Author Topic: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?  (Read 3038 times)

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pnolan48

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Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« on: January 31, 2013, 12:41:44 PM »
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I've been plowing along with old Xuron and other sprue cutters, as I never used much photo etch. Now I'm using a lot, usually .006" to .01", for railings and stairways that I am having done. Recommendations for the best cutters?

DKS

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2013, 01:02:27 PM »
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I avoid using shears on etched metal, as they tend to make it curl. For long, straight cuts, I use a big old guillotine-style paper cutter. For cutting parts from a fret, I use flush cutters. My tool drawer is nearly overflowing with flush cutters of almost every make and style, including the big name brands like Xuron. None of them--and I mean none--cut as cleanly as these:

http://www.micromark.com/flush-cut-rail-nipper,7041.html
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peteski

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2013, 04:04:32 PM »
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Pete,
are you asking about cutting photo etched parts from the fret or do you need to cut pieced of sheet brass?

When I cut photo etched parts from the fret I place the fret on a piece of sheet aluminum (which is my cutting surface) then I  use a hobby knife with a used #11 blade on which the tip is broken off (I have plenty of those sitting around).  I put the blade on the area to be cut and put pressure on the blade, while rocking it. That gives me a pretty clean cut, without distorting the photo etched part. The aluminum cutting surface is also soft enough not to further dull the knife blade but hard enough to support the brass being cut.

As far as sheet brass goes, if I need a straight long cut of 0.005-0.010" brass, I also score it repeatedly using the same knife blade.  After several scoring operations I can break the piece off by bending it over couple of times.

EDIT: fixed spelling
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 05:23:52 PM by peteski »
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pnolan48

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2013, 04:50:00 PM »
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Sorry I wasn't clear--I'm cutting parts from a fret. I've got two flush cutters, but they are just a little too thick--or maybe I should just leave more tolerance. The smallest Xuron flush cutter was the best I've used so far, but I haven't found it after the move. I've just recently noticed that some cutters are advertised for photo etch work, and am wondering if they are any different from those I already have.

DKS

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 04:53:41 PM »
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I've just recently noticed that some cutters are advertised for photo etch work, and am wondering if they are any different from those I already have.

I've ordered any cutter advertised for photo-etch work, and without exception they were all virtually useless; on every one of them the jaws would crisscross (often badly) instead of meet edge-to-edge. The result is more like trying to chew the parts out of the fret. When the space is too small for the jaws of my cutters of preference, I simply clip away pieces of the fret until I get down to the part.
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Chris333

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2013, 05:07:22 PM »
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I just use scissors.

TrainCat2

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2013, 05:24:59 PM »
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Available at Home Depot

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Bob Knight

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Chris333

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 05:32:31 PM »
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I also use an exacto blade with the etched sheet sitting on a steel ruler.

Lemosteam

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 08:54:51 PM »
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I use these.  The tips are small enough to get between parts on a fret and if you need to trim any excess, you lay the edge against the upper blade and snip.  I have used these for three years without wear.  I cut brass screws, stainless screws, brass wire styrene, brass sheet, just about anything.  For eleven bucks, ya can't beat them.  I do not use them to cut rail...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fiskars-Softouch-Spring-Action-Micro-Tip-Scissors/12335953



Edited to fix link.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 10:17:25 PM by David K. Smith »

Sokramiketes

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2013, 09:19:28 PM »
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I have an extra set of PBL sprue nippers that I use to cut photo etched parts from frets.  I ignore the "only for plastic!" etched on the side for this one pair only. 

The PBL ones are the tweezer looking cutters that meet flush.

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pnolan48

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 09:29:17 PM »
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I use these.  The tips are small enough to get between parts on a fret and if you need to trim any excess, you lay the edge against the upper blade and snip.  I have used these for three years without wear.  I cut brass screws, stainless screws, brass wire styrene, brass sheet, just about anything.  For eleven bucks, ya can't beat them.  I do not use them to cut rail...

[url]http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fiskars-Softouch-Spring-Action-Micro-Tip-Scissors/12335953[/url ]



I got one of these today. They do cut very well, although I still use flush nippers to trim the nibs.

Lemosteam

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2013, 11:55:36 AM »
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pnolan48, you'll be surprised how well these snip at the tip.  Unlike scissors the blades never separate the farther you get from the pivot.

Sokramiketes, where can the PBL nippers be purchased?

Ian MacMillan

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2013, 06:04:11 PM »
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I use these.  The tips are small enough to get between parts on a fret and if you need to trim any excess, you lay the edge against the upper blade and snip.  I have used these for three years without wear.  I cut brass screws, stainless screws, brass wire styrene, brass sheet, just about anything.  For eleven bucks, ya can't beat them.  I do not use them to cut rail...

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fiskars-Softouch-Spring-Action-Micro-Tip-Scissors/12335953



Edited to fix link.

+1 on these. I have this set:


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fiskars-Softouch-Spring-Action-Scissors/12335950?findingMethod=rr
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pnolan48

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2013, 06:41:29 PM »
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pnolan48, you'll be surprised how well these snip at the tip.  Unlike scissors the blades never separate the farther you get from the pivot.
. . .

I have been pleasantly surprised! I still can't get the tabs on the railings exactly flush, which they must be to superglue them properly to the hull, but a few swipes of a sanding stick takes care of that. The fit must be exact or the superglue doesn't "flow."

Sokramiketes

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Re: Best Photo Etch Shears/Scissors?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 11:00:02 PM »
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Sokramiketes, where can the PBL nippers be purchased?

I just figured they were still available but see no sight of them on the PBL website anymore... Egads!  :scared:

I might have to be nicer to my pairs now.  The knockoffs from MicroMark et al are awful compared to the precision Utica PBL nippers.

I've been eyeing the Small Shops cut off holder for awhile, maybe it's time to try one:  http://thesmallshop.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=4
Mike

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