By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

My ALBA 2S NC Shaper nears completion

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Joseph Noci 120/08/2017 21:27:48
645 forum posts
877 photos

Most of the mechanical work, wiring and software for the Shaper, now reborn as an NC shaper, is done. Z axis stepper wiring still to complete, and then software tests start. All the software functions have been tested 'on the bench' and the next step is to get the actual axes moving ( auto-feed) so that stepper accelerations with the associated inertial mass of the axis table and slide can be calibrated.

The broken vertical axis dovetail has been replaced, new dovetails cut, and thank goodness that worked out very well indeed. The vertical slide itself was undamaged, but I opened up the dovetail from 55deg to 60deg, as that was the cutter I could obtain..The mating dovetail was then made from a disc of PhBronze and a 16mm ballscrew fitted in place of the old, very damaged and worn acme leadscrew..

Hope to make chips in a week or so!

Most of the work leading to this stage has been covered in a number of my posts, so here goes maybe one last one..

Opening the 'tails to 60degrees.

top slide 55 to 60deg.jpg

Machining the Male Dovetails in the bronze add-on. The cutter is 65mm OD..

half bronze base.jpg

test fit of the two halves

test fit of both halves.jpg

Drilling and tapping the fixings for the ball nut

ball nut fixings.jpg

Ball nut and screww fitted

trial ballnut assy.jpg

monting holes1.jpg

Holes to bolt two parts together all drilled - counterboring for Capscrew heads next:

counter boring mounting holes.jpg

Locating pin in Mill T slot base to locate holes for counter boring:

locating pin for counter boring.jpg

Test bolting:

head and dovetail.jpg

Thrust Bearing block for Leadscrew Bearings and Drive pulleys.

leadscrew in block.jpg

Start of assembly of complete vertical slide:

trail unit assy under1.jpg

trail unit assy1.jpg

unit plkau ram head under.jpg

unit plus ram head.jpg

trial assy on shaper1.jpg

trial assy on shapet oblique.jpg


David Standing 120/08/2017 22:04:42
1288 forum posts
48 photos

You are an inspiration to all of us! thumbs up

Rainbows20/08/2017 23:19:47
640 forum posts
182 photos

If the entire dovetail is a bronze does it or the gib wear first? :v

Joseph Noci 120/08/2017 23:35:11
645 forum posts
877 photos

Rainbows..?? - Well, I suppose it would, rather than the Gib, but then PhBronze has been used in many a bearing surface, and these seem to last many years - The slide does not move that much - its not as active as a lathe top-slide for example. And if the bronze does wear a little, just screw the Gib screws in..

David, thanks for the kind words, and to everyone who has commented kindly, given advice and support and provided many a neat idea or solution during my trials and tribulations with the Shaper's resurrection , thank you very much. I am not quite done, but the end is close and it has been a most enjoyable journey! Thanks to all who endured my verbose postings and helped me on my way!

Need to get done - Have to go and fit some Lions with tracking collars in two weeks time!



Michael Gilligan20/08/2017 23:57:10
15481 forum posts
668 photos

Let me add my congratulations, Joe

A fine piece of restoration and upgrade.


Joseph Noci 121/08/2017 07:57:39
645 forum posts
877 photos

Thank you Michael.

It is such a pity that this sort of equipment just is not made any more! I really do like the British made stuff of the earlier times. There was a variety, a style, and a pride in the product and workmanship. A wheel handle could just be a straight bar with a shaped handle on it, but they were all shaped well, counterbalanced, lots of Balls, and looked beautiful...So did the machines - they had curves, and style - and were sturdy and worked well at the intended task. I know the Americans also made stuff, but somehow nowhere near as prolific in variety and type, and just lacked in style...

The traditionalists, those adhering to the 'Swindon Works' dominion, do sometimes date a little, maybe sometimes irritatingly so, but from their ilk came many a wonderful creation. Saddens me to think this is all done and gone, and the void filled with mostly useless cheap junk. I had, long ago when I was 11 or 12, a Boxford CUD ( I think a CUD) - it was a 4-1/2 inch lathe, with a screwcutting Norton style gearbox. That was my first introduction to British machines and I really enjoyed that Lathe. Also refurbished it, and had many many pleasant hours on it. In my twenties I purchased a larger Eastern lathe, the best I could find,D3 Camlock, also Norton box, etc. Sold it within 3 months - just had no quality, no feel, worked the way it looked..

Why did you lot stop doing what you were so damn good at?? Or was it -

If it wasn't for the nips Being so good at building ships The yards would still be open on the Clyde  - Pink Floyd...

Excuse my Lyrical Waxing...


