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  • Shaper work-holding?

    I bought this Alba 10" shaper recently. I'm new to shapers, and the first job I have for it is cutting 1/4" keyways in 25 to 30mm bore sprockets. I will need an angle plate on which to mount the sprockets, and I have in mind to fabricate that out of 6" x 1/2" flat which I have on hand.

    Any words of wisdom about shaper angle plates and keyway cutting do's and don'ts before I get started?

    And no, I'm not going to leave the shaper on the trolley


  • #2
    Originally posted by bob ward View Post

    And no, I'm not going to leave the shaper on the trolley

    It could be the start of a new sport. Not belt sander racing, but shaper rowing

    Dave

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    • #3
      Originally posted by small.planes View Post
      It could be the start of a new sport. Not belt sander racing, but shaper rowing

      Dave
      I'm in. My Prema is sitting on a cradle too. Once I find a suitable resting place, I'll set it on the floor though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmmmm, did you not get the vise with the shaper? Shaper vises are constructed quite differently than the ones for, say, a Bridgeport mill. Shaper apply a tremendous amount of force to the vise jaw further from the column and most normal vises will fail after a time.

        One of the shaper book pdf files at the NEMES site has a very good chapter on work holding. Unfortunately, I can't remember which one.

        http://www.neme-s.org/Shaper%20Books..._book_page.htm

        Brian
        Taxachusetts

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        • #5
          Originally posted by small.planes View Post
          It could be the start of a new sport. Not belt sander racing, but shaper rowing

          Dave
          When I give the 10M full throttle it does a shuffle without any wheels could be the oily timber it sits on, I like the sound of a shaper rowing contest

          TBH when cutting keyways I normally have whatever it is mounted in a good strong vice

          Paul

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          • #6
            I used a cast iron angle plate available on sale often from Enco and other suppliers to cut a key way in a handle for a milling machine. It had supports cast in to prevent the plate from flexing.

            You probably already are aware of this, but in case you aren't; if you cut from inside the bore down you have to lock the clapper so the tool won't hang in the bore as it pulls back on the return stroke if the bore diameter is small. If you cut from the bore up locking the clapper isn't necessary. In my research I found both methods were used back in the days when shaper work was common.

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            • #7
              Regarding shaper vise design.
              The only thing different about the vise on my Atlas shaper is that it's low-profile. It doesn't appear to be constructed any better than your average milling vise. In fact, I think the 3" Asian vise on my minimill is probably a stronger design.

              Granted, the low jaw height reduces the lever arm acting against the cutter force. This may be as much about increasing the vertical workspace as force reduction.
              But I would not be hesitant to mount a milling vise on a shaper, possibly with some metal removal to reduce the height.

              As for mounting that sprocket, have you looked at clamping it to the front of the table?
              Perhaps some long bolts through holes in the sprocket, running in the bottoms of the T-slots, with washers/nuts to hold it?

              You might need a longer toolholder, but that may be easier to fab than an angle plate

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              • #8
                I brain pharted and forget to take pictures of the shaper operation, but in my case I put the gear in the vise and cut the slot. I ended the cut stroke as close as possible to the far gear face and have the cutter as close to the end of the tool holder as possible to prevent the return stroke jamming. I improved the cutter holder later by brazing a washer to it to prevent the thing from slipping in the mount. The screws are used only to align it in the bore and don't have enough strength to prevent slip.

                http://metalworkingathome.com/?p=65

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                • #9
                  I find a lot of shaper jobs go easier with the shaper vice sitting safely on my workbench and the work clamped to the shaper table.

                  For this job I second the recommendation to ensure the angle plate is securely braced.

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                  • #10
                    I've seen tool holders that incorporate a mini clapper arrangement for the tool bit.
                    Paul Compton
                    www.morini-mania.co.uk
                    http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bob,

                      As much as I enjoy using my shaper, I can't help wondering if you wouldn't be better off with one of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-4-C-3-8-X-...item4601eea70b

                      Machine up a couple of bushes to suit the bores and you'll probably have the job done a whole lot quicker than setting it up in the shaper.

                      If you do go the angle plate route, you'll find that the work ends up very close to the ram - sort of like running out of daylight on a vertical mill, but in this case horizontally. You might want to make a tee shaped plate, that bolts onto the table and has a vertical section extending down the front face of the table (maybe with a couple of webs on the outer vertical face for stiffness). All the strength of an angle plate, much more work room.

                      Ian
                      All of the gear, no idea...

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                      • #12
                        I picked up a big set of broaches like that last year, and have used them twice. It's certainly faster, having no setup time, nor cutters to shape, nor fixtures to arrange for workholding.
                        If you have a long bore (over 2"?) I think I'd rather use a broach for sure.
                        A good-sized arbor press is essential to use them.
                        Also those L-shaped shims are very important. I need to buy additional shims...somewhere. Or make some.

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