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BATTLE SHAPER ... Pics at long last. Pics of CHIPS too !!!

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  • BATTLE SHAPER ... Pics at long last. Pics of CHIPS too !!!

    After several months of disassembling, painting, reassembly, and moving, she's been launched!! Chips, chips, GLORIOUS chips.

    Just a quick synopsis first. I was looking for a 7" shaper in Craigslist when I found a Cincinnati 24" shaper for scrap metal prices. The machine had been purchased by a machinist in the late 70's and had been regularly used until around 2000. Since then it had gathered dust, oil mist, and a mouse nest. The machinist (now in his early 80's) decided to find a loving home for it. We hit it off, and a deal was struck. As far as we can tell from catalogs I can find online, patent information, a date on the castings, the machine serial number, etc., the machine was made between July 1900 and Sept 1904.

    The August move was hellacious... I had totally underestimated the mass of this machine. However, after 2 hard days of work and the help of 4 paid helpers, I got it into the shop. The poor thing had a coating which left a horrible black grunge on your hand every time you touched it. I tried washing with detergent and water, with goo-gone, and with kerosene. It seems that the paint absorbed the oil over the years and had turned to oobleck. So, I decided to disassemble it, clean the parts, and repaint it. Wow, that turned into a looooooong project. Yet it was also a good confidence builder. Every part seemed sound. Nothing seemed like it needed to be repaired - just cleaned, oiled, painted and luvved. However, the project took over my shop. Taking a 3 ton shaper to parts completely filled the shop. My habit is to have totes for projects, and at the end of a day I put the project in the tote and put it to the side. It's a little hard to put a 250 pound vice, a 500 pound table, or the 750 pound ram, etc., into a tote. They just ended up taking over the bench, the floor, every square inch. At one point I had something like 20 large boxes with individual components such as "clapper box", "back gears", etc, plus the BIG parts laying on the floor. I stumbled over the vise a dozen times a day...

    Then there was the painting. My first paint selection turned out to be seafoam green. I finally decided to go with hunter green, with red and black trim. Why yes, I do like mid 1800's steam engines... Old Sparky got a flat grey paint job in line with it's suspect late 1920's to 1930's date. The Do-All transmission didn't get painted because the original paint was still in good (albeit stained) condition. The Do-All did get opened, drained, the goo scraped out, a new gasket made and refilled.

    Then it was time to move the Battle Shaper into it's new corner. I spent a week remodeling that corner, complete with a new window, some new interior OSB, and some new siding on the outside of the old barn. That siding work is still going on, but I got the corner sealed in.

    TIME TO MOVE. First I placed the I-beam adjusting rails for Old Sparky. That meant drilling into the concrete and putting in anchors. They made that concrete GOOD in 1948. I ended up having to buy a second 5/8 concrete drill bit just to finish all 4 holes. Then I got Old Sparky into place, and wired her up with solid 10 Ga wire.

    Then it was time to shift the BS a total of 87" inches and rotate her 90 degrees. By myself. Using a spud bar, a come along, a crow bar, and a lot of ibuprofen. First day I got her 37 inches and 45 degrees. The next day I got another 40 inches and got her turned. The third day was dedicated to getting her the last 10 inches and getting the pulleys aligned. Back, forth, turn a little, move her again. AGGGGG. But finally she was aligned.

    Three days to move her. I moved the Bridgeport 15 feet in one day. I have moved the Rockwell lathe a couple of times in the last couple of years. But this thing is a BEAST. It's the BATTLE SHAPER - big enough to shape battleship armor.

    It took a day to get the table in place, and a day to get the vise cleaned up and in place.

    Then I did some dry runs... The first time I turned it on I was so excited I sent an email to a friend proclaiming IT'S ALIVE. Then I spent some time learning the stroke rates, how to adjust her, and making sure nothing fell off or ground to a horrible stop while it was cutting air. All systems go for launch. Gosh, how exciting !!!

    Time to make some chips. I grabbed a roughly 4 x 6 chuck of 1" thick steel plate I had, chucked it up, and the roughing bit I had gotten with the Battle Shaper, touched it up with a stone, and set it up to do the first chips. IT WORKED... CHIPS. More on that later. Now, lets start posting photos. I'll show some before and after pairs first.








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    • #3
      The brasswork shined up nicely.




      I got a little carried away with the door. My wife wanted me to paint the raised lettering, but I wasn't THAT carried away.




      CHIPS... CHIPS.... The pointy roughing cutter did a good job. I took a at least 0.1 off of that block in several passes. The shear cutter I was trying in these two pictures chattered. I found that the gib was a little loose, and so I'll tighten that for the next experiment. It was about this time that the Missus insisted I come out of the hidey hole of the shop and be sociable with the guests.



