Author Topic: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?  (Read 1577 times)

Offline 90LX_Notch

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Re: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?
« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2021, 08:22:58 PM »
Ditto on what Dave said.

-Bob
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Offline GWRdriver

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Re: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?
« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2021, 10:52:45 PM »
As with so many other aspects of the model engineering hobby it's often down to space, needs, wants, and personal resources.  If you have the space and resources, and you want it, it doesn't matter so much whether there's a need, so by all means have yourself a shaper.

I was always attracted to the traditional (old school) nature of a shaper so when my last mentor offered to sell me his (Atlas 6") machine, which was in pristine condition, I bought it.  At the time I had the space and the resources, and I imagined all sorts of needs.  However all the needs I imagined never really materialized.  I found that my mill would do, more quickly and accurately, what the shaper might have done (as did INDUSTRY) so it has sat essentially unused, taking up now much needed space.

I'm not sorry I bought it,  it's a fine little machine, and although I gave it a good try I was never able to find enough work for it to do to earn its keep and it will soon be for sale.
Of course your needs and mileage may vary.

Offline Craig DeShong

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Re: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2021, 11:47:52 PM »
Harry
My situation was the same as yours.  I bought a 6 inch Atlas from a friendís estate.  I used it some, but mine was well worn and I couldnít get it to do work any where near as accurate and quickly as my mill can.  It fell into dis-use and like you, space on the shop floor is at a premium.  When a surfacing machine became available, I realized the floor space the shaper was taking would be much better utilized by the surfacing machine, so the shaper went, and the surfacing machine took itís space.  A good trade in my opinion, Iím constantly finding uses for the surfacing machine.
Craig
The destination motivates us toward excellence, the journey entertains us, and along the way we meet so many interesting people.

Offline Dan Rowe

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Re: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2021, 05:45:03 PM »
It may be possible to build a compact shaper to be driven from the lathe.

I was looking at hand powered shapers and spotted a Tom Senior "Shaping Attachment" that is exactly what you are describing they came in 5 sizes no less.

http://www.lathes.co.uk/seniorshaperplaner/

Cheers Dan
ShaylocoDan

Offline GWRdriver

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Re: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?
« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2021, 06:48:38 PM »
I don't know that what I wrote fully answered the original poster's question.

As an Owner and user (albeit rarely) of an Atlas 6" shaper (US made) I would rate that machine very highly.  There were a couple of other well-known makes in the USA, principally South Bend, the makers of the very well-known lathes, and AMMCO which was a 7" machine.  Both of the latter were thought of as top quality machines, suitable for commercial use,  However the Atlas shapers were well-designed and well made indeed, to a visibly higher level of quality than their lathes.  Compared to South Bend lathes the Atlas lathe had clear shortcomings, but IMHO the Atlas shapers performed just as well and had a similar work life.

In the UK, during the War and for a time after, the Atlas lathe design was made by Acorn Tools, under the name Acorn, and the South Bend design was made by Boxford.  I don't know if Acorn also produced a shaper (based upon the Atlas) or not, but Boxford certainly produced a shaper to the SB design, or their own version based upon it, and it was a very highly thought-of machine.

The next step above these are the industrial shapers which are too large for most amateur work (and sheds!)
« Last Edit: November 05, 2021, 06:51:53 PM by GWRdriver »

Offline mcostello

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Re: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2021, 07:12:23 PM »
There are 16 holes on the end. I put 2 dowel pins in the holes and used a Starrett square head and leveled across Them. The error would be very small, getting smaller when getting close to center. Also having a sample shaft helps. The holes were turned off after the splines were done, keeping My secret safe from Customer shopping the part out.

Offline Joco

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Re: Who has a Shaper? Your thoughts on it?
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2021, 08:56:40 PM »
I have a little 12" Alba 1A.  Was a fun restoration project with a few skeletons left to fix in the future if I choose to.

From a usage angle I think it depends what you want to do with them.  The Mill will be faster for most operations.  But there are some things that the shaper is rather good at, slotting being the main and obvious one.

In honesty, if you have space constraints there are probably better and more modern machines/equipment to put in that space.  However if you have a strong nostalgic bend or do quite a bit of work that shapers excel at then they are a grand and elegant machine to have in the shop.

Cheers - J.
James
Wellington - NZ