View Full Version : Shaper Table Extension

11-12-2012, 10:54 AM
Anyone have a suggestion for supporting a shaper table extension. I have made a very solid table extension for my 8" Shaperite to allow for mounting a dividing head and tail stock. Now I'm looking for the best way to support the table extension to reduce deflection deflection. Not sure if ti would be best to make an adjustable support that goes to the floor, or back to the machine base. The extension would be mainly used to spline shafts and make gears, so deflection would be an issue in maintaining accuracy. This would also be a low use extension, so something that is easily installed and removed would be important. The shaper table without extension is 7" x 7 5/8". The extension overall is 24" long. Any suggestions would be appriciated.

11-12-2012, 03:39 PM
A while back I obtained a T Slotted table form an unknown industrial machine, possibly a grinder of some sort, at the junk yard for scrap price with the plan to do exactly as you are doing. It is about 2.5" thick and I plan to cut it to an appropriate length, perhaps 6 " beyond the table, and bolt it solidly to the table of my South Bend shaper. I don't believe that at that thickness it will flex enough to matter given the small size of that machine and the approximately .050" max depth of cut. If I find that it does I will devise an additional support to the floor of the shop beneath the overhang. If that's doesn't pan out I'll make some braces going back to the bottom of the cast iron box which is the lower part of the table casting.

11-13-2012, 12:36 AM
Hi Gene,
i see you're on the Yahoo Shaper Group too. I've done the same thing with my 8" Boxford. My table top surface dimensions are similar to yours, and i used some steel 3/4" thick, 7" wide and 17" long for my extension. This is to hold my 6" Vertex H/V rotary table at the far end, and the tailstock at the machine end. The ram at maximum stroke and furthest fwd position is how i got my 17" length dimension. I use it for graduating lines and splines. The RT and T/S are bolted on with a series of threaded holes rather than t-slots.The support is some of the same 3/4" steel bolted directly to the box table and to the underneath of the extension.. No problems so far. Take finer cuts and do'nt worry. About 5 minutes to take the vice off and fit the table extension, another 5 mins to accurately locate the RT and T/S.

Ian B
11-13-2012, 04:49 AM
As long as your extension table is sufficiently rigid in itself (using a lump of old grinder or milling machine table is a good idea) and well bolted down, no further support should be necessary, The longer table gives you more room to mount stuff, but the shaper's tool won't be cutting any further out than it normally does - so, about the same loads as ever.

Unless, of course, if the original table deflects under normal cutting load - in which case, check the slide adjustments and table support, if the machine has one.


big job
11-13-2012, 06:49 AM
I made mine from 3/8 x 2 flat stock all migged up , you can almost picture a lathe
bolted on the table, but unlike a lathe the tailstock adjustment is vertical. I threaded a
thick walled pipe for the chuck, then it the chuck is driven by a Dayton forw.&reverse
vari geared belt drive motor. In this way I can cut tapers, nother words as the chuck
revolves @.005 or so the shaper is shaping. This saves time so i can do something else,
but comming back- give a little down feed- walk away again. Then with a close uniform
taper it will go to the lathe for a final dimention. Mine has a table support and I dont
have any flexing going on. And the chuck is a 3 jaw donated from by SB cause I dont
like 3 jaws good enough for the shaper. You will have to put a little though first, My
so called head stock support is also slotted so it can be angled such as helical gear
shaping. Then my mill / drill attachment foot controled die grinder with either a drill or
end mill works perfect. Just too bad ya cant put pictures in here. Off the top of my mind
its probably got a 6" swing with a 1 1/2 through hole in the head stock. Doing splines
and gears are a snap with this. There is about a 0% chance to find a real one, so ya
gotta make one.

11-13-2012, 08:15 AM
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I did make the table extension very ridgid, with a solid anchor to the existing table. I will try a sample setup and see waht happens; perhaps nothing additional will be required. My machine has a universal table that can be rotated, however; it will not be used at an angle with the extension, so the existing table support can be used to stiffen things up. Again, thanks for the input.

11-13-2012, 09:26 AM
Pictures would be good.
Here's how to do it with Photobucket and it's free.