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I Forge Iron

Scrap or save?

Will Brouwers

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I recently got this fully assembled shear, along with a halfway assembled shear and a base of some sort, that I am almost 100% sure does not go with the shears a while back. With all this I also got a small post vise needing some repair. It was all $60.

I find myself needing a second opinion on what to do with the halfway assembled shear and the base. I know that I will be moving in a year and a half after seminary is done, and want to know if these are things worth keeping, fixing or scrapping? I would need a couple pieces for the shear to be functional, however one of those pieces is fairly complex. The base looks familiar, but I can’t tell what it would be from, and if it would be useful for something?

Thanks for your wisdom!




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The shear is designed for cutting angle iron and doesn't appear to have provisions for cutting flat bar or round. Unless you have plans for cutting a lot of angle iron, I'd clean it up and move it along downstream. Tooling projects are all about investments of time and money, and you have to be very careful about whether the use you will get from the tool will be worth that investment.

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That is a good point John. I have used the functional shear on the left quite a bit. I can fit up to 1/4 inch round and bar stock. It's no Edwards #5 or #20, but quicker, quieter and cleaner than an angle grinder. For now I am planning on keeping the functional one, the question is with the rest of the stuff. How would you suggest passing it on? I thought about going to a blacksmith's meetup to see what interest there might be...

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I'd keep the complete angle iron shear as a user. You can shear flat bar in one side of the angle, IZ PZ. I use bolt cutters for small bar like 5/16" round or square. I'd take the incomplete one to a club meeting and see if anyone there can use it.

That was a sweet score by the way.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 1 month later...

I had a friend machine a part for me, so now the mechanism works. 

My next question has to do with the leverage for the mechanism. On the old one, a rectangular bar fits in and acts as a handle. For the machined part, we haven’t got to the step where we copy the original, and I was wondering what would be stronger, to copy the original, or to make it so that a pipe can slide over the end and then use the pipe as the handle? 

On the original, it feels like the sidewalls are a bit thin, on my idea with a pipe, I wonder if bending or breaking the connection at the pipe would be an issue?


Finally, one of the shears doesn’t have a blade. There are new blades for sale online for $60, but I figured I am a blacksmith and can attempt to make my own. I have heard people recommend D2, but I have limited heat treating experience and don’t have any D2 that I know of. I do have leaf spring that I think might work, I just wonder if it would be tough enough?

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  • 8 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

An update and another question!

As I previously said, a friend machined the missing part for this shear, so I had two. I sold the original one, and still have the other.

Now I am trying to figure out how to firmly mount it to the ground. I have thought about drilling holes in the concrete floor of my garage, but I don’t want to be tied down to anything. I have access to a bunch of heavy concrete pavers, so maybe mount the shear to some wood, and then stack the pavers?

 I also thought about mounting it to a pallet, and then standing on the pallet to hold it down. 

Any and all thoughts welcome!

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I would recommend that you simply mount it on a large board, with the back almost all the way at one end. When not in use, store it wherever. When you need it, stick the back end of the board under something heavy; between that anchor and the resistance from the front of the board, it shouldn’t move while you’re cutting. Having it at floor height also means that you don’t have to worry about supporting your stock or the cut-off pieces. 


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Cool! Thank you guys! I will definitely do that! I especially like the idea of being able to store it out of the way!

I really appreciate your thoughts and comments, especially as I randomly post all over, and then disappear for a while. The questions and thoughts kind of come in waves.

I have my post vise stacked with those cement pavers that I will probably just wedge that piece of wood under.

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