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Sheldon shaper is still busy

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Andy Pullen

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Hi All,
I have my Sheldon shaper set up on the next job. This one took a little bit of thought. I'm machining 3 sets of side rods for live steam models of Union Pacific RR Big Boy locomotives. The intermediate rods (the ones on the second and third driver in each set of 4 drivers) have a fork in each end for the front and rear rods to connect to the crankpins.
Originally, I was planning on using a large diameter 1/8" wide slitting saw to cut the slots. I had already drilled a hole vertically through the rods where the slots ended to make it a little easier. Well, the 8" diameter saw was turning in the slowest speed in back gear (about 60 rpm) and even with flood coolant on the cutter, it was turning too fast to cut the stainless.
I then remembered a video of a slotter (vertical shaper) doing what I needed to do, so I made a fixture and bought a nice thick high speed steel parting tool blade from an eBay seller and made a holder for that.....I wasn't sure if the shaper would push that blade through the stainless in 1 pass, it wouldn't. Another fixture was made for the horizontal bandsaw to cut most of the offending material out of the rod.
I finally had success last night. The first slot of 24 is done. Side 1 took a little while as I was getting the feel for it. Side 2 took about 1/2 the time.
Shapers are very useful machines.....sometimes they take a little thought to get them set up.
 

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