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Metal guillotine shear cutter


#1

I don’t own a real metal guillotine shear cutter. I have two
questions:

*Substitute for a “real” metal guillotine shear cutter I frequently
work with 20 - 24 gauge sheet metal in either sterling silver,
copper, or bronze. It’s difficult to use shears to cut a long
straight line on a 6 inch sheet, to create (for example) a 2 inch
wide strip of metal. (For anything thicker than 20 gauge I’d
definitely use a jeweler’s saw).

Has anyone ever heard of someone cutting copper, SS - and maybe
bronze - with either

  • a new guillotine shear cutter intended for paper from an office
    supply store (this would NOT be the type of cutter which has a razor
    blade, but rather the real guillotine shear cutter)

  • a vintage paper guillotine shear cutter with a cast iron shear
    blade (from EBay for example)?

*Performance of “real” metal guillotine shear cutter If I bite the
cost bullet and buy a real metal guillotine shear, what gauges of
metal will it handle (again, sterling, copper, bronze)? Does anyone
have any recommendations on either brands or features which would be
important to consider?

Thanks,
Mary


#2

Hello!

I have the one Rio sells and I love it. It is pricy, but well worth
it. It does looks like a paper cutter having a flat bed and it will
cut up to 18g non ferrous metal. The only fault I have with it is the
ruler guide does not extend all the way to the cutting edge so it
makes it hard to square tiny pieces of metal on it.

Kindest Regards, Rita


#3

Rita,

thank you very much for this Sometimes it is worth
paying for a high quality tool. I appreciate your reference to Rio -
I buy quite a few tools from them. I’ll have to examine my budget to
see whether this will fit.

Best,
Mary A


#4

Hi Rita,

I have a guillotine shear cutter (Pepe 196-91) that I bought from
Contenti back in 2003. I got my rolling mill and some Pepe forming
stakes and an Arbe buffer, and more at the same time, because I was
able to go pick them up while at the VFCJ Convention in Providence. I
love their products and have been very satisfied with them. The
cutter is amazing, and cuts some pretty stout metals.

Kind regards,
Dinah


#5

Look into hand bench shears, specifically one that has a continuous
curved blade…much like this one. If you can hold it steady it makes
for a nice straight cut, cost is minimal.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z8a

Item # SPHS8 - I have a similar one from Pepe tools that I cut
through some 12ga. titanium and stuff, the down side is the blade has
an angle right in the middle, leaving a nice impression where that
"corner" is at.

The 7" heavy duty precision one from Rio

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z8b

is super cool, and real fine adjustment on the work stop and built
like a tank. Worth every penny if you can swing it and small
footprint so it does not take up a whole lot of space in the studio,
if you do a ton of repeatable straight cutting, this would be the
route I would go. IIRC the 12" model is less expensive and also less
thickness capacity.

Good Luck,
P@
www.patpruitt.com


#6

I used to use a big, old, heavy duty ‘office style’ paper cutter ,
where the blade pivots at one end, for cutting sheet metal, before I
could afford a decent benchtop shear. That particular paper cutter
worked up to about 20 ga. soft metal, but I wouldn’t say it worked
well. The action of the blade pulled the metal away from the back
guide (the stop rail at the back of the cutter put there to keep
paper square to the blade), so it was just about impossible to make
accurate, square cuts. It also left a curl to narrow strips and a
bit of a lip along the cuts, because (rather obviously) it wasn’t
designed for cutting metal, but it did work for a lot of things, like
shearing up sheet into more usable strips for use with blanking dies,
where precision of strip size wasn’t always critical.

It is critical a good deal of the time, especially with precious
metal, so I forked over what was a lot to me in 1989, about 700
clams, for a guillotine-style shear. Indian Jewelers Supply had a
nice 12" one (maybe from Grizzly (?), which isn’t in their catalog
now) that was functionally modelled after the DiAcro. I just didn’t
like the look of the intermediate shears ($200 - $400), but I don’t
doubt that those are a good choice for a lot of applications. I’ve
made literally a million or two cuts on it. Sure, it would be nice to
have a DiAcro, but I’ve got chihuahuas to feed.

Dar Shelton
http://www.sheltech.net


#7

Dar,

thank you for this It’s very helpful to know how the
paper guillotine shear would perform in comparison to a real metal
shear. Somehow the curling edges and not-quite-straight cuts don’t
surprise me, though I had hoped this wouldn’t be true. OK, no paper
cutter for me.

