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Alba 1A Shaper.

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Lathejack26/05/2018 18:15:51
281 forum posts
328 photos

..A couple of months ago I was given this Alba shaper, it would have been rude to refuse it.

The rather dodgy position of the motor and the unguarded drive belts will need altering. The cast iron chip tray that sits between the upper and lower main castings is missing, so a new steel one will be fabricated at some point. For now it has just had stuck parts freed off, some of the surface rust removed and a good oil up.

image.jpgimage.jpg.................It is located at my place of work, alongside the Burrell Showmans Engine who's flywheel can be seen in the background.

After machining a couple of test pieces it was soon put to work machining a new key for the Burrells steering worm wheel. I had never used a shaper before, and found this machine to be a delight to use.

It has a facility for auto rise and fall of the table, but the single ratchet mechanism has to be swaped over from the cross feed shaft. The factory illustration shows two ratchet mechanisms geared together drawn in, but I have not seen any with two ratchets fitted. So another future job will be to make another drive ratchet assembly and a pair of gears to mesh them together.image.jpg

Mick Henshall26/05/2018 19:40:04
avatar
536 forum posts
34 photos

Like it, my Boxford is taking down a 3"×3"× 2" Mild steel to make a rigid toolpost for the lathe to replace the compound, played around with depth of cut eventually tried 100 thou went fine until the scotch yoke bit that sets the stroke slipped, I hadn't tightened it up properly I think I'll stick to 10 -20 thou cuts,it ain't a race is it, good luck with yours

Mick

Lathejack26/05/2018 20:44:24
281 forum posts
328 photos
Posted by Mick Henshall on 26/05/2018 19:40:04:

Like it, my Boxford is taking down a 3"×3"× 2" Mild steel to make a rigid toolpost for the lathe to replace the compound, played around with depth of cut eventually tried 100 thou went fine until the scotch yoke bit that sets the stroke slipped, I hadn't tightened it up properly I think I'll stick to 10 -20 thou cuts,it ain't a race is it, good luck with yours

Mick

What a great idea, I have often thought about making a solid toolpost to replace the topslide, particularly for large boring bars. Now you've mentioned it, I might as well use the shaper to hog it out of a lump of steel rather than use the milling machine.

Mick Henshall26/05/2018 21:05:23
avatar
536 forum posts
34 photos

Yep you'll get a nice surface finish with the shaper and watching the old girl go is very theraputic

Mick

daveb26/05/2018 21:13:21
623 forum posts
10 photos

My Alba shaper had both horizontal and vertical feeds, I believe the vertical feed was an optional extra. The only thing this model lacked was the table support, which isn't a problem if depth of cut is reasonable.

Lathejack26/05/2018 22:09:31
281 forum posts
328 photos

Regarding the lack of a table support, I plan to build one in when I get round to fabricating a heavy steel chip tray. It would be handy to know the measurements of the original chip tray fitted to these early type Alba machines.

Years ago I used to visit Nettleham Engineering in Gainsborough, they were a machine tool dealer at the old large Marshall works. Every couple of months I would pop in to browse through their stock of used machinery, spread throughout the huge building. I still have an Elliot pillar drill and Smart & Brown lathe supplied by them. Shame they and the buildings are all long gone now.

I remember the rows of used, and seemingly unwanted, shapers. They always had quite a few Boxford models in stock.

charadam27/05/2018 01:36:45
182 forum posts
6 photos

Slightly off-topic, but Nettlehams seem to be very much alive and kicking:

http://www.nettlehameng.force9.co.uk/

No Boxfords though.

thaiguzzi27/05/2018 06:54:25
avatar
698 forum posts
131 photos
Posted by Mick Henshall on 26/05/2018 19:40:04:

Like it, my Boxford is taking down a 3"×3"× 2" Mild steel to make a rigid toolpost for the lathe to replace the compound, played around with depth of cut eventually tried 100 thou went fine until the scotch yoke bit that sets the stroke slipped, I hadn't tightened it up properly I think I'll stick to 10 -20 thou cuts,it ain't a race is it, good luck with yours

Mick

I have a Boxford. 100 thou DOC is no problem in even the toughest of steels. Just get your tool bit ground right. I try and use butt welded HSS with 5/8" shanks thinned down to fit the tool holder.

To the OP, yes a table support is top priority on that Alba - will transform rigidity and DOC and finish.

