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"Shapemaster" Shaper
by Young Engineering Laboratories Inc. USA


Of a most distinctive and interesting design, the "Shapemaster" shaper by Young Engineering Laboratories was manufactured at 72 West Fillmore Avenue in the city of St Paul, Minnesota. Although the street appears to be missing from today's maps, the location was obviously once an industrial area, the outlines of demolished buildings and over-grown roads still visible in Google maps..
While appearing to be of a relatively light construction - and with just a 7-inch stroke -  the shaper had what is surely a unique table for this type of machine. Instead of a conventional box table supported on an elevating knee, that on the Shapemaster was a simple, flat, 8" x 6" T-slotted plate that moved, with a travel of 9.75" from side to side across the front of the machine through a reversible, 3-speed power feed. The table's support bracket allowed it to be swivelled through 360 and tilted either side of horizontal through 210 - while there was, perhaps, the additional possibility of raising and lowering it through a short distance on its supporting stem. By way of partial compensation, the tool slide carrying the clapper box had an unusually long travel of 5
7/8"- though even this was insufficient to mount the deeper jobs easily accommodated on a conventional small shaper such as an Atlas, Brodhead-Garrett, Delta, South Bend or Boxford, etc.
To the writer's great surprise, the Shapemaster shown is resident in the UK - and so must have come over from the United States during WW2 as part of the Lend Lease arrangement. Although, at the time, a number British makers offered shapers of a similar size, all were pushed to the very limits of what they could produce and any sort of additional machine tool was a welcome addition to our manufacturing capability.
The full specification of the Shapermaster can be seen at the bottom of the page.
If you have a "Shapemaster", the writer would be keen to add additional pictures and details.