Indian Jewelers Supply is awesome! I had not heard of their site
before. I like the fact that in addition to offering their own stock,
they show some stock from other suppliers. I saw a DiAcro shear…
and gasped at the price. This must truly be the rolls royce of metal
shears. Yup, I also have too many chihuahuas to feed. It’s good to
know what the top of the line looks like; now I have a good
comparison point.

Another Orchid post had mentioned Grizzly as a possible supplier, and
I had checked their site too. Grizzly has one intermediate-price 12
inch guillotine shear; unfortunately it will cut brass only up to 22
gauge. I had hoped for something stronger.

I really appreciate your advice and will keep looking.
Best regards,
Mary Alexander


#8

Hi Mary,

I ended up helping out with Rio’s booth at SNAG last month. They had
a 12" shear that was sort of like a backwards paper cutter. I
chopped 18ga copper on it with no problems. Also did some ?24? ga
foil. No burrs on either.

Looked like it was pretty well built. Certainly better than some of
the knockoffs of the DiAcros. (actually, better than any of the
DiAcro knockoffs I’ve seen, come to think.) The link is heRe:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z8m

They’re $395, so not chump change, but not unreasonable.

For whatever it’s worth, if I were looking for a shear at that price
point, I’d look at that thing pretty seriously. (It’s rated for 18ga
non-ferris. If most of your work is 20ga or thinner, it’ll work very
well. If a large percentage of your work is up around 18 ga, you’re
starting to get into the territory where what you’re doing requires
a more serious (expensive) shear. )

There’s also this thing: Dayton 13W871 plate shear. Link
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7z8n

It’s an overgrown Chinese knockoff of the standard bench shear most
shops have around. It’s rated for up to ?quarter inch? steel.
(Really, it says 1/4". Do I believe it? Not on your life. On the
other hand, it’ll certainly chop through any non ferris material you
have laying around.) Also chops wire and rod, up to 1/2" dia. (That,
I might believe.)

I picked one of these up via craigslist a few months back. Haven’t
had much chance to play with it, but it looks a lot less flimsy than
I would have expected.

The standard shear was originally made in Germany. Peddinghaus, I
think. This thing’s just an exact up-scale of it. When I saw the
picture on craigslist, I thought it was the normal 6-8" shear.
Turns out it’s a 12". Frame steel’s about 1cm thick, so it’s beefy
enough. Blades could stand a higher polish on the edge to give a
jewelry grade cut, but that wasn’t really what it was built for, so
I don’t fault them for that. Will probably require a little tweaking
to get the blade gap set for a burr-free cut on thin material, if
that’s what you do. It doesn’t have a table, and the cut pieces will
probably curl a little. Nature of the beast.

It’s selling for $180-$200 or so, on a couple of sites.

For whatever that’s worth.
Brian


#9

Please check the chinese steel machines with a geiger counter - they
tend to mix in medical material when reusing their metals and we have
three table pedestals that were as hot as hell!


#10

Years ago I used to be in the heating and a/c business and used hand
shears to cut sheet metal.

I have a pair of alum handled shears with stainless steel replacement
blades which cut a 6" cut with each stroke… have never needed
anything else and for the $35 they cost now at a plumbing supply
store think they are the best buy out there. I have cut down to 14
ga. gold with them and no problems. never have had to replace the
blades in over 30 years… Just my experience… Hope this helps.

Vernon Wilson


#11

Anther few quick thoughts on shears… I have an old ‘DiAcro
knockoff’ 12" shear I got from IJS 20 years ago for $700.(I already
posted this ) I’d take it in a heartbeat over anything anyone was
selling now for $400, specifically, the ‘reverse paper cutter’ style
12" shears that seem to have completely taken over the range between
a paper cutter and a DiAcro. I haven’t found ones like mine for
sale, mostly because I haven’t needed to shop for one ; I am curious
why they’re not conspicuoulsly available like they were way back
then. No biggie; I expect the ones out there now are good enough, but
this old horse is the real thing ( but not a DiAcro). It chokes on 14
ga silver, but handles everything soft and non -ferrous, thinner,
admirably.

As far as plate shears go, they’re great for thick material, what
little bench shears can’t go near, but they are not for cutting lots
of strips quickly or accurately. They curl the metal and it can be
hard to feed stock through them, and they can leave significant
scratches. I’ve got a nice Gesswein one that I wouldn’t want to be
without, but it doesn’t get much use, and none on thin sheet, not
hing thinner than 16 ga…

Dar Shelton
http://www.sheltech.net


#12

I constantly see bench shears on Ebay made by fantastic companies
like Plexco and Di-Acro for around $600, there must be 10 of them on
there right now, 6 inch on up.

Sam Patania, Tucson


#13

Brian,

Thanks so much for digging around to find these two bench shears.
Your background and knowledge must be fairly extensive, especially if
you were helping Rio at SNAG last month.

