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[4]

Got outbid on an Atlas Shaper today

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welderr

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#1
I went to an estate auction today to bid on an Atlas Shaper, it appeared complete on its original stand, but obviously hadn't been in use for a long while,and didn't show any outward signs of abuse but the motor had been changed and the guards were with it but not installed and one of them was either broken or modified, possibly to work with the newer motor. I bid up to $400.00 which I decided was my limit a few days ago, I was interested in it mainly to compliment my Atlas lathe with the milling attachment on it, mainly for squaring up stock and other uses , but it was approaching the price of a bench top mill which I was trying to avoid buying , but may end up with any way. I was just attracted to it from a coolness factor, but mainly from the tooling expense factor as grinding your own HSS bits is a lot cheaper than buying a whole nother bunch of mill tools. T J Ps. If someone from here is who bought it sorry to bid against you but you wanted it more than me :)
 

westsailpat

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#2
IMO WE , you lucked out , you just saved yourself $ 400. . Shapers while incredibly cool are limited , yes I know they can do special neat stuff . But they can't drill or bore , and a whole lot more . I think you should concentrate on finding a bench top hor./vert. mill .
 

welderr

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#5
As neat as the Shaper is the base model Taig mill is $455.00 so that's what I had in the back of my mind. I have a J head Bridgeport and other tools still set up for now at my Dad,'s old shop, but for how long I don't know, if you use your imagination on set up and have patience for lighter cuts you can actually get a lot done with the lathe milling attachment and for me that's part of the fun and challenge of it , but once I lose access to the Bridgeport I will probably get a little one. TJ
 

Doubleeboy

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#9
Light weight shapers have the same problem as lightweight lathes and mills, a lack of rigidity, compounded frequently by poor quality components. Atlas mills are cute, but not in same league as Logan or others IMO. I would get a mill before a shaper. I have a shaper and love to play with it, its great for dovetails, but it gets used about 1/10 or less compared to my mill. My recommendation would be to keep your eye out for a used Mill/Drill, use it till you hate it, sell it and then get a knee mill. Mill drills are highly sellable and buying a used one protects you from much loss if and when you decide to move on.
 

welderr

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#10
I gather your a sailer , me too I have a Sunfish and a Daysailer, and a project boat, a Jet 14. It won't be long now that spring has sprung. T J
 

cjtoombs

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#12
There was a time when you could buy Atlas Shapers all day for that price, but they have gone up. You may still find one for that if you can find a seller who knows nothing about the machine. I got mine for ~500 but I waited for some time to find that deal. They can do useful work around the shop, and it is nice to be able to grind you own tools offhand on a bench grinder. As much as I love shapers, I do agree that a mill should be on the docket ahead of a shaper, although it sounds like you already have some milling capability. Milling on the lathe tends to be pretty limited due to the short travel of the cross slide on most lathes. Take care and good luck in your search.
 

Cactus Farmer

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#14
"Isn't there some sort of saying like "you can still make lots of things with a shaper, just not a profit"."

I have heard that many times ,now, I own two 7 inch shapers and I made money with both of them. A Logan floor model and a South Bend bench top.
Yes they are slow but to cut screw slots they are the berries. It seems they are the go to tool for a great deal of my gunsmith work. Tooling is rare for the
tricky things but if there is a picture of it somewhere I usually build it anyway. YMMY
 

Downunder Bob

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#15
Isn't there some sort of saying like "you can still make lots of things with a shaper, just not a profit". I don't care about profit, I still want one but have no room.
Don't know about the profit, but that's not why I'm here. However I would really love a shaper, but alas no room.
 

cjtoombs

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#16
"Isn't there some sort of saying like "you can still make lots of things with a shaper, just not a profit"."
YMMY
I think shapers have their nitch. They certainly are not competitive with a CNC machining center for production work, but in the repair business, I think they could hold their own. I understand that they are used extensively in repair shops in less developed countries. This is likely due to the low cost of tooling for them. You can still find new ones produced in India and China. I think that there are probably areas in production where they could be useful, as well, but no one in production would think to use one. I have several and for certain work they are my go to tools. I like them for roughing (I have some big shapers) and keyway cutting. They will also put a nice "knurl" on a flat part pretty easily. Those are good for aesthetic reasons as well as practical ones.
 

Downunder Bob

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#17
I think shapers have their nitch. They certainly are not competitive with a CNC machining center for production work, but in the repair business, I think they could hold their own. I understand that they are used extensively in repair shops in less developed countries. This is likely due to the low cost of tooling for them. You can still find new ones produced in India and China. I think that there are probably areas in production where they could be useful, as well, but no one in production would think to use one. I have several and for certain work they are my go to tools. I like them for roughing (I have some big shapers) and keyway cutting. They will also put a nice "knurl" on a flat part pretty easily. Those are good for aesthetic reasons as well as practical ones.
I always loved the "click, clack, thunk" as the shaper went through it's cycle. Much like the "clickity clack" of a railway track.
 

dgehricke

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#18
I had a shaper an AMMCO 7 inch shaper I sold it for $500.00 about 5-6 years back then I bought the one in the avatar for $175.00 it takes up a lot less room and doesn't use electricity, a real Bargain. img0.jpg img1.jpg img3.jpg
I've used this one as much as I used the Ammco the set up time is the killer.
Regards
dgehricke
 

Downunder Bob

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#19

dgehricke

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#20
No identifying marks I have only found one other like it an ADEPT hand shaper made in England back in the 50s They are no longer being made.Heres a photo of the Adept almost an exact duplicate but no markings what so ever
dgehricke
 

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