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View Full Version : Have a chance to buy niagra foot shear for cheap but broken "head?"



vpt
09-14-2012, 09:30 PM
I have a chance (option) to buy a 30-40" niagra foot shear for $60 but the main "head" (part the blade is bolted to) is broke in half at the middle from falling over. The blade is also bent some.

Is it worth it? Chances of a weld holding up on the cast head? Even with extra reinforcement? Can a tool steal blade be bent back and cleaned up somehow? I see some blades for other models can be between $100-300.

Its local, I've been looking for a shear, and its the right size and all.

if I don't take it this weekend its going to scrap monday.

vpt
09-14-2012, 09:32 PM
Similar to this one I believe, it was dark when I was looking at it.

http://www.interschola.com/template/itemimages/17000s/17095/img_9874.jpg

Dr Stan
09-14-2012, 09:50 PM
Is it worth it? Chances of a weld holding up on the cast head? Even with extra reinforcement? Can a tool steal blade be bent back and cleaned up somehow? I see some blades for other models can be between $100-300.

Well kinda hard to say. How good a welder are you or do you plan to have it done professionally?

The important "thing" will be how straight is the blade mounting surface after the repair. My guess is that it will need to be re-machined to achieve the necessary flatness/straightness. You can then shim the blade to get the correct clearance for the blade.

As to straightening the blade so it can be reused, that's just not going to happen.

So, you need to decide if this is worth the time & work to get it functioning again. If it were me, I'd pass on it.

Bob Fisher
09-14-2012, 10:14 PM
Looks to me to be $60 worth of trouble! I would pass as well. Bob.

KIMFAB
09-14-2012, 10:26 PM
I'll give you a third pass here.
Getting the bed straight would be expensive and iffy and the blade will have to be replaced.

flylo
09-14-2012, 10:32 PM
For $60 I'd give it a shot. It may not look new when done but I bet you can make it cut straight. As for the blade find a guy that hammers sawmill blade. I had one that got hot & ran way out of round. $25 later ran like new. Just my opinion. Of coure I'd offer him scrap price & mention he won't have to load drive & hassle with first. LOL!

lakeside53
09-14-2012, 10:54 PM
Just trouble. Stay away!

dfw5914
09-14-2012, 10:55 PM
I'd say pass.

J Tiers
09-15-2012, 12:12 AM
Some things are going so cheap you can't afford them..............

vpt
09-15-2012, 01:43 AM
Thanks for all the reply's already! If I got it and put a little work into and came to the conclusion it won't work or will take to much to make it cut right I could use the nice flat cast bed for something.

Its hard to see something like this just get thrown out.

flylo
09-15-2012, 02:13 AM
It's worse when it's pefectly good equipment. I'd love to own a scrapyard & pay more for machines, tractors,equipment,etc. I'd let it be known I payed more then I'd set it aside & let the home shop,hobby farmers, every day guys get a chance at it every friday & sat. I could help those guys, double my normal profit, get all those guys scrap & keep it from china. Just look at the tooling that gets tossed. Of course I'd want to take home the really prime stuff. LOL!

winchman
09-15-2012, 03:38 AM
You'd probably do better to weld up a new "head" from plate, but you'd still have to have the mounting surface for the blade machined and deal with getting a new blade.

Of course, if you only want to use it for short cuts, you could cut the bent section out of the blade, and have a spare.

RussZHC
09-15-2012, 08:09 AM
Disappointed in myself as first inclination was to not bother...still wouldn't if cash was really tight BUT given your statement
If I got it and put a little work into and came to the conclusion it won't work or will take to much to make it cut right I could use the nice flat cast bed for something. I started looking more closely...you got two larger return springs (possible use for small press), got two stops w rods of correct size, 2 turnbuckles of better than currently available quality, 2 legs that often get repurposed as table legs, a blade that could be cut and used for a shorter lever type shear, plus the table itself (a bit narrow perhaps but w my space I could make use of it for welding and most have "T" slots in the top), and the remainder is still probably close to 150lbs of scrap and you are likely to go there at some point relatively soon anyway.

vpt
09-15-2012, 10:18 AM
Russ thinks like me. lol

I am always looking out for a good welding surface and I believe the bed of the shear (has two T slots already) would be good for it. The casting is thick enough that I could even drill and tap some holes in it for holding work down.

