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 Post subject: three in one machine
PostPosted: December 13, 2008, 12:16 pm 
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Location: Victoria
Thanks
Very good information and web site! Excellent tip on using both levers, that would have been my first bad mistake.

I will look for the max thickness stamp on the unit, but there appears conflicting information in the literature indicating that the max is either 18 or 20 gauge. Of course 20 gauge is what I would prefer to work in - I am also assuming that aluminum will put less stress on the machine.

I am a bit puzzled on how to line up the cuts when the hold down spring clamp bar is in place as you can't see the cut line, any suggestions?

I am assuming that wherever these machines come from they are all probably cast in the same foundry.

I feel very lucky in that I got my machine with only a couple of hours on it complete with the stand, wheels etc for 400 dollars, .....Canadian (the vendor threw in a new Lancaster shrinker/stretcher so I was very happy with the deal)

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PostPosted: December 13, 2008, 12:45 pm 
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Dave, from what I have been told, the gap between the shear blades should be adjustable for the sheet metal you are cutting. I have done some component lead trimming and we keep the blade gap at about 10% of the thickness of the material. I do not know if this follows thru to sheet metal shears. If it does, what you are seeing may be the thinner material is falling into the gap area and just stretching instead of shearing. My experience is that when properly adjusted, the material gets sheared about 1/3 of the way and then tears apart from there on. The ideal gap could also be affected by the material and hardness being cut.


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 Post subject: Re: three in one machine
PostPosted: December 13, 2008, 6:12 pm 
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Gunner1 wrote:
Thanks
I am a bit puzzled on how to line up the cuts when the hold down spring clamp bar is in place as you can't see the cut line, any suggestions?



I can't tell. The ones I have used had a foot lever to shear the metal. It was easy to see the cut line.

You could stick a piece in there, find a visbile point to mark it. Cut the piece, then measure how far back from the cut line you have to mark it on future cuts.

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PostPosted: December 16, 2008, 1:15 pm 
Dont buy the HF one. We picked up one and had nothing but problems with it. Now the casting is cracked and its useless.


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PostPosted: January 17, 2009, 11:05 am 
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There's one on ebay in New Castle, IN, currently at $113 with 2 days left. (Seems I've still got these in my ebay standing searches...)

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0356178280

-dave

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PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 12:47 am 
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I started doing my firewalls and finishing up my tunnel yesterday. I finally got around to adjusting the shear to get better cuts on the 20 gauge steel I'm using. Once I figured out how to do it, I snugged the lower knife up closer to the moving knife and it cut much better. I was in heaven! I was cranking out whole panels faster then I could make a single cut by hand.

After about 5-6 cuts, I had one that seemed harder. I put all I had into it, and it finally cut.

The next one was even harder. I had my buddy stand on the table while I lifted the handle.

POP!

Huh...that was weird. Hey...it didn't cut it.

Oh! here's the problem...the blades are about 1/8" apart. Huh...I guess I didn't lock down my adjustment. Ok.... I started to adjust the blades back together, but instead of the blade moving in, the foot of the machine moved out. HUH???

Then I saw what happened:
Attachment:
brake.broke.jpg
brake.broke.jpg [ 29.04 KiB | Viewed 1797 times ]


WTF?!?!? I cursed for a half hour, and refrained from throwing anything as I had company. I never could have imagined I could break a 300# metal machine without a tank or a cheater bar or something.

In retrospect, I'm guessing that the blades hit each other directly. The moving blade does have some lateral play to it. I should have known better than blindly proceeding with my gorilla mechanic tactics (maybe next time...), especially since the first half-dozen cuts went so easy.

I'm not optimistic about having it welded back, as the piece is cast. I'll ask the guy who welded my Miata diff arm back on and see what he says. I'll also call HF parts and see about getting a new casting. If it's under $60 shipped, I'll probably go that route. I'll certainly be repairing it, regardless. It's an incredibly handy machine, and works quite well.

I think there's another way I could have avoided this. You can set the handle up to cut when the handle is going up or down. I use both setups at different times. When I broke it, I was lifting the handle. I think if I was using it the other way, I would have not broken it, as I could not force it more than my body weight. As it was, I can lift more than my weight.

In the future, I'll always set it up to pull the handle down, not push it up. I'll also pay more attention to the machine trying to tell me it's not happy. :-(

FWIW, the machine is rated up to 20ga steel, which is what I was cutting. Before I broke it, it was fantastic. I finished the job with a hand-held pneumatic shear and snips, which was way more tedious that the shear. The brake still works fine, as well as the rollers, which I've never used.


...

So an hour later, we were pressing some parts for another project, when all of a sudden,

POP!

