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Battle Shaper - coming to clutches with the power drive

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  • Battle Shaper - coming to clutches with the power drive

    The painting is DONE. The remodeling of the corner of the barn/shop is nearly done. The move to it's new location is immanent. In preparation I've been watching shaper videos on YouTube. They seem to be getting to be popular - even Mr Pete got one. I'm expecting to see This Old Shaper soon... (TOT).

    One thing that everybody else seems to have is a clutch mechanism. This 1900 machine doesn't have one. It was originally driven with a flat belt pulley from an overhead drive line, and I suspect there was a clutch mechanism in that belt system. However, the current set up between Old Sparky (the single-phase 3 HP motor) and the Battle Shaper consists of 3 side by side V belts through a variable speed transmission with a little sign on it - "Do not shift while in motion".



    Apparently the previous owner used the on/off button and didn't have a clutch. Seems like a clutch would be a Very Nice Thing Indeed, especially during set ups, touching off, etc.

    So, I turn to the hive mind to ask what you guys suggest. How about mounting the transmission on a spring loaded shelf so that it could be clutched by pushing a pedal ??? Should I try to find a 1PH 3HP VFD ? Or am I over-estimating the value of having a clutch?

    Thanks
    Dan
    Last edited by Dan_the_Chemist; 10-23-2017, 10:57 PM.

  • #2
    The shapers I have run all had a clutch. The speed control features available on a VFD driving a 3 phase would work, and maybe someday you will incorporate one, but with such a neat old shaper, having a motor like "old sparky" driving it puts the bow tie on that machine. I think I would go with a moving base design that's lever operated, and designed so it's accessible from both sides of the shaper.

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    • #3
      Dan,

      I would want some kind of inching control specifically for setup. Have you considered an idler wheel and linkage to tighten and loosen the drive belts between the transmission and shaper. Looking at the steel frame around the transmission it looks like you have the rigidity for such an idler.

      Ron

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      • #4
        I would be starting it all up and cutting a few test pieces before making further modifications.

        The clutch does allow the ram to be "positioned" (usually at the retracted position) and sometimes used to inch the ram to the place you need it before engaging it all in anger.

        Turning off the motor may (and I do not know this for sure with you setup) result in the heavy ram and bull gear mechanism to cycle down a cycle or two before coming to rest.

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        • #5
          You need a clutch, and an "inching" means. The right kind of clutch can function as an inching means.

          Another thing: SHAPERS CAN BREAK THEMSELVES.

          You want to BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THE RAM IS NOT GOING TO TRAVEL FAR ENOUGH THAT THE HEAD WILL HIT THE COLUMN. IF IT DOES, YOU WILL PROBABLY HAVE THE HEAD BROKEN RIGHT OFF THE RAM.

          It is reasonably easy to change the stroke and ram position to where the head can hit, on most shapers. You need to be able to know it is OK, such as by running it through a cycle slow and with reduced power so nothing bad happens even if it IS adjusted wrong.

          With small shapers, you just put in the clutch so the drive is free, and pull the belts or turn pulleys thru one cycle as a check. That might not be so easy with the big guy.

          So you need to do all your adjusting with the ram at full stroke back, so that you know where the head will be. To do that you probably need the inching button to move it there, which has other uses as well.
          CNC machines only go through the motions

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          • #6
            Would a motor control with a jog button give you enough enough control to ensure everything was set to prevent damage?

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            • #7
              My shaper has a clutch, but it also has a simple removable hand crank. The crank is very handy for touching off and checking ram travel and position. As long as you remember to remove it before starting the motor, I feel that it is the safest way to check your setup, since it would be nearly impossible to damage anything when turning it by hand. Treat it as you would a lathe chuck handle; never take your hand off the crank without removing it from the shaper.

              J Tiers advice should be well heeded. A great many shapers have been wrecked under power. As I mentioned in another post, they are absolutely unforgiving of poor setups.

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              • #8
                My Sheldon had a clutch and it was the only way I could inch the ram along to the right place. Look at your machine and see if you have any kind of hand crank capability which can do the same thing. I don't mean to yell at you but it is very important that you learn to not leave a crank in that socket if so. Start it up to running speed and that crank would get flung and could be very bad. It's like leaving a wrench in a lathe chuck. Not to be done.

                You can get a nice TECO VFD which will take 220 single phase input and which you can make jog your machine, do a soft start, or in other ways emulate a clutch.

                metalmagpie

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