No announcement yet.

Shaper Clapper Box

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Shaper Clapper Box

    Hi I don't know much about shapers, and I'm going to look at one tomorrow. It's a pratt and whitney with a 14" or 15" stroke, the owner tells me the clapper box has been brazed. He wants $350 for it. My understanding is that there is alot of pressure and pounding on a clapper box. Do you guys think this will be a problem? of couse once I see it I'll know if it is something I can make a new part for, and try and get it cheaper.
    Also how good are these for making internal keyways? And how long of an internal keyway or spline can you make in smaller diameter stock such as 1/2" and larger?
    The guy also has a small nichols horizontal mill for $350. Another guy has anvil and forge for $400 dollars. I can only afford one Item. I'm curious to see what I end up with.

  • #2
    The idea behind a shaper is that the cutter rides on top of the material on the return stroke. The amount of stress generated when the cutter clears the part depends on the depth of cut primarily.

    As with any repair, its longevity and serviceability depend on the quality of the workmanship. You should ask why it failed in the first place. It would take a lot of force to break one, and that could have damaged other components.

    Re the keyways, don't quote me, but I doubt you could do much internally on 1/2" stock. Remember that the cutter has to come up and ride backwards on each return stroke, and you have very little clearance inside a part that small.

    If it were my $$$, I'd probably go with the horizontal mill. I would certainly use that more than the shaper. But everybody's different. Your work might favor the shaper. One obvious problem with the horizontal mill is the cost of tooling. Shaper tooling is pretty simple (= cheap).


    [This message has been edited by Leigh (edited 11-03-2005).]
    The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
    of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.


    • #3
      I used a shaper as my "mill" for years. Worked fine, even made gears with it.

      Horizontal mills are nice, but one with a table much smaller than 5 x 18 will be extremely limiting. Not a lot more size-limiting than a shaper, but limiting.

      Nichols link

      Seem to have a 20 x 5 table on the "Standard".... OK.... But a lever feed.... VERY BAD.

      My suggestions would be....

      If teh shaper has no shaper vise, don't buy it. A suitable vise will cost as much as the shaper, and a 'shaper vise" may cost more.

      Horizontal mill general rules:

      No overarm, don't buy it.

      Lever feed only on any axis, don't buy it

      No arbors, don't buy it, unless you have a source or want to make them. NMTB 40 taper arbors will cost you over $100 from Victor Machinery.

      try to get at least a 1" and 7/8" arbor with it. 1 1/4 is good, if the unit is big enough to take it.

      The arbor needs a full set of arbor spacers.

      If teh arbor and overarm are set up for bushings, try to get them too. You can get spacers and bushings from Victor machinery though.

      Must have a slow speed, something under 50 rpm, or be able to be re-pulleyed to get that. High speed only, don't buy it.

      MT or NMTB spindle is best, B&S taper is a pain, you will make all your arbors, not buy them. They show a 40 MMS for the Nichols, which may be a 40 taper NMTB...

      Overall, the Nichols might be a very nice unit, IF it is a "toolroom" model and has screw feed on the table.

      Otherwise with lever feed its a production mill, and not very good for homeshop use.

      Shapers are good at internal keyways, but 1/2" ID is broach territory. You need enough room to have the toolholder (like a boring bar), and its fully extended cutter, go into the hole, with room to feed down to cut the spline or keyway.

      Some folks tie down the clapper for that, others let it move. I let it move the one time I tried it, but thought it might have been better to tie it down.... a matter of precision in the next stroke cut depth....

      Length of cut.... max stroke, less between 5/8 and 1 inch, depending. Shorter maybe. You need overtravel to complete the cut, and room for the clapper to fall back before the next cut.

      Small shapers might be OK with 3/8 inch for overtravel plus clapper return space.

      [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 11-03-2005).]

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by RAD1:
        the owner tells me the clapper box has been brazed. He wants $350 for it..</font>
        Is it the clapper or the box? The clapper could be made without too much effort.

        If it is the box, attached to the downfeed slide, that may be a different story. If the pivot point(s) has been broken I would not consider the purchase unless you have a line on another downfeed slide. JRouche
        My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group


        • #5
          Thanks for the information everyone. Sounds like I'll stay away from these two machines and save my money for a good set of broaches and just check out the blacksmiths tools. I think if I come across a small SB shaper or a BP shaper attachment cheap I'll grab one of those for the little bit I would use one. My bridge port can do most anything those machines can do except maybe a square hole, then there is always a file.


          • #6
            I have a nichols miller. It can be lever fed or use the hand screw feed. On this machine there is a air over oil hydralic feed. You can adjust the speed of the feed by adjusting the oil flow.

            To use the hand screw there is a half nut that needs to be installed. Mine did not have the nut when I bought the machine. I ordered a nut from a cataloge and made the half nut.

            I gave $50 for the machine at an auction a year ago.
            I think it is neat machine for small milling projects.
            Ebay has the 40 NMTB mandurals for sale every once in a while.
            Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.


            • #7
              If you have a bridgeport, AND you do any production type stuff, even repetitive parts for models etc, toss part of my suggestions.....

              You might be fine with lever feed, since you can always use the brigeport. And the nichols DOES look stout.

              Or, teh shaper, if it has a vise, it will move a lot of metal to rough out things to finish with the Bridgie.

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan


              • #8
                Thanks guys,
                I ended up buying the forge with the blower for $125.00 and a small combination anvil/vise/drill press for $40.00. This will be enough to see if I will like dabbling in blacksmithing. I still may check out the nichols mill a little down the road. turns out the guy I bought the forge from is a retired machinist that worked with my cousin for a few years, and also ran his own shop for alot of part time. He has a nice set up and buys and sells stuff from time to time. If I buy a horizontal mill he has plenty of tooling he will part with. He offered me a huge lathe for $200 good ways controls seem to be froze up a little but easily cleaned up. the bed is undnercover outside and headstock is stored inside. But I just don't have the room in my current location. It's deffinity good to know someone like this for the future fair prices, honest and a wealth of knowledge.