by IndependentMachine on August 24, 2015

Shapers are cool. A mainstay of machine shops a hundred years ago they have largely been left in the past. They are simple, dramatic and kinda dangerous. To those that dont know how a shaper works, it is a metal cutting tool that cuts with a linear reciprocating motion, no spinning cutters at all.
We have, by odd luck, ended up with 2 shapers in the last several months. The first one is a Shape-rite 8 inch shaper. The other is a shaper attachment head that goes on the Bridgeport milling
The Bridgeport shaper head will need some work but the shape-rite has already done a couple jobs for us and worked out great. Until now we used broaches to cut internal keyways, they work well usually but its slow and on keyways that are longer than bout 2.5 inches the broach can go kinda crooked and taper out. Also, in acetal we have had some cracking or blow out at the back with broaches. Lastly, we had to regularly make bushings for broaches, or buy odd size broaches. Shaper takes care of all of these problems.

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