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Thread: Alba 2S shaper

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    Default Alba 2S shaper

    I suppose not really antique but interesting to me.

    This shaper has been with me for about 4 years. It used to sit in the main shop and I messed around with it a bit, made a few rough V-blocks, and then it was forgotten. I walked past it the other day and decided to move it into my new shop and get it up and running and for apprentices to use it a bit.

    I tried to do some research on year of manufacture but nothing has come up. It came out of a training college and was probably hardly ever used. I think my playing around with it is pretty much the most use it has seen since it was bought.

    Any idea on how to date it? It seems you got two variants of them and this one is the sturdier Alba full cast body that apparently was done away with on some of the later Elliot models but mine was obviously bought after Elliot had bought Alba.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dsc_1478.jpg   dsc_1476.jpg   dsc_1477.jpg  

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    I have a two piece alba, its job is keyway cutting.
    Sorry cant give a age

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    FYI some age details here Alba and Elliott Shapers

    IIRC Elliott's bought Alba's around the early 60's

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    Really good little machines. I spent many an happy hour on them as an apprentice.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Looks like beefcake. I bet it would laugh at the notion of chatter.

    Seems a notable few folks fall into deals like that, almost no wear or abuse.

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    Anything to do with Elliotts seems to be a bit of a mystery ,I have a book with an Alba 2S (made by Elliott) which was written in 1950 ,I also have an Elliott 2S myself (no mention of Alba), but it can't be much newer.

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    I nearly got a job with " Elliott's " back in the late 1970's. They opened a machine tool show rooms in Rochdale where I lived and they advertised for a guy to install all the machines and demonstrate them to potential customers as and when.
    They had a place in Birmingham and one in Glasgow so they wanted a showrooms somewhere in between those two.

    I could tell I'd more or less got the job but I managed to talk myself out of it ! One of the guys interviewing me finally asked if I had any reservations about the job. Being young and foolish I said I might get bored once everything was installed.
    The guy probably realised that might be the case and an older guy might be a better bet. The interview suddenly changed direction to me being offered the job of a service engineer with them.

    I didn't fancy all the travelling that would entail so that was that.

    I was luckily really because it was only shortly afterwards the Thatcher government came into power. Manufacturing and Engineering hit the buffers pretty rapidly after that and " Elliott " closed down the showrooms. I would have been out of work at a really bad time if I had have got the job.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Thanks for the replies guys,

    In all honesty I looked at the link Sami and did a bit more digging. I found a site where someone thought he had figured out the coding for the serial on the 4s. Something along the lines of the first two digits (on mine 19) is the model number. The next is the month of manufacture and the next two are the year but switched. So that would make mine a September 1919 model

    I will see if I can post a link to a video of it running if I get a chance. It cuts like a dream with my limited knowledge of grinding shaper tools. I did however put in a V tool with a bit of a radius and have at it with a +- 1.5mm DOC and feed over about 0.5mm at a time (it is the maximum roughing distance you can set) and it shot those curls out nicely. Kind of makes me long to fire up our big planer again,that has become a bit obsolete since we got a Butler 6 Metre mill, to see the size of the shavings I can get to fling off. I oil the Alba up liberally everywhere as it seems she has not had much use and I think I am overkilling it a bit. No harm in getting a nice film of oil all over the moving parts, and the floor of course.

    Does anyone have a side pic of one similar? As yopu can see my side cover is missing,probably from the training school days, and I want to make something up before I let the apprentices loose on her.

    So by the sounds of it mine could be anywhere from 1960-1970. I guess Elliot bought over Alba with their stock of machines/castings and the patterns hence my Alba labels still on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sable View Post
    Anything to do with Elliotts seems to be a bit of a mystery ,I have a book with an Alba 2S (made by Elliott) which was written in 1950 ,I also have an Elliott 2S myself (no mention of Alba), but it can't be much newer.
    What does your Elliot look like? I did read somewhere about the fully branded Elliot's changing their main casting at some point? Maybe yours was of the same era as this and the same casting just used with a name change.

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    Found this on the site Sami linked to. Suppose it is just an easy fab up cover. I will have to make it so that it can easily be taken off to get to the grease and oil points on that side.

    I might even spray it a bright colour with contrasting writing reminding the guys to check the oil every time they use it
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img23.jpg  

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    My 2 S / 14S (re named by Elliot) had what looked like the original motor dated 1953. the machine is a 2S the only difference I can find is the round inspection plate has Elliot cast in it not Alba - however, some of the ID plates on the main casting were Alba, some Elliot so I guess mine came from around the time ownership changed. There is a full set of videos on YouTube about my rebuilding the machine and you get o see all the parts so it may help you compare with your unit to see if anything differs. look for 'Lookcreations Elliot 14S'. All the best Mat

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lurk View Post
    My 2 S / 14S (re named by Elliot) had what looked like the original motor dated 1953. the machine is a 2S the only difference I can find is the round inspection plate has Elliot cast in it not Alba - however, some of the ID plates on the main casting were Alba, some Elliot so I guess mine came from around the time ownership changed. There is a full set of videos on YouTube about my rebuilding the machine and you get o see all the parts so it may help you compare with your unit to see if anything differs. look for 'Lookcreations Elliot 14S'. All the best Mat
    I have to say fantastic job!

    Just a question, do shapers seriously have to be trammed to that accuracte? Pretty sure that surface grinders were around at that time. Rough it out to as much and then grind to suit if needed. I would not expect a shaper to go within 0.05mm flat and square wise.

