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  • BIG Shaper Question

    A guestion for the esteemed board.I have a chance to aquire a 24" Gould and Edlston shaper. All is there except a drive motor, no tooling; old and showing it's age. This is a big puppy standing 5 1/2 feet and needing six on the floor front to back. I have access to a 9x42 Bridgeport anytime. Price is under $500 US delivered. So; does it provide work/fabricating benefits in excess of the Bridgeport? Does it complement the lathe and milling tools in the shop or is it just a white elephant that deserves to stay retired? Thanks for your thoughts.
    Estimado, Da nut.

  • #2
    Wingnut,
    From a practical point of view, I think you can get by without a shaper. However, a few years ago I knew of a die making shop which specialised in supplying diesets that was still using shapers to slab out large black toolsteel plates. One guy could look after about 3 shapers at once. This was rare, I doubt they still use them...
    There is another reason for buying that old machine - all over the world there are old shapers looking for homes where they will be safe from the scrappers! Do your bit!!

    Earlier this year, I sold my shaper, but to a good home. It was a 24" Butler, a real solid machine. I just didn't have room for this monster, but was sad to see it go.

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    • #3
      A shaper is much better at producing large flat surfaces than a mill is. With a mill, you're likely to get swirl marks, the best you can do. With a shaper, you can plane a surface and get a result that looks almost as though it was ground.

      WIth the proper setup, you can generate involute gear teeth without benefit of special cutters. (You use a cutter shaped like a rack tooth and rotate the work at the proper rate while it moves under the cutter.)

      You can do internal keyways.

      Probably other stuff. You can get a slotting attachment for a Bridgeport -- assuming you can find one -- that will do some of that, but it's almost certainly going to cost more than that shaper.
      ----------
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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      • #4
        Grab it wif both hands & don't let go. I just bought a 10.5" Douglas & I think I wanna marry it.
        Tel

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        • #5
          I just found a newspaper ad. which I kept from 1987 concerning a shaper which I made an unsucessful tender on. It was a Elliot "Etsco" 2H 20" hydraulic machine, rapid traverse etc. but what made it interesting was the bevel gear generator attachment. The only one of those I've seen on a shaper, anyone know what they were like to use?

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          • #6
            If you're like me,you have to do a lot of scrounging to get your raw materials and a shaper can convert a piece of scrap metal into a usable size and shape a lot cheaper than buying milling cutters, and as has already been stated, can put on a finish that looks like it has been ground. GRAB IT!!

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            • #7
              I have to agree with SGW! Shapers are real handy. I have a 7" Atlas shaper that I'm happy that I bought for $200 w/stand 10 years ago. You can also machine dovetails, both male and female. You can also make gear racks w/a 50 cent tool bit. In fact you can make any thing w/a 50 cent tool bit. They will run all day and all you have to do is keep an eye on them and sharpen that bit once a day!
              I suspect that their present low price is also due to the fact that fewer and fewer people are around who really know how to run one. If you can get it for a reasonable price grab it. You will never be sorry.
              Regards, Ken

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              • #8
                Shut up and clean the floor in the shop so it feels "comfy" when she gets home. If you need more room you can always sell the wife's car.

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                • #9
                  Done. Wife sold. Lot's more space.....

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                  • #10
                    Hey Wingnut,
                    If ya got the space you can't beat a shaper for some things. Cutting racks, splines and internal gears are some things mills arn't great at or can't even do.
                    I don't think I could get along without mine. It is only 8" bigger would be ok but I don't have room. If ya kin use it grab it.

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                    • #11
                      Wingnut, ARRRGGGG! Wish I was near enough to buy BOTH machines!ANY bridgeport is worth something provided it ain't been used for missil practice. From a space point of view you should get the B/P. It is probably the only mill I can think of that will run in a corner of the shop while most other tools need more elbow room. As for that shaper, if you can get it do so. OK so you can't drill holes with it but you can set it and foget it. Head-shaving,blocking out,splinning, are all possible. Cutters are any high speed steel you can put 3 angles on from 1/4X1/4 up.Very good flat finishing as well.About the only other cost would be a motor and the juice to run it. I have one already and my shop is so crowded now you have to go out side ta change your mind!(Since I'm out of mine most of the time this is not a problem according to my wife!)
                      regards, Toolabard
                      Ron

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                      • #12
                        Umm...ah Thrud? just re-read your post....was that "sell wife's car"??...oh mercy. I knew things were too quiet around here. Miss her meatloaf too. It's good eating; not building supplies.

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                        • #13
                          Wingnut:

                          Don't worry, I seen on the "Man's Show" that Alpo is tastier than Hormel chili!

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