WTB: Metal Shaper - Will Pick Up!

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Forum topic by JustJoe posted 08-07-2013 03:02 PM 2098 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1554 posts in 2036 days

08-07-2013 03:02 PM

I’ve been looking for an affordable metalworking shaper for a few years now and they’re just not coming up in my little slice of the desert. But I’m driving cross country next month, leaving 3 September, and hopefully I can find something along the way out or back.

I want a shaper – Atlas, Southbend, Cincinatti, No-name, doesn’t matter. I only have about $500 to spend. I might be able to squeeze out another 1-200 but that would be tight since I’m already spending $700 I don’t have for gas on the trip. So I don’t expect mint in the box. As long as it’s workable I’d be happy. (I can replace the motor, but finding other parts out here is impossible).

I’m looking for the old smaller ones – the 6-7” size that weighs less than 500 pounds. It has to fit in the back of my pickup and not kill the suspension. There’s a ginormous Cinci one at auction in NM right now but it’s way beyond my needs/space.

I’m in southern AZ. The route I’ve planned is basically here to Albuquerque (I don’t think there’s anything in Demind or Las Cruces but if so let me know). In Albuquerque I’ll hang a right and head on over through Amarillo, then OKC, then a slight turn to the left will take me up to St. Louis and on to just south of Chicago where I will reluctantly enter that desolate wasteland I left so many years ago – Michigan – to Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and halfway to Flint. Google Map Albuquerque to Ann Arbor MI and you’ll see about where I’m headed.

I’m willing to detour a couple of hours north or south along the way, or make a 4-5 hour drive at the end (Highland Twp MI) so if you’ve got a shaper for sale, or know of someone with one for sale please let me know. I’ve been checking CL for years and I see them pop up in the MI/IN/OH area for 400-600 depending n condition so I know they’re out there (I also see them pop up for $2200, but that’s just not possible at this time.)

I know it’s still 3 weeks out, but I figured I’d ask early and if I get no response I’ll keep bumpng this up as the departure date approaches.

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6 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


31071 posts in 2864 days

#1 posted 08-07-2013 03:49 PM

Joe, I was a great collector of all things mechanical. In all my piles of stuff I had three shapers. I bought one at a machine shop auction and used it in my machine shop. I paid $100 for it. I bought two more at one of the local junkyards which I frequent. They cost me $175 for the both of them. Most machine shops no longer use these shapers and they have sort of gone out of style. For that reason you can still find them. However, shapers can do some very useful work. I also had three horizontal milling machines which tend to be going out of stile. I probably had more than 500 milling cutters for these machines and all of it was bought at auctions.. You’ll probably pay a lot for one on Ebay, but you should be able to find a good bargain on one if you keep looking for it. BTW, I lost all my stuff that I had collected for years when our plant burned back in August of last year.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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jim C

1472 posts in 3096 days

#2 posted 08-07-2013 06:58 PM

Why would you want a metal shaper? I’m just curious.
Those went away when I was coming into the toll & die trade in 1967. Horizontal mills with slab cutters as well as vertical mills did the job.

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1554 posts in 2036 days

#3 posted 08-07-2013 07:09 PM

And we’re off and running – backwards. Let me try again.

If you have a metal shaper to sell or know of someone who has a metal shaper to sell, maximum $500ish, and you’re somewhere on a line between Albuquerque NM and Flint MI, please let me know prior to 3 September.


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View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2036 days

#4 posted 09-14-2013 08:19 PM

Just to close this thread out properly –
I got a shaper. $200 and one long road trip. I looked in AZ for a few years and the only one I found was 300 miles north of here and it went for almost a grand before I could decide if I wanted to buy it or not.

This one is a Rhodes with a born-on date of around WW1 (aka “The War To End All Wars” or “WW2, The Prequel”.) I have no room in the workshop so it will go in the garage for me to play with. Luckily I can’t think of anymore big tools – metal or wood – that I need so I won’t have to add on to the house or workshop to make room. (If I find a second smaller bandsaw, say something in the 14” range, then that might change.)

I got it from a guy who made some incredible small engines by hand. The picture is the machine in his basement. Now it’s in the driveway and the back of my truck as I try to reassemble it piece by piece. He just happened to live 25 miles from my destination on the Michigan vacation that I just returned from.
And speaking of vacation – I will be detailng the woodworking aspect of that trip on my upcoming blog. Look for it tomorrow or Monday. It will be under the title “Worst Workshop Ever.”

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View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3547 posts in 2249 days

#5 posted 09-14-2013 08:26 PM

Congrats on your new machine, Joe. I am glad to see that your shaper pilgrimage ended well. I look forward to your blog—I enjoy your sense of humor in your writing.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2444 days

#6 posted 09-14-2013 08:56 PM

What a find joe,I,m sure you couldn’t wait to get back home and put it together.what size/HP is the motor?what are you going to make with it? I had never seen a metal shaper like that before and I worked for many years in metal fabrication shops.
Any how ,enjoy your new toy.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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