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WHERE ARE THE SHAPER USERS ?

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Ian McVickers28/03/2021 15:11:43
213 forum posts
109 photos

So finished off the shaper and tested it out today on some ali and mild steel.

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0.5mm deep cut on ali.

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1mm deep cut with wd40 beside the 0.5mm deep cut.

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0.5mm deep cut on mild steel witrh wd40.

ms ali.jpg

Both parts side by side. Impressed by the cut quality.

William Ayerst18/06/2021 12:18:53
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259 forum posts

So, I've got an ML7 and drill press and generally feel like I've got most machining needs covered. One thing that is a bit of a pain is setting up back and forth between turning and milling on the lathe. I'm after some vintage british / euro gear and I've had my eye on some horizontal-and-vertical lathes like the Tom Senior, Centec 2B, etc. - but my heart keeps coming back to shapers.

I'm all about analogue, no DROs or digital equipment at all in my workshop, and it appeals to me alot - but it must also do work. So, if only had a shaper, lathe and drill press - what am I missing in terms of machining actions which are either a) impossible or b) a real faff?

I'm thinking of something like the Elliot 10M or smaller.

Ady118/06/2021 13:05:00
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4728 forum posts
714 photos

what am I missing in terms of machining actions which are either a) impossible or b) a real faff?

The biggie I can think of is the ability to do vertical and Horizontal indexing work on a workpiece

Especially useful on a shaper or a mill

William Ayerst18/06/2021 13:10:08
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259 forum posts

Ah, good point Ady.

Thinking about it though, a dividing head could fit on the lathe (i.e. the Hemginway 'VDH' or a shaper, couldn't it? That's not something a mill can do that a shaper can't, right?

Thank you!

Buffer18/06/2021 16:30:41
293 forum posts
131 photos

I have a Tom senior mill and a shaper. The shaper is very slow compared to a mill. You can't easily edge find on a shaper like you can with a wobbler on a mill. You cant coordinate drill holes, into parts you cant bore holes. Squaring stock is much much slower on a shaper. On a mill I can do most of four sides in one go on a shaper it takes ages. I would never preference a shaper over a mill. And if you have the cash to spend do yourself a favour and get that Tom senior and fit a dro. You'd never look back as you would make parts so much quicker probably with less scrap and maybe more accuracy. Having said that I plan to keep my shaper for novelty value more than anything. I used it this week to rough out iron axle boxe castings before finishing on the mill.

Ady118/06/2021 17:10:42
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4728 forum posts
714 photos
Posted by Buffer on 18/06/2021 16:30:41:

I have a Tom senior mill and a shaper. The shaper is very slow compared to a mill. You can't easily edge find on a shaper like you can with a wobbler on a mill. You cant coordinate drill holes, into parts you cant bore holes. Squaring stock is much much slower on a shaper. On a mill I can do most of four sides in one go on a shaper it takes ages. I would never preference a shaper over a mill. And if you have the cash to spend do yourself a favour and get that Tom senior and fit a dro. You'd never look back as you would make parts so much quicker probably with less scrap and maybe more accuracy. Having said that I plan to keep my shaper for novelty value more than anything. I used it this week to rough out iron axle boxe castings before finishing on the mill.

Buffer is right William, you will get a lot more done if you go semi-modern

By all means hang onto the traditional stuff too

Time is the one thing we can't afford to waste at our age kinda thing

David Harris 818/06/2021 20:35:17
3 forum posts

Took a run down south to pick up the new machine a couple of weeks ago.

Edited By David Harris 8 on 18/06/2021 20:36:03

William Ayerst19/06/2021 10:16:31
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259 forum posts

Thank you for the advice, the shaper certainly seems romantic but if it really is going to be significantly less useful, it may have to wait!

Joseph Noci 119/06/2021 10:41:45
1006 forum posts
1247 photos
Posted by Buffer on 18/06/2021 16:30:41:

I have a Tom senior mill and a shaper. The shaper is very slow compared to a mill.

Generally true, but it would depend on the type and size of the milling machine and Shaper... William does not specify which Tom Senior - digging on Google, there seems to be a few variants? - the M1 might move metal faster than most shapers, but I am not even sure of that, if referenced to say an ALBA 2S or Elliot 14M shaper, both types in a number of hobby shops... The Senior E type certainly will not...

My ALBA 2S can take slice a chip of cross section 3x1.5mm in mild steel without burping. And it will do that over a 300mm length in a few seconds- No way I can do that on my bench top mill..I don't agree about it being difficult to find an edge on the workpiece - very easy - use a sliver of the proverbial fag paper and wind the cross slide up to the cutter till the paper is snagged - many folk do that on the mill!

Also, the cutters for the shapers are much easier to make and much cheaper than endmills of big-cut capability. And easy to sharpen. And you can even use them in the lathe..

I would not be without my Shaper if I can help it!  But, I could not do without my benchtop mill either!.

