[4]

Shaper cross rail repair

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

63redtudor

New Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
20
Likes
8
#1
Well I now have a shop building. Its still unheated, but at least now I have some space for the machines and can start to do some work on/with them. One of them is this shaper: https://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/picked-up-a-shaper.49544/
Still have not been able to figure out the origin of the shaper, right now mainly interested in cleaning and assessing everything so that when I'm finally able to remove it from the wheels its on I can actually use it. In the past someone used grease instead of oil and the entire thing is covered in grime. I think that this is actually helped preserve it, but it means that I have some serious cleaning to do.
However... in cleaning I found a major problem. The left side back clamp mounting boss on the cross rail is broken. What I thought was dirt and grime is 2 broken pieces. So after cussing, swearing, crying etc., I sat down and tried to think my way around this problem. I had to do some reading to make sure I had the right terminology, and even then I'm sure I'm getting wrong somehow. So, here's some pics:
KIMG0735.JPG
The cross rail with the 'saddle' and the table removed. (The saddle moves side-to-side on the cross rail and the cross rail moves up and down.)
KIMG0738.JPG
The cast 'boss' that the back clamp (a simple flat bar) bolts to. You can see the gib (brass?) - the back clamp is removed. Both of the bolt holes for the clamp are blind and on the lower one you can see where someone (a "mechanic".... grrrrr) had a bolt that was too long and just kept tightening down instead of getting the right size and then broke the cast iron. Can't tell for sure but I think that this person may have done the same with the upper bolt. There are two sets of gib screws, I think that this person realized the mistake and did a crappy repair trying to hide it....

KIMG0743.JPG
Here is the cross rail removed, showing the damage. The 2 sets of gib screw indentations are very visible. The upper bolt hole is to the left, lower to the right.

KIMG0741.JPG
Here is the back clamp with the 2 broken pieces.

KIMG0760.JPG
Here is a side view, the ruler was attempt to show the size of the 'boss' and the amount of material that is broken and and the thickness of the cross rail itself. Unfortunately the flash makes it hard to see the divisions on the ruler. Basically the 'boss' is about 7/8" square by about 5" long and the cross rail material here is about 7/8" thick.

So, here is my thought process;
I looked for several years trying to find a shaper that would work for me. Most of them that I found in Colorado much bigger than I have the room for or the ability to deal with. I had looked at a Hendy and a Cincinnati that were both over 18", as cool as that would be they're way more than I have the ability to deal with. I now live in eastern Montana which is almost more of a machine tool desert than where I was before. So unless someone sneaks by my place in the middle of then night and dumps a nice South Bend or Sheldon off in my driveway, this is what I have. Now what I've been rolling around in my mind is how to fix the shaper. I've also been picking the brains of my dad, uncle and a few machining friends, so now I'm hoping people here have ideas, or at least can pick our ideas appart and come up with something better. I would like to keep the repair cast iron. I'm an aircraft mechanic and deal with dissimilar metals all the time and I would rather stick with the same material.
I don't think getting a new casting is an option right now, probably cost more than the shaper is worth and/or what I spent on the thing. My original thoughts were to try to weld the boss back together - I've had success with this in the past. However, the break isn't very clean and welding cast iron is an art more than a science as well as it tends to warp. So that's out.
My next thought was a cast iron insert dovetailed or T-slotted in. However, I'm worried that this would weaken a major part that tends to take a lot of stress.
Here's my thoughts now, mill the 'boss' completely away and mill a shallow slot - no more than 1/16" deep, ideally 1/32" in the cross rail. Get a chunk of cast iron (grey iron) and make a cast iron insert about 7/8" x 1 1/2" x 5", silver solder in. Re-drill the mounting holes all the way through plus a few more to tap and thread for a few studs to add some rigidity, possibly a few holes for some taper pins (I have the reamers). I know that boring the holes all the way through I'll have to be care full about the length, but I'm pretty sure that's what caused the break in the first place. I'll try not to make that mistake!
I need to make some drawings, but what do you guys think? There's got to be some one on the board much smarter than my family and friends!
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
2,427
Likes
1,820
#2
Silver soldering cast iron is not very workable, it does not like to "wet out" like on other metals.
 

silence dogood

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
389
Likes
228
#3
I'm one of the family members aka Dad and we've talked on the phone at length about this problem. The idea of wicking silver solder was to hold the two pieces for drilling and tapping. He does have access to a mill, so maybe it's not necessary. He does plan to pin then bolt the two pieces to- gether. Also would NS bolts or studs work better than NC in this case?
 

