On Mon, 13 May 2013 06:37:22 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
Err... the basic difference between planers and shapers is that a
planer table moves and the tool is stationary while shapers are quite
the opposite. Nothing that I've seen restricts one, or the other to
any specific type of cut.
On Mon, 13 May 2013 19:28:00 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
Lloyd, here's what the OP said:
Where have you ever seen a shaper with a 30 foot travel?
I figure the OP just got confused over which part was travelling.
There were some planers with travelling gantries, but I don't think
any were made in the US like that. They were late entrants, from those
Eastern European countries that made all kinds of special, enormous
machines, and they were used for work on huge stationary and marine
engines. I saw photos of them when I was at American Machinist but I
never saw one in the US.
I haven't. I've seen them with travels in excess of 12 feet, and they
were, in fact, moving-tool shapers, not planers.
On the second part -- "you figure", but instead of asking for
clarification, you just refute the OP's statement.
Why? That's either calling him stupid or a liar. Why not ask?
On Mon, 13 May 2013 20:25:35 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
Because once he said "30 foot travel," I knew it wasn't a shaper. And
having watched big planers at work, machining lathe beds, it wouldn't
be hard to get confused over which part was travelling.
They don't make shapers with 30 feet of travel, Lloyd. They never did.
And what would the "bridge-like affair" be, if it was a shaper?
A traveler. In the Valejo shipyards, I saw a shaper once where the work
sat flat on a twin-bed affair like a lathe bed. The cutter traveled UNDER
the bed, on a separate set of ways between the two work-bed surfaces.
I don't know what it was (brand, etc), except it was a shaper. It might
have been custom-built for the Navy. But it was long, the work laid
flat, and the tooling moved UNDER the work.
The way it was built, it could've been 100 feet long (or a mile), and it
still would've worked just the same.
On Mon, 13 May 2013 20:49:06 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
Oh, jeez. So what was it doing, cutting shapes, or planing surfaces?
I think you're stretching the term, although I'd have to see that one
to make a point about what to call it. As I said, there have been some
traveling-gantry planers made, and they were planing long, straight
surfaces, like a conventional planer. If that machine you're
describing is doing the same, I'd call it a planer.
But I'd have to see the workpieces.
Why are you calling it a shaper, if it's planing long surfaces?
Here's an old traveling-head planer (page 1074):
Here's another one:
The terms for these machines were once based on the kind of work they
do: planing, analagous to planing wood, and cutting out shapes. There
were also traveling-head shapers as well as traveling-head planers;
the traveling head on a shaper was intended for a different purpose,
however, as the "traveling" was along a horizontal axis. It allowed
the shaper to cut wider workpieces. If you go 'way back in time, there
were all kinds of configurations.
Anyway, whatever the OP saw, it was a planer if it had 30 feet of
travel. That's not for cutting out shapes. It's for planing long ways,
cylinder heads, bending-brake tooling, and, probably the primary uses
in the really old days, cutting a variety of things for the railroad
and marine-equipment industries that required long straight cuts.
It seems like _everyone_ this week taken to twisting words of a post to
their own meaning so they can make their non-sequitor answers fit the
problem? Not just misunderstanding a post, no; actually changing the
terms to fit their arguments! Where the heck do you read the word
"planing" in _anything_ I wrote? I never even IMPLIED 'planing'. The
closest to that was the word 'cutter'.
It was cutting profiled grooves in large slabs of bronze, when I saw it.
I have no idea what the parts were -- if they were bushings, it seems
like they'd have been better made on a lathe, even if they were clamshell
style bearings. I also cannot understand the advantage of cutting the
bottom-side surface, where it's impossible to check the profile, except
at the very end of the slab.
It really looked like a dumb idea, but it was sitting there stroking
along piling chips on the floor, so they obviously had some practical use
I am only reporting it. And all I know about it is that it was ACTING as
a shaper when I saw it running. Maybe it planed, too, but it could have
only planed the surface to a width of the space between the bed
memebers... which iirc was about 18"-24".
On 2013-05-14, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:
I suspect that one advantage of that setup is the clearing of
chips by pure gravity instead of either re-cutting the same chips, or
needing air or flood coolant to blow them away.
Depends on how difficult it is to get the chips out from under
the machine. Perhaps there is a conveyer to do it automatically?
On Mon, 13 May 2013 19:28:00 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"
I was replying to the following classification of a shaper...
"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, mostly... "
As I said, the difference is in whether the tool, or the work, moves.
Not in tool shape or whether the edges are being machined.
They cut parts with it. Generally one of a kind parts that would
normally involve a 5 axis CNC and very expensive tooling.
What.. you didnt know this?
Hell..Ive got one guy who cuts more parts on a shaper in a day than he
does with a Haas machining center.
Odd parts...but the shaper works very nicely for them.
He clamps 100 of them in a frame and turns on the shaper. Then goes
to have something to eat while its running. He claims when he ran em
on the CNC it took 1.5 hours longer to run 100 parts than it does on
the shaper. And he gets better finish.
Iggy, I think you can figure this one out for yourself. Shapers were
obsolete by 1970. Since then, most of them have been scrapped or
gathered dust. And it wasn't CNC that killed them off. It was their
slow part-to-part production speed.
As I said, I've seen two actually operating in commercial shops since
1974. Both were squaring up mold bases, which is a traditional job for
For a hobbyist, the cheap tooling is an attraction. So is cutting
square-cornered internal holes, if you make falling-block rifles or
valve gear for historical steam engines -- hobby work.
If I had to cut a blind keyway, I'd probably be able to find a shop
with a ram-type EDM a lot faster than I'd find one with a shaper. d8-)
Seriously, the question Iggy asked is how you would make money with a
shaper. Waiting for blind-hole keyway-cutting jobs to show up is not a
way to make money.
As for squaring mold bases, the only way that makes sense is if you're
the customer for the mold bases and the shaper can make them faster
than you need them. In other words, you're making molds and you own
light bulb edm
rig up insulating tool holder and use mill. Slow but price
is right. You can use hex or spline key as electrode to
burn internal hex or spline to size. Article shows lash-up
using drawer slide and all-thread for vertical movement.
for fancier dedicated machine see
Arnold Gregrich in Home Shop Machinist (October/November
Let the group know how you make out.
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