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View Full Version : Who uses shapers?



hoffman
11-07-2004, 11:31 PM
I'm sort of stoked about getting the shaper running. I'm even more excited about it than getting the lathe cutting although I don't know why. I've been looking around the net and it looks like a very useful machine for doing bunches of stuff on the cheap. I used one back in trade school but just for squaring up stock.
Mines just a little 8 inch but I think it'll be neat. The guy I got it from couldn't figure out for the life of him what I want it for...

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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

Amity
11-08-2004, 12:01 AM
Ok, what do you use it for. Seriously, I dont have a clue what one is?

G.A. Ewen
11-08-2004, 12:30 AM
A shaper can be used for many things. It will do almost everything that a milling machine can do but is a little slower. Tooling is cheap and you can usually find a good shaper for under $500.00. Here are a some photos.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/GAEWEN/Shop%20Photos/25d827eb.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/GAEWEN/Splines_003.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/GAEWEN/Shaper_Work_005.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/GAEWEN/4ae49d96.jpg

vinito
11-08-2004, 09:34 AM
Hoffman,
Oh what a lucky guy you am!
It must be pretty cool to be able to putter through a bunch of used machines and pick out what you want. I suppose that since the guy didn't know why you'd ever want a shaper that he sold it to you pretty cheap.

I haven't run across a shaper for my shop yet, but I figure I will eventually. Sure wouldn't mind having a setup like G.A.Ewen.

Amity
11-08-2004, 03:30 PM
It looks to be designed & used mostly for keyway cutting and scraping? (Am I right...?)

Rustybolt
11-08-2004, 04:12 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Amity:
It looks to be designed & used mostly for keyway cutting and scraping? (Am I right...?)</font>

Before the advent of heavy duty milling machines, shapers were the only way to take off a lot of material efficiently. They were used to cut grooves for t-slots, v ways, etc. In other words, what you use a turret mill for now. At a fraction of the cost of tooling.

ibewgypsie
11-08-2004, 04:53 PM
Think about a shaper as a sideways lathe that don't go around and around, just back and forth.. the bit hinges to release the pressure on the back stroke..

They are neat to watch, unfortunatly, They sneak up and grab you. While stroking if you start trying to wipe chips with a brush you can get a hand pinched off. THEN, in close quarters get behind the ram, and KA-POW.. ram knocks you silly.. I was sweeping up and almost got beheaded. (At TVA, the shaper had never ran before) My shaper is up next to my old Lathe. WHen it runs it will be dangerous to be around the back end.

The good thing about them? you can resharpen a tool easily, tooling out of cheap tool steel easily formed into specialty tooling to cut splines or special shapes, keyways, lots of things a milling machine can't do. UnFortunatly, a milling machine is much faster and most people quit thinking about shapers in general..

I have saw on the net a belt drive grinding rock mounted where the toolpost goes, a instant surface grinder.. WHOO HOO.. Watch that motor/arbor go back and forth perfectly flat..

All the little things add up. I wanted one, bought one for a scrap price about a year ago and just now am getting around to hooking power to it..

They are cheap compared to other shop tools, except the small ones.. They still cost a nickel or two. But considering what the HF tools cost they are still cheap.

I have drawed up a small one for modelers that will adapt to a small lathe. Maybe a three inch stroke.. What am I going to use to build the ways? My shaper of course..

David

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-08-2004).]

hoffman
11-08-2004, 05:23 PM
Yea Vinito it's pretty cool. On the days I'm not nursing I work there cleaning used machines getting them ready to ship. I just finished a big Kearney & Trecker horizonal mill. Looks great with the new paint and all. Every day I find something new because the place is a huge warehouse. When I saw that little shaper I knew I had to have it. Price was $500 which is fair market value I guess. No screaming deals but I don't have to pay shipping. Found a bunch of 4c collets that will fit my lathe today...
The main reason I got the shaper is to cut internal keyways.


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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 11-08-2004).]

Alistair Hosie
11-08-2004, 07:14 PM
when cutting gears etc on a shaper the table is very small how do you affix a dividing head etc on it.?Alistair

hoffman
11-08-2004, 07:31 PM
I saw a pic of a small shaper where a guy had fastened a table extension to place a dividing head on. Looked pretty slick. I guess the larger ones have room on the table.

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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

G.A. Ewen
11-09-2004, 12:25 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Alistair Hosie:
when cutting gears etc on a shaper the table is very small how do you affix a dividing head etc on it.?Alistair</font>

I use a badly worn Atlas lathe bed. I think a piece of heavy "H" beam would work fine. (lots of shaper practice to true it up)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0603/GAEWEN/Splines_004.jpg

vinito
11-09-2004, 01:01 AM
"Think about a shaper as a sideways lathe that don't go around and around, just back and forth.. the bit hinges to release the pressure on the back stroke.."

I always explained that a shaper works like a wood plane - kinda like how I explain that a vertical mill is like a router, but for metal. Then I spit a li'l tobacco so they know the lesson's over. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

andypullen
11-09-2004, 09:12 AM
I have a 12" Sheldon shaper. It gets more use than the mill for roughing things out.

I did some specialized serrations for a latch on a piece of equipment at work, yesterday. I ground a form tool and went to town. Took 3 hours to do the 6 pieces. A mill would have taken a couple of hours each if I could have found a forming cutter with the correct profile.

