I just picked up a nice older textbook called Machine Shop Operations and Setups, stamped on the inside cover with the label declaring it the property of the "Area Vocational School of Staples, Minn", dated August 1st, 1969.
It has an excellent section on shapers and planers, arguably better and more informative than the entirety of the South bend shaper booklet.
Anyway, while it describes in detail tip grinds and suchlike, other than keyway cutters and similar items, 99% of the tools they show are standard Armstrong-style toolposts and tool holders. Even the picture of an interesting Cincinnati hydraulic contour shaper with three heads (for cutting three identical pieces) shows this kind of tool and holder.
I'm looking to get a 16" shaper before too long, but it comes with zero tooling. I have an old rocker toolpost and some tool holders, but they're a bit undersized, meant for 9" and 10" lathes and taking 1/4" square bits. The shaper has a post, but no holders, so I figured I'd make one or two tool holders- and that, of course, got me thinking what would be the best kind of holder to make.
I've seen several designs over the years, but I'm not sure just what works best- or is most versatile, or most rigid, or what have you. I've noted the "gooseneck" styles, and the ones that try to place the cutting edge on the pivot centerline with the clapper hinge- I understand the reasoning behind these, but is that geometry really necessary? None of my (now four) books on shapers even mention them.
I have a large handful of 1/2" square HSS lathe tools (ground and unground) so I figured I'd make a toolholder that would accept these. Should I make a straight, right and left set, or one holder that allows the bit to index to different angles?
Making the holder straight out from the post would be easiest, but if there's a valid reason to have the cutting edge behind the face and/or in line with the pivot, that wouldn't be a huge problem. Is it worth the effort?
I'm sure I'll have more questions once I get the machine installed and running, but this'll get me thinking (well, more...)