I'll have to run over in the light and take a better look at it.

I imagine not much if any but at what point does a "not strait" blade start to give trouble on a shear? Just to have an idea what kind of tolerances I would have to be looking at if I tried for a repair.

lakeside53
09-15-2012, 11:40 AM
After adjustment/shims your blade needs to be within a few thou at most... or it will bind/gall on thin material. Most I've seen have torsion bar on the back to pull the cast iron top blade support into alignment, and use shims behiend the blade if you need to go the other way after clamping down the blade bolts. I dont see any such bar on yours.

The blade will be a good chunk of hardened tool steel though if you have a decent cutter/grinder!

Yes, the bed with legs would be most useful as a big cast base. Use a Mag drill to make an array of tapped holes for securing (2 slots isn't really enough).

flylo
09-15-2012, 11:48 AM
Glad your going to get it! Way to go. Let us know how it turns out or into.

vpt
09-16-2012, 10:26 AM
Shear is home!

I pulled the head parts off last night and pulled the blade off the head. I was able to straiten the blade fairly easy, now all I got to do is weld up the head and put it back together right? lol

The head casting is 1" thick T. I am going to grind out the break and jig up the head on a couple or more railroad rails and shim it all up strait and hope it stays that way. I have to wait till tomorrow to pick up some nirod though so I have most of the day today to grind and setup.

The shear itself has been around. The foot treadle has been broke and repaired on every corner but one. The one foot that the treadle pins into broke off during the fall which isn't a big deal to weld back on. The bed looks good, the blades look good, and everything else looks alright.

Upon close inspection the blades aren't 100% hardened or tool steel. Not sure which it is but out of the 1 3/4x3/8" blade about a 1/2x1/4" is actually hardened. Not sure if the the whole blade is tool steel and just the cutting edge is hardened or if just that cutting edge is soldered onto a bar stock to save on tool steel.

Also there is no hold down fingers (part that comes down on the sheet metal first to hold it down during shearing) that I see on newer shears. Sorry I don't know shear parts names at all yet, I am working on it. I can imagine they are fairly easy to make or rig up something similar though.

The name plate for the shear is missing but I am sure after I get some pics up someone will be able to identify it. I sure hope this thing works.

dfw5914
09-16-2012, 11:46 AM
If it has open sides (legs) like the photo in the second post, then it is a very light duty shear (20ga or less, maybe way less).
That would explain all the broken castings.

vpt
09-16-2012, 12:01 PM
The guy I got it from said he was able to shear short 16G and lots of 18G with it. I am unsure if he was the one that did any of the repairs on it, the repairs look pretty old as well.

After seeing the shear in the light I was able to find a pic of (I believe) the same shear. Still not a pic of my shear but one exactly like it. Even know the name now.

http://www.thesheetmetalshop.com/forum_images/pswshear.jpg
http://www.thesheetmetalshop.com/forum_images/pswbadge.jpg

dfw5914
09-16-2012, 12:29 PM
Neat looking old shear.

vpt
09-16-2012, 09:11 PM
Ground out the break today and got it all clamped up. Every way I look at it, it looks strait, we'll see how strait it is after the weld. I did clean up the broken leg (don't think I mentioned before) and tig welded it up with some 308 just to see what would happen. A couple of the welds have hair line cracks but most of it looked pretty darn good. I hit the end of the leg with a hammer after it cooled down and it didn't fall off lol. Just because it is the leg where the treadle mounts I also added a 3/8x1.5" bracket on the side of the leg with a few bolts in it. Still going to wait and get the nirods to burn in the head. If it comes out strait I think I should also add some plate bracing to it as well.

