Introduction: The shaper is a machine tool used primarily for:
1. Producing a flat or plane surface which may be in a horizontal, a vertical or an angular plane.
2. Making slots, grooves and keyways
3. Producing contour of concave/convex or a combination of these
Working Principle: The job is rigidly fixed on the machine table. The single point cutting tool held properly in the tool post is mounted on a reciprocating ram. The reciprocating motion of the ram is obtained by a quick return motion mechanism. As the ram reciprocates, the tool cuts the material during its forward stroke. During return, there is no cutting action and this stroke is called the idle stroke. The forward and return strokes constitute one operating cycle of the shaper.
Construction: The main parts of the Shaper machine is Base, Body (Pillar, Frame, Column), Cross rail, Ram and tool head (Tool Post, Tool Slide, Clamper Box Block).
Base: The base is a heavy cast iron casting which is fixed to the shop floor. It supports the body frame and the entire load of the machine. The base absorbs and withstands vibrations and other forces which are likely to be induced during the shaping operations.
Body (Pillar, Frame, Column): It is mounted on the base and houses the drive mechanism compressing the main drives, the gear box and the quick return mechanism for the ram movement. The top of the body provides guide ways for the ram and its front provides the guide ways for the cross rail.
Cross rail: The cross rail is mounted on the front of the body frame and can be moved up and down. The vertical movement of the cross rail permits jobs of different heights to be accommodated below the tool. Sliding along the cross rail is a saddle which carries the work table.
Ram and tool head: The ram is driven back and forth in its slides by the slotted link mechanism. The back and forth movement of ram is called stroke and it can be adjusted according to the length of the workpiece to be-machined.