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[4]

South Bend shaper has made its way to my shop!

January Project of the Month [3]
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Crank

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#1
A week ago there was an automotive swap meet by my house and I met a gent with a bunch of machine equipment. After inquiring about a shaper or a horizontal mill, he said he had a South Bend shaper he would let go. I finally got to see it on Saturday, but we were having intermittent rain so it didn't come home until today. I was amazed how little use this thing has. He bought it about 12 years ago and never ran it. It's strange to buy something so nice and it doesn't need work to fix it up. Here is a first walk around while I had it running.


Enjoy!

Mark
 

Surprman

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#2
One day I'd like to get one of those - just to be able to watch it run. Nice score.

Rick
 

Crank

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#4
benmychree,
That makes perfect sense, but I'm puzzled how the wires got switched? The electrical plug looks to be original. I'll switch it around when I get a chance.
Thanks

Mark
 

francist

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#5
That's a great looking machine, I can't believe some survive for so long with such little use.
Good catch on the reverse stroking -- was going to mention it but Mr York got there first! ;)

-frank
 

Ulma Doctor

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#7
to reverse the action, you don't need to reverse the motor.
there is a rod that is responsible for advancing the pawl that ratchets the Box forward and reverse.
where the rod is driven from, there is a slot that the rod end runs in.
when loosened the rod can be repositioned in the slot.
note the position relative to the end of the slot where it is now and move the rod to the other end of the slot.
and readjust the linkage, leaving it slightly loose in case of minor mistake, it will collapse if you get the timing off and prevent damage
on the Delta/Rockwell shapers there is a slot in a bronze drive collar that is responsible for ratchet timing.

don't feel bad, mine was reversed too- somebody else told me that it was backward or i wouldn't have known either
 
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Crank

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#8
Mike,
I was prepared to see some old machine that was showing its age, but when he pulled the cover off, my jaw hit the floor. Any thoughts about haggling over the price were immediately dismissed. I'm a firm believer that if a fair price is put on something, I won't be a cheapskate. The seller has quite a collection of old iron and early gas engines and I think we will wind up cultivating a continuing friendship. That is well worth the price of admission!

Mark
 

Crank

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#11
tweinke,
About 8 years ago, I got an Atlas that turned out to have had an electrical fire in it and after rewiring it it became cascading train wreck. It slowly revealed all of the kludged repairs that were keeping it in a semblance of operation. I finally let it go, but the seed was planted and I have kept my radar tuned to find a replacement. This was just a casual inquiry that escalated into finding a gem like this. I have a few tasks that have languished because I lacked a shaper and a vertical mill was ill suited. Keep looking and be patient, I wish you well.

Mark
 

Crank

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#13
Vince,
Thanks, I feel fortunate to have gotten it, but I think the fact that I have made a friend is an even bigger score. Since I didn't wind up with another piece of equipment in project condition, I will hopefully be able to wrap up the overhaul of my Takisawa lathe. I just finished the stripping and cleaning of the tailstock and carriage this weekend. Those are the last two major components in need of paint, then I can finish reassembly. Next big task is selling off a bunch of crap that has accumulated and is serving no practical purpose to make some room in my desperately overloaded shop area.

Mark
 

Crank

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#14
Okay, I have a question. While running it yesterday, I flooded all of the external lubrication points with CLP to loosen up some of the hardened oil/cosmoline and also observed how well oil was being circulated by the pump system. I noticed that the right side of the ram was receiving less oil than the left and both had a bit of black residue. I will change the oil as a precaution, but does anyone have a preferred product to run through the system to flush the lines? I would be tempted to fill the sump with Marvel's Mystery oil, or some mix of oil and ATF to just let it run for an hour or so until it flows clean. Then I could drain and refill with an appropriate oil. I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

Mark
 

dlane

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#16
Crank, what would you consider to be a fair price for that machine ,
 