vpt
09-17-2012, 08:04 PM
Well, picked up the rods this morning after throwing the casting on the fire. Came back and stood around watching the head bake for awhile. Pulled the head out of the fire, cleaned up the crack and went to town. 1.2lbs of rods later the weld was complete and I threw the casting on top of the wood heater and covered it with insulation for about 4 hours with a fire going. At 6 hours I pulled the insulation off, the fire was down to coals, the casting was still hot to the touch so I left it a couple hours longer. At 8 hours of cooling the casting was down to an estimated handle-able 150-175f(ish). I pulled the railroad section off the casting and cleaned everything up again. Drilled the 1 hole out and bolted the blade on and put the head back on the shear with help from my brother. After about 10 minutes of tinkering with the adjustments I cut some cardboard then some 22g sheet metal then some .060 aluminum. I did the paper test that I see mentioned a few places and am pretty darn pleased with how it turned out without any shimming of the head blade!

http://imageshack.us/a/img9/9265/metalshear001.jpg

The leg repair I did yesterday.
http://imageshack.us/a/img40/267/metalshear002.jpg

The last couple hundred degrees.
http://imageshack.us/a/img441/686/metalshear011.jpg

The head back on, do you guys think I should put a 2x2x1/4" or so brace on the top part of the head on the side shown in the pic for extra support?
http://imageshack.us/a/img690/8052/metalshear015.jpg

vpt
09-17-2012, 08:07 PM
More pics

http://imageshack.us/a/img155/6144/metalshear016.jpg

The paper test.
http://imageshack.us/a/img211/1425/metalshear018.jpg

The other side of the shear had about the same results. Seams there is a very very slight bow in the middle of the head but only looks to be a problem with the paper. I had no problems cutting cardboard or the sheet metal full length.

http://imageshack.us/a/img163/5263/metalshear019.jpg

lakeside53
09-17-2012, 08:32 PM
Damn, some guys have all the luck :)

Your slight bow can be handled with shim stock behind the blade.

lazlo
09-17-2012, 08:39 PM
Andy, color me impressed, but I'm morbidly fascinated to see if the NiRod holds up!

For the blade, I'd suggest getting a strip of A2 off Ebay. Pre-heat the strip as much as you can get to equilibrium, then run a #2 or #2 torch along the edge to cherry red. Air cool, and you should have a serviceable shear blade.

dfw5914
09-17-2012, 08:55 PM
Wow, nice work!

vpt
09-17-2012, 08:59 PM
Andy, color me impressed, but I'm morbidly fascinated to see if the NiRod holds up!

For the blade, I'd suggest getting a strip of A2 off Ebay. Pre-heat the strip as much as you can get to equilibrium, then run a #2 or #2 torch along the edge to cherry red. Air cool, and you should have a serviceable shear blade.


I am also both interested and worried about the nirod. I have used it before for serious cast work and had good luck with it so far. Granted I can count the amount of serious cast welding attempts I made on one hand yet but I haven't had nirod fail yet. That is also why I am curious if you guys think the extra brace bolted to the length of the head would be a good idea or not? I am not sure if bolting a piece of steel that can flex to a cast part really does anything but hold the pieces together when the cast cracks.

For the blade, it only looks to be out in the middle a very tiny amount (about the papers thickness). Like mentioned I have very thin brass shims I could cut and install if I wanted the shear to be able to cut paper the whole width. I don't think I'll worry about it for now, I am very happy with what I got already! I guess if you do enough stuff like this your bound to accidentally get one job to come out nice and strait off the bat. lol

MrFluffy
09-18-2012, 06:04 AM
Ive used 308 filler on tig repairs to cast iron parts with good success in the past too after some of the people on the mig welding forum turned me onto it. In fact the head on my jcb backhoe is held together with one. The real downside so far is post weld cleanup can be a bit of a chore if you want a perfect appearance...
Nice repair, one day Ill have my second workshop finished to go get my big power sheer from out the barn where its waiting.

Dr Stan
09-18-2012, 10:53 AM
Well I'll have to admit your repair is so far much more successful than I expected, especially being able to straighten the blade. I would have expected it to break as soon as you applied force to it. Wonder if it is case hardened carbon steel rather than tool steel.