WTF??? Deja vu all over again! Post-traumatic Stress Disorder was wracking my nerves. After pressing 200 identical parts, we broke the 1" cast plate in the press:

Attachment:
plate.broke.jpg
plate.broke.jpg [ 37.96 KiB | Viewed 1797 times ]


Note - It didn't break in the arrangement shown in the photo. I had a single plate under the jig, turned 45 degrees so two corners of the plate were floating in the gap, and the other two corners doing all the work. Very weird that it broke after a full day of work. I don't think I'll bother trying to repair this one. ;-)

...

After a hard day in the shop, I was looking forward to cuddling on the couch with my wife last night...but given my track record for the day, I reconsidered. I didn't want to push my luck... :shock:


-dave "if it ain't broke, see me" hempy

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PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 12:34 pm 
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I think there's another way I could have avoided this. You can set the handle up to cut when the handle is going up or down. I use both setups at different times. When I broke it, I was lifting the handle. I think if I was using it the other way, I would have not broken it, as I could not force it more than my body weight. As it was, I can lift more than my weight.


Our tool broke in the same place, but I was pushing the handle down instead of up. Let me know if you find a way to fix the casting.


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PostPosted: September 28, 2009, 1:14 pm 
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I have been told that the optimum gap for shearing is about 10% of the metal thickness. For 20 ga sheet steel, that is between .003 and .004". Slightly higher than the thickness of a sheet of paper. If it is set too close, the force necessary to shear is much higher and stresses to the machine / and wear to the cutting edge go up too. If too loose, you get a large burr and may just bend the sheet metal. Dull cutting edges add to this result. The proper shear is part cut, part tear.

I have never personally done this, just what I have been told.

Sorry to hear about your "equipment failure" Dave.

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PostPosted: September 29, 2009, 11:47 am 
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You know you want a locost foundry... :)

Some busted HF tools, maybe a v8 block or head or some used brake disks + add a big ass fire in the driveway = new and better tools!

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PostPosted: September 30, 2009, 12:14 am 
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One time I was at the local Harbor Fright store and on the machine tools display table there was a big heavy duty vise mounted on the table. Someone had tightened the jaws enough to break one of the jaws off the thing. Not the best way to show off your tools. :ack:

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 Post subject: Replacement cost
PostPosted: October 2, 2009, 12:18 pm 
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You guys aren't going to believe this...

I called Harbor Freight parts today to get the price of a new side wall for my shear. He started out by saying it was special order from the mfr, so it takes 8 weeks to get from there (slow boat from China), then another 2 weeks to ship it to me. Asked if I was still interested.

"Well, how much is it?"

"$20.60"

"And shipping?"

"Not more than $3.95"

:shock:

I told him the part I need is probably 50 pounds and two feet by three feet, and asked if that was the part he was looking up. He confirmed the shipping weight and description. I asked how they could ship 50 pounds from China to my door for $4. He said something about special order hindi mindi eeny meeny meiney mo customer service WTF did you say dankubeddymuch come again?

I don't know what the heck he said, but the total charged to my credit card was $25.79 so I don't really care. I seriously considered buying a spare... :roll:

How in the world can they make this part and ship it to me for that money? I doubt I could buy scrap iron that cheap across town.

The cool part is that I'll have forgotten about it by the time it arrives, so I've got my own Christmas present coming! :lol: I'll follow up when it gets here.

-dave

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PostPosted: October 2, 2009, 11:41 pm 
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Thats hilarious. $25 is pennies for that.

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PostPosted: October 3, 2009, 4:12 am 
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How in the world can they make this part and ship it to me for that money?

So I bought a MP3 player from china....free shipping, not just free shipping, but marked free. That got me thinking. A country regulates shipping costs inside its own country and some crazy international agreement says you honor our postal regulations and we will honor yours. So the small change they pay pays for their postal system to dump it into our collective postal systems and our postal service delivers it to us (unless it it really big then we have to pick it up at the post office).

Just a thought

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PostPosted: January 18, 2010, 1:37 pm 
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Dhempy,
Thanks for the picture and report on your three in one trajedy, did you ever get the parts from hf?
I was looking at the break on the machine foot and was wondering if it was bolted down when it went, also was wondering if placing a brace under the middle of the feet might have given it a bit more strenghth?
I have been very careful with my machine, cuts pretty well on 20 gauge, but if there is a lot of force required to do anything, I walk away and try something else.
I am going to watch my blade clearance very closely.

Gunner1

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PostPosted: January 18, 2010, 9:05 pm 
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Yeah, I got it between Christmas and New Year's. Maybe 12-13 weeks after ordering? Can't complain...if I was in a hurry, I wouldn't have gone that route in the first place. I haven't assembled it yet, but it looks intact. Plus, this one's faster...it's RED!

-dave

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