Metal Shapers

by Kay Fisher

Brodhead-Garrett J-Line 8" Shaper

This month’s column is from the excellent web site created by Don Kinzer from Portland, Oregon. The following is a copy of Don's web site with editing changes for our format:

"The Brodhead-Garrett J-Line 8" Shaper is essentially the same design as the Logan 8" shaper. I believe that Brodhead-Garrett purchased the design and/or manufacturing rights to the machine from Logan and made some minor changes to it.

The machine that I have, S/N JM8-528, was purchased by way of an eBay auction and was shipped to Oregon from Ohio. Unfortunately, the person that prepared it for shipment did so poorly. When it arrived, it was apparent that it had been at one time mounted on a pallet. A few scraps of which were still attached to the bottom of the machine. It was equally apparent that it had fallen over during transport. A cursory examination of the machine revealed several broken parts, none of which I thought would pose great difficulty to repair or replace.

When I got the machine home and examined it more closely, the actual extent of the damage became clearer - and was more serious than at first thought. The ram lever had obviously been broken at one time and had been repaired by brazing. The repair had failed (most likely during the transit crash) and it appeared to be beyond repair. Perhaps more seriously, the crossfeed screw was significantly bent and about two inches of threads had been stripped. I'm guessing that the machine fell onto the crank end of the crossfeed screw which rammed it through the far end of the saddle thus shearing off the threads. Fortunately, the saddle itself withstood the impact.

Other, less serious, damage: the ram guard casting at the rear of the machine had a mounting ear broken off - fixable; the power switch and cover were mangled - easy to replace; the downfeed screw crank had both knobs broken off - repair or replace.

I had planned on a complete disassembly and refurbishing. The broken parts would just make the process a bit more involved. So I set about tearing the machine down. As it came apart, more damaged parts were discovered: the main drive shaft was bent, the sprocket hub was cracked, and the feed ratchet wheel had a broken tooth.

Damaged feed link   Photo by Don Kinzer

The first picture shows the damage to the feed mechanism. The feed link is bent and broken; a new one will need to be made. You can also see the damage to the power switch cover. The switch itself was destroyed. Moreover, it is evident in this picture that the crossfeed screw has been shoved well into the saddle; not much of it protrudes from the feed gear housing. The taper pins in both the feed gear and the micrometer collar had been sheared off.

Damaged ram guard   Photo by Don Kinzer

This picture shows the broken ram guard that mounts on the rear of the shaper. The material is cast aluminum. This was repaired by reattaching the tab with epoxy and then drilling and tapping for threaded pins.

Damaged lever   Photo by Don Kinzer

This picture shows the broken ram lever. The bottom portion of it is still inside the main casting. You can see the brazing from an earlier repair job. The break in the top center portion probably occurred during transit.

Lever blank       Photo by Don Kinzer

I decided to begin by fabricating a new ram lever. I figured that if that could not be accomplished there wasn't much point in working on the other parts. The first step was to fit the broken part back together in order to get an idea of what dimensions were critical. After a bit of grinding I was able to tack weld it back together and get some measurements which I confirmed with measurements of mating parts. Next, I had a piece laser cut from 3/4" steel roughly resembling the piece. The picture above shows the broken part and the rough part. Here is a link to the drawing from which the part was made:

Lever completed   Photo by Don Kinzer

The next step was to machine the slot to the proper dimension and mill the recess around the slot. A 2" diameter steel disk was fabricated to weld onto the lower end of the lever to add strength to the fulcrum. To provide some additional mechanical strength, the ram lever was counter-bored a quarter inch deep and a mating shoulder with a press fit to the counter bore was turned on the disk. After welding, the lower end was bored out and fitted with a bronze bearing. Last, a small spacer was added to the upper end of the lever to provide the correct spacing where it connects to the ram linkage. The finished product is pictured above along with the original part.

Drive shaft          Photo by Don Kinzer

Fabricating a new main drive shaft was fairly simple - cut a piece of 3/4" drill rod to length, cut a keyway and drill for a taper pin. The new shaft along with the damaged old one, which appears not to be original, is shown above.

Sprocket hub       Photo by Don Kinzer

Making a new sprocket hub was also fairly simple. Because the part has a large and a small diameter, I chose to make the hub from two pieces welded together. A piece of 1/2" plate was cut to octagonal shape and bored for the hub center. Then a piece of round stock was turned to the diameter of the hub center and then necked down to press-fit into the plate. The pieces were pressed together and then welded with a heavy fillet. After cooling, the part was turned to the proper dimensions, faced, shouldered, cut off, and drilled for mounting holes and a taper-pin. The new part (mounted on the sprocket) and the cracked part are shown in the photo above. The crack is barely visible on the outside edges of the taper-pin hole.

Leadscrew           Photo by Don Kinzer

The replacement horizontal feed leadscrew was made using some 5/8-10 L.H. Acme threaded rod and 5/8 drill rod (see picture). The joint between the two pieces is a loose press fit secured by a taper-pin. On the right-hand end (left-hand end when installed), the acme rod was turned down to 0.500" on the non-threaded part and slightly smaller for the 1/2-13 threads for the keeper nuts. On the old leadscrew, you can see the stripped acme threads on the right-hand end (left end when installed). It's bent in the middle of the acme thread and also on the unthreaded part on the left.

Feed gear            Photo by Don Kinzer

I still need to repair the ratchet wheel/feed gear, which has a missing tooth as seen in the picture above.

Finished front view   Photo by Don Kinzer

All of the parts have been cleaned and painted and the machine has been reassembled. You can see in the picture above that I removed the original switch box and replaced it with one that fits flush (handy box welded on the inside of the cabinet). The power cord now comes out the back of the cabinet just above the motor. The shaper was missing its vise when I got it. The vise mounted on it in the pictures is a 4" milling vise that will serve until a suitable replacement can be found. Also, I still need to repair or replace the downfeed handle. More pictures of the refurbished machine appear below.

You can see that I added two additional screws to secure the access panel on the center of each side. Tabs were welded to the inside of the cabinet and then drilled and tapped for the machine screws. This was done to hold the panel flat and keep it from vibrating. The panel was slightly bent out of shape and needed to be reformed so that is was more or less flat."

Thanks Don for that great rebuild story. I must admit that under the same circumstances I would not have had enough skill and perseverance to undertake the repairs. But the results are self evident. Had you sent the shaper back it would probably have ended up getting scrapped. Great save!

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