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View Full Version : Bit the bullet on this shaper.



Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 10:06 AM
Finally decided to purchase this Steptoe-Western, was turned off with it not having a vise, still am actually. I know every one likes to know price, including me, for better or worse, paid $800 for it.
There was a lot to like about it, decent size, still do not know exactly, the scale goes past 15", so maybe a 14-16"??.
Does not appear to have been used all that much, has a manual clutch to engage, automatic oiler, bed swivels L&R 45, T-slots on top and sides, forward bed support, gear box for cycles per minute both in and out, is quite compact for it's size with the footprint not much bigger then the base, also 3HP so should be plenty powerful. It does have a lot of paint curling/peeling and some surface rust but the rust has not gotten to the pitting stage, paint is original.

http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x175/Ken_Shea/Image2.jpg

Toolguy
04-08-2010, 10:54 AM
That looks like a lot of shaper for $800. I would think a good mill vise will work.

Alistair Hosie
04-08-2010, 10:56 AM
You wouldn't get anything like $800 dollars here in the UK for it, especially without a vice nearer $150 or less sorry but they must be very scarce where you are good luck nevertheless .Alistair

Mcgyver
04-08-2010, 11:08 AM
way to go Ken. price sounds good to me, In general, my view is don't worry about price, the difference between great and ok isn't that much and its not an exact thing - far better to get what you want and have fun....as the newf's say, you're dead a long time

Davo J
04-08-2010, 11:27 AM
Looks like a good buy to me, with the swivel table and clutch. I see a lever on the other side of the head is it auto down feed?
Just last week I bought a 24inch Alba shaper, mine didn't come with a vise either. Where do all these shaper vises go?
Dave

lazlo
04-08-2010, 11:31 AM
Nice! It's got the toolmaker's knee too!

You should be able to find a low-profile mill vise to fit it. I know Palmgren makes one.

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 11:37 AM
You wouldn't get anything like $800 dollars here in the UK for it, especially without a vice nearer $150 or less sorry but they must be very scarce where you are good luck nevertheless .Alistair
Nothing here that I have ever seen for that kind of money Alistair, would be nice though. Scrap prices for equipment like that is $240 a ton here, which this weigh over.

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 11:48 AM
way to go Ken. price sounds good to me, In general, my view is don't worry about price, the difference between great and ok isn't that much and its not an exact thing - far better to get what you want and have fun....as the newf's say, you're dead a long time
Mcgyver,My thought exactly, $300, $400 - $800, just does not make any difference in the big picture.

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 11:50 AM
Looks like a good buy to me, with the swivel table and clutch. I see a lever on the other side of the head is it auto down feed?
Just last week I bought a 24inch Alba shaper, mine didn't come with a vise either. Where do all these shaper vises go?
Dave
Dave, I do not know what that ism may be just a locking mechanism, auto down would be nice.

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 11:53 AM
Nice! It's got the toolmaker's knee too!

You should be able to find a low-profile mill vise to fit it. I know Palmgren makes one.
About two months ago I gave a friend an old HD vise that would have worked, maybe he will let me borrow it back for a bit till I find one. :)

What's the "toolmaker's knee" the front bed support or the jack screw at the rear?

Ken

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 11:56 AM
That looks like a lot of shaper for $800. I would think a good mill vise will work.

That will be what is used until a proper shaper vise is found.

lazlo
04-08-2010, 12:03 PM
What's the "toolmaker's knee" the front bed support or the jack screw at the rear?

I don't know the correct shaper term -- the pivoting cube/knee is usually only found on "Toolmaker's" shapers. Normal shapers, like my little Atlas 7b, have a fixed mount.

Fasttrack
04-08-2010, 12:46 PM
way to go Ken. price sounds good to me, In general, my view is don't worry about price, the difference between great and ok isn't that much and its not an exact thing - far better to get what you want and have fun....as the newf's say, you're dead a long time


Couldn't agree more!

That looks like a neat shaper. +1 on the cool "toolmakers" knee. I'd like a shaper with a universal knee. You'll have to let us know all the details when you put her to work.

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 01:00 PM
I don't know the correct shaper term -- the pivoting cube/knee is usually only found on "Toolmaker's" shapers. Normal shapers, like my little Atlas 7b, have a fixed mount.

Ahh, Ok, that is what it is called.

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 01:46 PM
Couldn't agree more!

That looks like a neat shaper. +1 on the cool "toolmakers" knee. I'd like a shaper with a universal knee. You'll have to let us know all the details when you put her to work.

Will do, should have it here sometime next week, in the mean time, can get some wiring run from the RPC.

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 01:49 PM
Just last week I bought a 24inch Alba shaper, mine didn't come with a vise either. Where do all these shaper vises go?
Dave

They had a sold Cincinnati 24" there, with vise :D
That is impressive in size to be sure.

