I don’t have a shaper so I came up with this alternative. I simply traced the profile of each of my router bits on Mylar ( a stiff, opaque, thin sheet of plastic film that’s available in blueprint and artist supply stores), noting the profile of the bearing as well, then carefully cut out each profile. Next, I punched holes in each for storing on a keychain.
When designing a stacked shape, I create a paper storyboard by using the various profiles to design the final shape. The slightly opaque Mylar allows me to see profiles already traced.
While designing in this manner, you can easily determine if the bit will have a bearing surface to ride on. You don’t need to abandon the shape if it doesn’t: just use the fence on your router table as your guide.
– Carol Reed