I have just purchased what appears to be an Alba A1 shaper on Ebay and Iwas
wondering if anybody had a manual or datasheets for this machine. I would
be intested in buying them or paying for a copy to be made. Failing that I
would also like any hints or tips on its operation as shaping is some what
new to me. Hopefully one of you will be able to help.
Not knowing your level of knowledege of shaping I will pitch the response at
a low level.
Basic principle is that the forward stroke takes 66% of the total stroke
time the remaining 33% is for the return stroke. The place where the tool
is held is called the clapper box, so called because on the return stroke
the tool instead of dragging across the workpiece is allowed to lift and
clear the cutting edge, creating a clap sound when free of the work as it
falls back into the cutting position.
When setting the stroke length allowance must be made for the clapper box to
drop back into position. There are 2 places for adjustment 1) Stroke
length, this is adjusted by removing the circular cover on the side of the
shaper, and moving the Whitworth link to get a longer or shorter stroke. 2)
The nut on top of the ram is for positioning the ram after adjusting the
stroke, in other words, so that the ram clears both ends of the workpiece.
Tool shape: Similar to lathe tool shapes eg. 5>8 deg front and side
clearance and 10>15 degrees top rake unless on brass or cast iron when a 2>3
deg negative is required.
Always machine to the jaw of the vice preferably the fixed jaw. Never
machine with the vice jaws in line with the stroke unless a dead stop is
fitted to prevent the job from moving. When bolting a workpiece directly to
the table always fit a dead stop at the 'pushed end' of the job.
Wherever possible fit a swarf deflector/catcher to prevent the chips
'pinging' across your workshop. Feed : depends upon the depth of cut but I
would use 0.005" to 0.010" per stroke. Apply at the end of the return
stroke, this applies for both the vertical and horizonal feeds.
Do not stand in front of the shaper whilst it is in motion, swarf tends to
The work must always be securely clamped either in a vice or to the table.
You will soon get used to the movement of the ram and when to apply the feed
and how much to feed.
I wish you many hours of shaping more so because in my workshop I have no
use for a shaper but is one of the machines I have always wanted.
Alba manual at www.lathes.co.uk
Incredibilium Celeritatem, Vigilantiam, Industriam
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