Best foot shear value for ~$1500 for aluminum
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  1. #1
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    So finally I'm going to bite the bullet and buy a shear. The heaviest stuff I'm cutting on a regular basis is .050 3003 aluminum (cuts like butter) and the ability to cleanly slice .020 aluminum is paramount. Needs at least 48" capacity, because while my sheet supplier "lists" 36" they never actually "have" any.

    $1500 (shipped) and needing it pretty soon probably means imported. Its fun to eulogize about good old american iron (We've got the requisite bridgeport and south bend here already), but it seems to be impractical to actually find 48" wide.

    That being said, there's usually a wide range of qualities in the import machines, even ones whose prices are close. Experience?

  2. #2
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    Quote "cleanly slice .020 aluminum is paramount"

    Good luck with a machine in that price range.

    Been there, tried that.

    Take your time and find a good squaring shear on ebay, Pexto etc.

  3. #3
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    I'd buy a Tennsmith or National. They will be a 52" capacity for 48" material (39" cap for 36" material IIRC) and made in USA.

    Every once in awhile J&L used to run specials on the Tennsmith stuff, I got a notcher and finger brake on one of those occasions, and while not heavily used in my shop, they've always done what I asked at rated capacity (16ga in steel). I have a used Tennsmith (foot, stomp, jump) shear and it has also done well.

    Pexto, Peck & Stow, Diacro, Niagara and Wysong are all good names, although the latter two will be more difficult to find in the smaller sizes...as you'll see they were more into bigger boys.

  4. #4
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    I did a little research and it doesn't look like my suggestions meet your price range.

    So...usual...look @ used and skeptically at imports.

  5. #5
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    We've got a Tennsmith 10'x16ga hand brake and a set of their 4' 16ga rolls. I'd have to say the brake is as well made as the D&K's we used to have, and the rolls are well made too. Based on that, I'd imagine their shears are okay too.

    You might be able to find a used 5ft or 6ft X 16ga Wysong foot shear used. There were quite a few of them made, and they're built like tanks. They've got a good manually cranked backgage where a lot of the cheap stuff has a backgage that has to be loosened and slid into place, measured, and reclamped. If you are cutting material as part of making a living, you'd learn to hate a backgage like that within the first day of ownership.

    Assuming a shear has adequate strength to handle its rated capacity, the real problem comes not in shearing stuff at half capacity or full capacity. Shearing thin material is where you find out if the blades are properly clearanced and if they maintain that clearance over time. Thin aluminum isn't too bad, but thin stainless is hell to cut with a machine whose blades are dull or have slightly too much clearance. A shear like the Wysong I mentioned will hold that clearance over a period of years. Whether a Chinese import will is anyone's guess, but I'd put my money on the doubtful side.

  6. #6
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    Comatose,
    I have a 52" 16 gauge in mild steel, Pexto stomp shear I can let go for $1200, the shear is located just North of Detroit, MI.
    You could pick it up or I can deliver for the cost of fuel.
    Let me know if your interested.
    Thanks, Kevin.

  7. #7
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    Cheap + good = no way Jose.

    Iv seen shears roll dies and get metal stuck, its not a damn bit funny.

    Thin metal takes a good shear thats well maintained by an operator who knows his stuff.

    I wish you luck.

  8. #8
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    Kevin,

    Definitely interested. PM me details!

    Thanks,
    John

  9. #9
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    an old Pexto 52 inch should be in your range, or lower. I bought a new one in 79 for 1800 IIRC. A sharp set of blades and proper adjustment will make all the difference on any shear.

  10. #10
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    John,
    PM sent.
    Thanks Kevin.


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