Crank

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#17
As you well know LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!! I have been shopping for a few years to find a worthwhile example after my previous experience. Several reasonable condition machines have popped up here in SOCAL from $700-$900, none were anywhere this nice, but timing to get one ( I missed out on two because of work related travel ) and having the cash in hand have proven to be a hiccup. I gave $995 for this one and haven't got the least bit of buyers remorse. I have seen several shapers listed as high as $1200-$1500 down around here, I never bothered to look at them, but often those listings don't seem to last long either. My best recommendation is if you find a decent one, buy it! If you find a better one later for a better price, buy it too and you'll be able to sell the other one off. Location has so much to do with this stuff, I was back in Cape Cod last fall and I was cruising Craigslist from NH to CT and you couldn't swing a dead cat without hitting a shaper or all sorts of machine equipment for prices that had me losing my mind how to ship it all out here. Long story short, I feel I paid towards the higher end of what you typically see these machines sell for, but the condition was unlike anything I have looked at, so I feel it was a score.

Mark
 

Dabbler

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#19
There was an untouched Atlas at a US machine dealer last year that sold for 4500.00 but it was still in the original shipping crate, with the original cosmoline on it.
 

Silverbullet

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#21
Nice to see a like new one. Two wires in the motor need to be switched if it's 110volt power . You may need to Ck the felts in the side not getting oil the black is the give away they sludge up. Ck aboms shaper cleaning YouTube videos.
 

Uncle Buck

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#22
I think that machine was worth what you paid for it. I know if it was my machine I would not sell one that pristine for less than that. SB metal shapers just ooze quality, no corners cut.
 

C-Bag

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#24
There are folks that have gotten some cheaper but not as nice as yours. I wouldn't have tried to dicker for that price either. The last time I saw one that appeared to be that nice was an Atlas in Ridgecrest last year and they wanted $2,000. Appeared, because you know pictures can be deceiving. It lasted a week.

All the shapers I've seen locally were missing major parts, and two of them were basically stripped bare down with motors, jackshaft, vise, ratchet and covers gone. I'll bet those parts were all sold off on eBay. Both of the hulks they wanted $500 for and they went away so I guess they sold. If you've been watching eBay you know a shaper vise will run $300+, so trying to buy a fixer upper is a crazy rich guys game. I totally agree with the sentiment that you don't need another project. Trying to find parts for these old shapers is tough and expensive.

The other jem in this deal was becoming friends with the seller. You just never know what these kinds of searches are going to lead you to.
 

Crank

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#25
Well, I gratefully appreciate the compliments and comments.

I was surprised no one piped up with a bunch of "secret sauce" cleaning solutions. I'm probably going to pick up a gallon of Mobil DTE 25, ISO 46 for normal oiling. I'll dump the oil that's in it, wipe any debris out of the bottom of the sump and fill with a half and half of oil and MMO. I'll let that run for a while to circulate, drain, refill with just oil, run to make sure that there are no concentrations of solvents, drain and refill one last time. I can pull the felt wipers and let them soak in some acetone to get rid of any grunge hiding there and hopefully give them back a touch of pliability.

Mark
 

Crank

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#26
C-Bag,
You were replying while I was pecking away. You nailed it with the references to the half dead machines and missing parts. As for projects, I am definitely flush in that realm and I just got word I may be headed overseas again next month, so there goes a few weekends of working time on the shop.

Mark
 

C-Bag

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#27
My Atlas 7b find was totally unexpected. Basically buried in a tool hoarders barn. It was almost totally intact only missing the motor belt cover. But after cleaning it (a big job in itself) and working through the many problems from old age and abuse I've come to it's going to need some pretty major work to the cross slide, lead screw, nut at minimum and possibly some work on the ram. So only because it was so incredibly cheap and intact did I decide to go for it. But if I'd seen something like yours I'd have rather gone that route. You could say mine is the opposite end of the spectrum :) Here's what it looked like when I brought it home.
 

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Uncle Buck

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#28
My Atlas 7b find was totally unexpected. Basically buried in a tool hoarders barn. It was almost totally intact only missing the motor belt cover. But after cleaning it (a big job in itself) and working through the many problems from old age and abuse I've come to it's going to need some pretty major work to the cross slide, lead screw, nut at minimum and possibly some work on the ram. So only because it was so incredibly cheap and intact did I decide to go for it. But if I'd seen something like yours I'd have rather gone that route. You could say mine is the opposite end of the spectrum :) Here's what it looked like when I brought it home.
Looks like an old school, state, or institutional machine to me.
 
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