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additional question Re: Shaper versus mill,

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  • additional question Re: Shaper versus mill,

    Bear with me here please:

    What can a 7in shaper do that a bench top mill cannot and vise-versa?

    Thanks again.

  • #2
    Shapers can cut internal splines and keyways....mills cannot.

    Mills can drill holes, shapers cannot

    LOL, like most things, one will not replace the other...you need both....and a lathe, and 10 different saws, several welding rigs, and a .......

    I'm gonna go ask the wife if I can buy a shaper

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    • #3
      Internal keyways or internal splines. A square inside box corner. Dovetails using 50-cent cutters that can be sharpened by hand in seconds on any cheap bench grinder. Dovetails of any angle using the same cutter.

      As for what the mill does better, generally speaking, it does most day-to-day millwork faster.

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

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      • #4
        With the addition of a rubber component a shaper would make a nice demonstration tool for a college class that is a tad bit risky. A mill will be a much better investment.

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        • #5
          I've also used a shaper to produce a flat knurl.

          One of the biggest advantages of a shaper is the low cost tooling, but like what others have said one does not exactly replace the other.

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          • #6
            Generally shapers are better at gathering dust...
            Precision takes time.

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            • #7
              To cut internal splines you can make your own mini-shaper.

              Today I used my small mill with 9" of table movement to cut a two foot long 3/16 key way in 5/8 rod on three sections. A shaper couldn't do that.

              I'd want a shaper for dovetails, and for planing flat surfaces unattended. I haven't got room for one right now.

              I've just discovered carbide tooling. When I get a shaper I'm going to make some insert holders for it. I don't like the idea of HSS going blunt halfway through a large surface.

              As my contribution to the shaper or mill first debate, I'd suggest it takes longer to learn the basics of milling than the basics of shaping. On the other hand, it may take longer to get the average available shaper into condition than the average available mill.
              Richard - SW London, UK, EU.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sasquatch
                Bear with me here please:

                What can a 7in shaper do that a bench top mill cannot and vise-versa?

                Thanks again.
                Well beside all the thing mentioned... square holes... T-slots... roll threads and patterns into stock. and so forth. Gives you membership into the Shaper Club. Also a Shaper will appreciated over time while a Bench Mill will depreciate.
                Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rohart
                  I've just discovered carbide tooling. When I get a shaper I'm going to make some insert holders for it. I don't like the idea of HSS going blunt halfway through a large surface.
                  You'll want to stick with HSS on a shaper, in general carbide does not hold up well due to the impact at the beginning of each stroke. I've taken 1/2" deep cuts with a heavy feed on an open sided planner using HSS. Carbide would never had held up.

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                  • #10
                    put an incredible finish on work with a cheap hss bit that you hand sharpen perfectly a hundred times. a mill will drill, bore, x/y coordinate locate, create a shoulder or slot etc, cut a radius (rotary table) etc. You need both but if only room for one get the mill
                    .

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                    • #11
                      In addition to what everyone else has mentioned, Shapers can cut lines on linear scales, gears, racks and I find they produce a nicer finish on flat surfaces than a mill if used with a shear tool. I tend to agree with ibhsbz, you need both. I would never get rid of my Southbend unless it was to put a Shaper with a bigger capacity in it's place. The ability to grind inexpensive high speed tooling to cut internal keyways, dovetails, gear teeth (spaces) and other unusual shapes appeals greatly to me. I don't have to purchase as many specialty cutters and I can easily sharpen Shaper tooling. Not so with milling cutters. They are slower than a mill but I used mine in place of one until I got a mill.

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                      • #12
                        Like those above I agree that you need both, but can say I kept the shaper during a period when I didnt have a mill and found quite a few projects to do. Carbide tooling on a shaper will work if you have a tool lifter. Without it the carbide will rub on the backstroke and be ruined. Shapers are slow in the crossfeed, but can be relatively fast if you plan your work and can use the downfeed to vertically remove material in bulk. Those that think shapers are limited need to open their eyes to the possiblities. One of the next projects I would like to do to mine is to create an automatic indexer for it powered by the crossfeed system for cutting gears to eliminate having to spin the indexer by hand.
                        "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."

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                        • #13
                          You'll certainly know more on the subject, if you work your way through this thread. http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...tories-152439/

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                          • #14
                            A shaper is really good for a home shop where it can be used to knock the rust off unknown scrap metal without risking expensive tool tips.

                            A shaper does a nice finish with very basic tools.

                            A shaper is just 'nice' to stand and watch, who ever would watch a mill chomping away?

                            A shaper can be used to shake paint cans!

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                            • #15
                              a new use,,

                              WOW, i never thought of using a shaper to mix paint with, a great idea!!!!!!!!!!

                              So far the responses "Pro and Con" concerning my shaper question are really great,,you guys are a great help in this decision, and your,e postings about this are very much appreciated.

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