Built by Newey Engineering (Chesterfield) Ltd. of 95/101 Mansfield Road, Nottingham, the Brook Shaper is a rare, seldom-encountered machine. Current during the 1940s and 1950s, the shaper was built in at least three sizes with strokes of 14, 18 and 24 inches (355, 457 and 610 mm). Of virtually identical mechanical layout all models employed a motor driving through V-belts to Matrix multi-plate clutch and from there to a totally enclosed gearbox of unit construction mounted (like the motor) at the rear of the machine. Oil-immersed nickel-chrome gears provided the speed change with drive to the crank wheel by smooth-running, broad faced, helical toothed spur gears. Control of clutch and box was by long, forward-facing levers, that for the speed change being guided though an H-pattern gate.
Running in V-edged ways, the ram was equipped with a full-length tapered gib strip, the necessary lubricators and extended sheet-metal guards to the rear; to aid fine setting of the ram position the 24-inch model was fitted with a star-type handwheel.
All models had a tool head able to be rotated through 60° each side of vertical with, on the two smaller models, swivel by slackening two bolts and rotation by hand; however, on the 24-inch in order to help obtain a fine setting with greater ease, a worn-and wheel mechanism was fitted. Tool-slide travel on the 14-inch and 18-inch models was 5" (127 mm) and 7" (178 mm ) on the 24-inch.
Power feed to the table on the 14 and 18-inch models was by the usual external crank-driven arm that turned a ratchet mechanism surrounding the end section of traverse feed-screw; feed travels were the same for both machines at 17" (432 mm) across and 14" (355 mm) vertically with the 4 rates of feed ranging from 0.0104" to 0.417" (0.254 to 1.06 mm) per ram stroke. With 30" long ram slides, the 14-inch model had 4 speeds with stroke rates of 27, 38, 77 and 140 per minute while the 18-inch had a ram slides 35" long and stroke rates of 23, 31, 63 and 115 per minute. Tables were also appropriately sized with the 14-inch having a top surface 14" x 10" (355 x 254 mm) and a side face of 11" x 11" (279 x 279 mm) - though the length of the cross slide (and of course the travel) was the same on both at 24" (609 mm). The maximum clearance between table surface and the ram underside was 16" (406 mm) for both models - though each had a dedicated vice, the smaller of the two with a jaw width of 6" (152 mm) and a capacity of 5 " (127 mm) and the larger corresponding figures of 8" (203 mm) and 9" (228 mm).
With a base plate 44" x 21.25" (1117 x 534 mm) the 14-inch model required a floor space of 67" x 35" (1702 mm x 889 mm) and weighed approximately 1846 lbs (836 kg).
A very much larger machine sitting on a base 99" x 44", weighing 3930 lbs (1775 kg) and driven by a 5 h.p., 1400 r.p.m. motor, the 24-inch (610 mm) stroke Model had ram slides 47" (1193 mm) long and 8 speeds with strokes spanning the range 12 to 80 per minute. The table had a top surface of 23" x 14.5" (584 x 368 mm), a side face of 17" x 7" (432 x 368 mm), a travel in traverse of 30" (762 mm) and vertically of 12" (305 mm). The vice supplied as part of the standard equipment had a jaw width of 12" (305 mm) and a capacity of 9" (228 mm). Power feed to the table on this model was of a different design to the smaller versions, the entire mechanism being enclosed and offering five rates of feed that varied from 0.0125" to 0.062" (0.32 to 1.6 mm) per ram stroke.
As an option, all models could be fitted, at extra cost, with a "swinging" table that could be inclined through 90° each side of horizontal. In order to move the setting no spanners were required, a permanently fitted handle at the front working though a collet-like clamping mechanism to lock and unlock the swivel - the latter applied through a balanced handwheel permanently fitted to the left-hand side that worked through worm-and-wheel gearing. An engraved plate, marked a 1-degree intervals, was fixed to the front of the table and dowel locations provided to lock the level and left and right 90° settings..