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Niagara Shear 8ft x 16ga old....frame underneath?

dkmc

Diamond
My very old (sorta spindly) Niagara 8ft x 16ga shear...TOP and rear heavy!

MISTAKE.....it's 6ft not 8ft

The couple times I've moved this SOB even a short distance it caused me more stress and extended bullshit than any other machine in the shop.
Way top AND rear heavy, and every time it clears the ground you're sure it gonna crash. I end up with all sorts of chains and 2" straps around it to keep it from 'rolling' on the forks.
And then it still likes to 'slip' sideways and be all unpredictable!
:angry:

I have not used it since I got it, and now getting ready to set it up.
I'm thinking what the shear REALLY needs is some sort of frame underneath to keep it from flexing, and as a lifting point. I do not want to have to shim and level it, and bolt it down to my old uneven concrete barn floor.

I need some ideas...
I'm trying to decide what to use for the frame. 4" or 6" U channel?
'Eye' beam? What sort of cross bracing would be best?
Has to be stiff corner to corner so the legs and bed of the shear don't twist, which
was a problem in the past when the prev. owner didn't have it bolted down.






 
I would use 2" structural tubing (if you can get it) with 0.250" wall. That stuff is very strong. Better not have to drill in it... Don't ask how I know.
 
I would say every 12" cross stringers.
Also, I would make some retractable (tube in tube)extensions from the base (that you are building now)towards the back of the machine. Just retract them when the machine is not in use.
My 0.02
 
I don't really have anything to add on ideas for a lower frame. I move my shear with skates, but I think the next time I move it I'm going to fabricate a jack point that bolts to the feet that will allow jacking at a better balance point. The real issues are there isn't any access to jack due to the treadle, counterweights, etc. and no good flat surfaces near a balance point.

Your shear looks like the mechanical version of my 8' x 18 gauge jump shear:





I'm not sure exactly how old it is, but I'm thinking pre-WW2. I went to replace a couple fasteners and found they were 1/2"-12 instead of 1/2"-13, which is a really old standard.
 
On mine, over on the extreme left front corner of
the table, it's stamped (very lightly):
MFG 1916
CAP 14GA
22311
Interesting back gauge on that one, wonder if it's
factory? Will you bolt that to the floor?
Next time you cut something heavy and long, try to notice
if the legs twist at all.

That's quite a shop, new looking concrete floor...
 
FWIW I built a frame to support a turret lathe. I used 2X4 1020 CR solid steel bars. I tied them together with 2X3 X.120 tubing. I put leveling screws on the ends of the 2X4 bars. I leveled the lathe on top of the frame.

Now I can slide the forks under the frame and move the lathe in a minute, and it's much more stable than without the frame, plus the 4 leveling screws are much quicker to level the machine with than the OE method. Having the machine higher is a desirable bonus, and most of the reason I went to the trouble of building the frame.

If I wanted the frame to be more rigid, I would have gone heavier on the crosspieces, I'm only counting on the leveling screws to level it.
 
dkmc, how far are you from Niagara Falls ?
I am about one hour (traffic is a factor) from the falls on the canadian side. I have some leftovers of structural steel. "L" shape (0.125" thick 5 ft lengths)and square tubing (0.250" thick 4ft lengths). Depending on how much do you need, I might be able to help you out.
just let me know.

Marius

On mine, over on the extreme left front corner of
the table, it's stamped (very lightly):
MFG 1916
CAP 14GA
22311
Interesting back gauge on that one, wonder if it's
factory? Will you bolt that to the floor?
Next time you cut something heavy and long, try to notice
if the legs twist at all.

That's quite a shop, new looking concrete floor...
 
First, put it where it is going to stay. Then bolt it down, shimmed to be level. then after it is bolted down adjust the blade clearance. Shears in general are flexy fliers, when you move them around the blade clearance will change. This will leave a burr on your part or cause the blades to hit and be damaged.
 
On mine, over on the extreme left front corner of
the table, it's stamped (very lightly):
MFG 1916
CAP 14GA
22311
Interesting back gauge on that one, wonder if it's
factory? Will you bolt that to the floor?
Next time you cut something heavy and long, try to notice
if the legs twist at all.

That's quite a shop, new looking concrete floor...
Interesting on the date/serial info. Mine has the serial on the right side of the table, but no capacity or date info. I'll have to take a closer look.

As far as I can tell, the back gauge is factory. It's made up of some pretty substantial castings. This picture is right after I brought it home. The previous owner had a motor and pulley arrangement on the end to power the back gauge. I took it off and went back to the original cranks that were with the shear.

I've never noticed any twist, but 99% of what I do is well below the capacity of the machine, 0.050" and 0.063" 3003 aluminum.
 








 
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