What should you do before using a shaper?
Shapers can be dangerous if not used properly.
- Read the owner's manual carefully.
- Make sure you understand instructions and are properly trained before operating a shaper.
Refer to OSH Answers Metalworking Machines - General for general safety tips.
A shaper is used to finish metals with a cutting tool that moves back and forth (the table is stationary). The cutting tool cuts in one direction only. It is similar to a planer where the work table moves back and forth while the cutting tool is held stationary.
What are some safe work practices to know when using a shaper?
- Wear CSA approved safety glasses with side shields, or a face shield.
- Wear appropriate CSA approved footwear.
- Ensure that the shaper has a start/stop button within easy reach.
- Secure the work with shaper vises, parallels, hold downs or clamps and bolts.
- Ensure the work is mounted squarely.
- Ensure that the vice, tool, and ram are securely fastened.
- Remove any burrs, rough edges or cuttings that may obstruct how the work piece fits into the vice.
- Check that the tool and tool head clear the work piece, and the column on the return stroke.
- Ensure that the table cross-feed, tool-head feed, and attachments are working properly.
- Set the cutting tool properly to avoid vibration or chatter.
- Stand to the side (parallel) of the cutting stroke and not in front of it.
- Prevent cuttings from flying. Use a metal shield or wire screen at all times.
- Use a brush or rake to remove cuttings after any moving parts have stopped moving.
- Keep the floor around the shaper free of oil and grease.
- Keep the working surface clean of scraps, tools, and material.
- Keep belts, pulleys, cutters and other parts in good repair. Replace when worn or dull.
- Keep machine guards in good repair and in use every time.
What should be avoided?
- Do not remove cuttings or reach across the table while the ram is moving.
- Do not adjust the machine while it is operating.
- Do not use bolts or nuts with stripped threads to hold down work clamps.
- Do not leave a shaper running unattended.
- Do not use bare hands or compressed air to remove cuttings.
- Do not wear loose clothing, gloves, neckties, rings, bracelets or other jewellery that can become entangled in moving parts. Confine long hair.
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