• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • PLEASE SUPPORT OUR FORUM - UPGRADE YOUR ACCOUNT HERE!
[4]

How to ‘shape’ 16” work with 7” shaper

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

Glenn Brooks

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
764
Likes
938
#1
Hello all, thinking about buying a very nice 7” shaper. Problem is I need to machine some 16” long work (bolsters,aka cross bars, that fit a bunch of miniature railroad truck side frames).

So, how difficult is it to do one half the length of the work, then flip the piece around and machine the other half to size? Tolerance isn’t to critical . However, tolerance and alignment would be critical for other things, such as cutting key ways in axles, etc.

Anybody have experience doing this kind of setup with a shaper?

Thanks much,
Glenn
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
5,001
Likes
5,337
#2
Hello all, thinking about buying a very nice 7” shaper. Problem is I need to machine some 16” long work (bolsters,aka cross bars, that fit a bunch of miniature railroad truck side frames).

So, how difficult is it to do one half the length of the work, then flip the piece around and machine the other half to size? Tolerance isn’t to critical . However, tolerance and alignment would be critical for other things, such as cutting key ways in axles, etc.

Anybody have experience doing this kind of setup with a shaper?

Thanks much,
Glenn
Pardon my confusion, Glenn, but if you take 7" from one end and 7" from the other end, doesn't that leave you with 2" of your 16" part uncut in the center? Or, maybe old American shapers gave more than what they promised? I am getting used to Chinese import machines that will cut 5.1" but are labeled as 6" machines...
 

CluelessNewB

Active Resistor
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
1,063
Likes
580
#3
Sounds like an excuse for a bigger machine ;)

(Actually watching this thread since it might be something I will need to do someday.)
 

Glenn Brooks

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
764
Likes
938
#4
Pardon my confusion, Glenn, but if you take 7" from one end and 7" from the other end, doesn't that leave you with 2" of your 16" part uncut in the center? Or, maybe old American shapers gave more than what they promised? I am getting used to Chinese import machines that will cut 5.1" but are labeled as 6" machines...

Bob, ahaha. well as you noticed, I am not all that good with math. :eek:

Actually, setting up long pieces (and just working the ends of parts) is part of the problem Iam trying to figure out before driving down to look at this little beauty. As I’ve never worked with a shaper, just don’t know much about complex setups. E.g. what can be done and what can’t be done with the smaller machines.

Glenn



Glenn
 
Last edited:

f350ca

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
1,509
Likes
2,620
#5
The cutter has to clear the work at the end of the stroke Glenn. You can't machine up to a shoulder, you have the set up so the stroke is along it. When you do a keyway a hole is drilled at the end for the cuter to stop and start in. Set up's can be as complicated as you have imagination to create. I've cut 5 foot long racks 8 inches at a time indexing over for the next 8.
I think you were looking at a 7 inch one going for $1500. You could probably buy two big ones for that price if you have the space. I had a Logan and did a lot with it but the 18 inch Peerless does what it could and a lot more. Big machines with some finesse can do small work, small machines limit out.
IMG_0890.jpg


IMG_1775.jpg

IMG_1776.jpg


Big parts can be done on them but the big machine is so much stiffer.

Greg
 

Glenn Brooks

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
764
Likes
938
#6
Greg, thanks, the photos open up a lot of possibilities for large setups. The big gear held by a sling or lift is something else! Clearly laying long work at 90* to the clapper is the way to go, then indexing over as you show in the 8’ rack you are cutting.

Around Seattle shapers seem very rare. I only see one or two every year. Not to say they don’t come up more frequently, but I’ve not been a steady buyer. Good ones go for a premium. Another restored one sits on Craig’s list here locally for $2300 USD asking. But, not interested in paying that much. For me, more of a curiosity and personal interest in the tools of yesteryear. Might go look at the one in Portland over the weekend. It’s a bit cheaper and Who knows what the owner might take...

Here is the one in Portland. More photos on the CL forum.

F892B73D-9B6C-410D-A78E-EDC5F24DFCB3.jpeg


Looks like a very clean machine. Nice paint job anyway.

Glenn
 
Last edited:

C-Bag

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
294
Likes
213
#7
By your list of machine tools you know about Old Iron. It all depends on whether it was actually restored or just painted. And of course how much use it got and who used it. Atlas 7b is not pressure oiled like say the South Bend so it's a lot like running an old steam engine. There is a ton of places to oil and like and old Harley, if there isn't oil dripping under it, it wasn't oiled properly. I don't see bright ways on the cross slide so it could be a cosmetic rebuild. Mine was obviously used a lot and the cross slide needs a new nut and the slide scraped in. This shows up in the fact as you traverse it's tighter at the ends and still loose in the middle. Still pretty accurate but things can get wonky when you try to shift over work like what you are talking about doing.

I would agree with Greg, you can do smaller projects on a bigger shaper than doing too big projects on a small shaper.

Shapers are rare here too, but I've seen more big G&E, and Cincinnatti 18" and 26" for around $1800 than like an Atlas 7b. The last 7b looked restored like that one you're looking at, was complete and was $2,000. Went in a week. Not to long ago Crank scored a beautiful South Bend 7" shaper for $1,000. The big shapers were in the Bay Area and were there for months. Dunno if they sold or they scrapped 'em. They were beasts though.
 

