View Full Version : shaper video

02-12-2005, 07:06 PM
i have no idea how to compress video at present, so i have a 6.3MB AVI file of the shaper running. if you have an easy way to download it, click on the link below:


the part i'm cutting is the base for the quick-change toolpost for my lathe. the shaper is running about 11 strokes per minute, with about a 8" stroke. i recorded it with my Canon digital camera (not a video camera) so the sound isn't that good, but the shaper isn't really that loud when running anyway. most of the noise if the idler motor on the RPC.

andy b.

02-12-2005, 07:11 PM

02-12-2005, 07:29 PM
Just a 30 second download.

Nice vid. Do you have a stroke length adjustment? Thanks for the video. JRouche

John Stevenson
02-12-2005, 07:43 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by IOWOLF:


G.A. Ewen
02-12-2005, 07:44 PM
Good video. Those members that have never seen a shaper running will enjoy it.

02-12-2005, 08:03 PM
That video was terrific! As mentioned, the video is great for those who have never seen a shaper in operation -- me!

Bob Quale
02-12-2005, 08:12 PM
Nice video!

Why not zing the camera around so we can see what other goodies you have in the shop!


02-12-2005, 08:20 PM
I'm glued to the screen, watching the chips fly, when the wife walks in. "Are you watching something awful??" I reply it's just a big machine going in and out!!!

Nice video, post more as you have 'em.

Barry Milton

02-12-2005, 08:32 PM
Is that a carbide tool bit in the holder?

02-12-2005, 09:05 PM
I don't mean to be pickey, but you normaly tip the claper head away from the direction of the cut, this allows the tool holder to swing up and away from the cut. That's what my mentors taught me over 30 yrs ago.


02-12-2005, 09:09 PM
Nice vid andy. It only took about 1/2 hr. for the download (actual time) on dialup connection. I was suprised, the little window said it would take 57 min.


02-12-2005, 09:20 PM
i'm glad you guys enjoyed it. i was playing around with the shaper for a few hours figuring out what works and how to use it.

yes, the stroke is adjustable from about 4" to 20". the ram position can also be adjusted fore or aft about 10", but once the stroke gets over a certain amount that adjustment doesn't do much.

i'll have to take some more videos once i figure a good way to compress them (at least that will be my excuse until i get some more junk cleaned up).

yup, it was a brazed carbide bit. it is a lathe tool and when i first put it in the shaper the clearance angle under the bit was too shallow and rubbed on the work. then i ground it a bit too steep and chipped a bunch of the carbide off. it took me a few tries to find an angle that worked and didn't chip. plus i was experimenting with how big of a cut i could take. i eventually switched to a HSS bit and it worked as good as the carbide, but was MUCH easier to grind to shape (and cheaper).

i'm still learning, but it was a fun afternoon figuring it out. plus, after i machined the toolpost base, i made a few cuts on the old SouthBend lathe and it is NICE having a quick-change toolpost on it.

my next project is the B&S #2 Universal horizontal mill. i'll definitely get some video of that once i get it running. i need to figure the wiring out as it has a separate motor for the power feeds and the control box is not very straight forward.

andy b.

02-12-2005, 09:29 PM
Nice video

02-12-2005, 09:31 PM

i didn't see your reply until after i posted mine. i'm not exactly sure what you mean about tipping the clapper head. i was basically just taking a few 0.001s off across the entire piece, so i left everything set up pretty close to 90 degrees. i guess i could've rotated the clapper 10 or so degrees, but it seemed to be working okay. when i made the 1/4" step for the T-slot on the lathe carriage i did notice that the cutter wanted to walk up over the ledge when the ram returned, so i think i do need to rotate the clapper at least a few degrees. i never had any formal training in any of this, so any tips are definitely appreciated.

andy b.

G.A. Ewen
02-12-2005, 10:15 PM

I have several books on shapers. One that is easy to get and is cheap is the South Bend shaper book that is reprinted by Lindsay Publications.


02-12-2005, 10:24 PM
Nice video...it would be good if we all had access to a video camera, fast broadband and a place to host video files then we could see some machines at work...

That was the first shaper i have seen working, I see now why industry considers them obsolete...