Mcgyver
04-08-2010, 01:59 PM
Looks like a good buy to me, with the swivel table and clutch. I see a lever on the other side of the head is it auto down feed?
Just last week I bought a 24inch Alba shaper, mine didn't come with a vise either. Where do all these shaper vises go?
Dave

I was in Doug B's shop in Detroit last year and he's got a 24", cinci i think. Almost erie how big they are when you're used to modest 2000-4000 pound machines. lucky you - have any pics?

good point on the vise...especially in that size? what are you going to do?

MuellerNick
04-08-2010, 02:14 PM
Ah, you know, everyone made a better deal in $tool right after you bought yours. A month later, you'll get an even better offer.
So who cares. As long as you are happy and feel OK with the price, its OK.

But what really is bad, there are people who think a shaper is useless. :eek:



Nick

Tim The Grim
04-08-2010, 02:37 PM
Looks like nice enough machine. Good luck with it.

There is a Steptoe for auction at UTEP here in El Paso this Saturday. The auction site has a picture and no other info. I don't see a vise there either.
There is also a lathe and horizontal mill.
They only show the tail end rear view of the lathe. I asked for another picture or some info and got no response. I really don't hold most auctioneers in very high regard.
I won't be there as I have to work and have no room for the shaper anyway

Here's a link to their site for those with an interest.




http://www.webjam.com/auctionsunlimited


Tim

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 03:25 PM
Ah, you know, everyone made a better deal in $tool right after you bought yours. A month later, you'll get an even better offer.
So who cares. As long as you are happy and feel OK with the price, its OK.

But what really is bad, there are people who think a shaper is useless. :eek:

Nick

Nick,
LOL, yeah, ain't that the truth, plenty happy with the price, else wouldn't have paid it. No matter what, there are always better prices somewhere, but now I don't have to look for them, just a vice :D

oil mac
04-08-2010, 03:26 PM
Nice powerfull looking machine, I think you will be most pleased when you get it working, Strange there must be a home shaper vices go to , I did not get a vice with my 10" Royal either

Cost does not matter, its only money, In a few years it would likely be a lot more

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 03:27 PM
Tim, that looks like a big honker at that auction.

Why you don't hold most auctioneers in high regard is a bit unusual though ;)

Alistair Hosie
04-08-2010, 06:19 PM
John Stevenson sold abeauty a few years back for just over 120 it was a beauty mint sometimes they do make big money but like lathes they all want smaller ones here its afunny thing.Big rotary tables dont make the same price as smaller ones either.Have fun didn't mean to pour cold water over your new dream toy have fun Alistair

Ken_Shea
04-08-2010, 06:36 PM
John Stevenson sold a beauty a few years back for just over 120 it was a beauty mint sometimes they do make big money but like lathes they all want smaller ones here its afunny thing.Big rotary tables dont make the same price as smaller ones either.Have fun didn't mean to pour cold water over your new dream toy have fun Alistair

Didn't take it like that Alistair, you were just stating your facts, different country, different demands, different prices, happens most everywhere, it's not my dream toy, this is :D
http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/1/4/6/0863641.jpg

John Stevenson
04-08-2010, 07:53 PM
You wouldn't get anything like $800 dollars here in the UK for it, especially without a vice nearer $150 or less sorry but they must be very scarce where you are good luck nevertheless .Alistair

Very true Alistair.
First one I bought I paid 10 for it, a 7" Alba, next one I was given but I had no where for it , tried to sell it, then tried to give it away, in the end I saved the vise and threw it in the scrap, it was a nice 14" Butler that had literally only done two weeks work in it's life.
The college gave me a 16" Elliott just to get rid, kept it a couple of months and then sold it for $50

This made 51.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Shaper-Alba-no-2_W0QQitemZ220578017991

Elliot for 150.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Elliot-Electric-Metal-Shaper_W0QQitemZ300411039884

And another Alba for 150
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ELLIOTT-10M-SHAPER_W0QQitemZ250602862460

Michael Edwards
04-08-2010, 08:58 PM
But what really is bad, there are people who think a shaper is useless. :eek:
Nick


Just the guys who are in love with their Bridgeport. :p

ME

John Stevenson
04-08-2010, 09:33 PM
But what really is bad, there are people who think a shaper is useless. :eek:

Nick
Shapers are OK if you tip them up the right way. :rolleyes:

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/ravensburg1.jpg

[ EDIT ]

The Russians even turned theirs out with gear cutting attachments for internal and external gears.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/cutting%20gears%20on%20a%20slotter.jpg

Davo J
04-09-2010, 04:27 AM
I was in Doug B's shop in Detroit last year and he's got a 24", cinci i think. Almost erie how big they are when you're used to modest 2000-4000 pound machines. lucky you - have any pics?

good point on the vise...especially in that size? what are you going to do?

