Wow, what a couple of weeks it has been. Those of you that are Facebook friends know some of the saga. My father has Parkinson’s Disease. It is awful to watch. Well a couple of years ago he had a knee replacement. Out of the blue, he got an infection in the knee and back in September had to go in and have the knee removed and a temporary one placed. Well, one thing led to another and he ended up in the ICU. My mother thought for certain this was the end of him, but he pulled through, and came home after a month of being in the hospital. Well, he was home for about a week and within 4 days we saw a super acceleration of the Parkinson’s symptoms. It was frightening. He went from being relatively independent to complete dependence. Again, we thought we were making funeral plans for him. It was awful and so scary.
Miracles of miracles, my dad is recovering! In fact, they plan to have him return home by the end of this week. What a roller coaster. Thank you all so much that knew about this and sent up your prayers. He sure heard and answered them. Of course, we now realize how quickly this all can go. A simple infection can send him right back to where he was and it is not a pretty sight. I know all too well how quickly life can leave the body. I don’t take my mortality for granted and haven’t for a long time. I am just so grateful that I still have my dad.
So, now you know the reason for my absence. That, and we took the girls to Disneyland last week. It was a trip my whole family had planned for months. My Dad was supposed to be there, but we talked everyday.
On to Tool Time Tuesday.
One of my very favorite tools in my shop is my Guillotine Shear. I purchased it when we bought our house in Ohio. It was one of the tools that was at the top of my Wish List. I had been working on making a cuff that was about 1″ wide. The only metal I had that was large enough to cut out that type of blank was 12″ x 12″. So I grabbed my jewelers saw and began cutting…. or so I thought. I broke blade after blade after blade. It would happen because I was trying to hold the sheet and cut at the same time. Then the sheet would shift due to the weight of it and my blade would snap. It was so frustrating. At that moment, a shear became my top priority. I have loved having that tool so much.
A guillotine shear has a blade that comes down starting at one and cuts the material length wise as you bring the handle down. The nice thing about this shearing action is that it doesn’t distort the metal as it cuts, which means less work for me. Even when cutting with my jewelers saw, I had an uneven edge that needed to be filed and sanded, not an issue with the shear.
These shears are not inexpensive, so it isn’t a tool that you will find in a lot of small shops. I was able to justify mine because I teach classes and it made getting my materials ready so much more economical.
My Shear is a 12″ Pepe Guillotine Shear. I purchased it through Otto Frei, however, there are a number of other places that carry them as well. You can also get a 6″ or 4″ shear. They are slightly easier on the pocket book, but still not inexpensive. Most places won’t need a 12″ shear, but I like the ability I have to buy my sheet in 12″ squares and do what I need based on the pieces I am working on. You can also have most refiners or metal suppliers cut your metal for a small fee so that you won’t need to worry about having a shear.
I made a very short video on how I use my shear. It is pretty simple and you can see just why I like using the shear instead of trying to cut my piece out with a saw. If you are reading this in your email, you may need to visit this blog post to view the video.
Tomorrow I will post a piece that I have made as part of a prong challenge. So be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon. See you all then.