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Metal-cutting machine tool in which the workpiece is usually held in a vise or similar device that is clamped to a table and can be manually operated or power-driven at right angles to the path of a chisel-like cutting tool with only one cutting edge. A moving table feeds the workpiece in small, individual steps at the end of each stroke of the tool. The adjustable mounting of the tool permits the cutting of grooves and generating of surfaces at almost any angle to one another. The largest shapers have a 36-in. (0.9-m) cutting stroke and can machine parts up to 36 in. (0.9 m) long. See alsoplaner.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on shaper, visit Britannica.com.