Here it is, it was only put outside for a few days untill I picked it up. for $300 with tooling and boring bars it was a bargain. While I was there he offered me a small to medium size Demco horizontal mill in good condition with cutters for $200 so I grabed it as well. We had to pull the shaper apart for his tractor to lift it onto the trailer. Being one of the smaller 24inch shapers I have seen, I would say it weighs around 1200-1500kg. A week before this one I nearly bought a 20inch for $1000, I am glad I didn't.
http://www.glacern.net/free_photo_upload/Alba 24inch shaper.jpg
http://www.glacern.net/free_photo_upload/Picture 009 (Small).jpg
http://www.glacern.net/free_photo_upload/Picture 010 (Small).jpg
http://www.glacern.net/free_photo_upload/Picture 011 (Small).jpg
Dave

Ken_Shea
04-09-2010, 10:40 AM
Dave, that is one big shaper, one thing on having to disassemble in order to lift is that it is no waste of time as now it is already apart for a good serious cleaning.

Davo J
04-09-2010, 11:41 AM
True and it needs a good clean, one thing is, it has no bog and are good castings on these old machines.
This one is big to me when my other shaper is only a Douglas 11inch (with no vice again) I picked it up for $450 with another half of one in parts for spares off ebay after no one bid.
I would love to get a 36inch one, but I am not sure if I could move it.
There are 2 Douglas's on ebay over here at the moment, the small ones usually go for crazy prices, mine just slipped through some how.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110514011944&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170466827689&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Not sure if everybody know's but you can still buy new shapers, up to and over a meter stroke.

http://lathemachinesmanufacturer.tradeindia.com/Exporters_Suppliers/Exporter22658.398150/Shaper-Machine.html

http://www.rplathemachines.com/shaper-machine.html

http://trade.indiamart.com/details.mp?offer=1247510688

Dave

Ken_Shea
05-20-2010, 10:01 PM
Update;
Finally got the shaper to the shop thanks to a friend.
Good news to me, it is a 16" and 3hp motor so should have plenty of stuff, bad news, it's still outside, but i'll keep it covered.
Have to fix a couple auto oilier lines that were messed up when I bought it, as well as repair the fuse box that is all bent, likely a fork lift drivers doings. Did a lot of cleaning and oiling. lots more to do as well. Haven't figured out the stroke adjustment as yet.
Hopefully I'll be able to find a manual somewhere, have one that is helpful but it's not really for this version.
Clearly it's shows use but there really isn't signs of a lot of it, stains on the ways and such but a lot of the scraping marks are still there.

If it doesn't rain tomorrow I'm hoping to run a power line extension cord to fire it up and see what goes.

Ken

wierdscience
05-20-2010, 10:21 PM
Good haul Ken,the toolmakers knee makes it worth more.We had one at work,24" Dutch built machine from the 50's.It brought $1800 with a vice on it.

Ken_Shea
05-20-2010, 10:36 PM
I did find a vice, not a shaper vise but fairly low profile with 9" jaws and should open up about 10" or so, it is all I can do to lift it, there was a time but not any more!

I would love to see a 24", they had what I thought was a 24" but turned out to be 20" and it was massive, can't really imagine what a 24" would look like. I have a little 7" Porter Cable that is so tiny compared to even this 16".

Fighting off the desire to rip this thing apart and paint it, but I know how easily that turns into a job that may just never get finished so it's not going to happen. Will clean up some of the bolt on things like levers, covers etc perhaps but not right now. Still have a Clausing lathe to put back together.

wierdscience
05-20-2010, 10:39 PM
Here you go Ken,damn near a locomotive:)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/wierdscience/29.jpg

Ken_Shea
05-20-2010, 10:47 PM
Awesome!
They haD one of those vises up in Cleveland, just like that, twin screw and you have to position the body in one of the slots as required. $100, just checked, it's now gone.

JMcTool
05-21-2010, 04:32 AM
Hopefully I'll be able to find a manual somewhere, have one that is helpful but it's not really for this version.

Ken, I looked for a manual for your Steptoe-Western, but couldn't find one. Got a few hits on Google but nothing obviously a manual. I think shapers in general are interesting, but I have so much else to learn first that I had to choose to ignore them for now.

However ... in my various travels in netland I have run across a wealth of shaper goodies via the good folks at NEMES I'd like to share. It's just too good not to share, and even if many already have seen it I suspect (or perhaps just hope) some find it of value.

http://www.neme-s.org/shapers/shaper_columns.html
http://www.neme-s.org/Shaper%20Books/shaper_book_page.htm

Jim

How can you tell you surf too much? You end up here http://www.endoftheinternet.com/

DFMiller
05-21-2010, 10:35 AM
Ken, You weren't joking about you got a shaper. Nice find. I just got a 1/12 scale casting set for a shaper. I bet yours will be working first. :-)

Ken_Shea
05-21-2010, 11:16 AM
Ken, You weren't joking about you got a shaper. Nice find. I just got a 1/12 scale casting set for a shaper. I bet yours will be working first. :-)

LOL, could be :)
But that sounds like a fun project that you can work with, I can barely lift the vise for this unit.
The shaper I got is not that monster a couple post up from this.