View Full Version : Spindle for woodworking shaper

10-16-2008, 01:36 AM
Recently I was given what appears to be a fifties vintage, Rockwell
woodworking shaper.
It's a "heavy duty" cabinet base model.
Well, after some research, it turns out that parts and manuals
are no longer available.

The shaper came with whats known as a stub spindle only.
However the machine is designed to use other spindles as well.

The machine receives the spindles in a "cartraige" which is held in
a bore in a casting which has a split and a bolt that is tightened
to hold it in place.

The cartraige is a cylindrical part, with a bearing in the lower end
and a bearing in the upper end.
The upper bearing then receives a part in the I.D. which has a
taper socket as well as some small other features machined
into it.

The lower end of the spindle has a mating taper etc...machined
to mate to the taper socket along with a small keyway.
There is a "tie rod" or what I would call a draw bar that is fed up
through the bottom into the lower end of the spindle, and a nut
that cinches everything up tight.

The current cartraige is made to receive a 1/2" spindle and a
3/4" spindle, both spindles have identical lower ends, and
the O.D. difference is in there upper ends where the cutters
are slipped on and then held with a keyed washer and double nutted.

The machine requires a seperate cartraige to enable it to make use
of a 1" O.D. spindle, both of which are no longer available.

So I would like to try my hand machining them myself.
However I have no reference for dimensions to do so.

I suppose I could just copy the taper angle from the other spindles
and sort of make the rest to my own accord, but it would be better
to machine the parts to allow for the possibility of obtaining
Rockwell spindles from "other" sources.

From what I'm told, the spindles are hardened but to what degree
I do not know.
Also I have no heat treating equipment, so I would have to find a
heat treating outfit in my area to harden the spindles that I make.

I would be machining these spindles on my 10L South Bend lathe
and using HSS tooling.

My question is, what kind of steel should I use to make these
that is hardenable without warping??

Oh, also I have no means to finish grind anything.

Does this sound do-able??
Thanks Mike

10-16-2008, 06:50 AM
I don't know what the advantage of machining and hardening would be over simply making it from a strong, machinable alloy. It's not subject to surface wearing forces is it?

Take a look at http://www.speedymetals.com/information/material37.html.

Lew Hartswick
10-16-2008, 08:45 AM
I would guess that the "prehard" (is it 4140?) would do just fine.

10-16-2008, 10:50 AM
Here's a post you might be interested in on making a shaper spindle:

This doesn't cover making a new cartridge, but might give you some ideas for the spindle. He used 4140 prehardened steel for the spindle, and if I followed the description correctly, didn't have any further heat treating done.


10-16-2008, 12:53 PM
Does it look like this one?


The Grizz 1026 shaper is a near identical copy of the older Delta/Rockwell shaper.

If so those are common as dirt and not worth making.

If you still need or want to make one then 4140 prehard shafting would be what I would use.The Hard they are refering to is harder than cold rolled 1018,but softer than a bearing race.

10-16-2008, 04:27 PM
"Stressproof", 1144, will do fine for spindles to interchange with your stub spindle. Use dimensions off the existing spindle. You don't need the Acme (or are they square) thread of the originals, but you do need the keyed washer to prevent loosening if the spindle is run in reverse.

Are you thinking of also making a complete cartridge assembly with the non-removable 1" spindle? In that case use whatever design you want as long as the cartridge diameter fits in the housing and the lower pulley lines up.