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  • Squaring up a shaper?

    It seems my Stockbridge rebuild has hit a snag, so I'm looking for ideas.

    As I've said, somebody prior to me has already cleaned and "rebuilt" the machine. No scraping or squaring, just wire brushing, beadblasting and repainting. It's a good thing I took it back apart, as much of it was assembled bone dry. The few places he used any lube, he just gave it a smear of copper never-seize. The bullgear and lever linkage, however, was completely dry- not that any lube had run off, he'd never applied any to start with. (Unless he was lubing everything with WD-40... )

    Anyway, it's finally clean enough that I could make a few quick measurements. Assuming the tops of the ways- where the plates bolt, a non-wear area- are parallel to the original ram ways, I have as much as .032" wear.

    As you're standing facing the front of the machine, looking over the table and down the ram travel, the rear right corner measures 1.001" from the top of the casting to the bottom of the way surface. I'm presuming this is pretty close to the original dimension.

    The rear left corner is .008" low, the front right corner is .012" low, and the front left corner is .032" low.

    The question is, what should I do about it?

    Thirty thou is a bit too much to scrape by hand (and I don't have a good straightedge anyway) and there's no way I can fit a 4' tall, thousand-pound casting into my knee mill. Local heavy-machine shop doesn't have anything big enough to handle it- their horizontal boring mill comes close, with 30" of travel (the ways are 32" on the button.)

    The ram and removable way tops are also worn to various degrees, but those are small enough- relatively speaking- that I can clean them up in my mill.

    Any ideas? I'm not too worried about getting half-thou scraped surfaces, but I do want something less than thirty-plus-thou slop, and I'll also need to keep it square to the table's vertical ways.

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

  • #2
    I thought I read somewhere that a shaper can true it's own table. Being a neophite at all this I swallowed it whole and then put a down payment on the London Bridge.

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    • #3
      Yes, it can. But I'm referring to the ways the ram rides in.

      I can square up the ram itself, and the removable tops of the ways, but the main wear is on the bottom of the ways- part of the main body casting.

      I've been trying to figure out a way to mount some sort of portable milling head to the body, that could index off the top of the casting, a presumably-undisturbed part.

      Some guide rails, a router and a carbide endmill, maybe?

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

      Comment


      • #4
        That is going to be a bear to do right but here is one possible solution that might get you close enough to scrape and get it finished this year, but it depends on your lathe being pretty straight and having at least 33 inches of travel. Make a grinder mount that will hang a grinder (either a decent sized tool post grinder, or whatever you have that will work) far enough off of the back side of the carriage to reach the shaper ways if you position it back there (this is where a taper attachment would be great to use as a mount). What you are making is just a big ghetto grinder out of your lathe, using the carriage to move the grinder head in a straight line to true up the ways, using the carriage as X and they cross slide as the Y. Position the shaper as close to the back of the lathe (remove your splash guard if you have one) and shim it to where you want it. If you take your time, you should be able to make the shaper ways as straight as your lathe bed.

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        • #5
          That's an idea! I am looking forward to getting my shop building up so that I can start work on rebuilding my 32" Cincinnatti shaper. My first thoughts to pass on were to look into renting a portable mill from someone like Climax, I once rented a portable boring bar to rebore a gearbox. It would not fit on a 3.5" Cinci/Gilbert horizontal boring mill. I accessed the tooling for setup and insert changes by crawling through an intermediate bearing bore, around 17" hole as I recall. They had some interesting tools for sale and rent, there are others out there too, you might look at pictures and figure out something that you could build.

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          • #6
            Why not a epoxy putty. http://moglice.de/

            Bob

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            • #7
              Could you take it down to the mall and swap it for the one on display?

              http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=29515

              Glenn

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Doc Nickel
                Yes, it can. But I'm referring to the ways the ram rides in.
                I follow you. A shaper can't true its table if its ram ways are corkscrewed. I'm probably going to have a similar problem with my old shaper so I'm going to pay attention. The good news is I'm going to be in a scraping class this weekend put on by Forrest Addy, so I should be able to make a fine mess of the old gal when I get back.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bob Ford
                  Why not a epoxy putty. http://moglice.de/
                  -Thought about that, but how would one make sure the resulting built-up surface is square and parallel where it needs to be?

