Author Topic: basic care for shears  (Read 7253 times)

TTailor

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basic care for shears
« on: March 07, 2016, 12:57:21 PM »
Hutch,
Can you recommend some basic "do it yourself" care for shears, snips and the like?
alignment?
Sharpening, or maintenance to keep shears in top shape?
Many of my colleagues have been asking, and I thought there might have been a topic on this in the old Cutter and Tailor.

Henry Hall

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2016, 01:51:03 PM »
Before Hutch comes back on this, I'll just say that I have two pairs of shears currently with the sharpeners and I asked him about this. He said:
  • Check your shears before cutting, for any grit or other bits that might catch and dull the edges.
  • Lightly oil the blades if they are going to sit idle for a while.
  • Only use for their designated purpose (cloth, paper etc). Common sense followed by most tailors.
  • Dry not to drop them!
He actually gave me a little sheet with other things on it, but I lost it...
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 01:52:40 PM by Henry Hall »

hutch--

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 02:14:49 PM »
Here is a bit of what is useful, its from my snippers site.

http://www.movsd.com/tailors_shears/maintaining.htm

I have not yet done any detail on using a long narrow oil stone but there is some technique to it, maintain the blade sharpening angle, perform the sharpening stroke ACROSS the blade and towards the cutting edge so a burr is made. When you can feel the burr along the cutting edge of both blades, hold the tips slightly apart and close the shears/scissors. This is so you don't gap them. Then hold the tips together and open the blades so that the burr gets dragged upwards.

Do this a few times then very carefully close the shears/scissors  to see if they feel smooth enough. You should see a fine shiny line right at the top edge of inside face of each blade.
The magnificent tools of the professional tailor
http://www.movsd.com/tailors_shears/  ;) ;D

Henry Hall

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 02:36:19 PM »
Hutch maybe you can explain this: I have a pair of shears which buckle on regular cloth, but easily cut finer fabric like lining. I've found that shears I've considered 'blunt' seem always able to snip through lining.


What's going on there?

hutch--

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2016, 03:20:04 PM »
Probably need to see the details of the actual pair but lightweight shears suffer the problem of insufficient blade rigidity, need more preload (pressure against each other) and they wear out faster due to that pressure. You can compensate to some extent by always keeping them sharp so the blades tend to pull into each other while cutting but nothing beats stronger blades. The reason why you can get a 15 inch pair of monsters frictionless is because the blades don't deflect under load.
The magnificent tools of the professional tailor
http://www.movsd.com/tailors_shears/  ;) ;D

Henry Hall

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2016, 11:48:32 PM »
These are 13 inch heavy shears. Maybe I should have said the cloth buckles, rather than the blades, through bluntness I assume, though they cut lining right up to the tips. These I already sent to be sharpened.

Despos

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2016, 03:49:35 PM »
Do you guys sharpen your own shears or use a sharpening service? If you use a service, who and where are they?

Had a fantastic german fellow in Dallas, TX that sharpened our shears for years but he is no longer working. He learned the business by working in a scissor factory in Germany and had been working with shears of all types and sharpening them his entire life. Totally trusted him and his work. Now I am very skeptical about trying anyone new, would like some referrals or tips on how to sharpen shears.

TTailor

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2016, 04:15:49 PM »
How often do you find that your shears need sharpening?
I mean through normal wear and tear.
We have a sewing machine repairman who also sharpens scissors and shears when he is called in to do machine service.
I have had mostly good results but i wish I understood more. How do you choose whether or not a person is going to do a good job?

Henry Hall

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2016, 09:13:52 PM »
I sent the last pair to be sharpened (which I got back yesterday) because I could feel 'drag' when cutting. The other pair because they were somewhat blunt when I got them.

I'm sure a professional cutter using them day-in-day-out will have a different view about how often the shears need sharpening, than someone using them less regularly. Also depending on the materials being cut.



It's not an identical case, but my brother is a barber and he has his scissors sharpened roughly every six months.Though he is cutting hair non-stop all day. I imagine that if cloth shears were sharpened this often there'd be no blade left after 10 years!


My question is this: on the ones I got back yesterday there is a slight 1-2mm of 'overbite' on the tips. They cut clean, but I wonder how this will affect future sharpening? I've seen vintage shears for sale that have too much crossover at the tips.



hutch--

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2016, 09:21:28 PM »
Henry,

It often mean that a bit too much has been taken off the stop between the handles. A little "overshoot" is not a problem but you don't want too much as the tip of the top blade may dig into the cutting table. As far as re-sharpening, its not a problem as they can have a bit taken off the cutting edge without the tips not closing properly.
The magnificent tools of the professional tailor
http://www.movsd.com/tailors_shears/  ;) ;D

Henry Hall

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2016, 09:40:05 PM »
Aha, well I already added a little rubber cap over the handle stop which replaces the lost 2mm. I was thinking it might have affected the cutting, but they're okay.

Tailleuse

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2016, 02:21:31 PM »
How often do you find that your shears need sharpening?
I mean through normal wear and tear.
We have a sewing machine repairman who also sharpens scissors and shears when he is called in to do machine service.
I have had mostly good results but i wish I understood more. How do you choose whether or not a person is going to do a good job?

In the Garment District, the place I always hear about is Henry Westphal. http://www.nysharpeningservice.com/ I was going to take my shears there, but they were in the process of moving, so I went to Steinlauf and Stoller instead, which seemed to do a good job. They were Ginghers, so I could have sent them to the company; the price, as I recall, was reasonable, but I didn't want to wait two weeks.

hutch--

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2016, 03:20:23 PM »
Terri,

> How do you choose whether or not a person is going to do a good job?

If you have not seen their work before, try out a less valuable pair of scissors or shears with them first and if they look like they have been done properly and cut well, you can try your good shears.
The magnificent tools of the professional tailor
http://www.movsd.com/tailors_shears/  ;) ;D

Greger

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2016, 05:35:45 AM »
Despos, how do you like the new shears from Italy that you bought recently, now that you have had some time using them, and to think about them?

Maybe I am superstitious, but 13" just doesn't sound right.

Jeffrey2117

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Re: basic care for shears
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2016, 12:48:36 PM »
How often do you find that your shears need sharpening?
I mean through normal wear and tear.
We have a sewing machine repairman who also sharpens scissors and shears when he is called in to do machine service.
I have had mostly good results but i wish I understood more. How do you choose whether or not a person is going to do a good job?

In the Garment District, the place I always hear about is Henry Westphal. http://www.nysharpeningservice.com/ I was going to take my shears there, but they were in the process of moving, so I went to Steinlauf and Stoller instead, which seemed to do a good job. They were Ginghers, so I could have sent them to the company; the price, as I recall, was reasonable, but I didn't want to wait two weeks.

Hello Tailleuse,

    I have a couple of shears, 4 1/2 and 6N's that desperately need attention.  Did they say how long a wait that it normally takes them to service and sharpen a pair?

Regards

Jeffrey2117