Shaper Origin Comes to Town!

Shaper Origin Comes to Town!

Last summer, Russ Fogel and Jake Stilwell from Shaper Origin joined Rob Johnstone at Rockler headquarters to make a mid-century styled clock. It has a padauk body, a resin clock face and 60 (yes 60!) raised rays of wenge and canary wood. The project would have been tremendously difficult to make without their high-tech routing tool.

Russ and Jake helped Rob make the clock and, while doing so, demonstrated not only the remarkable features of the Shaper Origin but also how to properly order the construction steps. Rob had used the Shaper Origin several times before, but he benefited from their expert instruction. “I love the remarkable scope of what Shaper Origin can do,” Rob says, “but now I am much more confident when I use the tool.”

Understanding Origin

Rob Johnstone stands with Russ Fogel and Jake Stilwell from Shaper Tools
Jake Stilwell and Russ Fogel from Shaper Origin joined Rob Johnstone to make a highly detailed clock, which demonstrated the versatility and accuracy of this remarkable machine.

So what is a Shaper Origin? “Think of it as a router with a super accurate GPS system,” Jake says. It is essentially a handheld CNC machine.

Shaper Origin locates itself within a workspace created by the user via strips of domino-looking adhesive tape placed on the workpiece. The user can then place a “digital template” onto the workspace, and Shaper Origin machines it by reading the programming. The user steers the tool along a path shown on its touch screen on top. Shaper Origin adjusts its cutting position instantly to correct for minor user errors.

Cutting clock face shape with Shaper Origin and Shaper tape
Whether you see it as a handheld CNC or a router with a GPS system, Shaper Origin vastly expands the scope of what a woodworker can do.

The programming is easy to make on the machine or by using Shaper Studio, and there are also hundreds of designs available at Shaper Hub, including the programming for the clock you see here. That’s one of the best things about the Shaper Origin system. When you buy a Shaper, you get access to all sorts of programming — from plans to hardware installation to templates. There are accessories that add functionality to the tool, too. Learn more by visiting Rockler or at

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