Cutting Dye Sublimation Metal

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By: Steve Conde I really don’t know how a sublimation shop can get along without being able to cut metal. Many do but they are missing out on lots of opportunities to make money.   UNISUB® sheet metal and other metals come in 12 x 24” panels. These can be easily stored and cut to the size desired using a simple metal shear like the one sold by Conde. This shear, like most on the market will allow you to cut up to 12”. Larger shears are available but the price goes up so much it is difficult to justify the investment and 12” is usually more than enough anyway.     Why would you need a shear? I cut my own metal name badges, luggage tags, trophy plates and plates for plaques. This ability allows me to greatly enhance the number of products I can offer. If I mess up a piece of metal that goes into a product like the UNISUB name block, I just cut another one. The cost is just pennies and I can have it ready to reprint in minutes. That sure beats having to order a replacement and waiting two days or more for delivery and paying $5 or $6 to UPS for bringing it. Most shears on the market work about the same. At least one doesn’t have any safety guards on it, which can be very dangerous since these things will take off a finger as easily as cut metal. The one Conde sells does have a safety guard and an extra long handle that makes it easier for someone without a lot of upper body strength to use.   Two final suggestions: One: If at all possible, bolt your shear to a table or workbench. Not only does this make it easier to use, it helps to insure square cuts.   Two: Always try to cut all four sides with the finished side of the metal facing up. This is referred to as “burr-down”. All metal shears leave a slightly rough edge on the underside of what they cut. Keeping the burr-down will always insure a higher quality finished product for your customer.