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      • #4
        And now for the long, steep learning curve. I am going to have to learn how to select cutters, how to grind them, how to set up the machine. How to improve the surface finish. A thousand things I don't know, and a thousand things I don't know that I don't know yet. But, she's WORKING.

        Calooh, calay, oh frabjous day !!!

        I also have at least two days of shop reorganizing and cleaning. PLUS now that I've moved the wood heater I have to rework the chimney... You can see it lurking in the background...

        Plus, there are some paint touch ups... and the rust that shows up so STARKLY in the camera has to be chased away. Plus I have a list of stuff to do such as add a hand wheel to the pulley, make new parallels, buy some 1/2" HSS tools (I only have 3 since I use smaller on the lathe), make bigger clamps when I don't use the vise, etc... Oh, I'm a gonna be a busy boy.

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        • #5
          Very cool. Man that's a big ole vise.

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          • #6
            Nice work
            I should use my shaper more
            I always spin my vise 90 deg to yours so I cut against the movable jaw. I’m not sure if that is right but I haven’t had any issues
            "Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment" R.M.Brown

            My shop tour www.plastikosmd.com

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            • #7
              Looks good. I like machines that come in colors.
              One critique though. Are you sure you want that power switch buried back there? I like cut off switches out and easy to get to.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ncjeeper View Post
                Very cool. Man that's a big ole vise.
                Yes. It totally owned a part of my floor for a few months. Once I put it near the bench it resisted my attempts to move it out of the way. When I was a younger man I might have been able to sling that thing around, but now it requires me and the engine hoist.

                The fixed jaw is nice and straight. I haven't checked the squareness to the vise ways, etc. All part of the plan for the next month.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 1-800miner View Post
                  Looks good. I like machines that come in colors.
                  One critique though. Are you sure you want that power switch buried back there? I like cut off switches out and easy to get to.
                  That's where it was when I got the machine. It's not quite as buried as it looks because one stands on the right side (defined as seen from the front) , so it's more or less handy to the operators right hand. However, I know what you mean.

                  The machine doesn't have mechanical or electric limit switches. I've been thinking about making some. Doing it electrically would be fairly simple since the ON/OFF buttons control a relay in a box on the wall. The OFF button is a NC momentary switch, and the control current is about .5 Amps on 110 V. I could put a mushroom E Stop and two NC limit switches in series. However, I keep thinking the mushroom E Stop would reduce the esthetic. On the other hand, losing that hand could seriously dampen my enthusiasm. Grrrr... Choices. The limit switches could be well hidden and not intrude on the 1900's machine esthetic.

                  Then again I'm not sure why I'm worried about the esthetic. I'm not running a museum. As long as what I do isn't irreversable and I keep the old parts for the next owner, why shouldn't I upgrade it a bit?

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                  • #10
                    I really like the idea of some form of limit switch. Bigger area cuts on a shaper can take quite a while to run a pass. If we're simply cleaning off a large face we could be doing other things once it's set up and we're sure that the machine would shut itself off before it tries to spit the traveling table, vise and work off the side and out onto the floor....

                    I've often wondered why such switching options are not part of the longitudinal feed on the lathe and the table feed on a mill as well.
                    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                    • #11
                      Mechanical interlock to release the ram if the head gets too close to the column on the backstroke..... If it hit, something is gonna "give".
                      CNC machines only go through the motions

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                      • #12
                        On the issue of the power switch. While I agree that we want it on the right side since that's where we stand I have to agree that it's buried a little deeply in with the other pieces. Might be nice to move it out where it's a little easier to reach without threading your finger and hand in around the other pieces. Somewhere with enough clear approach that a panic slap at the off switch could be done easily from anywhere within arm's reach. Perhaps a sheet metal bracket that's held on by one or two slightly longer bolts that hold down that top bar for the ram slide? If it bent down so the switch box was between two of the gybe adjusting screws it would be far easier to use but still neatly out of the way.
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                        • #13
                          What units are used for the scale in post #3 picture?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                            Mechanical interlock to release the ram if the head gets too close to the column on the backstroke..... If it hit, something is gonna "give".
                            That's going to depend a lot on me and a good pre-run check When that big bull gear and the yoke are swinging it doesn't stop for at least half a stroke. I tried getting it to stop at the end of a cut, and I pretty much have to hit the off switch before it begins the stroke.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by old mart View Post
                              What units are used for the scale in post #3 picture?
                              I believe the scale is in inches. Ram stroke length?

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