My first choice on a 12" shear would be an old DeAcro. Built like
tanks. Mine's ?40? years old and will still cut tissue paper.
Finding one requires patience, but they do float by from time to
time. They tend to run about $1K for the 12" versions.
As far as the Durston shear goes, I think you may have it put
together wrong. I looked at the assembly instructions on Durston's
website, and they seem reasonably complete. The shear itself looks
to be pretty bullet proof, in terms of assembly. The only reason I
can think of that your handle would be hitting the table or the end
of your sheet of metal before the blade gets completely down is if
the knuckle that attaches to the main cam axle had rotated on the
axle somehow. In the pictures I'm seeing on the website, it looks
like it's welded, so that *shouldn't* be possible, but Demon Murphy
is an inventive sort, so maybe it found a way to get out of synch
somehow. Without seeing it, it's hard to be sure. Call Rio, their
tech guys are good, and they really do want to help, so they should
be able to help you troubleshoot it.
I've never used/seen a Shor, but if given a choice between a Durston
and a Pepe, I'd take the Durston in a heartbeat, sight unseen.
(The Durstons are built very much like the old DeAcro shears, with a
few improvements (like the four way bottom blade). Not *quite* as
massive, which is why I still prefer the old ones, but still very
It would be a fairly basic and simple assembly if there were
clearer instructions on the website.
I found them after a bit of digging around.
If the lever is pulled in the other direction - towards the stop
bar, it then comes into contact with the knob that tightens the
stop bar. As far as I can tell there are no controls set to measure
the straightness of your desired cut. they are all moveable parts
with no levels and it all basically needs to be eyeballed.
From what I can see from the Durston instructions, it looks like the
side fence has its own fence that butts up against the front face of
the table, to register the fence to 90 degrees relative to the
blade. Should work just fine. Most shears don't have an adjustable
side fence at all. Just a ruler bolted to the side. In use, you true
it up with a machinist's square when you first put the shear
together, then bolt it down and leave it forever. The Durston model
is adjustable. Not entirely sure why you'd want an adjustable fence
in that axis, but theirs is, and seems (from the pictures) to be
reasonably well thought out, for such a thing.