By: Steve Conde
I really donâ€™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.
UNISUBÂ® sheet metal and other metals come in 12 x 24â€ 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 12â€. Larger shears are available but the price goes up so much it is difficult to justify the investment and 12â€ 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 doesnâ€™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 â€œburr-downâ€. 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.