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JET JWS-25X 3HP Shaper
Full-featured money saver
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 8-10-2007
The new JET JWS-25X Shaper has lots of very useable features built around JET’s tried-and-true cast iron and steel working technologies. A surprising list of features is packed into a surprisingly trim 25”-wide by 25 ½”-deep and 39 ½”-tall package that saves shop space while an equally trim price tag makes the JET JWS-25X Shaper easy on the budget.
The JET JWS-25X Shaper has a full on 3HP, 230V, 1 phase motor enclosed within the all-steel base cabinet. JET rates their motors using a continuous duty cycle rather than the always-suspect “peak” or “max developed” numbers many other manufacturers toss around. Using a real 3HP motor means spindle RPM is very consistent in more cutting situations.
The JET JWS-25X Shaper motor is reversible and controlled by a three position switch that allows selecting forward, off or reverse. This rotary switch is mounted on the front of the base cabinet.
The motor is turned on and off by a magnetic pushbutton switch, also mounted on the front of the base cabinet where it is within easy reach of the operator. The magnetic switch is designed to protect the motor from high or low voltage fluctuations that could damage it. A magnetic switch is also a safety device because if the power goes out, it will not allow the JET JWS-25X Shaper to restart whenever the power comes back on. After the power is restored, the On button has to be pushed to restart the machine. With a 3HP motor, we want to know when it is going to start.
The JET JWS-25X Shaper has two spindle speeds, 7500 and 10,000 RPM. A V-belt is moved between two pulley steps to change the speed. An easy-to-use belt tensioning handle at the motor mount makes this process easy. The mount and pulleys are easily accessible through a large access door on the side of the base cabinet. The door has a window in it so you can look in and see which pulley step the belt is on. Just above the door is a simple spindle lock handle.
Spindles and Height
The JET JWS-25X Shaper comes with ½” and ¾” diameter spindles. 1” and 30mm spindles as well as ½” and ¼” router bit collets are available as accessories. Spindle assemblies come with a full set of spacers that allow using most common cutter thicknesses.
The spindles mount into a self-centering tapered seat receptacle and secured with a large locking nut. A heavy-duty draw bar pulls the spindle down into its tapered seat for added stability and security.
The JET JWS-25X Shaper has an iron motor mount below the table that also controls spindle height within its 3” range of movement. A large chrome plated cast iron handwheel on the front of the cabinet controls the height of the spindle/cutter and makes changing it easy. An easy to read scale next to the handwheel lets you keep track of how much change is being dialed in. Spindle height is locked with a simple handle on the front of the cabinet.
Large Table Surface
The JET JWS-25X Shaper has finely ground 25” X 25-1/2” cast iron table. That spacious work surface is at a back-saving 33” above the floor. A standard sized 3/4” by 3/8” miter slot accepts the included miter gauge. It also can be used to guide your shop-made jigs and fixtures. JET also includes a steel starting pin that screws into threaded holes to either side of the cutter.
The table opening has friction-fit iron inserts with inside diameters of 2 9/16” and 4 21/64”. With both inserts removed the table opening is 6 9/32”. The JET JWS-25X Shaper is compatible with cutters with diameters up to 7” above the table and 6” diameter at or below the table surface.
The JET JWS-25X Shaper fence system has lots of nice features that the average woodworker will use frequently. The fence is based on a heavy cast iron center section that makes it very stable. That casting is shaped to guide dust towards a 4”-diameter port at the rear of the machine that makes connecting a standard dust collector adapter free.
The extruded aluminum faces each have 14-1/2” by 4-3/4” of surface area. The faces are independently adjustable using a finger-operated knob on the rear of each face. The left fence face (from the operators view) has a micro adjuster built in with its own scale that makes setting up jointing type cuts very easy and precise.
The faces have T-slots in the front and top surfaces that make attaching sacrificial faces or jigs simple. JET includes a pair of featherboard hold-downs that also fit into the top slots.
In The Shop
The JET JWS-25X Shaper is very well built with its controls laid out to be used easily.
The spindle height adjustment is easy to use thanks to the large handwheel. Its rate of movement is a good compromise between speed and accuracy. I had no trouble hitting precise setups. The belt tensioning handle inside the cabinet is easy to reach and makes changing speed a far less labor-intensive task that with many shapers.
The fence is fully articulated and easy to adjust. The faces are sized to accommodate most jobs as they are but the grooves and their height make it easy to attach shop-made jigs and fixtures when needed. Some will knock the outfeed-side only jointing adjustment but in all but very rare instances, that’s all any of us will ever need.
Motor power on the 3HP JET JWS-25X Shaper is way above the adequate level. The motor is smooth running and keeps spindle speed very consistent when actually cutting wood. For most home woodworkers and many light industrial situations, 3HP does the job nicely. During my evaluation, the 3HP motor in the JET JWS-25X Shaper never seemed to be straining which usually translates into a very long life.
The JET JWS-25X Shaper is a very capable machine that brings lots of capability in a surprisingly small footprint. The liberal use of cast iron and high-end machining means this machine will have an exceptionally long life in all but the most extreme (say industrial) home woodworking shops.
With an expected street price of approximately $1699.00 (7-24-2008) the JET JWS-25X Shaper is a very good value. Its durability and accuracy mean it will continue benefiting your woodworking for many years to come. And, remember JET’s habit of introducing machines with a rebate or other “special” and the JET JWS-25X Shaper could be even more attractive. At the time of this writing (7-23-2008) the JET JWS-25X Shaper was expected to begin appearing in the marketplace very soon.
I use Infinity Tools shaper tools - www.infinitytools.com
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