Rob

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
284
Likes
75
#8
I have a Atlas Shaper. I have made the dovetails on qctp tool holders by cutting one side and then flipping the tool holder to do the other side rather than changing the setting of the clapper. I had no problem with this. You do have more side movement than 7". The height has been more of an issue for me than the stroke. You will find that there is a learning curve to using a shaper and grinding the tool bits for it. You will find that for a lot of things you have to get creative with holding the items. This one does have the vise with it and you are correct that we don't see many around here. It wasn't long ago that a larger one was listed but you need room and it is heavy. Here is more info On the Atlas Shaper. http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlasshaper/
 

Glenn Brooks

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
764
Likes
938
#9
Thanks Rob,

Any idea what the height limit is with the Atlas 7b?

Glenn
 

cjtoombs

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
534
Likes
157
#10
Glenn,
I would expect your cross feed might be a bit more than 7", although I'm not that familiar with that shaper. You might get a visible line where the cut's meet, but if it's only a cosmetic surface, you can probably sand it out. So long as the part can be set up so that the stroke covers the whole surface, you can index it over to face it. I purchased a 24" Cincinatti up near Seatle a couple of years ago. Great machine, but you have to have the equipment and will to move it, not so easy for a 7,000 lb machine.
 

Rob

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
284
Likes
75
#11
Thanks Rob,

Any idea what the height limit is with the Atlas 7b?

Glenn

About 3.5" with the vise and about 5.5" without the vise mounted to the table. There are a couple of tricks that could possibly get you about an 1" more for items only about 4" wide. For shorter items you can mount them to the side of the table and you could come up with more clearance. It is set up to mount the vise on the side of the table. On the UK lathe info site it states that it is a little over 9" cross feed and I think that is about right. Also as mentioned you should be able to turn the work around and do both sides. Depending on how much time you take on setup and what your tolerances are you shouldn't have any issues. Just a small line where the junction is that should be able to be sanded out.
 

Glenn Brooks

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
764
Likes
938
#12
Thanks Rob, probably enuf room for the work I foresee doing.

Glenn
 

Silverbullet

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
3,096
Likes
1,458
#13
You need my planer in my avitar ,,, picture. Made for it , if I ever get. Her up and running. That pictures before I got it. She's a bit cleaner but not operating yet.
 

Glenn Brooks

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
764
Likes
938
#14
So, one more question. Maybe more important than the first.

What is the smallest ID, this little Atlas 7b can fit it??

I’ve got 16 6 1/4” OD cast iron wheels, with 1” holes in the center for axles. Thinking about cutting key ways into the wheels.

Is it possible to work this small of an ID with some kind of shaper boring bar?

Thanks again,
Glenn
 

f350ca

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
1,509
Likes
2,620
#15
I just made a smaller bar to cut 1/4 keyways in 1inch bores.
The larger bar will porbably go down to 1 1/4.
On the logan I made one that replaced the lantern tool post, with this shaper I had to make the holder to get down to the table.
IMG_3983.jpg


IMG_3986.jpg


Greg
 

cjtoombs

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
534
Likes
157
#16
I have cut a keyway in a 1" bore before, not that difficult. I would think that the smallest size you could cut would be determined by our ability to make a smaller tool, not a limitation of the shaper.
 

Rob

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
284
Likes
75
#17
I have cut a keyway in a 1/2 hole so the 1" hole would be a piece of cake. Just learning how to mount things is usually the problem.
 

Glenn Brooks

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
764
Likes
938
#18
Greg,

Could you share what dimensions your smaller tool holder bar are? Diameter and length of the shank?

Also, How long of a stroke can you manage before you see excessive deflection?

Still haven’t gone to look at the one for sale in Portland. Just trying to sort out if aimdouls really use it... it’s a 10hour drive RT, for a looksee.

Thanks
Glenn
 

f350ca

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
1,509
Likes
2,620
#19
I made the bar as large as possible to keep it stiff. Think it was .8 dia, giving .2 clearance, the keyway required .125 depth, so I had room. As for length they act like boring bars, keep them as short as possible. You only need about a 1/4 inch clearance going in and coming out of the bore. If they get too long you'll get chatter. Keeping the cutter stick out as small as possible would held there.
When cutting keyways you need to lock the clapper box, as the geometry of where the cutter is makes it want to lift. Mine will lock. I haven't tried it but cutting on the top of the bore should make locking the clapper unnecessary.
I mentioned the bar I made for the Logan mounted directly in the clapper. A much simpler and stiffer system but wouldn't work on the Peerless.
This is the best picture I could find of the Logan setup. It had a boss at the back that fit the clapper and the nut locked it in.
IMG_1774.jpg


Hope that helps.

Greg
 

C-Bag

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
294
Likes
213
#20
U da man Greg. Of course as a net bystander I get the concept so the "I could do that" flashes through my pea brain. But it's always another matter when I go to do it :)

I don't know where I saw it but I could swear I saw somebody use a rectangular piece of HSS on edge with the proper relief and grind in the end and mounted directly to cut small key ways that way. Now whether that was on a shaper I can't be sure. I mostly remember doing a search of eBay for rectangular HSS and seeing it was pretty rare and most of the stuff was old and bigger than the 1/4"x 3/4"x 4" I was inquiring about.

Like has been mentioned the space for creativity on mounting work on the shaper is pretty unlimited. I'm doing a lot of projects on the shaper just to be able take advantage of this.
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top