Corbett's Shaper Page 2
Although sold by the Corbett Company of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, the maker of this interesting little shaper is unknown. Corbett's was founded by Mr. James Lesley (Jack) Corbett, a native of Mansfield, a nearby town. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, when at their zenith, they had a small showroom at 83 Outram Street in Sutton-in-Ashfield and sold a wide variety of smaller machines including Boxford, the early Perfecto 4", Raglan, Atlas, Halifax, Sphere, Myford, Winfield, Portass, Adept, Grayson, Faircut, Flexispeed and Wizard. In addition, they appear to have been involved in the making or commissioning of the following: a re-badged, slightly modified and V-belt drive version of the London-made Grayson, bankrupt Winfield stock to make the "Corbett XL", the short-lived "Little Jim" and three versions of the Granville - "Junior" and "Senior" (both well made though entirely conventional machines and typical of those made by smaller UK manufacturers ) together with the rather different and much more ambitious "Star". As one of Corbett's best sellers was the Granville lathe, it might be that the shaper was made in the same works - that belonging to a Mr. Freddie Coals in Woodford Avenue, Southend Road (just off London's North Circular Road) in Woodford Green, Essex.
Advertised first during 1953 and occasionally through to 1958, the shaper was very compact - just 26" from front to back and about 17" tall. With a ram travel of 7", a side-to-side table travel of 12" and a rise and fall of barely 5", the movements were restricted but entirely suitable for amateur work. Although tiny, the machine was properly engineered and featured a power-feed to the table driven by the usual slotted-cam and ratchet mechanism. Although the front of the table was unsupported, for light work this would not have been a problem providing the cut taken was not too deep; in addition no micrometer dials were fitted to either feed axis, though the makers did fit the balanced handle and ZAMAC die-cast micrometer dial from a Myford ML7 lathe to the tool slide. Obviously English in original (the finish of the castings was far inferior to that on similar machines from the U.S.A.) the shaper had a base-hinged countershaft arranged across its rear face carrying a motor and a 3-step V-belt drive pulley..
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