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Metal Cutting Tools: Using a Beverly Shear

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you doing?

Kevin Caron: I'm cutting a small curve on this piece of stainless steel with my Beverly shear. It's for a contemporary art sculpture I'm working on here in the studio.

The Voice: Whoa! What's a Beverly? Do you have another woman in your life?

Kevin Caron: No, just you, Voice. That's all.

This is a Beverly shear, a metal cutting tool. Every metal artist should have one. They come in three different sizes: 1's, 2's, and 3's. This number 2 is rated to 16-gauge. The number 3 is actually rated to eighth-inch plate. The handle's a lot bigger.

What makes this tool better than my bench shear, or my plate shear, is this throat. As you can see, the plate shear has this big throat right here, so you could cut something nice and straight as you're going through.

Look on the Beverly shear; it doesn't have that so the Beverly can cut curves in either direction - left or right. I want it to follow that little curve right in there.

Look at the blade. Notice it has a flat edge, just like the plate shear does. But down here it's got more of a scissor edge, where they cross over one another; you end up with a really nice cutting action.

The best thing about this shear is that it allows you to do curves. Before I acquired this particular piece of metal cutting equipment, I'd have to either force it through the plate shear or get out the plasma cutter. I'd have to get out the tin snips or something.

As long as I'm working with a lighter gauge of steel, I can use the Beverly and cut my little curves. With just a little bit of hand-grinding, you're good to go.

The Voice: So, you can get rid of that other shear?

Kevin Caron: Oh, no! This plate shear is rated for eighth-inch, so if I want to cut off some strap, or a piece of heavier steel, I can put it into my chop saw and put an extension handle on it for some leverage. So, this is a very valuable tool. It's just for two different jobs: straight cuts and curved cuts.

Eventually I'll find a good place to mount this, where I've got room behind it and room to each side of it; I'll bolt it down and get it off the edge of the workbench.

Back to work.

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