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7 inch stroke Rhodes Shaper

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  • 7 inch stroke Rhodes Shaper

    Hiya fellow hobbyists: I am very new to the group and I am asking for your opinions on a shaper that I am trying to purchase. It is a 7 inch Rhodes Shaper probably made during the 20' or 30's. According to the owner, the machine was purchased new and remained in his family's factory until the late 1940's when he took it home for his personal shop. He claims that while in the factory, it was rarely used. For the last 50 years, the machine has been used by its owner to make parts for his steam engine hobby. The pictures of the shaper show that the machine is clean and appears to have been well cared for. My questions for you guys are: Is a Rhodes shaper a good machine even though it is so old? And what do you think a fair price would be if it is in good working order? I have never used a shaper, but I have always wanted one. In all my model machining books, they say that the shaper can do just as much as a miller can and is perfect for the home machinist. I have a Atlas/Craftsman 6" lathe that I purchased new back in 1970 and I think the shaper would compliment the lathe very well. Also, a shaper would be much cheaper for me to operate since it uses lathe bits that are so much less costly than milling bits are. That is about all the questions that I have for now. I hope that you guys can give me some guidance on this topic. I thank you very much for any assistance that you can give me. Hopefully yours, Bill

  • #2

    Here's some information on the Rhodes:

    The only Rhodes I've ever seen is in Tony's site (first link). Most small shapers seem to be Atlas or Logan, although there are many other brands.

    For a machine in good condition, no missing or broken parts, on a stand, probably $300 to $500. I mention these numbers only because quite a few good looking Atlas shapers have sold on eBay for those prices.

    Barry Milton
    Barry Milton


    • #3
      I would ask this question here...

      Lots of smart people there who talk shapers...shapers...shapers. ;< )



      • #4
        I also have a Rhodes shaper. Bought it for $100. Fabricated a motor and flat pulley setup. Had a dickens of a time wondering why it was not accurate, finally figured out that the swivel base was not parallel, (error would come and go as vise was swiveled), trued it up and am now satisified with it. Serial # is something like 826.
        mark costello-Low speed steel


        • #5
          I have a late 30's Atlas of similar size (actually 2 of them).

          Nice machines, and I used #1 as my "mill" for quite a while before getting a small horizontal/vertical mill.

          If the machine has been used, it should be working. Not a rusty ebay hunk of junk for big bucks.

          From what Mcostello said, it may be a "universal" shaper, in which case it is worth snapping up pronto. That would have a swiveling table to easily cut odd angles and so forth.

          All that said, I didn't pay over $200 for either of mine. They can go for lots more, so grain of salt time.
          CNC machines only go through the motions


          • #6
            I've got a Rhodes 7" shaper as well and it seems to be a decent machine. Justa bout any 7" shaper in good shape seems to bring $400 to $800 on Ebay. For some reason the Rhodes shapers always seem to bring less in private deals. Mine was $125.

            Mike Henry near Chicago