Al Messer
02-12-2005, 10:41 PM
Yep, "Industry" does consider them obselete, but for us "Old Guys" with nothng but time on our hands, they are a beautiful piece of machinery, and do it with such cheap HSS tool bit blanks.

02-12-2005, 10:48 PM

That's an incredible 7-B on eBay...original Atlas stand, original Atlas swivel vise (which sometimes sell for $$$ alone), etc. One of the most complete 7-B's I've ever seen, and cheap (at this time).

Barry Milton

Bob Quale
02-12-2005, 11:15 PM
Andy B,

I am in no way an expert!! I have a shaper about your size and here is what I do. I tilt the clapper about 10 deg away from the direction of travel on the cut. I use T-15 and run it dry. My cutter has about 10 deg of side rake and I put it in a holder that has about 10 deg top rake. I have about 5 deg clearances else ware. I run at 30 to 60 strokes per min and take .020 cuts on 4140 steel. On cold roll or mild steal I take up to .050 cuts. I advance the cutter .015 on each stroke. The finish on these cuts are very good, and the cutter goes for ever before sharpening! The faster speed and deeper cuts really speeds things up. I also put a big metal can in front of the table too catch the very hot chips that the shaper peels off. I can send a pic if needed. Hope this helps.


G.A. Ewen
02-12-2005, 11:47 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ringer:
Nice video...it would be good if we all had access to a video camera, fast broadband and a place to host video files then we could see some machines at work...

That was the first shaper i have seen working, I see now why industry considers them obsolete...</font>

Andy was running it quite slowly in the video. Metal can be removed at a surprizing rate once you practice with it a bit.

02-13-2005, 08:22 AM
I agree with the slow speeed. I get my shaper just wailing through cuts. The secret if you speed up that old shaper is to have it SECURELY FASTENED TO THE FLOOR or it will walk away from you go right through drywall and give you a moment of anxiety.

Ben Diss
02-13-2005, 08:27 AM
OMG! So that's what a shaper is! I had no idea. Thanks!


02-13-2005, 01:47 PM

How would you secure to the floor? If there was something you could screw the machine into on a grid pattern, that would be neat. Don't know what that would be, though.


02-13-2005, 10:47 PM

thanks for the info on setting the clapper and cutter. i'll give it a shot next time i fire the shaper up. like i said, i'm learning. i have one book, but i need to check some of the links others mentioned to get some more.

to the others that mentioned the speed, yes, i was running it as slow as it would go. the top speed is 70 or 80 strokes per minute. i can't even imagine the ram moving back and forth in less than a second. or course, at this time it is NOT bolted to the floor. there is an old 20" Excelsior drill press about 5' in front of the shaper, and i doubt it would even slow it down as it went through the garage/shop wall.

andy b.

02-13-2005, 11:25 PM
Concrete anchors & shapers are like bread & butter! Shortening the stroke to minumun helps, but it's impossible to defy that law about "equal and opposite reaction"!

Shapers are the perfect combination of old school brute force & "modern technology"( 1950's, that is).

Peter Sanders
02-14-2005, 01:03 AM

It has been many years since I used a shaper, however I don't remember being told about angling the clapper box, though that may be correct. I think it would depend on the operation in question though. If you had to remove a substantial amount of metal keeping the clapper vertical and adjusting cut depth you can cut in both table travel directions.

Also it is important to reduce the stroke to the minimum to clear the work at both ends. This speeds up the process and allows you to increase the stroke speed. The (arm) mass builds up less momentum in a shorter stroke. Of course there are other factors such as the material being cut and the depth at which it is being cut.

Using this video as an example, the stroke appears to be about twice the length of the material being cut. Shorten the stroke to the minimum and the machining time would then be approximately halved. :-)



[This message has been edited by Peter Sanders (edited 02-14-2005).]

02-14-2005, 07:26 PM
My old shaper book says the speed of the shaper in strokes per minute is calculated by multiplying the cutting speed of the material times 7 then divide that by the length of the stroke. Allow "a little" over-run on each on the front and back of the workpiece when figuring the length of stroke. I guess that formula would look like
speed = CS X 7 / stroke length
Also, says all stroke length and stroke position adjustments should be made with the ram in the full rearward part of the stroke.

Eastern Maine, USA