I think there is a balance - if you can afford a big mill with heft capability, you can probably afford the cost of tooling it - collets, cutters ( HSS, Carbide, ) etc then a Shaper is moot. But if you can't, a shaper is an inexpensive solution to hogging metal in preparation for finer work on the small mill.

And since DRO's are mentioned - if you fit a DRO to the shaper, you will be amazed at how accurate you can work.

Joe

side-1.jpg

Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 19/06/2021 10:43:54

Buffer19/06/2021 17:19:42
293 forum posts
131 photos

Joseph all true no doubt but starting where he is coming from he is building a Stuart 10V which if you don't know 2 of them would sit on your hand and ultimately wants a loco from gauge 1 to 5" or small traction engine. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think he has an ML7 lathe and a pillar drill in a smallish workshop is fed up with milling on a lathe and is wondering whether to get a shaper over a mill. He even said an Elliot 10m or smaller so he certainly won't be taking big cuts. I just wouldn't recommend a shaper in this instance to anyone.

Windy19/06/2021 18:40:10
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872 forum posts
185 photos

I know of a Boxford shaper for sale near York think its single phase.

Was speaking to the owner at Melbourne Drag Racing today.

If interested message me

John Olsen21/06/2021 03:09:14
1196 forum posts
92 photos
1 articles

The shaper compares more to a horizontal mill than a vertical mill in terms of the work it does. Great for flat surfaces, not so good at making pockets and boring holes. You can do some interesting things if you put either a rotary table or a dividing head and tailstock onto a shaper.

However, in terms of the sort of work mentioned, eg small stationary engines and locomotives, my suggested order of acquisition would be the lathe first (of course!) followed by a vertical mill. The mill will also act as a drill. Shapers are not available new, so if you decide you want one, the best course is just to keep your eyes open and see what comes up. On the other hand, if you were able to get a mill that does both vertical and horizontal milling you probably don't need a shaper. Still, I like having mine, and I have three of them.

John

Mick Henshall21/06/2021 09:14:55
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557 forum posts
34 photos

I have a boxford 8" shaper with horizontal and vertical power feeds, it is used frequently and I would not be without it,

There are plenty of operations that can be done on it if one chooses to try, as has been mentioned money does not have to be spent on countless accessories as with

other types of machines, a good site on yt is Rustinox give it a go

Mick

Pete.17/09/2021 21:56:49
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638 forum posts
102 photos

After looking for a hand powered shaper for some time, i found an Adept no2 locally in good condition, another shaper popped up on ebay at the same time, I put a bid on it as well as the Adept thinking someone else will have to bump the price up, nobody else bid, so I now own two hand operated shaping machines.

The second is older, a little bigger, what I would think more expensive when new, and seemingly quite rare, I've found out it's a Bradley Shaper, dating around 1900 to 1920.

Are there any other owners of this quite rare machine?

it's been in storage for a while, thick oily grime has preserved it very well mostly, the only area that has been affected by corrosion is the actual table, I've scraped a bit off, it's a bit pitted, a visit to a local surface grinder shouldn't be too expensive for that one item.

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Ady117/09/2021 23:24:03
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4728 forum posts
714 photos

A shaper can sort its own table and the finish looks ground

Practice on a bit of scrap stuff, get to know the machine and tooling, read up on them

Pete.18/09/2021 00:08:24
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638 forum posts
102 photos

If the cutting tool will reach the back of table, I'll give that a go, do you know what the V pads that go in the two round holes behind the table are for?

missing on mine, but visible on the one at lathes UK Bradley shaper

Ady118/09/2021 07:16:00
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4728 forum posts
714 photos

I hate to say I don't have a clue but I...

I don't think the clapper even gets that far back (3rd down on left piccy)

With those Vs and the curious bracing wall on the back of the table I get the impression there was some sort of specific work it could perform that was useful back in the olden days, and why would you want a 90 degree swivel action?

Edited By Ady1 on 18/09/2021 07:30:54

Edited By Ady1 on 18/09/2021 07:36:40

Ady118/09/2021 08:23:18
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4728 forum posts
714 photos

The wall is the v-ways for the table, so you can move the table AND the clapper on your hand shaper. wow

(usually the tables are bolted in a fixed position)

Edited By Ady1 on 18/09/2021 08:25:29

DC31k18/09/2021 08:31:42
571 forum posts
1 photos

The Vee pads look like they would take a shaft into which you want a keyway machined. The ability to swivel the 'cross slide' so it is fore and aft, thus making the ram movement 'left' and 'right' achieves this.

John Olsen18/09/2021 11:49:04
1196 forum posts
92 photos
1 articles

DC31K has said exactly what I thought when I saw the pictures. Cutting keyways in shafts was once an important function for shapers, and if you look you will find that some power shapers are built so that you can if necessary feed a shaft right through the machine. One of mine has a forked end on the connection to the ram to permit this, so you could if necessary cut a keyway in the middle of a shaft of any arbitrary length. (You drill a hole at each end to permit the tool to start and finish the cut.) The setup on the shaper pictured above would also permit that.

John

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