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Thread: Does anyone here know how to set up a guillotine shears?

  1. #1
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    Does anyone here know how to set up a guillotine shears?

    I'm helping out with a high school art program, and their guillotine shears is out of comission. It seems to be in okay shape, but the teacher noted that it ceased to cut properly only a few uses after being set up.

    Since the shears in question are a lot neater and less wasteful than the bench shears they're currently using, I figure I'll take a crack at getting it up and running again. I'm guessing that some of the nuts and bolts used to clamp down the blade in need of replacement, and that a few of the bits aren't set in the right places. Does anyone have a link to a description of the correct way to set up a guillotine shears?

  2. #2
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    What exactly are you talking about?

    When I think of "guillotine shears" I think of the kind used to cut steel, metal working tools, these are necessarily robust and I cannot imagine them coming loose etc and not working right after only a few uses.

    What material are you cutting?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    It looks rather a lot like one of these - in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it was one:


    The material in question is 18ga. copper sheet - not exactly difficult to cut. Hence my suspicion that something isn't set up quite properly.

  4. #4
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    OK, I've worked with a few of these machines, and they are really straight forward.

    Do you know what work was done on it prior to it not working correctly?

    one thing to check that is really stupid simple, but could be easily set up wrong is the depth stop, there should be a way to limit how much the two blades cross each other, maybe that was not set up correctly?

    I'll bet that if you have a look at it, you will be able to figure it out.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    I have worked with those also. Make that the clearance between the knives is close enough. This is measured as the knives cross each other. There should be push bolts on the back side of the knife to set the clearance. The bolts that hold the knife to the frame will have to be loosen and then the push bolt adjusted and the knife holding bolts tightened again to check the clearance. If you don't have push bolts you may have to put shims between the knife and the frame. The clearance needs to be set at 10 percent of the material thickness. So if the material to be cut is .080 the clearance will be .008. If you are cutting soft material all the time the clearance can be adjusted down another .002. This is to keep the burr or rollover on the backside to a minime.

  6. #6
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    Check the blade itself, if a kid put something hard (steel) in it and dinged the blade, that is the problem right off of the bat. I welded a ring on ours in the Industrial Arts shop and ran a chain to the table leg to keep it in the closed position and locked when not in use to keep the little curtain climbers from cutting anything and everything up in it!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    to keep the little curtain climbers from cutting anything and everything up in it!
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Bloem View Post
    I have worked with those also. Make that the clearance between the knives is close enough. This is measured as the knives cross each other. There should be push bolts on the back side of the knife to set the clearance. The bolts that hold the knife to the frame will have to be loosen and then the push bolt adjusted and the knife holding bolts tightened again to check the clearance. If you don't have push bolts you may have to put shims between the knife and the frame. The clearance needs to be set at 10 percent of the material thickness. So if the material to be cut is .080 the clearance will be .008. If you are cutting soft material all the time the clearance can be adjusted down another .002. This is to keep the burr or rollover on the backside to a minime.
    Sounds like I need to borrow a micrometer.
    Assuming I'm cutting stuff between 16 and 22 gauge, do you think I can put it at a fixed cutting depth?

  9. #9
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    OK at my work we have 4 "guillotine shears". We cut vulcanized rubber from .067" to .25" and .064" to .25" magnesium. When we set up a new set of blades we use a simple sheet of paper. If it folds the paper over, hw blades needs to be shimmed tighter. We like them to cut paper like scissors. That set-up works for all the above mentioned materials Our materials are .064 - 16ga, .153 - 11pt & .25 (obviously, 1/4") Magnesium for acid etched printing plates
    Last edited by Tom Niemi; 12-30-2009 at 02:56 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Niemi View Post
    ... vulcanized rubber ... magnesium ...
    Flexo & rotogravure?

    Edit: no I guess the mag would be letterpress ...

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