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What's a shaper?

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  • What's a shaper?

    Hi all,
    I have a silly question. I've seen everybody posting about "shapers" but I'm not exactly clear as to what they do. I just had a buddy ask me if I would be interested in buying one. He knows nothing about machinery. I think a inlaw of his has it or something like that. I don't even know what manuf. or model yet. I might go look at it this week. Are they just basically a horizontal mill? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Tim

  • #2
    It's a Real old school machine tool. Check out this outstanding home made Gingery shaper.
    I just got a little one but the Gingery version is what got me interested.

    Hoffman in Warner Robins Ga


    • #3
      Tim, a Metal Shaper does to metal what a "Plane" does to wood: it removes stock with a tool that makes horizonal straight-line strokes and is automatically indexed at the end of each stroke for a certain pre-set amount of feed. The depth of cut is controled by a feed screw on the front of the ram that is similar to the cross-feed screw in a lathe They are almost hypnotic to watch they are so facinating!


      • #4
        Here is a link to a page that has information about shapers including some recently published articles:

        Shaper FAQ

        Here's a link to a page on my website with several links to shaper-related information:
        Don's Machine Tool Page


        [This message has been edited by dkinzer (edited 01-15-2005).]
        Don Kinzer
        Portland, OR


        • #5
          Check out and he has in his tools area a short video of his shaper in action.
          no neat sig line


          • #6
            To further confuse matters a 'shaper' as used in woodworking is a very different machine from a metal shaper. A wood shaper is more like a wood router except a stationary machine with vertical spindle unto which one mounts cutters. The wood is passed over a fence, either by hand or power feed attachment, and the cutter "shapes" the wood to the opposite profile of the cutter.


            • #7
              Metal shapers are metal shaving machines. They shave metal from flat material as a lathe shaves material from round stock. JRouche

              Also see:

              My shaper is the one on the introduction page.
              My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group



              • #8
                he could also be talking about a wood "shaper" which is basically a large router table.


                • #9
                  Thank you for the info folks. Now I understand what they do. I just have to go look at this thing and see if it's a metal or wood machine. I've got a feeling it's a wood machine. I'll let ya know when I find out. Thanks again. Tim