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  • The old way or the new way?

    I was reading the recent article in HSM about the uses of an oxy-acetylene torch by Kent White. (Did you notice something on the cover of HSM? anyway...) It made me curious about the next installment and honestly I'm excited to see the next issue. Well done Kent, keep them coming.

    Not wanting to wait for the next HSM, I went to my personal library and dug out a few o/a books. One of the books I grabbed was "Welding and cutting" by J.A. Oates. (ISBN 0853440948) I looked over the welding section a bit and re-familiarize myself with the way it used to be done; and according to Kent its a good method of accomplishing the given task.

    Next, I jumped on here and have been watching the thread on the little shaper that was brought to our attention today. Yet another process that may not be used much now days but still has an advantage for many designs.

    Then my thoughts were on a small forge, a project that I have collected just about everything I need to start. I have been assembling these items on the ultra cheap. But it seems that this takes longer than just buying what is needed.

    After my ADHD let up, I started to dwell on the idea that sometimes the old way is still the best given the job at hand, finances available and methods available. Yet, there is always a draw to do the job the quickest way possible. Get it done and move on. In my younger years, nothing was impossible. "But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible, logical, oh responsible, practical"

    I have to admit that watching my shaper run is hypnotizing if not romantic to some extent. Thoughts of taking ones time and finessing the detail of a part while sipping a cup of coffee reminds me of old black and white photos of wooden floor machine shops with an old wood stove in the corner.

    I know if your working for yourself and trying to make a buck that time is money and you just need to get it done. But outside of profit, do you ever proceed using the old method just to see if you still have the touch? Or just because that old shaper hasn't done any work lately, do you walk a part over to it and set it all up knowing that the Bridgeport would probably be quicker?

    So what say you all? Do you ever do it the "old way" just because?

    rock~
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  • #2
    I once visited the oldest machine shop in town, still having remnants of the line shaft in the rafters, and I said something to the ancient proprietor about the shaper he had that was bigger than a VW beetle. He said there were some jobs that just couldn't be done any other way.

    I regret that I didn't make friends with that guy... he had a lot to teach. Sadly, the machines were all auctioned off after he died, many of which dated to the 1920s and earlier.

    For us hobbyists, we can afford to take time on a project. The professional needs to balance self-satisfaction with showing a profit.

    I spent my career with photography, and last year I got out a 69-year-old Speed Graphic and shot some sheet film with it. Despite the convenience of digital imaging, I recently have had a strong urge to get out the view camera and shoot some Croatian film that is made to a half-century old formula. But I'd also have to pull the enlarger down from the rafters and mix up some developer.... I need at least two more lifetimes!

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    • #3
      The Old Way If Possoble.

      Youth just looks at you, when you say an item is older than yourself and will work long after their grandchildren are gone. I was removing the handle on a WEAR-EVER pot so it could be refurbished while talking. Jim

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      • #4
        I do this for enjoyment. Most of my jobs are for my satisfaction. Do some jobs for others with the understanding that it gets done when it gets done not today. Really like to watch my shaper at work. Hate the chips flying all over the shop. Need to make a curtain to catch them. The lathes and mills same way like to make chips and actually make useful things.

        Bob

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        • #5
          I am guilty of welding with Oxygen and acetylene. I got pissed at my exhaust on my little Dodge D-50 custom. I picked it up with a fork lift to put jack stands under it. I filled all the holes and seams in the exhaust it really quieted it down so I could think when driving it. The pick up was $170 a little TLC and it ran and drove like a champ.
          NRA member

          Gun control is using both hands

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          • #6
            My folks were Austrian emigrents back in '34. My dad taught me how to straighten nails so they could be re-used. My mom turned my heart to the music of Bach and Mozart. They bought me a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera back in '46 or '47.

            That camera started a life of finding and recording the murmurings of history... Pioneer cemetaries, old tractors, fabric covered airplanes, rusty locomotives... I am adamant about using a historic process (film) to record these last glimpses of a time that we'll never see again.

            I retired with a head full of contemporary corporate methodology, but I can't let go of yesterday... Film. Paper road maps. Hand tools. Gravel roads. Cars without GPS. Cast lead toy soldiers. Mozart, and... straightened nails.

            I'm in no hurry: the faster I go, the more I miss...

            A bit more about me and my photos... www.classicBWphoto.com

            Reinhold

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            • #7
              One of the local oilfield-support machine shops has some pretty modern stuff- CNC mills, a CNC lathe with a 12-station turret, some nice stuff.

              But back in the back is a 16" shaper that's a very close clone to my 1905 Stockbridge shaper. They keep it around and use it several times a year, as there's a few things- pulley keyways mainly- that no other machine can do.