I expect to be doing 18 to 20 gauge copper and silver, and probably
20 gauge brass, for about half my cutting at this point (no steel!).
I have three pieces of 18 ga sterling just waiting to be cut for
cuffs. The ability to create my own bezel wire would also be very
good - I have a sheet of 24 ga fine silver bought expressly for this
purpose.

Glad you got to play with Rio’s shear at SNAG. It’s good to hear
that Rio’s shear handled 18 gauge copper with no problems. I really
like this price point for the table shear - this is the type I’d
rather have because the table provides more stability. But every one
I’ve looked at, even much more expensive ones, seems to recommend
cutting 20 gauge and thinner material. One cut on 18 gauge copper
might not be a problem for a new shear but if it’s not rated for 18
gauge, I wouldn’t want to tempt fate by cutting a lot of 18 gauge
with it.

So, even though this shear has the wonderful table and metal drop
support to catch cut metal, it might be aimed at cutting lighter
material than I’m thinking about working with right now.

The Dayton shear looks promising because it claims to cut heavier
gauges more easily. Have you tried cutting 18 gauge copper or 20
gauge brass with your new Dayton shear? Also, how well does that
little round drop-down steady hold the metal? (Heavier gauges might
be more likely to move during a cut… is it possible to hold them
steady with extra hand pressure?)

I really appreciate your observations about the possible need to
tighten the blade gap for cutting thinner gauges (how silly of me to
think I could use a shear alternately for 18 gauge and 24-28 gauge
with no adjustments…) Do you think the blade gap could be changed
fairly easily so that I could alternate between cutting thinner
gauges and thicker gauges? or is this type of adjustment difficult to
do without messing up the shear?

You also commented that cut pieces would curl a little without a
table. That’s fine… I can un-curl them. I don’t want shredded
edges, though. Can I polish the blade’s cutting edge without removing
the blade from the shear (by hand, with very fine sandpaper or
polishing compound?) are you going to polish the cutting edge on
yours?

If this type of cutter will work on heavier metals without damaging
the cut edge, this might be better for my needs.

I’ve been given links to several websites which sell this type of
shear. Many thanks to other forum members for their pointers and help
in locating these shears. What factors made you choose the Dayton
shear rather than another brand? (frame construction, length of
blade, availability of replacement blades, cost…etc). I love the
price on this Dayton shear - it’s $50 to $150 lower than prices for
similarly constructed shears that I’ve seen on other sites.

Thanks again for your recommendations, Brian. I really appreciate your
help.
Mary


#14

Please check the chinese steel machines with a geiger counter - they
tend to mix in medical material when reusing their metals and we have
three table pedestals that were as hot as hell!

What did you do with the tables?


#15

Thanks again to everyone who has posted about your experience or
recommendations with different guillotine shears. I’ve tried to reply
individually to every post but I have missed a few.

Dinah, thanks for recommending the Pepe shears. I really like the
196.91 shear, the one that you have. I’ve written to Pepe asking how
to buy one of their shears, and what the price would be. Apparently
you bought yours at a trade show. Maybe I can get lucky and learn
about a trade show coming to my area in the near future.

Rita, thanks for your recommendation on the Rio shear. You commented
that yours will cut up to 18 gauge non-ferrous metal. Have you used
it to cut 18 gauge brass? Also really appreciate your comment that
the ruler guide does not extend all the way to the cutting edge. This
would make it difficult to cut smaller pieces accurately.

Pat, thanks so much for your observation that the Woodward SPHS8 has
an angled section in its cutting blade. I had looked at the Woodward
shears earlier and had not noticed this. I’ll try to avoid buying a
shear with an angled section like this! Also really appreciate your
observations about the higher end Rio shear. This is out of my price
range… but your point is well made. Better to spend more money
once, than to need to replace the tool later. This shear is now on my
"possibles" list too.


#16
Please check the chinese steel machines with a geiger counter -
they tend to mix in medical material when reusing their metals and
we have three table pedestals that were as hot as hell! 

Dont blame the Chinese alone as there is a real problem with folks
all over the world trying to get rid of radioactive scrap by selling
it to unsuspecting purchasers. If you do some searching on
radioactive scrap metal you will see things like American oil
companies dumping/selling radioactive scrap to China. It is
apparently a big problem and it is not only about China but it is
about companies and countries around the world trying to get rid of
radioactive scrap without paying the high costs to refine and clean
it.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#17

Hi Mary,

In my other life, I help make the Knew Concepts saws, so I was in
Rio’s booth demoing saws, and helping out. As for what I know. Enough
to make a truly conclusive mess.

