

Looking at the moulding from left to right would be narrow ledge about half the way up the side that then turns into an upside down U then another ledge and gentle cove down to about 1/8-1/4" thickness at the right most edge of the board.

I don't know how I would do this on a router.

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

#533 by Ed in Tampa » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:57 pm


Here is a picture or diagram of the moulding I need to make. Any ideas how to make this?

I'm wondering if it might be easier to make in my Radial arm saw. I could turn the head so the moulding head would turn parallel to the fence, then with the wood flat on the table push it through, lowering the head on each pass until I got the depth I wanted. I could build a jig that would hold the wood down and the only force then would be the that of moulder shoving the wood back at me.

Any ideas or suggestions are welcomed.


moulding.jpg (21.08 KiB) Viewed 20816 times

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

Moulding cutter

#537 by jimthej » Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:56 am

After looking at the picture it looks like a two stage operation. Molding head to cut the bullnose in 3-4 passes. Table or Radial arm saw on an angle to cut the exact cove. I think this calls for several trial pieces until you get the angles and depths just right.

Post a reply  Reply with quote 

#538 by reible » Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:00 pm

Or if you have a router and table you would use a bullnose bit and a cove cutter or perhaps a horz. crown molding bit... One pass with the bullnose bit then change bits and make two or maybe three passes to get the cove. You might get by without even having to sand or at worst case a light sanding will be all that is needed. And for safety I would make the wookpiece larger then you need the cut it to size after or maybe make 2 and rip them apart after. You will also have to think about the order of the cuts... like maybe the cove cut first followed by the bullnose... In other words it takes a plan before you start cutting no mater what way you go.

If you are not sure what these bits look like go to:

bullnose bit = 17062 or maybe a bit like an edge beading would work =17833

cove cutter = 17645, horz crown = 7876

These are not necessary the sizes but just examples of what they look like. Any you are not limited by this company it just happens that I have their catalog near my desk so I'm using it for a reference.


Post a reply  Reply with quote 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 31 guests

Board indexDelete all board cookies

Welcome to Shopsmith. Please fill in this form and we'll send you more information and special offers for the Shopsmith MARK 7 and other woodworking topics.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required