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Help! Older Wood Shaper by Monical Machinery Company

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Forum topic by Sandman1022 posted 03-21-2017 12:47 AM 438 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sandman1022

11 posts in 997 days


03-21-2017 12:47 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shaper wood shaper router table monical shaper knives tip question

I recently “inherited” a wood shaper from my best friend’s family. It came with over 100 sets of knives. I’ve cleaned it up and everything seems to run, but there’s only one problem: I DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE IT. I’ve been woodworking for about 10 years now, but this machine is one that I’ve never operated. I own a table saw, band saw, thickness planer, jointer, miter saw, etc, so I’m not new to all shop tools. I’ve seen videos of the newer shapers that are out there, but I’m having trouble finding much that looks like this. Can someone help me in knowing how to operate this safely? I know I need a fence for it, but I’m not sure what direction to head for that. I’m not sure how to load the knives in properly without having one fly through me like a bullet. I pretty much know how to turn it on and off. I would be in your debt if you could help me with:

1. Fence Ideas
2. Blade Loading
3. Safety While Shaping Wood. I like my fingers!
4. Anything that I’m Overlooking

I have some pictures below:

-- How much wood would a wood chuck chuck, oh nevermind......


14 replies so far

View sawdustdad's profile

sawdustdad

183 posts in 493 days


#1 posted 03-21-2017 02:43 AM

Looks a lot like a Delta shaper. I’d personally set all those cutters aside and buy some three blade cutters that fit over the spindle. Looks like a 3/4 inch spindle? Lots of shaper cutters available, and you won’t have to worry about sending a cutter into your gut. 8^)

http://www.grizzly.com/router-bits-and-shaper-cutters

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Any board cut to length has a 50% probability of being too short.

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

14911 posts in 1464 days


#2 posted 03-21-2017 02:47 AM

I was thinking the same….those look,like bullets. I have an old craftsman set for the TS that I won’t use. I don’t trust the little set screws with my life.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

2383 posts in 1633 days


#3 posted 03-21-2017 07:24 AM

If you are familiar with a router table, it pretty much operates the same. One significant difference is that the spindle will be reversible. Of course you have to turn the cutters over to use them in reverse. Why? Sometimes you may need to approach a cut from the opposite direction due to grain direction. Oh, and other reasons too. Do be careful not to use the wrong rotation.

You can use router bits on a shaper if you have a spindle adapter for router bits. Different brands have different designs for these. I use them often. In fact, I sold my router table.

An advantage over the router table is that you have an induction motor, which is quieter, longer lasting, and more powerful. Probably has 2 speeds, changed by moving the drive belt between the pulleys.

But they can be a dangerous machine. I’d at least get a book or video on safe operation of the shaper.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View BigYin's profile

BigYin

379 posts in 2024 days


#4 posted 03-21-2017 10:08 AM

tend to be called spindle moulder in UK … google “guide fence spindle moulder”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr0R-Z4jU8Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Kqxl1P3EY

these machines BITE ! take a night class, or sweep up free in a carpenters shop in return for a lesson or two

Guide fence – make it like a router fence with in/out adjustable outlet face and chip extration and applied feed pressure device either spring loaded wheels or feather boads

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5107 posts in 1806 days


#5 posted 03-21-2017 10:21 AM

Kind of hard based on the pictures (and missing all of it’s badges), but I’m pretty sure that is an older Delta heavy duty shaper… nice one with the cast iron plinth. There should be a Delta tag on it somewhere with a serial number, and if so, you can get a date for it and look up the catalog number and accessories offered for it in the catalog. Go over to OWWM for lots of info and answers to any of your questions, as well as a buy/sell section for hard to find parts. You can find manuals and parts diagrams over at the VM site here. Here is one of many examples in the photo index over there:


(From this listing)

Nice score indeed!

Cheers,
Brad

PS: That “Monical” tag is most likely just the company (retailer) who sold it originally… not the manufacturer. Could be the company that bought it and had it in production though.. cool bit of history either way.

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1201 posts in 1281 days


#6 posted 03-21-2017 10:49 AM

As the others have said, that tooling belongs in a museum. The knives are held in place by compressing the two collars together. Any of those knives could have microscopic fractures ready to explode. Spindle work is already dangerous enough. The big knives push a lot of air and sound like low flying aircraft. Three wing cutters or a more modern safety head will be much better.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

110 posts in 141 days


#7 posted 03-21-2017 11:24 AM

the lock edge cutters you have are fine. I use that sort all the time. They are quite safe.

make sure they are sharp and run them at the correct speed. also. don’t use them to hog off a load of wood.

make small consecutive passes and go a little at a time.

that shaper is a light weight. you’ll bog it down if you try to take a huge cut.

If you don’t have a fence you can make one out of wood, like you would for a router table, except make it out of heavy stock.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

110 posts in 141 days


#8 posted 03-22-2017 03:39 AM

to finish my answer. the cutter head that you have in the shaper is for raised panels. The teethe on the bottom should either be below the table or you need to turn the head over. our SCMI has throat inserts the largest is about 14 inches. (I don’t know what kind of cutter would use one that big. The biggest I’ve ever used is about 10 that’s scary enough.)