I expect to be doing 18 to 20 gauge copper and silver, and
probably 20 gauge brass, for about half my cutting at this point
(no steel!). I have three pieces of 18 ga sterling just waiting to
be cut for cuffs. The ability to create my own bezel wire would
also be very good - I have a sheet of 24 ga fine silver bought
expressly for this purpose. 

It might be a little light for that. When I’m serious, for me, I
have a 6" DiAcro plate shear, and have access to a 12". So I don’t
use the lightweight ones except occasionally these days. I didn’t
look at it and immediately see problems, for whatever that’s worth.
What I can tell you is that the studio where I used to teach had a
DiAcro knockoff shear that was a constant struggle to keep cutting
properly.

Glad you got to play with Rio's shear at SNAG. It's good to hear
that Rio's shear handled 18 gauge copper with no problems. I
really like this price point for the table shear - this is the type
I'd rather have because the table provides more stability. But
every one I've looked at, even much more expensive ones, seems to
recommend cutting 20 gauge and thinner material. One cut on 18
gauge copper might not be a problem for a new shear but if it's not
rated for 18 gauge, I wouldn't want to tempt fate by cutting a lot
of 18 gauge with it. 

Indeed. See above. 18ga is about where life starts to get serious.
(and expensive.)

So, even though this shear has the wonderful table and metal drop
support to catch cut metal, it might be aimed at cutting lighter
material than I'm thinking about working with right now. 
The Dayton shear looks promising because it claims to cut heavier
gauges more easily. Have you tried cutting 18 gauge copper or 20
gauge brass with your new Dayton shear? Also, how well does that
little round drop-down steady hold the metal? (Heavier gauges
might be more likely to move during a cut.... is it possible to
hold them steady with extra hand pressure?) 

The Dayton I picked up because it was on Craigslist at a price too
low for me to pass up. Haven’t used it beyond the day I dragged it
home, to make sure it was working. It’s currently sitting under my
tablesaw. For jewelry metals, the hold down is largely irrelevant,
and may get in the way. I expect I’d probably remove it if I were to
use the shear seriously. Polishing the blades by hand probably isn’t
something you want to do by yourself. Dar’s right about the plate
shears (like the Dayton): they’re big bruisers, and the lack of a
table makes accurate, repetitive cutting difficult. If that’s all you
can afford, then go for it, but it isn’t the optimum answer for
precision cutting. It’s more of a chopper. (Definitely not what I’d
use to try to cut bezel strip with, for example.) (Or, it’d be my
last stop before trying to cut the strip with hand shears, if that
gives a sense of where I’d rate it.)

For 18-24 ga non-ferris metals, once you dial the blade gap in for
the thinner stuff, you should be fine for 18 too. It’s just that the
Dayton’s set up for cutting +1/8" steel. That really does need a
wider gap, but the jewelry metals are so soft (in comparison) that a
tighter gap will be just fine. Haven’t looked at the Dayton with that
in mind yet, but I expect it to be both possible, and annoyingly
complex

I've been given links to several websites which sell this type of
shear. Many thanks to other forum members for their pointers and
help in locating these shears. What factors made you choose the
Dayton shear rather than another brand? (frame construction, length
of blade, availability of replacement blades, cost...etc). I love
the price on this Dayton shear - it's $50 to $150 lower than prices
for similarly constructed shears that I've seen on other sites. 

See above about the wonders of Craigslist. Scroungers unite! As far
as cost, there’s a reason: it’s not a precision tool, it’s a metal
chopper, subcontracted out to China. As such, it’s worth about what
you’re paying.

Hope that helps,
Brian


#18

Hello!

Brass, copper, silver & gold are all non ferrous metals. They do not
contain iron. Also, a very nice man wrote to me telling me how to get
around the ruler issue. He suggested I use a large piece of metal I
have already squared and push it up against the cutting edge using it
as a guide for the smaller pieces. I LOVE GANOKSKIN!

Kindest Regards, R


#19

Barbara,

thanks for this tip! geepers … radioactive materials. NOT in my
plan. I don’t have a geiger counter, so perhaps I’ll avoid metals
made in China.

Thank you so much again.
Mary Alexander


#20

Sam,

bench shears on Ebay made by fantastic companies like Plexco and
Di-Acro 

Thanks for your comment recommending Plexco as well as Di-Acro bench
shears. I’ll keep looking in EBay for these brands. Right now there
is one DiAcro shear listed; it needs to have its blades sharpened,
and I’m not sure how to do this.

I really appreciate your advice. Thanks again!
Mary Alexander