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Cutting thin strips of sheet metal


#1

When I cut thin strips of sterling silver sheet metal (22-26 guage)
with a hand shears I tend to end up with an arc shape instead of a
straight strip. The cut side seems to end up longer than the uncut
side. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong?

Bernadette Johnson


#2

Bernadette,

I’m just thinking that it appears that you may be stretching the cut
side therefore making the side longer than the uncut side. Try a
different pair of shears as a quick test.

Gary D.


#3

This happens to me too, and has done with all the shears I’ve tried.
It seems to be the nature of the beast, so I’ve learned to work with
it. I tend to make my strips slightly smaller than I need them, and
then stretch them up onthe appropriate mandrel, meaning that the
final shape and dimensions are exactly right. When soldering the
bent strip of metal, it will bend round just fine so that you can
join the ends and solder. Once soldered and pickled, form it to size
and shape on the mandrel, remembering to keep turning it around on
the mandrel, so your bezel is not tapered itself. After the sides
are formed nicely, just gently sand the top and bottom edges for a
beautifully crisp and neat bezel.

Helen
UK


#4

Bernadette

Hand shears are tricky if you want accuracy. It is a small
investment but I use the Precision bench shear (US made) for cutting
20gauge and smaller nonferrous metals. I make my own 22k gold bezel
from 28 gauge sheet.

It slices beautifully with almost no bur and no curling. Read the
reviews.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep81ut

Best regards
Sessin
Rio Grande


#5

If you used a guillotine sheer it would be better. Hand sheers tend
to curl the metal more. If it’s thin enough try a big scissors.


#6

I found a 12 INCH shear at PAWN AMERICA and got it for 52.00.
Perhaps you have something that in your area. I believe the one that
I purchased was for cutting tile but it works great on metal.

George in Green Bay


#7

I have a Beverly shear which is great for cutting curves, and also
for straight pieces.

However, for cutting thin strips for bezels, I use an inexpensive
paper cutter. it works just fine as one gets a perfectly straight
cut. It is light weight, and compact, and I store it vertically so
it takes up little room.

Alma


#8

When you cut a strip with shears, the shears will push the metal
ahead of the cut, essentially stretching that edge of the strip a
bit so the strip curves away. I don’t know how wide or thick your
strips are but obviously the narrower and thinner they are, the less
they will be able to resist that push.

If you could stretch the opposite edge of the strip equally then it
might counter and cancel out the stretch you have imposed on the cut
edge. So how about this? Cut your strips twice as wide as needed.
Then re-cut the double-wide strip down the centre into two of
desired width. That way each strip will have been stretched along
each of its edges. Probably won’t produce perfect straightness but
might get the strips closer to straight by balancing the stresses.
This may work - I haven’t tried it myself yet. I prefer to work from
my armchair this morning.

Good luck.
Marty - on the straight and narrow in Victoria.


#9

I agree with with Alma. Look for a heavy duty paper cutter like used
in schools and print shops. Mine cuts up to 26 ga sheet. Judy in
Kansas


#10

Alma - what gauge metal can your paper cutter cut? 24g? More? Less?
Sounds an interesting way of dealing with this.

Janet


#11
However, for cutting thin strips for bezels, I use an inexpensive
paper cutter. it works just fine as one gets a perfectly straight
cut. It is light weight, and compact, and I store it vertically so
it takes up little room. 

Using a paper trimmer sounds like a great way to save money too.
What gaugemetal are you able to cut with it? Thanks

Bernadette Johnson


#12

Hello, I use a vinyl tile cutter. much like a heavy duty paper
cutter. It came from harbor freight at least 25 years ago and was
dirt cheap. no affiliation. It will cut 1 mm sheet gold about 2" and
1/2 mm about 6". have fun. tom


#13

I have very successfully cut thin strips of sterling out of 20 ga.
sheet using a Stanley knife. It takes several passes and maybe a
second blade but if the first pass is true the rest will be. Any
distortion I had was manageable.

Don


#14

The gauge of thickness that I have been using is around 24 gauge
which is what I use for bezels. I never tried it on anything
thicker. Alma