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I wanting to cut some strips of various nickel alloys (1/16 to 1/8 inches thick) by about 2 inches wide for now, maybe wider in the future. But I need the cut piece to be square in dimension. IE, I have a 12 inch flat strip that is 2" wide X 1/16th thick , and I want to cut it into small 1/16 square pieces that are 2" long.

Since nickel alloys are fairly expensive, I want save on material loss that would otherwise come from a band-saw or even a jewlers saw cutting the strips by hand. I imagine a shear-type tool will fit the bill. However  I have NO experience using one at all, and would like some recommendations. 

I can get a Baileigh MPS-8G shear for about $200. anyone have experience cutting this small/accurately with a shear? and would something like this meet my needs, or any other alternatives would be appreciated.    If my project works and doesn't frustrate me to no end, I will be doing a LOT of this in the future, so tool cost-investment is worth it to me. 


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Hopefully someone with more shearing experience will be on soon to help you.  One thing I do know from my limited experience is that if you are looking for real square crossections the shear will definitely distort it too much if you try to cut to exact dimensions.  If I had to make quantities of material like this and wanted to have an accurate clean square I would investigate sourcing wire in a larger diameter then rolling and/or drawing it to accurate squares, then cutting it to length. 

Other options include laser or waterjet cutting, but those are quite a bit more costly.

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You are only going to get close with a bench shear...not very square or flat.  What you need is a stomp shear or squaring shear (various names) but while those would do the 1/16, you'd be hard pressed to shear the 1/8.  Then you jump in size to mechanical squaring shears which get into a whole lot more money.

There are some other routes in there also...such as the shear attachment on an iron worker and some less common shear types.

So...the real question is how square and accurate and how flat does the final result have to be?  It might be that a simple chinese bench shear is enough for your tolerance needs...or it might  not even be close. Still too many unanswered questions to give much advice.

Note that many of the bench shears also smear the edge a bit.  You can reduce that by tweaking adjustments but any shear requires a specific clearance between the top and bottom blades so causes a bit of a smeared shear line.


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Latticino, you... are a smart man. I just looked and I can get a 12" X 0.375" round of nickel 200 for about the same price as  a 12" X 1..5" X 1/16.  I can easily forge that square and its More bang for the buck. I will look for thicker wire in a spool too if I can find it the thickness I need. Thanks

Kozzy, I'm planning on making  types of damascus mosiacs with nickel and Carbon-steel. Think of a picture made of pixels, but using nickel and steel strips/powder carefully layered to form a  black/white image. Forge-welded solid into a bar, cut into pieces then used for various projects. Any distortion on the edges can be cleaned up a bit if needed. I need to do lots of experiments before I start with the expensive stuff. I'm researching ALL methods and practicing technique first. 

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Ok, that's different than needing absolute perfection like if you were making squares for a chessboard.  What I'd experiment with is one of the chinese straight shears.  An example can be found on [commercial link removed]  for a little over 200 bucks.  Searching might get you better pricing or a slightly bigger unit.

Even if it turns out to not be completely suitable, it's still a useful tool.  I've sheared 10 gauge (.105") stainless with mine as well as 1/8" MS flat bar--takes some effort but it's not hard.  There will be some curl to whatever is sheared off.  Doesn't handle curved cuts well but it sounds like you aren't wanting to do curves anyway.

It's not a nice beverly but it's a cheap way to start shearing.

Reading back to the original post....you want to make 1/16" square stock from sheet?  That's REALLY hard.  That gets into some tough shearing and slitting which is very hard to control.  We slit 18 gauge down to 3/8 and even that is darned tough to control.  Why not start with wire and roll it into a square profile?  The device for that is called a turk's head.  Just something to look into.  

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1 hour ago, Jclonts82 said:

I'm planning on making  types of damascus mosiacs with nickel and Carbon-steel

This is a technique that has been popular in the art glass movement for quite some time (but of course they can use color as well as grey scale).  The cane is assembled and fused in a large billet, then drawn down to the diameter desired.  Finally chopped up into pieces and fused to a surface.  Check this mosaic glass cane out from 1892 and the bowl with a simpler pattern from first century BC:

305bd14fb11add9256ec532ffdcd5ea3--mosaic     SC18527-3.jpg

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I own 6 shears..   all vary in throat, some are straight cut some are curve or throatless..  One is a rotary throatless.. 

i own several Large shears not included in the count..  Edwards 10B, 5, and 20.. Shears are great for fast work.. 

So I am going to say yes, but cutting 1/16" thick material into square 1/16"X1/16" X 2" long is going to be tough.. 

A shear works a lot like scissors.. or in other words it shears metal..  If you take ill fitting scissors and try to cut material that is narrow the scissors will just spread as the material turns in the cut..  

If you are looking for accurate results it will be hard to achieve..  In this case a notcher, or a slotter, or a plasma torch would be a better choice.. What you are talking about doing I refer to as and end cut and these are tough to do without distortion in the cut material.. 

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