Acto Super 8 Metal Shaper Plans


SKU: ACTO8-SUPE Category:


There is no joy in the world like operating a machine tool which you have built yourself! These Acto Super 8 Metal Shaper machine plans are from just such a machine. It is the ideal companion to your milling machine performing tasks in many cases quicker, in many cases easier & sometimes doing a job that hitherto was impossible or difficult with the conventional milling machine. A shaper is brilliant for plate work, cuts any angle, dovetails or V shapes all with a single tool, machines gears & racks, cuts internal & external keyways, has considerably deeper machining ability than the longest extension end or slot mill plus a large variety of specialised machining. No, it will never replace a milling machine, but having both will increase your machining ability immensely.

Single point machining is certainly the cheapest & easiest machining & most tools with the exception of special form tools simply sharpened by hand.
Shapers (& planers), originally designed at the end of the 19th century worked well into the 1940’s & in most cases were the only machine tools in a workshop, but were gradually overtaken by the milling machine & shapers delegated to “hack” work. As a man that has worked with shapers all his life, I am happy to see a resurgence of interest in this much
maligned machine!

The Acto super 8 shaper was designed several years ago, but now has been totally redesigned for ease of building in thesmall workshop allowing the large column to be built in three
parts bolted & pinned together. This is an 8” shaper & a multitude of special & in some cases unique features are included in the design. Angle plates on each side of the table allows support for work up to 350mm wide & the front angle plate extends the table length to 260mm which allows the mounting of thrust stops, centres, small rotary tables or similar plus a variety of specialised tooling. The tool slide has power down feed which is unusual on a small shaper. The cross slide has a machining length of 300mm with a safety overrun either way. There are four ram speeds, six cross feeds & four down feeds. This is a chain drive machine so is very quiet & there are no gears to cut! This is a steel fabricated machine but all the V ways travel in cast iron machined from readily available “off the shelf” cast iron section.
Plans are included for a special low profile two part vise you may wish to build. As with all our other plans available from,these are full working drawings with
every part drawn separately & redrawn again as an assembly for ultimate understanding. Everything is specified down to even the door latch on the stand / cabinet. Along with the plans, over 80 pages of comprehensive instructions are supplied plus over 80 photos of components & views of the shaper.