Bespoke Cutter And Tailor

Bespoke Professionals => Professional Tailors => Topic started by: hutch-- on March 23, 2016, 08:46:59 PM

Title: Pre WW1 pair of Wiss shears.
Post by: hutch-- on March 23, 2016, 08:46:59 PM
I saw this pair on eBay from a vendor in Baltimore and as they were very early ones and in more or less good nick, I bought them. Turned up a few weeks later after the guy had to wait 3 days to be able to get out to post them due to a blizzard in his area. As per the photos there was one tip that was damaged from long ago so I had to re-match the 2 tips which meant losing about a quarter of an inch (6mm) in blade length. I had to re-profile the top and bottom blades to get the right shape again but generally they were in OK nick for being over 100 years old.

They are an unusual model made about 1905 which was before Wiss had fully standardised the sizes and while they are stamped as number #6, they are the size and weight of a pair of Wiss #7 shears from later periods. They are rather chunky and as heavy as a pair of #7 shears but the basic blade geometry is sound and the manufacturing quality was good for the period.

This was the tip damage as they arrived here from Baltimore. It has the "opened a paint tin" look about one tip being snapped off.

This is the left side of the shears after blade repairs. The lower blade had an inline cooling fracture about 1/3rd of the way up that required about
3mm to be taken off the middle of the curve of the lower blade but they did clean up OK.

This is the righ side of the shears and fortunately the top blade was in good nick, just had to be cleaned up and sharpened.

They are about half finished, the blades have been repaired and the hinge was in good condition but the handles have not yet been done. The old paint has to be removed, the handles then need to be smoothed then painted with the 2 pack I have used on the others. They perform very similarly to the slightly later pair of Wiss #7 shears I use on my cutting table so when tyey are finished they may end up on my cutting table.
Title: Re: Pre WW1 pair of Wiss shears.
Post by: Henry Hall on March 23, 2016, 09:57:11 PM
What a transformation! A snapped-off tip like that would seem irreparable to most people, it's astonishing how natural they look after reshaping. You're a craftsman.
Title: Re: Pre WW1 pair of Wiss shears.
Post by: hutch-- on April 03, 2016, 10:53:51 AM
This is the next stage of restoring a pair of shears of this age. As you would expect at over 100 years old, the Black Japan paint on the handles has long ago failed and the task was to remove as much of it as possible in preparation for repainting them with a much stronger and more reliable modern paint. Cleaning up the handles is a tedious task, first you scrape off as much of the old paint as possible then using a Dremel with a small sanding drum you clean up the thumb and finger loops so that the have a smooth finish. This matters as it improves the tactile feedback when using the shears. Once this is done I have used buffing equipment as I have it available to further finish the handles as it is a useful technique to further smooth the handles.

You can see what are called in the foundry industry "inclusions" in the iron handles because the technology in 1905 was not all that good in terms of iron purity but it is not a problem as the handles were originally designed to be painted.

With a more appropriate brass shim, the lock nut is now flush as it should be and the hinge adjustment is more accurate. The lock nut and the opposite side face need to be cleaned up and polished which is fortunately a reasonably straight forward task. The next operation is to de-glaze the polished handles to ensure that paint bonds correctly then paint the handles. With practice I prefer to use a high quality small art brush about 6mm round and while you do get the occasional run, you can put the paint on accurately enough and thick enough to be very robust once it has dried and hardened up after about a week or so of curing. It is touch dry in about 12 hours but does not achieve maximum hardness for about a week.

Performance wise the pair are shaping up well, not quit as fine in their feel as the pair of #7 Wiss that I use on my cutting table but they have plenty of grunt and cut very accurately.