    Bloody hell, great work though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAST555 View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys,

    In all honesty I looked at the link Sami and did a bit more digging. I found a site where someone thought he had figured out the coding for the serial on the 4s. Something along the lines of the first two digits (on mine 19) is the model number. The next is the month of manufacture and the next two are the year but switched. So that would make mine a September 1919 model

    I will see if I can post a link to a video of it running if I get a chance. It cuts like a dream with my limited knowledge of grinding shaper tools. I did however put in a V tool with a bit of a radius and have at it with a +- 1.5mm DOC and feed over about 0.5mm at a time (it is the maximum roughing distance you can set) and it shot those curls out nicely. Kind of makes me long to fire up our big planer again,that has become a bit obsolete since we got a Butler 6 Metre mill, to see the size of the shavings I can get to fling off. I oil the Alba up liberally everywhere as it seems she has not had much use and I think I am overkilling it a bit. No harm in getting a nice film of oil all over the moving parts, and the floor of course.

    Does anyone have a side pic of one similar? As yopu can see my side cover is missing,probably from the training school days, and I want to make something up before I let the apprentices loose on her.

    So by the sounds of it mine could be anywhere from 1960-1970. I guess Elliot bought over Alba with their stock of machines/castings and the patterns hence my Alba labels still on.
    The ones in the training school I attended had the metal covers removed and a Perspex cover fitted so us students could see the slotted link motion working.

    Maybe you could buy them like that if you were in the apprentice training world.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    [QUOTE=NAST555;3189803]What does your Elliot look like? I did read somewhere about the fully branded Elliot's changing their main casting at some point? Maybe yours was of the same era as this and the same casting just used with a name change.[/QUOTE

    Mine is actually a 14S ,but seems to be pretty much identical apart from the round disk. The most cool thing about mine is that it has a vertical slotting attachment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAST555 View Post
    I have to say fantastic job!

    Just a question, do shapers seriously have to be trammed to that accuracte? Pretty sure that surface grinders were around at that time. Rough it out to as much and then grind to suit if needed. I would not expect a shaper to go within 0.05mm flat and square wise.

    Bloody hell, great work though.
    probably not - I am learning the 'trade' as best I can and the shaper was my first machine rebuild - so I worked to the established tolerances in the book (german chap wrote it after visiting the Manchester / Sheffield / Huddersfield Machine Builders - cant recall the tittle or his name schl''' or some thing ?)
    Thanks for the positives comments though - very much appreciate them - it was the advice offered on this forum that guided me through the process.
    All the best Mat

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    A bit of messing around, was too lazy to put the roughing tool in so just roughed with my radius tool. Later on I angled the tool, nice holder I have that I can angle pretty easily without having to set the head, and landed up running it at the fastest stroke with awesome finishes.

    Alba 2S #2 - YouTube

    Alba 2S - YouTube

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    Dumb question, why in most of the shaper video's that I watch is the cut perpendicular to a vise jaw? I thought that was a big no no, at least from my common sense to have the cut rather solid in the direction of a solid fixture than into open air!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAST555 View Post
    Dumb question, why in most of the shaper video's that I watch is the cut perpendicular to a vise jaw? I thought that was a big no no, at least from my common sense to have the cut rather solid in the direction of a solid fixture than into open air!
    It seams the shaper users are split on the subject. those that cut into the jaw and those that cut parallel - in my case I do both depending on what I am doing. as a general rule I will cut to open air - this is because I have stood next to the shaper when the 3/8" tool bit dropped a fraction and decided to go 'bang' - to this day i do not know what moved - (apart from my rear end very quick) . Some folk are of the view that the repeated load and unload on the vice jaw from the shaper cutting can cause things to 'relax' mid cut - which can be fun, these folk tend to believe that its better to shove the work out the jaws and onto the floor than have the tooling hit the vice and go bang... (I have to agree with this). Other folk take the view, the vice is built for this and no harm can come ..... if you have seen the pressure build on the tool head during a 1/2" depth of cut in decent steel you know that a shaper ram doesn't tend to 'stop'.
    On the occasions I cut into the jaw face - I take lighter cuts & am checking everything is tight - its generally because the grip is better on a small part. On several occasions I have inserted a small grinding vice into the shaper vice and cut at 90 degrees - saves swiveling and re tramming the vice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NAST555 View Post
    Dumb question, why in most of the shaper video's that I watch is the cut perpendicular to a vise jaw? I thought that was a big no no, at least from my common sense to have the cut rather solid in the direction of a solid fixture than into open air!
    I think one reason is that some shaper vises will not open as far as the full stroke of the machine, e.g. an Elliot 2S has a 14" stroke and a vise with only 7.5" opening, so you have to rotate the vice for longer strokes.

    The first photo below is an Elliot Alba 2S from what seems to be a 1960 catalogue. I see the clutch is an optional extra.

    lathes.co.uk has been mentioned above, but note there are several pages to look at, e.g. Alba 2S, 4S, 6S & Elliott 14S, 18S & 24S Shapers
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shaper-model-2s-01.jpg   elliot-alba-2s-4s-01.jpg  

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    I like to have the jaws of the vice in line with the stroke of the shaper ram. That way if you forget to tighten the vice all that happens is your work gets shoved out onto the floor !

    On a more serious note, for heavy cuts I used to put strips of emery cloth between the work and the vice jaws for extra grip.

    Regards Tyrone.
    Last edited by Tyrone Shoelaces; 06-15-2018 at 06:53 AM.

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