                  MickeyD- That's in interesting idea. My Sheldon has a 36" bed, though I'm not sure if that's how far the carriage can actually travel. I'd have to measure. I also suspect there'd be some issues with the carriage wanting to lift a little, as the cutting force usually pushes down on the front way, but something hanging off the back would tend to try to lift it.

                  It would also be a huge evolution to get my lathe out of the small shop, into the big shop, and get both machines levelled relative to each other.

                  But I definitely will have to ponder that one for a while...

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doc Nickel
                    Yes, it can. But I'm referring to the ways the ram rides in.
                    I can square up the ram itself, and the removable tops of the ways, but the main wear is on the bottom of the ways- part of the main body casting.
                    I've been trying to figure out a way to mount some sort of portable milling head to the body, that could index off the top of the casting, a presumably-undisturbed part.Some guide rails, a router and a carbide endmill, maybe?Doc.
                    Doc, what about making use of a big old spindle moulder (shaper) like this one here. Or fabricate a frame to serve the same purpose.

                    http://www.titaniumstudios.com/tooljunkie/oldshop.html
                    Last edited by speedy; 06-17-2008, 07:12 AM.
                    Ken.

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                    • #11
                      Make a form using the top of the ways for support. Apply the putty then bolt form down. You should have at least 1 hour after applying the putty to get the form in place. OR You could make two forms one for each side and push the putty under each form.

                      Bob

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                      • #12
                        I had the same problem on an Ammco I rebuilt. The parts however, were easily accomodated on a friend's mill when I machined the ram ways and the ram itself.

                        A fellow club member reground the ways on his lathe and the method may be applicable. He made up a cart using skateboard bearings for wheels (apparently they are of a high quality). The wheels ran in the machined portion of the ways and there were additional wheels on the sides to locate the sled/cart. A toolpost grinder (huge) was mounted on the sled and he redid all the worn surfaces.

                        Could you make up a big sled that references a piece of plate (granite countertop?) and straight edges placed on the floor and do something similar?

                        Geoff

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ammcoman2
                          I had the same problem on an Ammco I rebuilt. The parts however, were easily accomodated on a friend's mill when I machined the ram ways and the ram itself.
                          Geoff is the Shaper Grand Master -- that's would I would suggest: square the table and knee on a mill. Depending on the condition of the mill, you should be able to get the surfaces to at least a thou across their length. Then final scraping will be a lot easier.

                          I can't remember what kind of mill you have Doc -- do you have a Bridgeport-sized machine?
                          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                          • #14
                            Speedy- Even if I had access to a planer that size, we'd still have to manhandle a 1,000-pound casting through it.

                            Bob- That's an interesting idea. I can see some issues with making the form, but at least that's on a scale I can deal with.

                            Geoff- That's kind of the way I'm heading. Rails of some sort that index off the very top of the casting (presumably relatively undisturbed dimensionally) and some sort of sliding cutter head on wheels, whether a router, a grinder or a whole homebrew millhead.

                            Lazlo- Yes, I have a Grizzly Bridgeport clone. But it's far too small to accomodate the shaper casting. This isn't a 7" Southbend, it's a 16" Stockbridge. The main body casting is four feet tall, a thousand pounds and has 32-inch ways.

                            And I probably won't be scraping after whatever it is I'll do, as I don't have any references or a straightedge. Best I'll be able to do is stone the high points smooth and call it good.

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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              How about a mix of 2 ideas here. Bob Ford's epoxy and Geoff's granite countertop? Lay the counter top over the ways and fill with epoxy or epoxy the ways then use the counter top as a flattening tool before the epoxy is totally hardened?

                              mark61

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