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Shapers work by mounting shaper cutters onto its spindle. The spindle rotates at moderate speeds and cuts a profile into the woodpiece as it's fed through. Some spindles can mount router bits, but most use specially fabricated shaper bits for the bigger jobs that routers can't handle. The most common spindle sizes are 3/4" for small shapers and 1 1/4" for larger ones. Some shapers have interchangeable spindles.

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