View Full Version : 1880 Boynton & Plummer Traversing-Head Shaper

10-22-2007, 03:58 PM
I've read alot of posts filled with pride at the acquisition of an antique tool that is still in good shape, and I've searched this site on every key phrase I can think of, but cannot find a reference to anything like what I've entered in my title line. I did see where someone mentioned the American Precision Museum in VT as a good starting point for investigating an old model, and I made contact with them a couple of years ago to no avail. Thanks to an old American Machinist magazine (Nov. 1976 - a classic in its own right), we discovered they displayed one at the Bicentennial Machine Tool show that year. Upon contacting the museum, it turned out their machine was a non-functional display. I explained to them that my father had one exactly like it in his workshop basement, only his was fully functional, having been converted to run off a electric motor instead of the original belt drive. He has gotten alot of use (and enjoyment) out of his pride and joy for more years than I've even been alive. My dad's in his late 80's and cannot do the things he loves anymore. He felt the museum out on the subject of donation but they seemed to only be interested if he not only gave it to them but took care of GETTING it there. Considering the weight of it (couldn't even guess that one) and the fact that the machine is in SC and the museum is in VT, that idea kinda fell by the wayside. He has tried to find someone in our area (Greer) that might have an interest or use for "the old girl" but so far no go. He worries about her fate, afraid that when he goes to his reward, she will go to the scrap yard. I would like to help him find her a good home with someone who can appreciate her historically as much as functionally, and might not be afraid of the prospect of HOW to get her from Point A to B. Any feedback at all is welcome, he just likes to talk about her anyway! I don't apparently have, at this time, the ability to attach a picture, but could always send by email to anyone interested.

10-22-2007, 05:49 PM
Post a message on The PM forum in the antique machines section, there would be quite a few who would be interested in it.

got any pictures?

10-22-2007, 08:36 PM
I'll second that heres a link:


10-22-2007, 08:57 PM
At Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Association near Easton, MD(www.tuckahoesteam.org) we are building a museum/working machine shop to house our collection of antique machine tools. We may be interested in your Dad's shaper. Can you send me a private message or email to contactus (at) tuckahoesteam (dot) org ? Thanks, Jeff

tony ennis
10-22-2007, 09:15 PM
.... how do I delete a post ....

10-22-2007, 11:01 PM
post some photos (if you are able). i'd love to see that old girl. if i wasn't 500 miles away i'd stop over and take photos and post them myself.

yup, you found the problem of donating old machines to museums. they want then delivered and in restored condition. i hope you find a good home for the machine.

andy b.

10-23-2007, 01:17 PM
Thanks to all for helpful advise! I tried the PM forum but it was down for maintenance temporarily. I found some pics on home computer and will be sending them on to JeffG @tuckahoesteam.org; if that were to bear fruit it would be ideal. Also hoping to get andyb to post them here for those who just want to take a look. Can take more pictures (great digital camera) but would help if I knew what to "close-up" on.
Just for the record: I am not your average HSM enthusiast and probably wont make it out of the "Junior" status, since my only connection is my Dad and his shaper (now THERE was an enthusiast). If I had been born his son instead of his daughter, there would have been no question as to the future of the shaper. I am (thanks to him) quite good at what I do for a living (Engineering Procurement/Expediting) and my instincts told me this was the place to find the kind of folks who might have a suggestion or two. I am a gal on a mission: nothing would mean more to Dad than to see his shaper on display somewhere, and nothing means more to me than "gettin 'er done"!
Thanks again to everyone for their input.

10-23-2007, 01:19 PM
How about some of the stuff your dad made then- bet he has some stories to tell.....

10-23-2007, 01:28 PM
I grew up in a house in NY State with a full basement that was from one end to other his domain-full of many machines like the shaper that I cant even remember the purposes of anymore. But he does. Thanks to that "Oldtimer's disease" (cant ever spell it right), few things these days are clear, but those times are like yesterday. Get him started and you better have a comfortable chair and time to kill.

Al Messer
10-23-2007, 02:28 PM
Sorry to hear that your Father is afflicted with it. What you really ought to do is get a tape recorder and record all of his stories about his life and his machines. Some day, you will wish that you had.

10-23-2007, 04:23 PM
I already wish that but he's not terribly fond of being taped and all I wound up with on the recording (I tried it hidden in my pocket once and got caught) were his ...er...sentiments on the subject of tape recorders. (sigh)MEMORIES

10-23-2007, 10:06 PM

here are your photos. that is one beauty of a shaper!!!! :)


if you get any more send them to me and i'll post them.

andy b.

10-23-2007, 11:27 PM
That is a great looking old machine!!


10-24-2007, 07:54 AM
Pant, Pant, Drool ,drool............

12-04-2007, 10:24 PM
mck emailed me these photos last month and i totally forgot about them until she reminded me again. it gives a lot more detail on how the shaper operates. the ram drive is kind of like a more modern shaper, but operates overhead. anyway, here are the latest photos. it is certainly a beautiful machine.


andy b.