John Hinkley27/05/2018 07:29:03
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921 forum posts
313 photos

charadam,

If you look on Google Earth street view at the Nettleham Engineering address, you will find they seem to have diversified into the shopping centre business! Their web site home page was last updated in 2000! I think they may well have ceased trading, at least at the Marshall Yard. Unless I've got it completely wrong. ( Wouldn't be the first time. )

John

richardandtracy27/05/2018 08:55:22
avatar
943 forum posts
10 photos

I have an 8 inch Boxford, but never managed to get around to changing the drive belt. It's a bit(!) ossified and has an attractive shiny surface. As a result it struggles at any speed other than dead slow. I have taken cuts of 2mm x 7 thou feed (sorry for the mixed units, I set the doc with my metric DTI, and the feed with the imperial settings). Anyway it works superbly. The only problem is it's so slow and so fascinating to watch I never do anything other than watch it. I'm convinced Heath Robinson got involved with its design - there seems so much spurious and unrelated motion.

Regards

Richard.

not done it yet27/05/2018 09:30:41
4872 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by John Hinkley on 27/05/2018 07:29:03:

charadam,

If you look on Google Earth street view at the Nettleham Engineering address, you will find they seem to have diversified into the shopping centre business! Their web site home page was last updated in 2000! I think they may well have ceased trading, at least at the Marshall Yard. Unless I've got it completely wrong. ( Wouldn't be the first time. )

John

A simple company check would have given you the answer.smiley Dissolved. A phone enquiry (on Tuesday) would have found something.

Lathejack27/05/2018 10:55:30
281 forum posts
328 photos

I saw Nettlehams website a couple of years ago, I'm sure it's just a ghost site. I seem to remember they had an auction of all their stock, and the buildings were then demolished. I think the front of the original entrance still remains, and it's now called Marshalls Yard.

I seem to recall that the owners office was all decked out in wooden paneling from an old ship. They were pleasant people to deal with, and I really miss the place.

thaiguzzi29/05/2018 07:34:49
avatar
698 forum posts
131 photos
Posted by richardandtracy on 27/05/2018 08:55:22:

I have an 8 inch Boxford, but never managed to get around to changing the drive belt. It's a bit(!) ossified and has an attractive shiny surface. As a result it struggles at any speed other than dead slow. I have taken cuts of 2mm x 7 thou feed (sorry for the mixed units, I set the doc with my metric DTI, and the feed with the imperial settings). Anyway it works superbly. The only problem is it's so slow and so fascinating to watch I never do anything other than watch it. I'm convinced Heath Robinson got involved with its design - there seems so much spurious and unrelated motion.

Regards

Richard.

Concur. All that baloney about set the shaper to work and get on with something else... Is just that - baloney. The shaper works - i watch it...

Ady129/05/2018 08:28:43
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3809 forum posts
519 photos

The shaper works - i watch it...

It's the quietness and ease with which it does its work for me

Removing larger amounts of steel is normally such a violent noisy process but a shaper makes it look like toffee is being carved off a bar

Hopper29/05/2018 08:28:56
avatar
4768 forum posts
104 photos

Nice little shaper. Very handy for cutting keyways at that size too. Just make sure to use bicycle clips to restrain your flared trousers while running that open belt!

Joseph Noci 129/05/2018 09:02:10
738 forum posts
940 photos

The 1A's slightly bigger sister..

From this:

shaper_19.jpg

To This..

front-1.jpg

side-1.jpg

smoking chips2.jpg

Joe

Mick Dobson29/05/2018 12:39:37
21 forum posts
10 photos

I picked up an Elliott 18M shaper a couple,of year ago when a neighbour's father closed down his engineering business for retirement. Not exactly 'picked up' as such, since it has an enormous weight!

I managed to get it home and off a sturdy 4 wheel trailer behind my Volvo Amazon then somehow got it into the workshop. I made some steel plates to bolt under the machine with very HD castor wheels so that it can be moved around. It now sits on sturdy wooden blocks with the castors just off the floor. I also replaced the 3 phase 4hp motor with a single phase 2 hp. More than enough power for what I do with it.

I may fit one or two more e-stop buttons in various places around the machine, just in case.Treat a shaper with respect, they take no prisoners. I really enjoy using it and it has been very useful in updating the Portass Dreadnought lathe with a better cross side and a front and rear toolpost.

Regards, Mick

not done it yet29/05/2018 13:01:14
4872 forum posts
18 photos

‘Treat a shaper with respect, they take no prisoners”

Agree wholeheartedly. That was why I “dipped my toe in the water” with a ‘’handraulic’’ (or “manumatic&rdquo example!

Still not gone motorised, but now casually looking around - if a suitable contender happens to turn up...

 

Edited By not done it yet on 29/05/2018 13:05:08

not done it yet29/05/2018 13:07:20
4872 forum posts
18 photos

I have given up trying to make a sensible edit in the above post! Should read (‘manumatic&rdquo.

NO IT DOESN’T!

Edited By not done it yet on 29/05/2018 13:10:51

Cornish Jack29/05/2018 17:05:17
1158 forum posts
163 photos

NDIY - I think that you need to leave a space before the closing bracket.

rgds

Bill

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