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  • Least used machines

    I didn't want to hijack the most used tools thread, so here we go: This is about the machine that you use the least. I have lots of tools that haven't been used for many years, and some that will never be used again. A prime example would be a few purpose built wrenches I inherited from my wife's grandpa. Heirlooms. But not what this thread is about.

    In the early 2000's I had the hots for a small shaper. I got a 7" Atlas, and fixed it up. I used it some, until I got a Bridgeport. Alot less after that. Then I got a Sheldon horizontal mill, And used the shaper even less. It's pretty, and not in my way so it will stay in the shop.

    So what do all do use the least? and, why?

  • #2
    I have a 20 ton press with air over oil jack for the ram.

    It's been in the box for 5 or 6 years now. After I got it home I realized that I don't really have a place to park it when not in use.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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    • #3
      I have a very nice Mitutoyo dial bore gauge that I got for precision fitting two-stroke pistons. Necessary if you really want to achieve the ideal .0015" bore-piston clearance.

      I don't do engine rebuilds any more, haven't used it for ten years or more. Probably should sell it.

      -js
      There are no stupid questions. But there are lots of stupid answers. This is the internet.

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      • #4
        Least used tool in the shop is probably the 2HP Delta 230V radial arm saw. I'd get rid of it tomorrow if somebody made a half way serious offer.

        I grew up using a radial arm saw. My dad still has it. On my own I wound up using a table saw (contractor saw, not serious cabinet saw) and a miter saw. Now a compound radial miter saw. By the time I could afford a real big boy radial arm saw I had gotten so used to doing anything I needed done with my other saws that the RAS has mostly sat idle. I mean any serious wood working project I walk over to the house where my wood shop is and use the table saw or the miter saw. I even moved my smaller vertical bandsaw over to the garage shop on the house recently after making a new table insert and installing a brand new Wood Slicer resaw blade. The RAS is just wasting valuable real estate in the shop. It needs to go.

        I have junk parts on the shelf I'll likely use before I ever use the RAS again. I actually unplugged it and rolled it out by one of the front overhead doors to make room for my new variable speed metal cutting vertical bandsaw.
        *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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        • #5
          Both mills, and lathes. But that has to do with nothing getting done in the shop

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          • #6
            I'll elect the lowly shaper, not for me but for others who own one, most all iv seen in others shops are covered with about 1/16" of dust,,,

            I will never own one - I could live a thousand lifetimes and never even need one - there is not a single thing a shaper can do for me - I despise the fact that so much cast iron had to be mined from our precious earth - refined and molded into such a despicable "shape"

            in this world there are boats of every size and these boats all require a specified weight to anchor them to the sea floor, im sure certain shapers fall into that perfect weight zone, I would just love to see some vessel with a chain hanging off the front and a barnacled shaper attached to it - now that would be a picture worth framing....

            I hate shapers...

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            • #7
              The dove-tailing attachment for the router.
              Used it once to make a bread-box about twenty years ago and haven't used it since. Life's too short for dove-tails (and now I live in the sub-tropical north, I have to keep the bread in the fridge anyway!).

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              • #8
                I built a 50 ton press 25 years ago to build a car and haven't used it in 18 years or so. JR
                My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                • #9
                  I had a nice Delta/Rockwell ten inch radial arm saw that I used extensively until I got my ten inch Unisaw. I could not find anyone interested in the radial arm saw, and ended up practically giving it away to a local pawn shop. I have a seldom used Delta six inch joiner-planer that is very nice. I need the space but I cannot find anyone interested. It seems that the younger people are not doing much woodworking these days.

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                  • #10
                    Shaper for me too. Got a really nice South Bend 7" on cabinet in trade for machine and welding work. One thing I have done is cut a
                    keyway in a large bore gear. Perfect job for a shaper. Beyond that never had a pressing need to use it. I just had to have one though!
                    RichD. It's available.

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                    • #11
                      I would say my Harvey Butterfly Die Filer,only gets used about 6 times a year but would not want to be without it as it can do some jobs that nothing else in my shop can.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                        I'll elect the lowly shaper, not for me but for others who own one, most all iv seen in others shops are covered with about 1/16" of dust,,,

                        I will never own one - I could live a thousand lifetimes and never even need one - there is not a single thing a shaper can do for me - I despise the fact that so much cast iron had to be mined from our precious earth - refined and molded into such a despicable "shape"

                        in this world there are boats of every size and these boats all require a specified weight to anchor them to the sea floor, im sure certain shapers fall into that perfect weight zone, I would just love to see some vessel with a chain hanging off the front and a barnacled shaper attached to it - now that would be a picture worth framing....

                        I hate shapers...
                        If you don't use a shaper why be so negative about what they can do? I've had one going on 15 years, and it does get used. It's not as fast or efficient as some newer machines, but it can do a lot of things a newer machine is either incapable of, or do it with substantially cheaper tooling. I use mine primarily for creating splines (both internal and external), internal keyways, and gear cutting. Some of these functions can be performed on either the vertical or horizontal mill, but it's easier, less expensive and less time consuming to set up the shaper. For most processes it can be setup and left to run without constant monitoring or supervision.

                        There is an adage about shapers that was true 50 years ago and still holds true today: "You can make anything on a shaper except money". They are highly versatile and can make just about any shape you can imagine. The downside is that they are slow. In todays world where time is money no commercial shop could make money, or even stay in business for that matter if they were to rely on a shaper to make parts. They were workhorses of the business from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. Today they're relegated to specialty shops and hobbyists. Just like any machine they serve their purpose until something better and faster comes along.

                        In my shop there are a number of machines that don't get used on a daily or weekly basis. They are there when they are needed and they all do get used. They've all already earned their keep and don't owe me a dime. They're all kept clean and well maintained, and can be fired up at a moments notice. Even though they may not be used regularly it would cost a small fortune to farm out the work they do. It literally costs nothing to let them set idle until such time they are needed.
                        Last edited by projectnut; 09-10-2019, 09:38 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Most places I've worked at, the least-used machine is the Brain. My own shop, the rule is the the Brain must be turned on before anything else. Be 110% there, no cold medicines, no drugs or booze, be awake and aware. I've had co-workers lose limbs due to not following this.

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                          • #14
                            At one time I was interested in doing some wood working and I bought a couple of things that I thought I would use, a 12" planer, a 6" jointer, a small bench top table saw and a large chip/duct collector plus a few other woodworking tools.

                            Then one day I got a 9" S.B lathe and some time after that after that a Bridgeport clone mill.

                            All my woodworking tools have sat unused since that day, having only been used enough to see how they performed.

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                            • #15
                              Broom

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