Sunday, February 07, 2010

Shaper head

Shaper head, originally uploaded by SeabeeCook.

I walked around the machine shop one Saturday last January looking for photographic opportunities. The shaper seemed a worthy target at the time.

Lead machinist Sam Thompson was using the shaper to form small rectangular bars out of larger pieces of cast iron stock. The bars will be used to repair the valves on the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay locomotive.

The interesting thing about the shaper is that is uses raw, untamed power to chip layer after layer off each cast iron block. While most machines in the shop are designed for precision jobs, the machinist uses the shaper to rough in the piece of metal. Sam will use one of the mills to trim the bars to specification.

The shop is located in the museum grounds for the El Dorado County Historical Museum in Placerville, California.

The diagram is from the The New Encyclopedia of Machine Shop Practice A Guide to the Principles and Practice of Machine Shop Proceedure by George W. Barnwell (Wm. H. Wise & Co.: New York, 1941).