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

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              • #8
                Shaping up well

                I have yet to see a machine that can do dove-tails better than a well-managed shaper. It usually beats the hell out of a broatch for multiple-slot internal splines.

                Next in line is a slotter - which is essentially a vertical shaper.

                A good small 8" (preferred) or 6" shaper would suit me fine. They are as scarce as rocking-horse $hit here else I'd have had one long ago.

                I would appreciate it if anyone in Victoria (in OZ) - the nearer Melbourne the better - that has or knows of one (*8" or 6" - 230V 50~ single-phase) for sale in good condition - let me know as I really would appreciate it.

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                • #9
                  Here's one in OZ - but too far away

                  Here's one here in OZ at AU$200 ~ UKP100 ~ US$160.

                  http://cgi.ebay.com.au/METAL-SHAPING...d=p3286.c0.m14

                  Its over 800 miles from me and I don't know and can't see the condition of it. I want a good one. The transport costs would be horrific.

                  I am giving it a miss - reluctantly.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by oldtiffie
                    I have yet to see a machine that can do dove-tails better than a well-managed shaper. ...
                    Unless it's a well maintained planer. I bet I machined a couple of miles of dovetails and V-ways on a planer. If the machine is level and straight about the only reason to put a scraper to the machined surface is to develop surface bearing and break it up for oil retention. There's a real art to broad=nosing machine way elements. Do it right and the machined surface looks like parallel runs of gray satin ribbon. Do it right and the scraper hand and the set-up man have little to do to align the machine. I used to get $8/hr premium pay when I prepped machine castings for scraping ad that was the only time I never got the "hurry-up". I could cut about 150 hours of scraping time off a horizontal boring mill by expending only about an extra shift on the machine work. That old Gray planer I used to run was straight and square and the clapper boxes only sucked a little. Yup. I do love a good planer. Does it show?

                    Press brake dies too. Old pressmen hate milled press brake dies and much prefer ones made on a planer. Over-bend just a trifle with a milled die and you have milling feed marks embossed in the metal.
                    \
                    OK OK rant over.
                    Last edited by Forrest Addy; 09-02-2009, 05:00 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by oldtiffie
                      I have yet to see a machine that can do dove-tails better than a well-managed shaper. It usually beats the hell out of a broatch for multiple-slot internal splines.

                      Next in line is a slotter - which is essentially a vertical shaper.

                      A good small 8" (preferred) or 6" shaper would suit me fine. They are as scarce as rocking-horse $hit here else I'd have had one long ago.

                      I would appreciate it if anyone in Victoria (in OZ) - the nearer Melbourne the better - that has or knows of one (*8" or 6" - 230V 50~ single-phase) for sale in good condition - let me know as I really would appreciate it.
                      For you to drool over oldtiffie and it's close to you
                      http://cgi.ebay.com.au/3-Phase-Metal...d=p3286.c0.m14

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                      • #12
                        I cast myself a lead drawbar hammer the other day, just because I could...
                        (tinfoil as mold, wraped around the end of a 5/8" wrench)
                        Of course, it turns out they stoped using lead hammers because they deform massively apon impacting, Not because they are toxic. :P Oh well.
                        Back to the steel with plastic faces plan!
                        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                        • #13
                          Missed it

                          For you to drool over oldtiffie and it's close to you
                          http://cgi.ebay.com.au/3-Phase-Metal...ewItemQQptZAU_ BnI_Woodworking_Metalworking?hash=item4399f05ed6&_ trksid=p3286.c0.m14
                          Thanks Ozcad.

                          I'd love to have it but its too big (way, way too big) for here/me and I have only got single-phase supply and don't want to install a 3 phase supply.

                          Not only that but as its in Victoria, its only about 2 hours drive from here south-east of Melbourne. The transport costs would be pretty big and I doubt that my 1 ton hoist will do the job.

                          I had a look at eBay this evening and missed that item. I must check it again.

                          I did try eBay again and I can't find that link no matter how I try but the link you provided certainly works for me. I'd like to know what I'm doing wrong - so any useful advice will be appreciated.

                          I'd like a good 8" shaper as I'd use it for cutting through welded or oxy-acet/plasma cuts as well as for dove-tails and slotting and internal multi-slot/key-way work.

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                          • #14
                            I have a strong tendency to do things my way....
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rockrat
                              (Did you notice something on the cover of HSM? anyway...)


                              rock~

                              Was kind of hoping nobody would notice. Why is it that you can look at something a dozen times and not see the mistake until it's too late?

                              George
                              George

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