Edited By Joseph Noci 1 on 21/08/2017 07:59:59

Chris Evans 621/08/2017 08:21:55
1629 forum posts

Joe, you are outstanding in having the vision to do all that to a shaper. Lets see a video of it when up and running.


SillyOldDuffer21/08/2017 08:43:20
5633 forum posts
1157 photos

Joe, not only a cracking good job but done so quickly. Amazing.

Thanks for sharing,


Clive Hartland21/08/2017 08:55:29
2556 forum posts
40 photos

Joe, now that you have re-created this machine do you have a project in mind for it?


Ady121/08/2017 09:01:15
3646 forum posts
514 photos

Why did you lot stop doing what you were so damn good at??

In the case of smaller items like machine tools we were too good at it, an item could last a lifetime so no repeat business, plus the world wasn't very rich back then and getting enough overseas sales was a big problem

No internet either up to the late 1990s so those final skilled survivors which went under in the 1980s just missed those easy global mass market penetration systems that we have today

Some of the problem was like the car market, we were crap at it compared to the Japanese, our car companies went under and they bought a lot of home built tooling, so the home market collapsed

A special mention for Margaret Thatcher who was afflicted with zero vision and 100% ideology, Government intervention was non-existent at a critical time which created a scorched earth effect

Edited By Ady1 on 21/08/2017 09:06:58

Ady121/08/2017 09:08:37
3646 forum posts
514 photos

You've got the nicest shaper in Africa now Joe

Rik Shaw21/08/2017 11:00:50
1313 forum posts
352 photos

Out of Africa comes another lovely "lady" - a smashing job Joe. Watch those lions though, they can be quite beastly I believe.

If you were to start a Yahoo Group for NC shaper owners I would imagine you would feel very lonely - something to be proud of!


Muzzer21/08/2017 12:01:55
2904 forum posts
448 photos

Nicely done, Joe! Good to see you aren't averse to drilling the odd hole to get things done.

Show us it in use when the time comes!

I believe that if your Boxford had a Norton gearbox then it would be the AUD model. BUD had power crossfeed but no gearbox, CUD had neither feed nor gearbox. #UD as in "under drive".


Edited By Muzzer on 21/08/2017 12:06:32

Joseph Noci 121/08/2017 17:04:04
645 forum posts
877 photos

Hi Murray,

Yes, the picture of the Boxford that is just below the one with the white shirted fellow operating a Boxford is exactly the one I had! Brings back memories that does..

Ady1 - I get all that stuff

In the case of smaller items like machine tools we were too good at it, an item could last a lifetime so no repeat business, plus the world wasn't very rich back then and getting enough overseas sales was a big problem

But I never manage to comprehend how it could be done then, with less automation, less people, less factories, No CNC aids and gadgets, No CAD, etc, and we cannot do it economically now...Late last year when I was in the market for a new lathe, I was very interested in the Shaublin 102N-VM-CF lathe - a very nice, accurate lathe, with DRO's, electronic threading, etc. With a set of accessories that made it a useful machine I was quoted 103,000.00 Euro..!!!!!! I was trying to buy a lathe, not Switzerland!!

How, if the world was not very rich then, could the people afford the machines that were being made? And if the world is very rich now, why are there not people making that type of machine or tool or whatever to sell to the rich world...I think the machinery and tooling , other than the unaffordable stuff, that is foisted upon us today is generally disgraceful.


Clive, as you may by now have gathered, I seem to enjoy building, making and refurbishing machines and tooling most, so yes, there is a project in the wings - for some years now. I wish to make a small CNC lathe - 250mm between centers, 100mm swing, fully CNC, max spindle RPM of 10,000RPM, full auto-tool changer, etc...I never started because the bed was a stumbling block for me on the small Mills I have. Then the shaper happened, and it will do the bed ever so nicely, as well as the carriage and many other parts. But who knows, other Ideas are brewing too...

Thanks again to everyone for the support and very kind words!

When the Shaper is doing some work I will try make a video - I am really bad at that and never manage a nice smooth video, without the tummy doing a few turns..



SteveI21/08/2017 19:01:40
246 forum posts
17 photos


Very very nice work. Well done and thanks for posting I wish I had 1% of your productivity. Although at the risk of being shot at I can't help but think you should get the scraper out and finish off those bearing ways with a nice checker board pattern, Schaublin style. Now since your a multifix qctp user, how about a 4th axis indexer on that shapers table for making your own tool holders?

On the subject of schaublin last year a contact of mine purchased a ~1960's Schaublin 135, back then original sale price was around £6000 and I am told the price of a family home was much less. It sold for ~£3000 or so and a family home is in that area in the many £100k range.



All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Allendale Electronics
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest