View Full Version : Keyways in the Shaper

02-01-2012, 04:56 AM
This is what I was working on when the knee gib gave up the ghost.

First things first, special thanks to Doug (vmil3) -- his info/posts were
priceless -- this is my attempt at implementing what he shared.





02-01-2012, 04:58 AM


keeping the 90* angle as close to square was a bit of a trick, didn't want
to put the gussets in as I planned to true the inside faces. I could've
probably gotten away with cutting in between the gussets, but alls well
that ends well.

finished angle plate -- flycut on all surfaces -- the finish you see is
wire wheel



02-01-2012, 05:01 AM
it needs a final pass to really square things up but the mill is still
out of commision and I was itching to give this a try.

in these photos its really just set up to take a couple of pictures.

a "roughing" 4mm cutter installed and did most of the work.




02-01-2012, 05:03 AM
the 6mm finish cutter. not really "finish cutter" by vmil's definition..
but its 6mm wide. :) I have a bit more to go on my keyseat tooling




I'll try some steel next. I had the keyseat-less CI pulley on hand.


02-01-2012, 05:03 AM
Very tidy job - and a handy thing to have around the shaper - might have to scout out some plate!

Black Forest
02-01-2012, 07:21 AM
Last year I made a big angle plate for my horizontal mill. Now that I have a universal mill with horizontal and vertical spindles I don't need the horizontal mill and/or the angle plate.

So now I know what to do with the angle plate!!!

John Stevenson
02-01-2012, 07:53 AM
More pictures of the keyseat cutting tool please?

Your Old Dog
02-01-2012, 08:01 AM
Thanks for the great post and pics! Really like the welding, was that mig?

02-01-2012, 08:02 AM
So far i only have two


the one on the left uses HSS blanks that I plan to make to different shapes
sizes etc as required.

Its really tough getting all the cutting faces nice and square (or correct
angle) freehand. It shows up in the keyslot.

The tool on the right is proper tooling for a vertical keyseat cutter. Made
by "Impero" if I'm not mistaken. Problem is they're too expensive. Each
cutting head requires its own bar.

So the HSS tool on the left was born.

YOD: yessir, mig with C02 .. man do they require a lot of cleanup when you're done. spatter
everywhere. lots of non-stick spray, cold chisel, and wirebrush to clean up.

Ian B
02-01-2012, 09:12 AM

I know that carbide isn't usually used on shapers (shock loading etc), but could you use something like these as tips for your cutting tool: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6-x-N123-J2-0556-0005-GF-4125-SANDVIK-CARBIDE-TURNING-GROOVE-PART-OFF-INSERTS-/200697444098?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item2eba7ff702

If the ram is adjusted so that the tool only just pulls out of the hole on the backstroke, the shock shouldn't be too great.


02-01-2012, 09:21 AM
What is your method to center the cutter in the bore ?

02-01-2012, 09:41 AM
Bmy, thats a good point/question -- right now I'm not.. at least not really.
I basically move the table around until both points of the square cutter
scribe the bore.

Am open to suggestions.

I could put a long DTI on the toolshank and zero everthing on one side
of the bore.. but thats got a host of issues in itself.


Richard Wilson
02-01-2012, 04:18 PM
Eyeball it in is usually good enough, especially if the tool shank is nearly the same diameter as the bore to be keyseated. Are you cutting on the forward or the reverse stroke? Reverse stroke with the clapper box locked is supposed to cut better with less chatter.


02-01-2012, 04:24 PM
forward stroke (no clapper lock yet).

cast iron and a tool with almost no top rake.
roughing tool had some rake (maybe 5*) as i'd intended to
use it on steel.

Al Messer
02-01-2012, 05:48 PM
Looks good to me!! Congratulations!


02-01-2012, 07:38 PM

The angle plate setup for cutting keyways on the shaper looks like a great way to hold the items to be keyed.

I have a 7" SB shaper... and was wondering if I might just buy a cast iron angle plate from ENCO and cut a hole in the center, to end up with something similar to what Tony fabricated.

I could fabricate something similar to what Tony did I suppose, but I don't have scrap metal handy, and if I bought what I would need it might approach the cost of a cheap angle plate...

Whatdaya guys think? Would the cast iron angle plate distort too much if I put a hole through it which approximated what Tony did? I would do a hole rather than a slot like Tony did....I think...

If I remember right Enco has angle plates with two ribs or no ribs, so my guess is that they have something that would work.


Richard Wilson
02-02-2012, 05:11 AM
A cheap angle plate with a hole cut in it would do just fine. I've just done a small keyway in a taper bore by clamping the workpiece in a swivel vice, offsetting the vice by 5 degrees to match the taper, and cutting with the toolbit horizontal. The other way, for a big workpiece, is to clamp it to the end face of the box table.