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  • Shaper Vise Score

    I'd been looking for a small shaper for a couple years, but every one I found was either a pile of rust or priced like gold.

    A couple months ago, I finally found a good deal on an Atlas 7B that was missing a couple of parts, most notably, the crank handle, a boring bar holder, and the original vise.

    About a week later, I found a crank handle in a box of assorted parts I'd picked up last year.
    2 weeks after that, I found a boring bar holder at an estate sale for $5.00.

    Yesterday I was at an auction and they had a 'small milling vise' in the catalog.
    Sure enough, it's a Atlas shaper vise.

    Despite the ridiculous prices that the Chinese tooling was selling for, I snagged the vise for $60. It needs one new jaw and some paint, but otherwise it's ready to go.

    I also picked up some never used South Bend arbors, some Starrett hole gages, a couple Palmgren vises and a mostly complete (but disassembled) South Bend 9A with 7 chucks (including a nice 4 Jaw scroll chuck), a micrometer stop, and a taper attachment. I haven't completely gone through it, but so far the only part that seems to be missing is the spindle.

    Spent a grand total of $600, plus about $10.00 on coffee....


  • #2
    I have never understood exactly how 90% of shapers came to be missing their vise. I sold my 7B years ago and swore to never buy another shaper unless it had its original vise on it.

    metalmagpie

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    • #3
      Very nice score!!!! JR

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      • #4
        Have to ask as I've only watched shapers running on video: What is so special about a shaper vise that you couldn't substitute it with something else?
        Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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        • #5
          Hi Jaakko;

          A shaper vice (using the Oxford spelling!) is designed to have the main force on the sliding jaw, while other vices are designed to have the main force on the fixed jaw.

          I used to have a little AAMCO 7" with original vice; nice little machine, but I had to sell it when moving overseas.

          John.

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          • #6
            spongerich, I asked specifically of the vice, not the machine itself

            Originally posted by JohnAlex141r View Post
            Hi Jaakko;

            A shaper vice (using the Oxford spelling!) is designed to have the main force on the sliding jaw, while other vices are designed to have the main force on the fixed jaw.
            Is the only reason the location of the handle or what for having the force on the movable jaw? I'm thinking something like a Quad-I vice would be good, has the handle on the operator side and still would get all the forces against the fixed jaw.
            Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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            • #7
              Wow Rich BONUS find!! Congratulations!!
              Your'e chances of finding a shaper vise are like 1 in 10,000 !!
              Agree with Metalmagpie, never understood HOW or WHY the shaper vises were always gone.
              They must have been robbed for a mill vise or drill press vise.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                I have never understood exactly how 90% of shapers came to be missing their vise. I sold my 7B years ago and swore to never buy another shaper unless it had its original vise on it.

                metalmagpie
                By the same logic that many horizontal mills that came with vertical heads became separated from them. When the shaper was no longer needed and pushed into the corner to sit until scrapped, the vise was removed to be used on a mill, drillpress, bench. First thing to be scarped were the horizonal mill accessories, vertical heads, high speed drill heads, un-needed drawbars, collets, work holding fixtures, etc.

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                • #9
                  A shaper vice is no doubt very useful but there is no reason why the work cannot be clamped to the shaper table and in many cases it is easier that way.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund View Post
                    spongerich, I asked specifically of the vice, not the machine itself


                    Is the only reason the location of the handle or what for having the force on the movable jaw? I'm thinking something like a Quad-I vice would be good, has the handle on the operator side and still would get all the forces against the fixed jaw.
                    LOL - Yeah. One thing that I've noticed is that the shaper vises seem to be a bit lower profile that most other milling vises. And they're of course almost all got swivel bases.

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=metalmagpie;911408]I have never understood exactly how 90% of shapers came to be missing their vise. I sold my 7B years ago and swore to never buy another shaper unless it had its original vise on it.

                      Just along the track that leads to the elephants graveyard, go past the piles of posted cheques, turn left at the heap of rocking horse manure and go directly past the pirate treasure. You will come to a valley filled with chuck keys, outside chuck jaws, shaper vises, draw bars and the small part you just parted off.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jaakko Fagerlund View Post
                        spongerich, I asked specifically of the vice, not the machine itself


                        Is the only reason the location of the handle or what for having the force on the movable jaw? I'm thinking something like a Quad-I vice would be good, has the handle on the operator side and still would get all the forces against the fixed jaw.
                        Generally, shaper vises are much stouter than a mill vise and the jaws are wider. Just a lot more mass than an equivalent size mill vise. Also, shaper vises generally had 4 bolt mounting rather than 2 bolt like a mill vise. The mounting bolts on a shaper vise will match up to the slots on the table if you have the correct one. My 16" G&E shaper has a massive vise with a swivel base and is still relatively low profile.

                        I don't know how much of that holds true for the small shapers. I know the 7" South Bend vise has a single stud in the center of the vise base that goes down through the table with a nut on the bottom. Even at that, I think it is more robust vise than a lot of the small mill vises.

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                        • #13
                          Have the original vise on my 7 inch Porter Cable shaper, (this is pre 1941 when Logan bought them out,) and it is held down with 4 bolts.

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                          • #14
                            My shaper is very small and the vice can be easily held in one hand but it does have the most important characteristic of a good shaper vice in that the moving jaw can be drawn down putting a positive downward force on the workpiece.

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                            • #15
                              Not having a shaper,...yet, could you just use a mill vise the other way round and put the pressure on the fixed jaw, ok it wouldent be ideal due to access but would it cope?
                              Mark

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