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JET -35X Industrial Shaper
It's new, it's heavy and it's nicely done
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
JET's new JWS-35X Industrial Shaper demonstrates their continued dedication to accuracy and durability, driven by plenty of power to handle the tough jobs woodworkers tackle in their shops. They used high quality materials and manufacturing bolstered by a string of user friendly features to make the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper a cost-effective tool for virtually any woodworking shop. To insure its long-term value they cover the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper with a 5-year warranty!
The JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper comes with a large 26 3/4" by 32 1/4" cast iron table. Pre-drilled and tapped holes at the rear corners of the table make it ready for any of the Powermatic power feeders. The table also has a full-sized 3/4" by 3/8" T-shaped miter slot and a full-featured miter gauge is included.
The table has a 7 1/4"-diameter opening to accommodate large cutter sizes. Inserts (cast iron no less) are included to reduce that opening to 4 7/8" and 2 5/8". The table surface is a comfortable 33 1/4" above the floor. An industrial-sized, screw-in starting pin is standard equipment and installs to the left or right of the cutter.
The large capacity theme continues with the solid fence system. Up front are a pair of fully adjustable 4" tall by 16" long left and right face halves. The faces are infinitely adjustable to the left and right of center and each secured with a single finger-operated knob. The extruded aluminum faces (and top edge) have grooves for attaching wooden faces or your shop-made jigs. JET includes a pair of featherboards that mount in the top edge fence slots.
The outfeed (operators left) fence half has a micro adjuster (front to back) for setting up ultra precise jointing operations. A simple scale and indicator by its adjusting knob quantifies the amount of offset being dialed in.
The foundation of the fence system is a sturdy, cast iron housing. That housing flows to a 4" diameter dust port with tabs welded around its inside edge that help break up the large wads of debris shapers can generate. JET recommends using a dust collector with a minimum 400CFM capacity.
A pair of fully adjustable safety shields at the center of the fence keeps you safer and enhances chip collection. The forward shield is clear to maintain a good view of the cutter area. The entire fence system is tool-free thanks to finger-operated knobs at all of the adjustments.
Power and Speeds
The JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper is available with three power options. The JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper -35X3-1 (#708323) is equipped with a 3 HP, TEFC (totally enclosed fan cooled) 1 Phase, 220V motor. The JET Industrial Shaper -35X5-1 (#708326) has a 5Hp, 1 Phase, 220V/460V motor. The JET Industrial Shaper -35X5-3 (#708327) has a 5HP, 3 Phase motor, likely to be found in industrial settings. JET motors are rated using the real-world continuous duty cycle rather than smoke and mirrors based "peak" or "max developed" horsepower claims.
An industrial-style magnetic On/Off switch controls the JET JWS-35X motor. A magnetic "key" disables the switch when removed to help prevent unauthorized startups. The magnetic switch protects the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper from potentially damaging power fluctuations. It also prevents the motor from restarting when the power goes off and then comes back on unexpectedly. The motor/cutter rotation can be reversed using a switch on the front of the cabinet when cutter design allows.
The JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper has four spindle speeds, 4000, 6000, 8000 and 10,000RPM.
The speeds are created by a set of precisely machined stepped pulleys on the motor and spindle shaft. The pulleys are connected with a Poly-V-belt, known for low slippage, consistent power application, low heat build up and a long life.
Changing the Poly-V-belt position is tool-free because a single lever releases belt tension. Move the belt to the new pulley position and flip the lever to reapply tension to the belt. A simple adjuster is built into this tension release system should the belt stretch.
An access door on the side of the base cabinet provides access to the stepped pulley system. The door even has a window through which you can see where the belt is on the stepped pulleys to determine the current spindle speed.
Spindle and Cutter Height
The JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper comes with a 1-1/4"-diameter, 4"-tall (under the nut) spindle. The spindle is loaded with a set of various width spacers to accommodate all cutter thicknesses. The spindle mounts into a large, self-centering tapered seat and is locked in place by a large captured nut and a heavy steel drawbar for security. A large steel wrench is included that fits the spindle nut and drawbar. A handy knurled handle just inside the cabinet door locks and unlocks the spindle for making cutter changes.
JET also has 1/2"-diameter (#708380), 3/4"-diameter (#708317), 1"-diameter (#708314), and 30mm-diameter (#708372) spindles (all 4"-tall) as accessories. They also have 1/4" (#708373) and 1/2" (#708374) collets for router bits that are compatible with shaper speeds.
The spindle has a 4" of up and down travel, operated by an 8" diameter cast iron handwheel on the front of the base cabinet. An easy to read scale on the cabinet next to the handwheel shows the changes being made.
A heavy cast iron mechanism below the table keeps the spindle and motor assemblies running true. The rigidity and mass of this cast iron assembly helps prevent vibration while insuring the stability of the spindle and cutter. The elevation mechanism is equipped with gibb screws that let the user dial out any wear that may develop down the road. Judging by the size of this mechanism, those adjustments are likely to be FAR down the road.
If moving the 475LB JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper around your shop is a priority, JET offers their #708119 Mobile Base kit. It has two fixed and two full swivel casters, all of which lock to keep the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper from moving while in use.
In The Shop
The JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper is a dream to use. It is very smooth running, has plenty of power and all of the functions a woodworker needs without the clutter of bells and whistles that just get in the way. The table size and height fits actual real-world people comfortably.
I really like the tool-free fence system. Its overall size is right for all of the projects I can think of, plus the offset capability of the (operators) left fence face makes precision jointing operations simple on the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper.
The 4"-diameter dust port on the rear of the fence kept most of the chips flowing away from the operator. There was some dust ejected onto the table, particularly when using large diameter cutters but the resulting cleanup is unavoidable and a small price to pay for this kind of performance.
The entire cast iron mechanism under the table is big, heavy and well made. Not surprisingly the spindle within it runs true and smooth. The process of changing the belt position on the stepped pulleys is remarkably easy because of the belt tension release lever. This makes lots of sense, works well and should embarrass lots of other manufacturers.
The 3HP motor within the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper has far more power than I can imagine needing but that is a good thing. It is nice to know I have the reserve power should I ever need it. I also like a motor that is loafing through most of its work. Motors tend to live forever when they are not straining through every use. I like taking light cuts regardless of the amount of power I have available. However, the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper can hog out lots of wood in one pass if that is your style.
Setup and use of the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper is very straightforward and I encountered no problems throughout the evaluation. Install the cutter, adjust its height and make the cut. This is a very predictable and dependable machine.
The JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper has the power and capacity to do the jobs woodworkers expect from a shaper. The quality of the materials and manufacturing mean this will be a machine that will serve you well for many years to come.
With a street price estimated at $2100.00 (3-20-2008, this machine is just getting to the marketplace at this writing) just might be as good of a value as it is useful. The huge and growing range of cutters on the market these days means the JET JWS-35X Industrial Shaper will continue to be more and more helpful in your shop.
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