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Building the Gingery Shaper

One has to be asking why I would build Gingery's Shaper. Especially since I never finished the Gingery Lathe. Well that is a fair question, and the short answer is, I have a hard time getting motivated building a lathe that is about the same size as the one I already own. Not to mention, I still have the chore of finishing scraping that last of the bed true. Heck, I don't even know with all that I have in the fire right now that building the shaper will ever hope to get completed. Geesh, I am not even been good about keeping the web site up to date with stuff I have got done. For example, my workshop is MUCH further along than the website would lead you to believe. Oh, well.... Onward.....

The metal shaper is the third book in the series of building your metal shop from scratch. Many say that the shaper is an obsolete tool, but I love the sound that the clapper block makes on the return stroke. Besides, i don't have to please anyone but me. If you are interested, you can follow along in my experience. Maybe I will actually learn something, maybe I can even give a little knowledge. We will see. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line. I will answer when I can. :-)

Part 1: Building the Column and Ram

In the past I have made patterns for one thing or another and cast them in aluminum in varying degrees of success and failure. Most of my problems have been from molding practice and green sand quality. I still need to overcome these things. With this project, I plan to take a more disciplined approach and see if i can actually learn a little more from my experiences. This episode starts with the patterns for the column and ram. It consists of three patterns all of which are simple enough to make if you have either the right tools, talent or maybe both. I don't have a lot of either, so my plan of attack is to take each process slowly and see what happens, promising myself that I will not advance further until I have completed the last to the best of my ability. (Warning, it still may be poor, but we will see.) :-)

Another thing that I plan on doing different is having a separate page to discuss things when I get side tracked. For example, I know I will need to build some decent flasks, and overcome my green sand problems. Rather than discussing those things in these sections, I will either create a separate page for them, or will create an errata page for some topics. This way you can just follow the actual building process and not have to wade through all the other stuff. So, I will stop with the chatter and start with the content.


I have only made one deviation for this pattern compared to the one that Dave gives is in his book. Mine is made with a 5/8" section thickness rather than 1/2" that Dave used. Also, I omitted the 1/8" strip at the top of the pattern since mine was already the required thickness. Below are some pictures of the side column pattern. You can click on them for a bit larger version of the pattern.


Side view of Column SideHere is a side view of the pattern. The quarter round is made to separate and connects to the pattern with four pins. The fillets are made with Bondo. The pattern painted gray and clear coated.


Outside view of column side patternThis is the outside view of the pattern.


Inside view of column side patternThis is the inside of the pattern. The is not a great shot of the pattern. It is hard to tell that the top piece is a quarter round.



Back side of column front patternThis is a view of the backside of the front pattern. Fillets are made with Bondo and the pattern is made in three pieces pinned together with pegs so they can be separated.


Front side of column front patternThis is a view of the front side of the pattern. The recess between the pads was made with a chisel. It did not work too well for me and required some filling with some wood putty. I read somewhere that you can thin Elmer's wood putty with water and make fillets from it too. I may give it a go with the next pattern.


I have the parts cut out and ready to assemble for the RAM pattern but am contemplating how I will do the GIANT fillets on the sides. As soon as I finish the pattern I will post and let you know.

Resources, Links, Upgrades, Etc.

I thought I would post some additional information here in case you find some materials hard to find, or would like to have some help with the proceedure or methods of doing this sort of stuff. Email and the web is great, but sometimes we just cannot answer a question fast enough or finding something on the web can be a bit problematic, especially if you are new to it, or have not discovered the power of Google's search engine. I hope this help someone. If you see something that is missing and should be here, please let me know about it, I will be happy to add it.

List Servers and Groups of Interest


Links to personal pages


Books and Articles


Suppliers and Other Commercial Websites


Upgrades and Enhancements