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odd uses and mods of machinery

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  • odd uses and mods of machinery

    Having seen a few pictures of shapers lately, I was inspired to think about what else such a machine could be used for, besides shaping. Has anyone ever modified one for another use? Like maybe made a 'head' to mount in place of the clapper assy, turning it into a mill of sorts- maybe a drill press- a boring machine-
    They look like they could be pretty versatile. Could just be me, though, I have a habit of using things for other than their intended uses.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    Hoffman is the expert, but apparently a lot of these machines have been used as boat anchors..

    You could make a mooring with it and lease it out. Just make sure the harbor has security so Hoffman doesn't go diving for it.



    • #3
      Looks like they're selling an aluminum cutoff saw on ebay that appears to be a converted shaper :-)

      With regard to atypical aplications, don't you love the looks you get from store clerks when they ask you what you're going to use the product-in-question for, and you tell them? Their eyes glaze over, and most of the time they just say, "no, we don't have anything like that".



      • #4
        I've had the iead for over a year now to use a shaper and a dividing head as a gear cutting machine. With today's low cost servos and PC CNC the indexing and conjugate motion to produce true involute tooth form is a piece of cake and tooth counts of any number can be made as a keyboard entry. Cutting metric module or diametral pitch teeth is a matter of tool form and blank design.

        Tooling is cheap and easy being nothing more than carefully ground 14 1/2 or 20 degree Acme style threading tools. No expensive hobs or delicate formed cutters. Grind the tip width to size, radius the corners to get the form and you're home. If you're really careful and good with a slip stone in a die filer you can even put the cycloidal tip and root relief on the tool to make true AGMA compliant gearing.

        Stevenson is experimenting with equivalent indexing apparatus to hob gears on a universal milling machine.

        Yeah. I know. It's another round-tuit job.

        [This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 04-30-2005).]


        • #5
          Chad, I've gotten used to that look over the years. I can't recall the last thing I bought to convert for another use, but I do remember the look on the cashier's face- and I had the item I needed in my hand- the look said, hmm, we don't have that, it'll never work- . I paid for the item and left.
          Reason I asked about the shaper is that it would seem that they could be had pretty cheaply, since other machines have largely taken over their jobs, and for someone willing to do the modifications, it could be a good project and a useful one. Having the t-slots oriented as they are on a shaper would seem to be ideal for holding unusual items or jigs.
          I can sure see it being used as a gear cutting machine.
          Anyway, if I do get one and use it as a mooring device, I'm going to give it a good cleanup and paint job first. That way Hoffman won't be tempted to salvage it.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #6
            Anything that works is a good conversion.

            As for the looks on store clerks' faces, I gave up telling them what I was doing a long time ago. I just say I am "looking". I get some of my best ideas "looking". Besides, except for what it is labeled as, they have absolutely no idea what they have.

            Paul A.
            Paul A.

            Make it fit.
            You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


            • #7
              When I first got into metalworking I bought an old 15" Hendy shaper for $35. Picked up a Bridgeport "R" head and mounted it where the clapper went.

              Instant vertical mill for $150. Controls were inconvenient but so what. Used it reguarly even thou I have a Bridgeport. 15" Y axis and a BIG vice came in handy.

              The machine is capable of quality work except the spindle is not parallel to the Z axis. This was not important on a shaper, but gives me grief with bolt hole location.



              • #8
                In a copy of a special edition of Model Engineer I read about a shaper that was turned into a surface grinder..

                [This message has been edited by Ringer (edited 04-30-2005).]
                Precision takes time.


                • #9
                  Forrest hit my round tuit..

                  Unfortunatly other things are in front of it.

                  A shaper works cheap, tool steel that can be "home" sharpened. Not so with the cnc mill.

                  I saw a grinder slide mounted on one on the internet to make a surface grinder.



                  • #10
                    I have a shaper attachment which I use to do
                    in place machining, I use plate steel make the required mounting plates for different
                    Non, je ne regrette rien.


                    • #11
                      Gearmaking on the shaper is hardly a mod....I've done it with a ground-to-fit tool on a stock machine. Made a pair of bevel gears, using the offset method of getting the right wedge-shape to the toothspaces.

                      Using a generating method would be a slight mod, but not too much of one.

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan


                      • #12
                        My dad rigged up a Bridgeport head onto his twelve foot stroke planing machine to do those odd outsize jobs when needed.



                        • #13
                          I had a friend who past away a few years ago that built a miller from an old planer. I used this machine to mill a ten foot long machine table to less than .001 flatness overall. It was a gantry style planer with a milling spindle mounted to the cross slide. it had eight or so spindle speeds and four table feeds and one rapid. The man who built it hand scraped every machine way and used it to rebuild brigdeports. He built an awsome machine for cheap money.