How would having a shaper benefit someone?
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  1. #1
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    Default How would having a shaper benefit someone?

    Good morning. A friend of mine passed away and his wife has asked me to dispose of his tools. She told me I could keep anything of his that I wanted. I already have two lathes and two mills which are better then the ones he has. He does however have a 7" South Bend shaper. I have to be honest and say that I have personally never used a shaper. I know what they do generally but I have never said to myself that I wish I had one. My shop is already pretty crowded but I could fit it in somewhere if I felt a real need for it. I guess my real question is, where does a shaper excel over a mill? I also have to consider that even though she is being very generous by offering me any of his tools I want, I could sell the shaper along with the other tools and give the money to her. She is however in a very good financial situation and does not need the money. She just wants to get rid of the tools. Thanks very much for any input.

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    Internal slots, splines, key ways,flat surfaces,external splines, gear teeth, dove tails, the ability to clean up rusty, dirty , painted metal using cheap hi speed steel tooling you grind yourself instead of expensive milling cutters.. Many today think that a crank shaper is only good for the scrap pile but they still have a place in the shop.. Ramsay 1

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    A shaper can be very useful for internal work such as keyways or squares (or other shapes) that are difficult on a mill, assuming that you even have a slotting head for the mill. The shaper would probably also have a longer range of movement.

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    You don't need a shaper, but you should buy it!

    (And if you really need the justification, tooling's cheaper, easy to set up on autofeed and do something else, fun to watch...)

    On a personal note, I find it's nice to keep and use tools from friends/mentors.

    L7

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    A shaper will do just about any job a mill will do, and a shaper will produce much better flat surfaces and better finish than a mill, and do it all with a hunk of sharpened HSS as you would use in a l;athe. The mill will do the same job, probably more quickly, as long as you can afford the milling cutters to produce the shape you want. Ideal machine for dovetails straight flat surfaces, keyways, splines, and even gears and racks, and you will not have to buy expensive gear cutters, just sharpen some HSS. I used mine last for an internal keyway in a steel pulley, and before anyone says "you can use a manual broach and a press for that" my shaper cost considerably less than a new set of broaches, and I dont have a press!

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    Litle 7" shapers are in demand to Hobbyist. They are very handy to have. Quite a while ago the larger ones were considered boat anchors, at actions they would almost pay you to take it! However they seem to be of interest because now I'm always out bid and quit while others are still bidding. I did have a few over the years and miss them! I had a 36" stroke monster, I was making soft jaw blanks for a company with large Bullards. You can cut an internal key way with them too! As other have mentioned above.
    Last edited by Froneck; 03-08-2019 at 10:17 AM. Reason: others were typing at the same time.

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    I finally used mine to cut some keyways the other day. The bore was a size that i would have had to make a special broach plug. Instead of making it i went right to cutting the keyways. It was a one time deal so the plug would most likly never be used again.

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    I first saw a 7" shaper working in school in 1959. The elderly welding professor used it to make rectangular tensile specimens from welded joints. It was interesting to watch it carve off little chips as it self-fed. Years later, I managed to get a 7" shaper of the same brand, which I will not mention because it is really just home shop stuff. I turned it on and watched it run, but did not cut any chips with it. I quickly decided that my best use for it was to make a quick profit. A little later, I got another identical 7" shaper and again thought it over and quickly moved it on.

    I know that industrial quality shapers can do unique jobs and even duplicate some milling operations, so they can justify the big footprint in the shop. I know some owners think highly of them and probably go out of their way to use them as much for the joy of it as for getting a job done.

    I think the South bend shaper is a better machine than the ones I had, but I still would not give one shop space, mostly because my shop is full. They are certainly easy enough to sell and should get a higher price than either of the "A" brands.

    Note the comment about the improved base design here. South Bend Shaper

    Larry

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    I had to modify some bucket hooks to fit the curve of my loader tractor bucket. I don’t use it all the time but the shaper is my go to machine for fast and dirty. I had the curve on all four hooks, cut and tacked on the bucket in 30min. It would’ve been 1-1/2hrs bumping and grinding lines on a BP, one at a time.

