Shaper

From Academic Kids

This article is about shapers designed for metal workpieces; for wood applications, see Wood shaper.

A shaper is a machine tool used for shaping metal and other materials. It operates by sliding a hardened cutting tool backwards and forwards across the workpiece. On the return stroke, the tool may cut on its opposite edge, or may be lifted clear of the piece so it only cuts in one direction. The tool may be slowly driven across the workpiece using a screwthread so as to plane off a surface. Cutting fluid may be employed.

Shapers have been largely superseded by milling machines or grinding machines in modern industrial practice, but they are still popular with some amateurs because the tooling for them is very cheap. The job mounts on a box shaped table in front of the machine. The height of the table can be adjusted to suit the job, and the table can traverse sideways, usually controlled by an automatic feed. A ram slides back and forth above the job, and a tool on the end of the ram cuts a flat surface on the top of the job. A small slide permits feeding the tool downwards to put on a cut. Most common use is machining flat surfaces but with ingenuity and some acccessories a wide range of work can be done.

See Also

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