View Full Version : metal shaper?
What is a "metal shaper"? I have seen some advertised, but details are sketchey. Seems like it might use a bit similar to a metal cutting lathe bit, but driven along the stationary work to peel away metal? Ring any bells?
... or maybe the work is moved on percise slides past a fixed grinder?? ... like one type of ice skate grinder.
Any one got one or a pix that shows how it works.
11-05-2002, 07:49 PM
A shaper was a common machine tool that had a head or ram that traveled horizontal. The workpiece was clamped in a large vise and the vise had a crossfeed so that it fed across after each stroke of the ram. The crossfeed was variable and the stroke of the ram was variable also. They used a square single point tool bit, 3/8 or 1/2 inch were common sizes that depended on the size of the shaper. They were a good roughing tool. Large ones were called planers. Vertical ones with a rotary table were called slotters. Not used that much anymore in modern large shops. Everything has gone to cnc.
Bitternut explained it better than I could. Although you were right on both counts regarding the movements of the machines. Most if not all shapers the ram moved the tool accross the work. On ~ some~ of the larger planers the work moved accross the tool. This shop has and we still use an old Walcott manufactured by Jackson Shaper Co. We believe it to be circa 1880-1890.
I now understand. I did see a Delta machine in a recent catalog ... but it might have been for wood work instead of metal. The add did not say.
11-06-2002, 09:34 AM
A shaper for wood is like a large fixed router mounted in a table upside down. The bits are rotary usually with a 1/2 inch shank.
Has anyone ever used one of these machines on steel to "bull nose" plate steel? Would a carbide tip blade cut the steel or is the RPM too high to work on steel?
Did you ever hear the saying...
DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME
You are asking for alot of trouble if you try to run steel through a wood shaper. The RPM's are way too high, and the bits are not made for steel. At the very least, you will damage the machinery, and pieces WILL start flying around the shop. At the very worst, one of those pieces could end up embedded in your body!
I am not trying to be ****y about this, I just would hate to see someone hurt.
11-06-2002, 10:05 AM
Amen to that.
I hate it when metal pieces start flying around when I break something :( makes for a bad day.
A wood shaper for metal is called a milling machine. A vertical mill with METAL round over bit would be the thing to use to bullnose a piece of steel. As was mentioned before a wood machine is way too fast for metal, and the bit would be ruined shortly after touching the metal. If you have enough of this work to do, a small tabletop mill can be had for around $1000 new. You can do a reasonable job with a small hand grinder if you only have a small amount to do.
11-06-2002, 02:54 PM
if it's a Delta it's a wood machine. like bitternut and Main said, a shaper is an older style machine tool that can still be pretty efficient in removing lots of material if set up right. South Bend, Milwaukee, Kearney and Treaker are some of the companies that use to make them.
11-06-2002, 05:44 PM
[SIZE=3][COLOR=red][B]You would have to be crazy to try anything like using a woodshaper for milling steel. Even if you slowed the cutter down you still have the problem of feeding into the cutter. When milling the workpiece is either clamped to the table or in a vice and is fed into the cutter by the feed screw. Things are very rigid and the feedrate is controlled. You could not duplicate this with any woodshaper which is fed by hand or with a rubber wheeled power feeding device. If you ever try this trick you had better be wearing a flack jacket and full face shield. You will also be spending lots of money to replace cutters.
I guess the metal shaper and the wood shaper are totally different tools. The wood guy is basically a fixed position router (high speed rotating cutter) while the metal shaper is a straight line action of a fixed cutter against the work piece (a much slower controlled motion).
The metal shaper is more of a peeling or scraping along a straight line. Might be done (slow and tediously) with a cross slide vise working against another vice ... one holds the cutter, the other the work piece.
Saw the metal shaper reference in the Lindsay Pubs Catalog (get a free copy at www.lindsaybks.com). It looks like the slower linear motion device. Looks like it had its place in time, but as someone said, most modern shops would use cnc machines.