Richard King 2

Master Machine Tool Rebuilder & Instructor
H-M Supporter - Commercial Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
402
Likes
393
#4
I was thinking along the same line and as Bensaid silver solder is not an option im my opinion too. The heat will wick into the large casting. I would suggest you mill and cut deeper then smaller. Then fasten the insert with Allen cap screws or flat head cap screws. If you want to weld it. Braze it, but this requires a lot of heat too and you would have to over layer it thicker they before. So it won't be hidden.

Ben is a a Journeyman machinist and has been repairing machines longer then many on here have been alive.
 

63redtudor

New Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
20
Likes
8
#5
Good to know about silver solder, I didn't realize that. As much as I hate to say it, would a cold weld such as JB Weld be a better option? One of the things we kicked around was how tight a fit we wanted this insert to fit in. I'm a little leary of an interference fit with cast iron, what would you suggest?
RK2, why do you say milling the receptacle deeper than shallower? I'm just worried that I will weaken the cross rail, in operation it seems as though there would be a bit of stress on that part.
My intent on the studs was to cut them flush both sides and then 'stake' them in place on the back side (something I'm familiar with on aircraft). This insert will then be a permanent part of the cross rail. My intent also is not to hide this repair at all, I'm more concerned about functionality.
The more and more I look at and dig into this machine, the more I think that this is a one-off, made to fill a need, most likely from spare parts or parts from an older broken machine. There were some small foundries in Denver in the early part of the last century.
Keep the suggestions, ideas and information coming, thanks so much!
 

Richard King 2

Master Machine Tool Rebuilder & Instructor
H-M Supporter - Commercial Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
402
Likes
393
#6
How about cleaning it up and mounting the broken parts, hold down and gib showing how it goes. It may look and sound to you what you mean but a picture would be easier to figure out for me anyway. My techniques or idea's are for a "Rebuild" and not a "fix" mind set. It looks like you have plenty of meat or iron there. You Dad said you have access to a mill. How about making a whole new insert to replace the top and bottom holes. You could mill all the iron out so it looks like a key way. Just make it sliding fit. The new Key or insert would have pre drilled original / taped holes plus new drilled holes to attach the key in place. I would use A;;en cap screws as I said before. I wish I had a crystal ball so I could know exactly what you have there. How about having Dad come over and you 2 figure it out. An insert / key would be how I would do it instead of welding. gluing, brazing it. You also need to clean the rail so we can see if it id scored or just grease.\\I see my flag has changed. Wierd as I am an American but I am on a Business trip in Austria. I am guessing that's their flag
 
Last edited:

63redtudor

New Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
20
Likes
8
#7
Ok, so I dug through my pictures of the shaper and other literature that I've saved and I hope that this will help.
Here is a picture of the right side cross rail clamp and bolts:
MtMachineShaper_03a.jpg
Inside the circled area are you can see 2 bolts, these are the bolts that hold down the clamp that keeps the cross rail on the base of the shaper. You'll notice that this is the right side of the machine, I couldn't find a good enough picture of what I needed on the left side. The clamp and "boss" is identical on the right side, other than there isn't a gib.
I also have a couple of exploded diagrams from literature (pdf). One is from the army manual for a Rockville 16" shaper, items #161 and 163 look to be pretty close equivalents. In the Sheldon manual #29 is the equivalent.
Do these pictures help make sense of what I'm up against and what I'm trying to do? If anything, it took several pictures, phone calls and e-mails between my dad, uncle and myself for all of us to understand each other and we're family and have a pretty good understanding of each other! Unfortunately neither my dad or uncle are close enough to be of any real physical help, other than to shoot holes in my ideas when I call them.
Due to the reciprocating motion of a shaper and the stress on the clamp, I'm a little nervous about milling too deep into the cross rail. The table does have a support under it, but it still seems that there is going to be a bit of shock each time the ram moves forward and makes a cut. I basically want this repair to not move at all. Hence the idea of silver solder (bad idea), studs and possibly taper pins.
Am I WAY over thinking this? I'd really like to do this right the first time. I have a seven-year-old who is showing interest in the hobby and my goal is to have many of these machines still usable for him or any potential grandkids that come along in years to come. I wish that I'd been able to learn more from my grandfather when I was a teenager (and more interested in the waitresses at the nearby restaurant - the machines have probably held up better.....).
Thanks everyone so much for the input so far!
 

Attachments

[6]
[5] [7]
Top