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Chopper Opportunity

Stephen Enggass

True Grumbler
Hey all, I have the opportunity to buy a used Jyden Chopper in decent condition for $400-$500. My question is, do you think choppers are really necessary with modern power tools? I have a nice DeWalt miter saw with 80tooth Diablo blade that cuts smooth as glass. With plans for a shop down the road(aways!) should I take advantage of this opportunity? It’s local to me, that’s why I’m considering. Easy pickup. Pros? Cons? Obviously quieter than a miter saw.... thanks.
 
888

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I have both, and use the Morso for moldings with smooth faces. Much better quality. The Dewalts are great for hardwoods. So I'd recommend buying it if you have the money.
 

poliopete

Grumbler in Training
I have both.

On wide or hardwoods mouldings I slightly overcut with the DeWalt and finish the mitre with my Morso (chopper) for everyday mouldings I use the Morso.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Both have advantages but all-in-all the chopper wins.

Woodworking chop saws are for general woodwork and though they can produce good results
they have their drawbacks. You generally can't fine-tune the angles. It's more good luck than
judgement if you get a true cut. I use two (left and right) but the moulding I cut is plain wood and
any minor 'anomalies' can be made good in the finishing. If I were doing wide finished moulding
I would do the same as my learn'ed colleague above^. :cool:

People don't pay a fortune for huge dedicated double mitre saws if they can do the same with a little one. :oops:
 

rhop

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Chopper not necessary but can be useful at times. I like to use mine especially for making frames to stretch canvas.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I have both and only use my Frame Square Saw for wider moulding and very difficult high gessoed mouldings. The chopper is hands down more accurate, a perfect 45 degree cut every time, and less troublesome. The saw has bearings that have play in them, they are or can be accurate to a point but no where near as accurate as a chopper. Am I in trouble...:oops: I know there are many that disagree with me so now you are going to hear how much better a saw is ...
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I have a Chopper sitting in my Garage that I got when buying the contents of an old frame shop.
If I had room for it in my shop, I'm sure I would find a use for it.
We use a Fillet chopper (small scale chopper) on a semi regular basis for cutting Fillets.
It looks like they sell new for about the price that you would be paying for that chopper.
In a previous store, we had cut our Fillets on a Morso Chopper. It worked quite well.

Brian
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
The main drawback of a chopper is undercuts in the profile. Even with sharp blades you are going to
get chip-outs as the shearing action depends on support. It's worse or better depending on how the
grain runs. Some undercuts are quite extreme and the force of the blades may even cause the profile
to deform and spring back, resulting in an imperfect plane on the miter face.

A saw though has no such difficulty with awkward mouldings like this. (If your blades are good).
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Even with sharp blades you are going to get chip-outs as the shearing action depends on support.
Prospero, I agree with you most the time but I disagree here. If you have sharp knives and if you are taking small enough bites, especially the last 2 or 3 cuts, it is very seldom you will have a chip out. It probably happens with me on 1 out of 50 corners and I first always do a test chop to see if chips out, if it does I go to the frame square saw for that frame.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Even with something like this?....rp_4.0_flute.jpg

I've had worse than that. 🙁
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
From what I gather those smaller fillet choppers only cut up to about 3/4" moulding - correct?
Stephen,

That is correct.
Fillet choppers are for use on small material.
Our Mitre Mite (I think that is the brand) can do up to about a 1" width.

A full size chopper is more versatile, but takes up more space.,
If you have the room, I'd consider the chopper.

Brian
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Even with something like this?....View attachment 31693
I've had worse than that. 🙁
Oh heck no :oops: - for sure a saw for that profile but that type of profile doesn't come up that often in my shop thank goodness. Even with a saw that is a tough profile.
 

wvframer

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
That is a pretty good price. Having both increases your flexibility if you can afford it and you have room for it. No single tool is going to do a perfect job in every circumstance. Although I rarely use the Morso day-to-day, there are instances where it has been a lifesaver. I used it exclusively for about 10 years until the surface of most of the mouldings I was buying were crumbling compo in the chopper and I bought a used Pistorius.

In most cases the chopper does provide a more accurate cut on mouldings that are all wood. I am starting to see a few more of these, so am using it more.

The chopper does create waste, but dust control and noise are not an issue.

We are in a period where it is a buyer's market for used equipment. Over the years I have nearly always bought used equipment from trusted framers and suppliers.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I have a Jyden that I bought used 42 years ago. It still performs just as well as the day I got it. I use it for fillets, and for various mouldings. I would say that if you have room, and if you were possibly considering buying a fillet chopper, buy the Jyden instead. It will do a great job on fillets, and give you more versatility with other mouldings too. One important factor is to make sure you have good blades (and preferably a spare set too), and they are properly sharpened (hollow ground). TechMark in Little Rock, Arkansas does a great job on them.
:cool: Rick
 
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