Thursday, April 01, 2010

Shear delight. . . well maybe

A friend of mine is contemplating a shear and asked me if I had a shear.

"Why yes, I do have a shear. "


"what kind is it?"

 A tabletop shear.

A little guy. Short and sweet and up to most tasks I set before it

Its the 6" econo shear from Contenti.

and  then - "do I like it and what I liked about it, etc. etc"

OK, so the conversation didn't go exactly like that. In true form I rambled on and really gave what "I" thought were pros and cons of various shears and ended with I like mine fine, but I really don't use it that much anymore. (but I plan to change that!)

Anyway, we got to talking about the curvature that happens when really narrow pieces are cut (and how you should NEVER run your hand across the cut strip to straighten it - dont ask me how I know)  I told him that I'd take some photos and share them

So, this is not a tutorial, or even a hidi -- its just some photos cutting 24 gauge sheet and 18 ga sheet.

First a small chunk of 24 gauge (maybe 1.5"x.5"??)
I line up my scribed line in the very crook of the jaw and the end of the line closest to me, right on the right edge of the lower jaw/shelf.  This way the cut stays on the line (for the most part). I use my left hand to stabilize the sheet.

You can see it comes out nice and flat for the most part.

Then I did a narrow strip of 24 ga - as if for a bezel

Slide the sheet into the jaws, noting where the scribed line is and cut...

And with this, there is a fair amount of curl as you can see!
Then I moved on to the 18 gauge and did a few mm wide strip

Again, it goes into the jaws and cut. With the larger pieces a partial cut is made

and then the entire sheet must be shifted back
(see how it is no longer overhanging the front of the shear?)

make certain is still lined up

and then cut again

here is the 24 and the 16 cut strips

You can use your fingers to gently bend it back some

or bend it on the shear....gently. It doesn't take much.
(and yes, my nails are ick. I had been polishing)

And you can use a mallet to bring it back to shape. The more practiced you are, the more it will return to its original shape.

A guillotine shear may cut better - especially for reducing large stock quickly. I dont' know how thin of a strip you can accurately cut with one. I know I've done it before, but I just can't recall.

So there is one look at a little shear.

Its great for what it does.  I like it.

So do you have a shear? If so, what kind? Does it do what you want it to do? Would you buy a different one if you had it to do over??