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Atlas Shaper Adjustments

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vocatexas

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#1
I've been playing around with my shaper as I have time trying to get comfortable with operating it. I'm also trying to learn the art of grinding cutting tools. I've been getting a decent finish on the scrap I'm turning into chips, but I've been getting chatter that I blamed on my poor cutting edges. Yesterday I finally figured out I've got too much slop in my machine causing the tool to lift as it's cutting.

After reading through a few threads here and other places, and looking at the shaper's manual, it seems that I probably need to remove some shims to adjust the vertical clearance in the ram. I know I need to set an indicator to measure the play, but do I measure when retracted or extended? If my measurements differ in each case, which one do I try to get to spec? I haven't measured the play yet, but it feels like there is more with the ram extended than retracted. That seems logical to me, but I don't want to get it too tight at one end while trying to meet the spec at the other.

Anybody here have any experience to offer?

Thanks.
 

C-Bag

Ned Ludd's bro
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#2
I rescued an old 7b last year out of a tool hoarder barn estate sale. It needed a lot of cleaning and tweeking and i was having problems parallelism. On the surface plate I was getting a variation of about .005 as the cut progressed. It was mentioned that the play in the shims on the ram could need to adjusted. When I checked it with an indicator when retracted it had something like .004 play and extended it had around .001. I know this is not what you expect or did I. But as I use it I can see why. It's like the ways on a lathe being worn next to the spindle, most of the work is down there. Same with my shaper. I also have the most wear in the cross slide/table slide in the middle.

The play is supposed to be around .001. Turns out for whatever reason there was an extra shim on one side of the ram and it was thinner at the front than the back, giving me the bad reading. I pulled the extra shim and I ended up with about .0015 play. At some point the ram and rails will have to be srcraped in, but for now it's doing a pretty good job.

Hopefully you had a cutter that came with your Atlas because the cutter for a shaper is not ground like a lathe. I was lucky and have been able to just dress and sharpen mine and have learned a LOT about getting a good finish with it. If everything is right it looks like a ground finish.
 

vocatexas

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#3
I've been really busy and only got around to checking the shims in my shaper today. I need to remove a shim or two to get the play down to specs. Just how do I seperate the layers of shim stock? According to the manual there are four shims held together with solder. As the manual says, one side is grey and the other side is brass colored, but even with a magnifying glass I can't see the layers. What's the trick here?
 
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