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Hawaiian Ammco 6” barn find shaper rebuild

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Glenn Brooks

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#1
Hello all,

Iam volunteering in the back shops for the Hawaiian Railway Society this winter, trying to help them establish a machine shop to support their nonprofit, 36” narrow gauge railroad operation. They have a nice little SB 9 and a big Cincinnati 18”x 72” lathe, but NO milling capability - a real disadvantage to setting up machining operations for them and making parts.

So, today one of the long time volunteers remembered a couple of old machine tools that have been stored up in the loft overhead the maintenance shop for a looong time.

Low and behold, we looked and discovered a nice, little Ammco 6” shaper, literally covered In dust. This could be an intermediant step to setting them up with some kind of milling capability.

However the shaper itself has no motor or countershaft/pulley assembly. Hence we need to replicate or source something that will power the machine, after we clean it up.

Anybody know what the pulley diameters and countershaft speeds should be?

And does anyone maintain historical records of these Ammco serial numbers? This thing has been in Hawaii for a long time, and this is a very small place. If we knew who bought it new, we “might” be able to go track down the missing parts.

Also, anybody have a spare, existing countershaft assembly you might be willing to donate? It would be a very worthy cause.

Finally, any reason a South Bend 9” lathe countershaft assembly wouldn’t work as a motor mount and drive unit for the shaper?

Here’s the only photo I have of the shaper at the moment- just the inspection plate. Once it comes down out of the loft, will be able to get a better overall shot.



Thanks much
Glenn

E23190D2-DF5B-4F54-8232-A5423CF07FB6.jpeg
 

Dabbler

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#2
good luck on your restore. Sorry I can't help.
 

Glenn Brooks

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Thanks Denny, apparently the same machine. Ammco originally branded and sold it as the 6” shaper, but I read they actually made it with a 7 1/4” throw. Later Delta bought them out and rebranded as the 7”.

Links look to be very helpful resources for placing this thing back in service.

Glenn
 
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dennys502

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You are welcome Glenn. It's hard to find info sometimes on the old machines. You can search multiple times with different key words and come up with a lot of different info - those popped up on the first search. There are many times a shaper would be nice to have.
 

Silverbullet

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I would bet any old atlas drive system would be about right. There's always some for sale. In fact I saw a small pulley set up next to a parts lathe in NY or Conn just today. The lathe is $250. I'd like to get it for the legs and other parts but I'm not able. Look to the right on the ground.
01717_gU2fJKf89YU_600x450.jpg
 
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C-Bag

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Interesting find. The one member here who posts quite often and hopefully will see this is Ulma Doctor, he lists having an Ammco 7" shaper in his machine tool list. Maybe he can shed some light on this.
 

C-Bag

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#8
Barn finds are always a mythic thing for me. My grandparents on both sides were farmers and products of the Depression. So they were natural hoarders. Hopefully as you excavate to get to the shaper you'll either find the jackshaft assembly or something that might work. Judging from another ongoing restoration going on here in the shaper section, as shapers went out of style they were open to canabalization and motors and jackshafts were the first to go. There also doesn't seem to be much standardization between them and even with other machines by the same maker.

IMHO it would probably be cheaper and easier once the general pulley sizes are known to fabricate a jackshaft system and motor mount. I was lucky my barn found Atlas 7b was intact. Lots are parted out and missing motors, belt guards, ratchets and vises. These parts show up on eBay for more than I paid for the whole machine and I almost never see Ammco shapers, much less parts. Like you mention it is a somewhat closed system there in Hawaii and it would be an interesting hunt to see if you can find the original owner or their kin and see if you can get lucky and find the parts.

Best of luck and I hope to see what happened and what you find out.
 

scoopydo

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Glenn, from all the pictures I've seen of the 6" Ammco they appear to be the same as the 7". I seriously doubt you can find an Ammco jackshaft and motor plate but you never know. I'd think any small lathe like the Atlas or Sears parts would work. The pully sizes look similar and they don't use flat belts. I wish luck on your hunt and wish I had some parts for you!

George
 

Ulma Doctor

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#10
I can provide v belt sizes and pulley dimensions later this afternoon from my Ammco 7
 

Ulma Doctor

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#11
sorry for the delay here are the pulley sizes
Motor: 2" Outside diameter
Countershaft drive pulley: 6" Outside diameter

step pulleys: 2 are the same, one is inverted to get speed change
step 1: 4" OD
step 2: 3-3/8" OD
step 3: 2-5/8" OD
step 4: 2" OD

i hope the information is helpful
 

Glenn Brooks

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#12
Thanks Mike! This is very good info to know. I’ve been looking around for a small countershaft assembly to look into cobbling a drive chain together. No dice so far, well, they are out there, but old tired small Atlas lathes hereabouts are going for a premium for some reason. Some as high as $1k.

At least with your pulley sizes, I can think about fabricating something and sending it to them. (Arrived back home in Seattle last night). I think I might have a spare pulley off a SB 9 out in the shop. I’ll check dimensions, if it is still there. Or take it back over and put the whole thing together next trip...

Even better, maybe someone on the forum is going to vacation in Hawaii and be willing to spend some time at the RR volunteering in the shops to get this thing working again.

Glenn
 

gjrepesh

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Glenn, The Ammco 6" used a flat belt drive to change ram speed. Does your 6" have a flat belt pulley? If so, do you plan to keep this system or change to v-belt drive? I can provide dimensions for the flat belt system if desired. Another poster has already provided the v-belt pulley sizes from the 7" shaper. By the way, from my research, Ammco upgraded the shaper from 6" to 7" in 1941. Rockwell acquired the shaper in 1949. Gary R.
 
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