I like to see the cutters at least an inch in the head. (A friend says 3/4 and I will do that, but I like a full inch better.)

setting up a cutter head. (THis is for a matched pair of cutters)
1, cut a scrap of 1/4 inch ply the size of the head.
2, put the cutters loosely in the head use a very light pressure.
3, Trace one of the cutters with a pencil onto the plywood.
4, move the other until both match the same traced line.
5, torque it down tight.

One of the nice things about a lockedge cutter is that you don’t need two matching cutters. (You only have to grind the profile one time not twice and matching.) If you are only using one cutter you still have to have 2 in the head. just push the one not cutting in and out of the way of the one that is cutting and torque it down. This is good for a short run, but is not recommended for one that will be on very dense wood or that will see a lot of use.

Be sure that the cutters are rotating in the correct direction. there should be a switch to change directions. I have worked with one that didn’t. If yours falls into this category, find an electrician and have him install one.

I didn’t see a fence, The original fence may still be available but wooden ones work. There are many good designs for router fences that will work well. (search homemade router fences) It doesn’t have to be complex, but it should be heavily made. (Think brick out house) It also needs to be well anchored to the table. Start with bolts for the original fence hole and add clamps as necessary.
Remember this when you are building it. It guides the wood across the blade and keeps me out of it. think of the heft as insurance.

There should be a way to change the speed for different sizes of cutters. there should be a door to access the shivs and belt below the motor. If you can’t find a cutter speed chart note me and I will take a picture of the one we use.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3360 posts in 2693 days


#9 posted 03-22-2017 03:54 PM

That shaper is meant to rotate in one direction only: 1. because there is no second locknut to keep the first one from backing off in reverse. 2. because the motor is an repulsion/induction motor, the only way you can reverse direction on these motors is to rotate a timing plate that is located inside the motor, you have to partially dismantle the motor to do this and then time the motor for the correct starting torque. This is not a simple procedure.
If those tri wing cutters shown in the upper right corner of the last picture fit the shaper, you probably have
a 1/2” spindle. Grizzly Industrial does have cutters to fit a 1/2” spindle. There are threaded holes in the
top that probably held a fence at one time and you might be able to find a used one that will fit.
Some of the old Delta Shapers came with a reversible 1/2” / 3/4” spindle and even had a router bit adapter
available, and I would agree with Mr. Unix that your machine is a Delta shaper. You can go to Vintage
Machinery and check under Delta Machinery for old shapers for more info.

-- As ever, Gus-the 78 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Sandman1022's profile

Sandman1022

11 posts in 997 days


#10 posted 03-22-2017 07:11 PM



1, cut a scrap of 1/4 inch ply the size of the head.
2, put the cutters loosely in the head use a very light pressure.
3, Trace one of the cutters with a pencil onto the plywood.
4, move the other until both match the same traced line.
5, torque it down tight.

Thanks for for this walk though on installing these the right way. I’m glad to know that these are still used and safe. It’s just intimidating to turn it on with those raised panel cutters installed.

-- How much wood would a wood chuck chuck, oh nevermind......

View Sandman1022's profile

Sandman1022

11 posts in 997 days


#11 posted 03-22-2017 07:13 PM


Go over to OWWM for lots of info and answers to any of your questions, as well as a buy/sell section for hard to find parts. You can find manuals and parts diagrams over at the VM site here. Here is one of many examples in the photo index over there:

What a great set of resources. Thanks for these websites.

-- How much wood would a wood chuck chuck, oh nevermind......

View BigYin's profile

BigYin

379 posts in 2024 days


#12 posted 03-22-2017 08:17 PM

use basics here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4Kqxl1P3EY

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

110 posts in 141 days


#13 posted 03-24-2017 10:20 AM

It s just intimidating to turn it on with those raised panel cutters installed.


One plus about having a wooden fence is that you can screw things to it. Not only can you mount hold downs, A round ish chunk of plywood screwed to the fence just above the cutter will make a good guard

That shaper is meant to rotate in one direction only: 1. because there is no second locknut to keep the first one from backing off in reverse. 2. because the motor is an repulsion/induction motor, the only way you can reverse direction on these motors is to rotate a timing plate that is located inside the motor, you have to partially dismantle the motor to do this and then time the motor for the correct starting torque. This is not a simple procedure.

- Bluepine38

Most shapers are reversible. Even the smaller ones. It is a safety thing. Many shops only use one nut out of convenience. The lock nuts should be available. I always use them even in forward. (It’s just a good habit) We have one of similar size (except it is a Yates-American) built in the early 1950s. It is reversible.

Check your machine, don’t take anyone’s word.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View Texcaster's profile

Texcaster

1201 posts in 1281 days


#14 posted 03-24-2017 11:39 PM

My spindle is a 30mm, two speed combo machine with separate motors for saw and spindle. I can only reverse rotation at the isolation switch. I have only done it once and it felt creepy, even with a safety head because rotation is counter to the self locking thread.

I trained on the old tooling at LA Trade Tech in the late ‘70s. In the two years I was there, knives went flying twice. Fortunately no serious injuries. The students would make the setup and an instructor would inspect it. One time a large molding knife caught an instructor flat on the sternum on initial startup. He was out of commission for a week.

The old tooling can be perfectly safe for an experienced tradesman. As someone new to this machine you should be very cautious.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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