Hope your weld holds up and it sounds like you made as good of a repair as anyone could. I recommend you get a dye penetrate test kit so you can check it for cracks after some use. That way you could have some warning if it is going to fail.

vpt
09-18-2012, 09:35 PM
Ive used 308 filler on tig repairs to cast iron parts with good success in the past too after some of the people on the mig welding forum turned me onto it. In fact the head on my jcb backhoe is held together with one. The real downside so far is post weld cleanup can be a bit of a chore if you want a perfect appearance...
Nice repair, one day Ill have my second workshop finished to go get my big power sheer from out the barn where its waiting.


The leg repair I used 308 and the tig. One of the reasons I added the extra bar bolted to the outside of the leg was because I saw cracks in the 308 weld even with heating and post heating. Two sides held what looks like a good weld and the other two sides I saw very small cracks and not a crack down the center of the weld but branches off to the edges of the weld.

When I picked up the rods I had a conversation with the welder at the lws and he mentioned with the older cast I should really use nirod 65 but he only had nirod 55 on hand and I was already committed. He also mentioned, and I did it with this weld (never tried it before) peening each weld before making the next pass. I didn't go super crazy beating on the weld but I made an effort to cover the entire weld every time.

This was my best effort I have ever put forth on a cast weld, I wanted to give the shear a good chance at recovery from the beating.

All that said I have had luck in the past with 308 on GOOD castings with minimal sand and junk in the metal.


Well I'll have to admit your repair is so far much more successful than I expected, especially being able to straighten the blade. I would have expected it to break as soon as you applied force to it. Wonder if it is case hardened carbon steel rather than tool steel.

Hope your weld holds up and it sounds like you made as good of a repair as anyone could. I recommend you get a dye penetrate test kit so you can check it for cracks after some use. That way you could have some warning if it is going to fail.


Thanks! I also surprised at how well everything is going with this thing. Almost as if it was meant to be, maybe its destine to take one of my fingers or something.

I mentioned in a earlier post that I believe that the blades are mostly a "soft" steel and just a 1/2x1/2" part of the blade is tool steel or hardened or something different. There is a faint blue line on each blade about 1/2" from the edge. In one pic you can see the line of different metals. The hardened or tool steel part may have a fine crack that I can't see from the bending but I won't worry about it until I have a problem.

flylo
09-18-2012, 11:41 PM
Great job & you'll be more pleased because you brought it back into shape!

RussZHC
09-18-2012, 11:59 PM
That is also why I am curious if you guys think the extra brace bolted to the length of the head would be a good idea or not? I am not sure if bolting a piece of steel that can flex to a cast part really does anything but hold the pieces together when the cast cracks.

I am not sure the extra bracing would be worth the effort...largely because I am left with the impression the damage was due to being dropped as opposed to poor initial design (a weak point say) or poor quality casting (if the quality was so poor, you would likely have mentioned it as part of the repair). As long as one stays close to the parameters that it was designed for in the first place, don't see a need.

Dr Stan
09-19-2012, 12:06 AM
He also mentioned, and I did it with this weld (never tried it before) peening each weld before making the next pass. I didn't go super crazy beating on the weld but I made an effort to cover the entire weld every time.

That reminded me of a technique I saw the nuclear certified welders using when I was in the Navy which was to use a needle gun on the weld prior to running a 2nd pass. This should serve the same purpose, be more uniform, and be easier on the hand & wrist.

vpt
09-19-2012, 08:40 AM
That reminded me of a technique I saw the nuclear certified welders using when I was in the Navy which was to use a needle gun on the weld prior to running a 2nd pass. This should serve the same purpose, be more uniform, and be easier on the hand & wrist.

Yeah, if I had a needle gun I probably would have used that. I did the peening for 3 reasons, 1 to clean the weld and get rid of slag, 2 to work the weld and do what peening does, and 3 I was curious to see if something was going to crack or something with the beating. I figured if I peened every weld and one was weak I would possibly see a crack or something before covering it up with another weld. I guess if there was a 4th reason it would because I was suggested to do it. lol

sasquatch
09-19-2012, 08:53 AM
This has been a very interesting repair, thanks for posting this project.

vpt
09-19-2012, 08:57 AM
I am not sure the extra bracing would be worth the effort...largely because I am left with the impression the damage was due to being dropped as opposed to poor initial design (a weak point say) or poor quality casting (if the quality was so poor, you would likely have mentioned it as part of the repair). As long as one stays close to the parameters that it was designed for in the first place, don't see a need.

