A shaping machine is used to machine surfaces. It can cut curves, angles and many other shapes. It is a popular machine in a workshop because its movement is very simple although it can produce a variety of work.

Shaping machines come in a range of sizes but the most common size is seen opposite.

The main parts are indicated below:

The tool feed handle can be turned to slowly feed the cutting tool into the material as the 'ram' moves forwards and backwards. The strong machine vice holds the material securely. A small vice would not be suitable as the work could quite easily be pulled out of position and be damaged. The vice rests on a steel table which can be adjusted so that it ca be moved up and down and then locked in position. Pulling back on the clutch handle starts the 'ram' moving forwards and backwards

The tool post and the tool slide can be angled as seen below. This allows the shaper to be used for different types of work

DIA A: The tool post has been turned at an angle so that side of the material can be machined
DIA B: The tool post is not angled so that the tool can be used to level a surface.

DIA C: The top slide is slowly feed into the material so that a ‘rack’ can be machined for a rack and pinion gear system

The shaping process was used in the early days of machine tools. Shaping machines are not widely used now. Shaping produces flat surfaces by moving a single point cutting tool in a reciprocating motion. The forward stroke is the cutting stroke the backward movement is completed at a faster velocity and includes the sideways feed motion.

The shaping machine is a versatile machine able to produce flat surfaces, grooves, T-Slots, dovetails, and may be used to produce curved surfaces.
The size of components that may be machined is normally limited by the length of the stroke of the shaping machine which can vary up to a maximum of about 1500mm. (750mm is normally the maximum stroke. The shaping machine is not generally used as a production tool because of its slow cutting speed and the unproductive return stroke
later I will talk a bout vertical milling machine