    Andy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2d824939-cc0c-4dd7-a080-3a47b42c29f6.jpg   7e7f12e2-fc0e-4610-bd20-28b41db94d5a.jpg   1bb0c761-89d8-4e64-821d-c5104c792e66.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by crossthread View Post
    Good morning. A friend of mine passed away and his wife has asked me to dispose of his tools. She told me I could keep anything of his that I wanted. I already have two lathes and two mills which are better then the ones he has. He does however have a 7" South Bend shaper. I have to be honest and say that I have personally never used a shaper. I know what they do generally but I have never said to myself that I wish I had one. My shop is already pretty crowded but I could fit it in somewhere if I felt a real need for it. I guess my real question is, where does a shaper excel over a mill? I also have to consider that even though she is being very generous by offering me any of his tools I want, I could sell the shaper along with the other tools and give the money to her. She is however in a very good financial situation and does not need the money. She just wants to get rid of the tools. Thanks very much for any input.
    Well, you either have work for it or you don't. Mine has paid for itself many times over the 35 years. It is not the fact that it adds to much value to a job, but the fact that you can actually finish the part often means that you get to make the whole remainder of the part (lots of mill and/or lathe work). Like if you are looking for a carpenter to build you a house and a guy says he doesn't do the roof, and the next guy will do the whole thing. Who gets the job?

    Personally, for small internal work, I'd rather have a slotter on the mill. It is just so much handier to get at the part, set it up, move it around, measure it, etc, than bending over craning your neck and trying to get your head right so you can actually use your glasses at the shaper.

    I built a large tilting indexer for my shaper. I do mostly internal work with it. Only once have I needed the tilt feature to machine some grooves inside of a large cone. Tough job to do any other way.

    To a certain extent, high speed machining toolpaths on the mill remind me of the shaper, nibbling away at the material. Lots of 'air cutting' going on.

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    I use my 12 inch Vernon occasionally. The only job that really needed the shaper was to cut the pinion teeth on nylon compound gears intended to simulate production molded intent and therefore needed to be made from a single piece of material. I used a hand ground form tool.

    Other tasks I've used it for just for fun, mill would do just as well.

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    How would having a shaper benefit someone?

    Ditto what most others have said. For most people once you get one you'll understand. Your question is kinda like asking why people need a pickup, once you own one and realise what it can do you never want to be without one. When you don't have a huge budget or access to someone else's shop a shaper is a good option. They are also one of the few machines where it is enjoyable just to watch them work.

    Dave

    I should add that I only own two shapers so this is a completely unbiased opinion.

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    Let's see:

    Uses dirt cheap tooling that can be fixed or resharpened by hand.
    Does a surface finish my mill can't even imagine doing.
    Once running you can walk away and let it do it's job without needing attention.

    One job it really came in handy was, I needed to take the scale off a piece of plate where I wanted to remove as little material as possible. I put it in the Bridgeport as it was already to go. After two new HSS end mills getting destroyed do to the hardness of the scale, in to the shaper it went. Set the cutting depth, engaged the clutch and away it went. Peeled off the scale as if it was not there and no need to crank any levers for the entire job. Carbide in the mill would probably have done it faster but I would have needed to stand by the mill the entire time and the surface finish would not have been as nice. I have a 7" Rockwell shaper but wish I had bought a bigger one. But for 90% of the jobs it is big enough.

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    I like my 36" Ohio from 1951. Just one of the things it can do quickly with essentially zero tool cost. That is a 14" round it is facing off
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dcp_0856.jpg   dcp_0857.jpg  

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    Man, johnoder, your shaper has a long travel swivel head! And I'm comparing it with a 26" stroke TOS machine.

    Lucky7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky7 View Post
    Man, johnoder, your shaper has a long travel swivel head! And I'm comparing it with a 26" stroke TOS machine.

    Lucky7
    And that gave them room to put the down feed dial there - where you can actually see it, since it is above line of sight for this not quite six foot person

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  24. #17
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    No one has mentioned you can make anything with a shaper except money....

    Personalty Im on shaper #3. And looking for #4
    The last thing I made other than a mess was a gear rack about 4 foot long... That was a nice couple hour or so adventure...

    If you havent taken the time to use a shaper... You are missing out... it is oddly satisfying to see hot chips fly everywhere in a slightly controlled manner...

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    How would having a shaper benefit someone?

    It would benefit the seller by giving them room for more valuable equipment.

    (So says a guy with 13,000# of shapers)

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    The universal reason that guys do anything...

    Chicks dig it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hobby Shop View Post
    I had to modify some bucket hooks to fit the curve of my loader tractor bucket. I don’t use it all the time but the shaper is my go to machine for fast and dirty. I had the curve on all four hooks, cut and tacked on the bucket in 30min. It would’ve been 1-1/2hrs bumping and grinding lines on a BP, one at a time.

    Andy
    Hobby Shop is that a GEMCO? Vice looks like the one I used to run.


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