Everything you need to know about shaping machine

Just like other machine tools, a shaping machine is another important tool that must be found in a workshop. it is designed for giving desired shapes on projects that have horizontal, vertical, and flat surfaces. A shaping tool is used to cut in curves, different angles, and other shapes.

shaping machine

This machine is good at making internal keyways, making slots and grooves as well as producing contour of concave or convex. A disc is use as a tool in order to obtain forward and backward rotary movement in some type. The cutting tool is used to give the shape to the hard surface of metal by scraping off the unwanted parts.

Today we’ll be looking deep into the definition, working principle and mechanism, types, parts, applications, advantages and disadvantages of shaper machine.

Shaping Machine Definition:

The shaper machine is a reciprocating machine tool used for producing horizontal, vertical or inclined flat surfaces. This is achieved by the means of straight-line reciprocating single-point cutting tools.

Read: Everything you need to know about drilling machine

Working principle of a shaping machine:

The reciprocating shaper machine working is achieved by fixing the workpiece on the machine table. The cutting tool is fixed on the ram which moves forward and backward in a slider (reciprocating movement) form. The forward strokes toward the workpiece take the cut and the backward movement set the ram for another cutting action.

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The video below contains the working of a shaper machine:

Complete diagram of a shaper machine:

diagram of a shaper machine

Applications of shaping machine:

The following stated below are the areas where shaping machine is used:

  • Shaper machine is used to generate smooth rough surfaces.
  • It is used on applications on part that needed a dovetail slide.
  • Straight and flat surfaces can also be created.
  • Gear teeth and internal splines can be produce with shaper machine.

Advantages and disadvantages of shaping machine:


The following represent the benefits of a shaper machine:

  • The shaper tool is inexpensive. That is, it has a low tooling cost.
  • Workpiece can be easily held on a shaper machines.
  • The cutting stroke have a definite stopping point.
  • The setup is fast and easy, making the changing from one job to another easier.
  • Bench vise is use to hold the workpiece.


Despite the great advantages of a shaper machine, some limitations still occur. The following stated below are disadvantages of a shaper machine:

  • The process is slow due to the straight-line forward and backward movement for a stroke to be completed.
  • The cutting speed is slow
  • Cutting tools might break during the cutting

Read: Understanding lathe machine

The various types of shaping machines:

Various types of shaping machines are classified into four such as motion type (driving mechanism), ram travel, table design, and the type of cutting stroke:

Types of shaping machine base on driving mechanism:

  • Crank type e.g. quick return motion mechanism
  • Geared shaping type
  • Hydraulic type

Based on ram travel:

  • Horizontal shaping
  • Vertical shaping

Based on table design:

  • Standard or plain shaping
  • Universal shaping

Types of shaping machine based on the cutting stroke:

  • Push and draw type of shaping machine

The specification of a shaping machine:

The following represent the specification of a shaper machine:

  • The maximum length of stroke ram.
  • The power input of the machine.
  • Feed
  • The drive type (crank, gear, or hydraulic type)
  • Weight of the machine in ton.
  • The cutting to return stroke ratio. Finally,
  • The angular movement of the table.

The four common types of shaping machine operations:

the following are the basic operations performed on a shaper machine:

  • Horizontal cutting
  • Vertical cutting
  • Inclined cutting
  • Irregular cutting

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Shaping machine parts:

the following stated below are the parts of a shaping machine

  • Base
  • Body
  • Cross ways
  • Stroke adjuster
  • Cross rail
  • Ram
  • Table
  • Clapper box
  • Saddle
  • Tool head

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That’s it for this article, shaper machines. I hope you enjoy the reading, if so, kindly comment and share with your friends on social media. thanks!

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