Making a Jet Wood Shaper Spindle for extended cutter height
Folks, I've got a Wood Shaper. It has 2 spindles, one with a 1/2" bore and one with a 3/4" bore. The maximum height cutter size under the nut is 2 3/16". I'd like to use a Shelix 3" cutter. I need a new spindle with another 1" of length. So, I took the 3/4" spindle out and took a look. I think I could machine one. But, I'm wonder what material I should make it out of. I've got some 1" 1214L that I think would work, and I know that 1214L is harder than 1018. But, I'm worried about the strength, deflection, etc... A piece of 1" drill rod would probably be better. Any suggestions?
Your basic question is fine but please stop mentioning all those home shop grade Chinese machines... note machine discussion guidelines "sticky" post. FWIW, the main problem with 12L14 for that application is it will rust so easily.
It might make sense to make the new spindle a standard larger then 3/4" diameter. If you watch ebay 1" or 1 1/4" bore shaper cutters seem to go for less then 3/4' since few home shops can use them. If you do make a your spindle 3/4" you may want to make some 1" and 1 1/4" adaptors to use those size cutters.
I agree. It might also make sense to consider a different style of spindle.
Originally Posted by Bill D
I've got an old Delta Milwaukee light duty shaper. Like the Delta heavy duty shaper - and possibly like the Jet - it has a two-part interchangeable spindle. The primary spindle runs in the bearings, and is hollow with a steep taper at the top end. The interchangeable spindles fit into the taper and a short section of the primary spindle, and are held in by a draw bolt and nut. Very much like the spindle, arbor and drawbar of a horizontal mill.
The weak point of the Delta was, in my opinion, the very short taper and bore section that held it together. So, I made up a one-piece solid spindle to replace it. It takes more time to change than the interchangeable spindles, but I feel a lot safer when running a large cutter on it, such as a pair of collars with panel raising knives. It is 3/4" OD rather than the 1/2" OD of the largest Delta spindle. Made it from a piece of auto axle which I annealed in the fireplace.
When you've got a heavy cutter spinning at 9,000 RPM right at crotch height....
Although that sounds appealing, it is inherently dangerous, especially on the wood shaper. Why?
you may want to make some 1" and 1 1/4" adaptors to use those size cutters.
The shape spindle has 100% of its bearing support from below. Everything above the upper bearing depends on the stiffness of the arbor shaft, the balance of the cutters, and the limited amount of torque that a properly sized cutter can apply to that shaft. Increase the cutter bore to 1" or larger & you typically increase the cutter OD, which increases the load applied to the unsupported shaft.
The reason most small shapers are 3/4" bore is for low cost - it takes a smaller bearing, bearing housing, etc., If you feel the need to run larger cutters, the only safe way to do that is to purchase a larger machine.
That is a very small machine and not meant for the work you want it to do (I'm guessing pattern shaping work). I've used a 4" shelix on a 5hp shaper and even that machine required quite a bit of pressure on the workpiece to get it past the cutter. Pretty scary as well. A dinky 2hp wannabe shaper is not going to fare well spinning a 3" long cutter. Lots of force flexing the shaft, which will only increase even more if you use a guide bearing.
I wonder if they ever made a wood shaper with a top bearing like a horizontal milling machines outer arm support bearing?
When I bought my wood dust cyclone I saw the guys door shop. Very interesting horizontal spindle shaper. It used standard wood shaper cutters. But the arbour looked like a horizontal milling machine with 3 or 4 cutters on one spindle spaced apart with spacers. This all lay down on it's side with 3-4 fences between the cutters. Kinda like a table saw with a 14' long arbor. I think it had at least one bearing in the middle at both ends. Wood went over the top of this cutter head.
Quote: "I wonder if they ever made a wood shaper with a top bearing like a horizontal milling machines outer arm support bearing?"
Yes, many heavy shapers in the past had them. Monsters, some with a foot or more of cutter running above the table. However, industry pretty much went to automatic rotary table profilers, linear profilers and lockdrive shapers by the 1930's for the big stuff.
The archives are down, but I believe there are some catalog pages on such beasts on OWWM
Also, they were made for some smaller shapers. At least one of our members here on PM has made one for his own German shaper for heavy use. (not me, though I've thought about it)
A lot of old mortisers without traveling tables were re-configured in the past like you mention, into horizontal shaper/moulders to make use of the rise & fall table. The top was cut off the casting and a plate with pillow blocks attached to the stump a suitable distance above the top table position; and a shaft with nut fitted to hold the cutters.
Folks, a friend suggested to me that perhaps instead of making a new arbor, I should just make a new spacer to replace on of the existing 4 spaces, but make it one inch taller. Then, use a longer allen bolt from the top. This would be a lot easier. I might actually consider having a local machine shop make it for me, as I think I might not be able to get the tolerances that I would like using drill rod.
Thanks for everybody's suggestions!
I think you would do well to heed precisionworks and airborne words of wisdom.
I've got a Yates-American N-44. It is one of the, if not THE, largest and heaviest manual shapers ever made. The cutter your talking about is made to run a large, heavy shaper.
Think about the stress you are getting ready to put on that small spindle. These things can EAT your arm in a few milliseconds if it were to snap.
Ten Fingered Charlie
Don't use 12L14 or what you are calling 1214L. This material is too soft. 1018 is a tad harder than 12L14, but not tuff enought for a shaper spindle. Want to run bigger cutters as you stated? Go with 4130-4140/42 Heat Treated material as a minimum. Just my two bits worth.