The thing I worry about is the weld and the casting right next to the weld now. My experience with cast welds is that they are never all the same. While one cast weld will hold forever the next can simply crack and fall apart in your hands. I have seen cast welds crack right down the middle of the weld, crack right next to the weld, crack across the weld, you name it. I've saw chunks of weld just fall right off castings before.

But like I mentioned any kind of steel has some flex to it. Cast doesn't like to flex much. So I was thinking even if I did add a brace the cast head would crack before the steel brace would even help.

I went out and cut up a bunch of different stuff last night to try it out. Interesting galvanized heater vent sheet seems harder to cut than normal mild steel. After playing around some I believe this shear may not be good enough for me. 20 gauge about 10" or so takes my whole weight plus a little bouncy action to shear. Not bad, but I would like to be able to shear up to 18 gauge at least (common car sheet metal I use). Possibly I am using the shear wrong though, I have been bringing it up to the metal then standing on the treadle to shear. My brother mentioned that the guy that owned it before would simply just jump on the treadle. Which way is right? Is it ok to jump on the treadle before the top blade makes contact with the sheet metal? The only shear I have ever used before was in school and it was hydraulic. Put the metal in and step on the button.

Dr Stan
09-19-2012, 11:17 AM
The only shear I have ever used before was in school and it was hydraulic. Put the metal in and step on the button.

Given your skill level that should be a fairly easy modification to your shear. Just take pics for posting.

DaFabricata
09-19-2012, 05:06 PM
Good to see what you were able to do with this! And please do keep us updated with what you do about making it easier to cut. Nice job!

vpt
09-19-2012, 08:14 PM
Thanks for all the compliments! Today i got to put the shear to work on a project I have been working on for the last month. I picked up some (I believe 20G) galvanized steel 24x24", marked my cut spots (didn't have to draw a whole line with the shear :) ) and went at it. I cut 4 sheets into 8 9.5x24" sections and then those into 9.5x3.25" sections which get bent and drilled and assembled. The shear handled the sheet like a champ! The effort I mentioned before to shear the 10" section was the same effort it took for the 24" section. Must be the initial shear action that takes the most force, once it starts to shear the rest of the cut is like butter.

Anyone else have any ideas about the preventative brace for the head? I am really liking this shear and would like to give it a good fighting chance if possible.



Dr Stan, Don't be putting any ideas in my head! lol

Dr Stan
09-19-2012, 08:19 PM
Dr Stan, Don't be putting any ideas in my head! lol

You could always put quick connects on the hyd hoses so you could use the power pack for other purposes. Porta -power, log splitter, hyd press, etc. :)

vpt
09-19-2012, 08:19 PM
Good to see what you were able to do with this! And please do keep us updated with what you do about making it easier to cut. Nice job!



I played around with the shackle adjustments today after noticing the one side pulling before (not equal) the other side. After about 3/4-1 turn on the one side and the shear head moved much more free than before.

More questions after todays fun:
I assume it is best to step on the treadle on the same side you are shearing metal on?

Which side do you want to shear on, the side where the blades make first contact (right side of shear) or the other side?

vpt
09-19-2012, 08:22 PM
You could always put quick connects on the hyd hoses so you could use the power pack for other purposes. Porta -power, log splitter, hyd press, etc. :)



Air compressor puts out 125psi, 3" pneumatic ram on each side? I could make those up int he lathe!

Dr Stan
09-19-2012, 11:13 PM
Air compressor puts out 125psi, 3" pneumatic ram on each side? I could make those up int he lathe!

Now this time I'm sure it will not work. Pneumatics are great for speed, but since air is compressible not so good for brute force. That's why hydraulics are used in presses, bulldozers, car lifts, etc.

vpt
09-20-2012, 08:23 AM
I thought about that after posting. The air ram would slam the head down after it shears the metal. Years ago I gave away a pneumatic hydraulic pump for an OTC press that had a bad ram. I should have kept it...