Useless? Blink blink....oh..thats right..you sell the stuff..you dont
actually know how to use em.
If you find a shaper between 24"-36" in your travels...let me know.
Ive got a buyer for one with a universal table. And he knows how to
use it...ie...make money operating it.
Shapers produce edge profiles or grooves using both custom-ground tools
and successions of 'standard' profiles (and sometimes, rarely, gangs of
them). "Simple" tooling is flat, easily profiled on normal grinding
equipment, and cheap to make. They are FAR less expensive shape-for-
shape than custom-ground milling cutters would be.
Because the shapes cut are simple and linear, it makes more sense to tie
up a shaper using very simple tooling, than to tie up a mill using
custom-made cutters. The mill is best reserved for more complex work.
If a file would do the job to spec in the same time, why would you use a
CNC mill (in a shop that needs it for more difficult tasks)?
On Sun, 12 May 2013 18:37:22 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
but Iggy's point remains, Lloyd. I've been in hundreds of shops -- no
exaggeration -- and I've seen exactly two that were using shapers for
real commercial work. Both were being used for making mold bases.
Shapers, like planers, have a small supposed advantage in that they
impose less stress on a part by machining.
I say "supposed" because machine tool builders have actually measured
it, and it appears to be mostly an old wive's tale.
Other than that, where are they using them for commercial machining?
They're great hobby machines for the reasons you describe. But that
doesn't translate to commercial viability.
And the restorer did an awesome job.
Ed made my point much better than I could ever say it. I think that
shapers are so obsolete that most have been thrown out lng ago. I
never even see them in old, grungy Chicago machine shops.
I've been out of the business (except as a customer) for a while but
most shops I see today often have one over in the back corner and most
of the shops I was in, in my working life, had one.
As someone else wrote they can do a lot of jobs with limited tooling
that the user can make himself. I've used them as a planer to produce
a flat surface, cut gears on one, used them as a slotter to cut key
seats, cut both male and female dovetails,and I can't remember what
Hardly the first tool I'd buy but I certainly wouldn't turn one down
if I had the space.
They don't make much sense in a 'general machine shop' unless the shop
has high production on a few parts. They're still used effectively in
medium-run production shops. One of their nice features is that they're
"set and forget" devices. Sort of like a programmable surface grinder,
they just go 'til they're done, then stop.
They don't fill the niche they used to, because of the advent of so many
CNC-controlled cutting methods available now, but they still have a place
I disagree with the (next) poster as to their usefulness for the hobby
shop. It's a few square feet and several hundreds of pounds of wasted
weight and floor space for a hobby shop. 3D CAD/CAM takes over for one-
I know of one specific place that uses shapers not mills - they have
several, with long travels (30 feet) - the cutter travels on a bridge
like affair - they make press brake dies with them - they have bins of
blue curly swarf from the tool steel die material - very impressive machines
That's not a shaper. That's a planer. Like shapers, there are a couple
of tasks for which a few shops still use them. Until 50 years ago,
machine tool bedways usually were cut with planers. Through the '50s
and '60s, many of them were converted to milling machines
("planer-mills") and used for the same long-travel jobs that the
planers were used for.
There are few of them left.
Everyone keeps saying that!
Doesn't anybody read the OPs anymore?
He said, "...they make press brake dies with them ".
Since press brake dies usually require some sort of grooved profile, and
since the basic difference between 'planer' and 'shaper' is the shape of
the blade and work -- shapers being relegated to grooves and edging,
BTW... one other common use for long-throw shapers over the years has
been for hobbiests to convert them into manual milling machines. I've
seen a number of them in service, mostly made from old Logans.
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