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  • shaper/mill

    This thought has occurred to me a few times, so I'm putting it up for discussion. How practical or impractical would it be to remove the clapper assembly from the front of a shaper ram and mount a spindle head there instead? Maybe for those who don't have a mill, but could find a shaper cheap enough. The shaper has all the axis movements, and the ram could be fixed in position or given a lead screw of its own.

    Most shapers look like pretty rugged machines and from what I've read they aren't in favor anymore in industry. They should be available cheaply enough, and a conversion doesn't look like it would be particularly difficult.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    I'm not seeing all the axes needed. You've got X and Z, but Y axis is ram travel and you don't have calibrated movement.

    OTOH, there's some humor in imagining a carbide face mill on the spindle on the end of the ram. Set it for a transverse step of about 2 inches and really plow off that stock. You'd have to duck the shower of chips when it took a stroke.
    .
    "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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    • #3
      I dont think the ram motion would be in use when milling somehow, the table below would be the X,Y and Z, just as i dont move the ram of my mill back and fore as i mill, theres an idea, turn my mill into a shaper, lol
      Mark

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TGTool View Post
        ... but Y axis is ram travel and you don't have calibrated movement.
        Add servo motors and CNC ?

        On a serious note. IMO, manual mills are becoming increasingly rare in
        business. This presents an opportunity for hobbiests to pick up the cast
        -offs. However, I expect that in the not too distant future, mills will come
        to be viewed as shapers are now. I am less and less confident of enjoying
        much resale value.

        .

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        • #5
          Turn your mill into a shaper I suppose in most cases it would be best to use a machine for its actual intended purpose
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #6
            If I look at pictures of Deckel mills, they do look very much like a shaper that's been converted into a milling machine! The Y movement is done using a shaper-style ram, albeit with a feedscrew. So, as Darryl says, if the ram were to be given a feedscrew of its own, then yes, it could be turned into a milling machine.

            I don't think the existing crank feed would be much use, nor would the ratchet-type X axis feed. It would either be hand feed, or rig up separate power feeds.

            I remember some of the Adcock & Shipley 1-ESG horizontal millers were converted to vertical millers by having a Bridgeport head fixed to the end of the dovetailed overarm - something similar could certainly be done with a shaper, if desired.

            On the price, cheap where I live (Holland). I bought an 18" stroke shaper in good condition for €140.

            Ian
            All of the gear, no idea...

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            • #7
              Hi

              We do that at work. We have a 6ft planer we need for a couple of jobs. After planing is done we mount a small Rusknok milling head in place of the clapper box. Works great and guarantees a perfectly square ends with no effort.

              Dalee
              If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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              • #8
                it depends on how much you want to work around the limits. yes it can be done.

                at one time i had a bunch of chipper blades to regrind. I made a fixture for my shaper. then mounted my tool post grinder in the clapper box. and it worked just fine.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dalee100 View Post
                  Hi

                  We do that at work. We have a 6ft planer we need for a couple of jobs. After planing is done we mount a small Rusknok milling head in place of the clapper box. Works great and guarantees a perfectly square ends with no effort.

                  Dalee
                  That works OK on a planner, lots were converted to plano/millers when planners went out of fashion BUT a shaper doesn't have the table size so work size is limited. A planner also has built in 3 axis adjustment, some way of setting the ram position/locking would be needed. It may be a mistake to think that shapers can be bought cheap, most shops dumped them many years ago, most have gone to the scrapper and the ones that remain are more and more in demand. Prices are going up.
                  The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                  Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                  Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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