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Will Bench Paper Cutter Shear Cut 26 GA 22k gold bezel

Two Quick Questions. For 22k bezels, will 28 GA work for large stones or is 26GA better?

Second Question; Do you think a traditional table-top paper cutter can cut 26 GA and 28 GA 22k gold bezel strips cleanly?

I would like to have the ability to cut different thickness 22k bezel wire without having to purchase 8 inch strips in different 8 inch 22k minimum sizes. This gets expensive very quickly.

Instead, I would like to to purchase some 22k sheet and cut my own bezel. I have heard some of you using bench paper cutters for 22k bezel. If I used a paper cutter, could I go down to 26GA?



Either gauge should work for your bezel. And I think your paper cutter will work too. Just may never cut paper again.

I’ve used a standard paper cutter to cut thin (e.g., 24 - 26 gauge) silver and copper. However, cutting straight and narrow can be a challenge.

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Following is a link to Woodward Fab. They have a throatless bench shear that is inexpensive and will shear whatever you can throw at it up to about 12 gauge SS.

Have you used this shear for precious metal fabrication? Seems like the deal of the century if it works cleanly.


Rob and I both use that shear. I bought it on Rob’s advice. It works as advertised and it is an excellent value. It cuts sterling sheet as well as copper
with no effort up to 18g. I havent tried anything heavier.


Yes it cuts precious metal. The nice thing about this shear, and others like it, is that it is throatless. That means that you can make a cut longer than the shear knives. You can also cut open curves. Actually it wants to cut a curve unless you compensate for it. This is easily learned. I am very happy with it after a year and a lot of use.

Rob–Could you please elaborate on this… Thanks.

Janet in Jerusalem

It looks like a nice well priced unit. What size did you buy.?

I bought the 8" shear. Janet…As you pull the cutting arm down, it wants to pull the metal being cut into the cutting seam first in the back and then towards the front. It results in a slightly curved cut unless you resist it. If I want to cut a straight line, I mark the line with a sharpie then, once I start the cut, I pull back on the uncut side of the stock resulting in a straight line. Since the stock is not held in place, as you cut, you can cut a curve should that be your desire, but not one that is very tight. In the end, I am not looking for absolute precision. I can straighten out any irregularity in the finishing process. What the shear does do for me is to allow me to buy sheet goods in larger sizes and then cut them as need. I also use it to trim bezel backs, which it does very well. For less than $150, it is a deal…Rob

I would like to add that you can tape the metal to paper to give you more to hold onto as you work with a progressively smaller piece as you use it up. Another great tip from an FSGmetal class.

My shear, which looks like the Woodward Fab shear, does pull metal into a curved cut, so I cobbled a table and clamp to hold sheet metal down. It is crude, but I get straight cuts.

I used some sheet steel for the top surface of the table. (That isn’t a piece of silver to be cut.) The piece to be cut goes under the metal duct strap, and sometimes I use the shear’s built-in plunger as extra hold-down. Generally I just tighten the wing nuts and press the center of the duct strap with my left hand.

Neil A

Great idea! Thanks for the picture…Rob

I wouldn’t contemplate cutting narrow strips from sheet to make bezel wire. I always roll my own in my rolling mill. We all know that rolling wire in the flat rolls makes it longer, but it also makes it wider. The problem comes with predicting the result. I’ve written a little program that does the calculations for you. Lets suppose you want a strip 100mm long, 2mm wide, and 0.5mm thick.
The calculator says to start with 63mm of 1.26mm square wire, or 1.42mm round wire. Fine if you have that sized wire, but if not, simply enter the size of wire you have. If you have some 2mm square, then you need 25mm of it. If you have 2mm round you need 32mm of it.
Its easy to make square wire of almost any size with a rolling mill, so all you need is to stock the thickest you think you’ll ever need.
The calculator is on-line at

Another great idea. Thanks…Rob