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I wonder why

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  • I wonder why

    I've been watching shaper sales on Ebay for probably 4 years now and have noted that the used smaller shapers built by South Bend, Atlas/Craftsman, Logan, etc. often sell for quite a hefty amount ($1,000 to 1,600 or more). I would have thought by now that the retailers who deal frequently with the home shop/small shop market (Grizzly, Enco, Harbor Freight, etc.) would have come up with the idea of having their Chinese/Taiwanese factories produce a 7 to 9 inch metal shaper especially for this market; I would imagine they could sell such a product for around $300 to $500 and I also would think there would be quite a few buyers. Do any of you know if they've considered this? I have no connection to any of these companies and so don't know whether they've determined there simply is no market for a small shaper or whether this just has not occurred to them. I fully realize a shaper is not as versatile as a mill but for a home shop this often is not an issue. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    A shaper is a very complex machine that consists of several highly stressed castings and precision fitted parts. It is also of relatively limited use, as milling machines will do most of what a shaper is capable of much more quickly.
    The cost of manufacture and small market probably make design and production of a shaper unrealistic.
    In 1944, you could buy an Atlas 10" bench lathe, 54" bed for $160.00 or $165.00 depending on drive arrangement. This was a change gear lathe, QC not available yet. You could add Pic-O-Matic change gears for $75.00
    The base shaper, less stand sold for $325.00. I would imagine the price spread would be similar or even greater now.
    Jim H.