I've also done titanium plates that needed to be flat within .005" on it. The guy who contracted that job had tried to mill them and grind them but couldn't get the required flatness or finish. He was building up too much heat which caused more problems. The shaper did it with MINIMAL heat and they looked great when finished.

And, I've cut gears on it between centers on a dividing head. They turned out ok, too.

You will have to actually think a bit to run some jobs in a shaper, but that's good for you. Play with it some. You'll like it.

Andy Pullen

P.S., Hoffman, do you know James (Sandy) Alexander? I worked with him on Norfolk Southern in the Steam Dept. back in '89 and '90. I think he hailed from Warner Robbins....

[This message has been edited by andypullen (edited 11-09-2004).]

Amity
11-09-2004, 10:49 AM
THanks for the education!

ibewgypsie
11-09-2004, 10:56 AM
I am still learning..

"between centers"??.. I got a cnc'ed 14" rotary indexer.. gears.. gears.. gears for my projects.. whoo hoo.. Cheap gears...

I put air motors on the up/dn/cross slides of the old shaper, (the factory feed was trashed) a inverter on the drive motor. I might need some more of them cheapo chinese slides to read the where-it-is thou.. and I wonder on the ram.. reckon I could rig up a stroke/position measuring encoder?

Shapers are here to stay a while longer.. Mine is anyways.

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David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

hoffman
11-09-2004, 12:30 PM
Where is Tunnel Hill? I gotta make a pilgrimage...

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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

andypullen
11-09-2004, 01:24 PM
Yes, between centers. I mounted the dividing head and it's matching tailstock on a stout piece of plate. (In line obviously) I put a center and a driver in/on the d/h and drove the gears on a shop made mandrel. So, it was technically "between centers". Worked out fine.

AP

vinito
11-09-2004, 03:17 PM
Here's a related question.
For those of you that have used shapers to cut gear teeth and splines, and anything else requiring precision complex profiles for that matter, how are you grinding your cutters? I figured using an good existing gear would give you a "gage" to go by for a trial and error method, but are there other tricks/methods that work well for you?

hoffman
11-09-2004, 03:57 PM
Jonesing for a shaper V... I love that little Hardinge mill.

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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

[This message has been edited by hoffman (edited 11-09-2004).]

ibewgypsie
11-09-2004, 03:58 PM
Hoffman..

I am south of Chattanooga Tn, about twenty minutes off I-75 about 3 miles. Member of CHattanooga IBEW LU 175.. but been out of work since a illness took me.

My shop is really small, 24x20 and I got it crammed full.. I got a full time project going right now a cnc press. I just came in for a coke.

I worked at Warner Robbins AFB.. Trying to remember when/where that is.. South eastern Georgia if I remember..

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David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

hoffman
11-09-2004, 04:01 PM
It's right in the middle of Ga. below Macon. Funny, my shop is 20 x 24, but I have a car and motorcycle competing for space.

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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

vinito
11-09-2004, 04:11 PM
Well of course i'm jonesing for one. All you really have to ask is "Do you have one?". If I ain't got it, I probably have a jones for it to some degree.
A small shaper is near the top of the list of machinery wants though.
I like that Hardinge too. I'd like to have the matching lathe. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif
The main reason I'd like a shaper is for the economical tooling. Oh yea - I suppose I could get similar economy by grinding fly cutters of desired profiles and just use the little mill. When you remember a long forgotten epiphany is it called "eureka-ja-vu"?
I'd still like to pick up a shaper though.

Alistair Hosie
11-09-2004, 05:57 PM
Thanks G A I will think about using a nice piece of steel plate I have here might bore a few holes in it with my new drill when it comes tomorrow.Alistair

hoffman
11-09-2004, 06:01 PM
New drill?? What new drill?? I want a drill...

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Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga

motorworks
11-09-2004, 07:18 PM
Sad to say that I moved my Shaper out a little over a month ago.
I had to make room for another mill see:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/motorworks/aciera3.jpg

I only used it (the shaper) 2-3 times a year, but the mill is used daily.
BUt, I know I will miss the shaper...
eddie

G.A. Ewen
11-10-2004, 01:21 AM
motorworks, thats a nice looking mill, what kind is it? (got any close-up pics?)

speedy
11-10-2004, 04:43 AM
G A Ewan, that is a fine shaper you have there, what model and stroke is it? I have still yet to go see a Elliot 4M . I`m hopeing that I will have enough room for it, if it is still available.
Ken

[This message has been edited by speedy (edited 11-10-2004).]

J Tiers
11-10-2004, 09:42 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by vinito:
Here's a related question.
For those of you that have used shapers to cut gear teeth and splines, and anything else requiring precision complex profiles for that matter, how are you grinding your cutters? I figured using an good existing gear would give you a "gage" to go by for a trial and error method, but are there other tricks/methods that work well for you?</font>

I used the grind and check against good gear method. Worked fine.

andypullen
11-10-2004, 10:19 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by J Tiers:
I used the grind and check against good gear method. Worked fine.

</font>


Ditto.

Tinker2
11-10-2004, 10:37 PM
I have a Atlas 7” shaper that I have been rebuilding. Maybe I should say
making, buying, scrounging parts and things the get it working.

I like it.

motorworks
11-10-2004, 11:15 PM
Thanks G.W. Ewen
See link below:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//Forum1/HTML/008384.html