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Thread: Least used machines

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Edmonton Alberta
    Posts
    1,591

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    I would say my Harvey Butterfly Die Filer,only gets used about 6 times a year but would not want to be without it as it can do some jobs that nothing else in my shop can.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
    Posts
    465

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
    I'll elect the lowly shaper, not for me but for others who own one, most all iv seen in others shops are covered with about 1/16" of dust,,,

    I will never own one - I could live a thousand lifetimes and never even need one - there is not a single thing a shaper can do for me - I despise the fact that so much cast iron had to be mined from our precious earth - refined and molded into such a despicable "shape"

    in this world there are boats of every size and these boats all require a specified weight to anchor them to the sea floor, im sure certain shapers fall into that perfect weight zone, I would just love to see some vessel with a chain hanging off the front and a barnacled shaper attached to it - now that would be a picture worth framing....

    I hate shapers...
    If you don't use a shaper why be so negative about what they can do? I've had one going on 15 years, and it does get used. It's not as fast or efficient as some newer machines, but it can do a lot of things a newer machine is either incapable of, or do it with substantially cheaper tooling. I use mine primarily for creating splines (both internal and external), internal keyways, and gear cutting. Some of these functions can be performed on either the vertical or horizontal mill, but it's easier, less expensive and less time consuming to set up the shaper. For most processes it can be setup and left to run without constant monitoring or supervision.

    There is an adage about shapers that was true 50 years ago and still holds true today: "You can make anything on a shaper except money". They are highly versatile and can make just about any shape you can imagine. The downside is that they are slow. In todays world where time is money no commercial shop could make money, or even stay in business for that matter if they were to rely on a shaper to make parts. They were workhorses of the business from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. Today they're relegated to specialty shops and hobbyists. Just like any machine they serve their purpose until something better and faster comes along.

    In my shop there are a number of machines that don't get used on a daily or weekly basis. They are there when they are needed and they all do get used. They've all already earned their keep and don't owe me a dime. They're all kept clean and well maintained, and can be fired up at a moments notice. Even though they may not be used regularly it would cost a small fortune to farm out the work they do. It literally costs nothing to let them set idle until such time they are needed.
    Last edited by projectnut; 09-10-2019 at 09:38 PM.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Buffalo NY USA
    Posts
    534

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    Most places I've worked at, the least-used machine is the Brain. My own shop, the rule is the the Brain must be turned on before anything else. Be 110% there, no cold medicines, no drugs or booze, be awake and aware. I've had co-workers lose limbs due to not following this.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    3,096

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    At one time I was interested in doing some wood working and I bought a couple of things that I thought I would use, a 12" planer, a 6" jointer, a small bench top table saw and a large chip/duct collector plus a few other woodworking tools.

    Then one day I got a 9" S.B lathe and some time after that after that a Bridgeport clone mill.

    All my woodworking tools have sat unused since that day, having only been used enough to see how they performed.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Almost Dallas
    Posts
    1,641

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    Broom

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    4,440

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    Hoo boy. I got a shopful of 'em.

    For a while there I had two of the little double ended "tool grinders", one was a classic Baldor 500, the other a Rockwell. Had the Baldor since about '09, the Rocky maybe a year after that. I used the Baldor twice, finally sold it in like '14 or '15. Kept the Rockwell, thinking in some vague way that, since it was 3-phase, I could set it up with a VFD and make a cast-iron lap wheel for it, for doing scraping.

    Made myself a couple of scrapers over the years, never did set the Rocky up. Haven't even powered it up for testing, for that matter.

    Got a 10" shaper. Bought that back in '07. I've used it on precisely one paying job since then, and that was back in '15 or so.

    Bought a "camelback" drill press, because I thought- and still think- they're pretty cool. Brought it home in '09, spent a bunch of time and effort on it, has yet to be finished, and will just be a showroom queen anyway when it's done.

    Swivel base for a Kurt type vise: I have them for two of my vises, I've used one, once.

    Surface plate: Got a cheap Chinese black rock back in '08 or so, along with several surface gages, and currently have no fewer than three height gages. Haven't used it for actual layout for many years- it's basically just a flat storage surface these days. I have a Brown & Sharpe scraped iron plate that I've never used.

    My surface grinder? I use that maybe once a year these days- but when I need it, it's the most valuable machine in the building.

    I have a Keller die filer. Last time I used that was at least three years ago, and I've used it a total of about five times in the decade or so I've had it.

    I have a complete Sioux valve grinder set. Had it since '07. Used it once.

    I once had a nicely-rebuilt Ammco disc and drum grinder. Worked great, almost fully accessorized. Had it like eight years, used it precisely once, and on a non-paying job.

    ... Maybe I should start putting some of this stuff up for sale...

    Doc.
    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland, Europe
    Posts
    3,606

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    I'm limited in both space and budget and don't own that many unused tools.
    Materials, projects and parts would be different matter, some of them have followed me over half of my life
    Some of the electronic components and mechanical parts date back to when I was 16 or 17 so they have survived 24 years and 4 moves.

    Less used ones: thread wire set, 3" micrometer(probably never actually needed)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Friesland, Netherlands
    Posts
    2,289

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    Probably my Union tool & cutter grinder. Lovely machine, but it seems quicker ordering a new end mill from Ebay.

    AK - I was using my shaper all weekend. I had some 8cm x 8cm x 10cm blocks of steel, i needed them to be 6cm x 6cm. 3mm cuts soon had them to size, and with the power feed on, I could do something else at the same time.

    Only snag is, every chip seems to fire off in a different direction. The handiest accessory for a shaper is a sweeping brush.

    Ian
    All of the gear, no idea...

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NE Thailand
    Posts
    1,226

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    Quote Originally Posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
    I'll elect the lowly shaper, not for me but for others who own one, most all iv seen in others shops are covered with about 1/16" of dust,,,

    I will never own one - I could live a thousand lifetimes and never even need one - there is not a single thing a shaper can do for me - I despise the fact that so much cast iron had to be mined from our precious earth - refined and molded into such a despicable "shape"

    in this world there are boats of every size and these boats all require a specified weight to anchor them to the sea floor, im sure certain shapers fall into that perfect weight zone, I would just love to see some vessel with a chain hanging off the front and a barnacled shaper attached to it - now that would be a picture worth framing....

    I hate shapers...
    Satan is your middle name...

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NE Thailand
    Posts
    1,226

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian B View Post
    Probably my Union tool & cutter grinder. Lovely machine, but it seems quicker ordering a new end mill from Ebay.

    AK - I was using my shaper all weekend. I had some 8cm x 8cm x 10cm blocks of steel, i needed them to be 6cm x 6cm. 3mm cuts soon had them to size, and with the power feed on, I could do something else at the same time.

    Only snag is, every chip seems to fire off in a different direction. The handiest accessory for a shaper is a sweeping brush.

    Ian
    PM me if you ever want to the sell the Union T&CG (gotta be pretty well tooled though).
    I've missed a couple the last few years. What with flying back to the UK, borrowing a van, nipping over the channel, driving back, then down to my shipping agents in Wales....
    All doable if i have advance warning.

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