When I didn’t have my camera he was busy working away on it – no doubt he will be back working on it next week. I am reliably informed that it is a Victorian Shaper Machine.
History as per Wikapedia
Samuel Bentham developed a shaper between 1791 and 1793. However, Roe (1916) credits James Nasmyth with the invention of the shaper in 1836. Shapers were very common in industrial production from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th. In current industrial practice, shapers have been largely superseded by other machine tools (especially of the CNC type), including milling machines, grinding machines, and broaching machines. But the basic function of a shaper is still sound; tooling for them is minimal and very cheap to reproduce; and they are simple and robust in construction, making their repair and upkeep easily achievable. Thus they are still popular in many machine shops, from jobbing shops or repair shops to tool and die shops, where only one or a few pieces are required to be produced and the alternative methods are cost- or tooling-intensive. They also have considerable retro appeal to many hobbyist machinists, who are happy to obtain a used shaper or, in some cases, even to build a new one from scratch.
Ed is pretty confident that he can get it up and working in the 2 months he has left with us.
This is Ed’s 3rd Heritage Machine project and he has done some impressive work during his time with us. Here he is on a previous project.