Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear
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  1. #1
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    Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    I got my hands on a bunch of old 9-11" fabric shears, suffering from various degrees of neglect and abuse. Most of them seem to be good enough to rescue, but the one in the picture has severe rust damage near the edges on the inside of the blade, making it impossible to grind out a new sharp edge - there just isn't enough metal left to work with.

    So, basically, it's a piece of scrap metal, or at best a piece of "shabby chic" art. I don't expect to be able to fix it, but why not give it a try? It's not like I can f*** it up any more.

    What do you think about grinding the edge down perhaps 1/8" and then rebuilding it by welding? I'd obviously need a filler hard enough to hold an edge (with or without hardening after welding), and grinding it to the correct shape would be a nightmare. The welder I've got to work with is a Henrob O/A.

    Any suggestions, ideas, or perhaps just the desire to laugh at me? Go right ahead!

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  2. #2
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    somethings in this world cant be fixed and you found one of them..lol..you could try with tig, but you would probably have to regrind and shape most of the blade area after welding...to try it for fun go ahead, nothing to lose as you said, its more of a challenge to see if it can be done...cant you grind past that bad edge to put a good one on?

  3. #3
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    I haven't removed the rust yet, but just looking at it there seems to be deep pitting at least half way across the inside of the upper blade shown in the picture, and all the way across the inside of the lower blade (no picture). The blades are also relatively thin för a fabric shear, otherwise I might have been able to regrind the entire flat (well, slightly concave) inside of the blades. So unfortunately no, there's not enough metal to just grind out the damage. Not even close.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Grind as best you can. Then make them stubby or repurpose them for other cutting tasks.
    My name's not Jim....

  5. #5
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    How about spray welding with an AO torch, then regrind. Is it really worth it tho?

  6. #6
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    When customers ask me to sharpen scissors like that, I hand them back and tell them to go buy a new pair. Just welding them will likely warp the crap out of the blades and if you don't have the proper hardness they won't hold an edge. The ride line is beyond trashed. The pivot screw doesn't look all that great either and shears with improper tension just suck.

    If it was me, they would go in the recycle bin and I would weld up something more worth of my time.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Quote Originally Posted by Boostinjdm View Post
    Grind as best you can. Then make them stubby or repurpose them for other cutting tasks.
    That's an option, for sure! I might go that route if enough of the blades look grindable after getting rid of the rust.

    Quote Originally Posted by flushcut View Post
    How about spray welding with an AO torch, then regrind. Is it really worth it tho?
    Might be a bit expensive to get one just for that, but I like the idea. Worth it? Hell no! But I rather say "tried it and failed" than "probably won't work".

    Quote Originally Posted by CGT80 View Post
    When customers ask me to sharpen scissors like that, I hand them back and tell them to go buy a new pair. Just welding them will likely warp the crap out of the blades and if you don't have the proper hardness they won't hold an edge. The ride line is beyond trashed. The pivot screw doesn't look all that great either and shears with improper tension just suck.

    If it was me, they would go in the recycle bin and I would weld up something more worth of my time.
    The recycle bin is probably where it would end up after a failed welding attempt too, so making an experiment out of it only costs a bit of O/A gas and time, and being unemployed I've got loads of time. I'm sure I would learn something in the process, even if it only is that it can't be done.

  8. #8
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Let us know what happens with it!
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  9. #9
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    it's junk. throw it out.
    i.u.o.e. # 15
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  10. #10
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Close them and tack weld them shut at the loops, fire up the belt sander and make some double edged daggers.Quite inconspicuous sitting on the car seat or in a side pocket of a womans purse.

  11. #11
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Your best option is a regrind. Welding will be a real bear and you'll just end up with even more grinding.

    You take the two halves apart and grind the inside faces till you reach good metal, exactly the same as they do after forging the halves.

    Then grind the bottom bevel, the top bevel, touch up the other edges and polish everything. Then sharpen them.

    Not really worth doing, but some of the best projects are that way.

    Some guys restore old cars when you can buy perfectly good cars from the dealer.

  12. #12
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Quote Originally Posted by CGT80 View Post
    Let us know what happens with it!
    Will do!

    Quote Originally Posted by docwelder View Post
    it's junk. throw it out.
    I'd rather repurpose it some way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bonzoo View Post
    Close them and tack weld them shut at the loops, fire up the belt sander and make some double edged daggers.Quite inconspicuous sitting on the car seat or in a side pocket of a womans purse.
    That's an idea I've never thought of. Interesting!

    Quote Originally Posted by hddnis View Post
    Your best option is a regrind. Welding will be a real bear and you'll just end up with even more grinding.

    You take the two halves apart and grind the inside faces till you reach good metal, exactly the same as they do after forging the halves.

    Then grind the bottom bevel, the top bevel, touch up the other edges and polish everything. Then sharpen them.

    Not really worth doing, but some of the best projects are that way.

    Some guys restore old cars when you can buy perfectly good cars from the dealer.
    I have reground several scissors with less serious damage as you describe, it does work quite well - perhaps not worth doing if you just see it in work, money and result, but I enjoy sharpening knives, scissors and such things so to me it's well spent time. This time, unfortunately, the damage goes so deep there wouldn't be much metal left if I'd try to grind it out.

  13. #13
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Regrinding is the ONLY option with a possibility of success.

    The problem, is that the inside faces of shears are done with a slightly hollow grind. Either you need a gigantic grinding wheel to accomplish this, or you need to be able to fixture a cup wheel at a very slight angle.

    I'd suggest first chemically removing the rust. Then you can touch up the inside with sandpaper and see if the pitting on the interior face really runs into the cutting edge. I suspect that it does not, and that all this argument is for naught.

    Generally, the pitting on these is on the outside. You can safely sand this off without any worries. Then, you file or grind back the cutting edge past the corrosion, and all is well.
    Last edited by rlitman; 08-12-2017 at 10:46 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Quote Originally Posted by rlitman View Post
    Regrinding is the ONLY option with a possibility of success.

    The problem, is that the inside faces of shears are done with a slightly hollow grind. Either you need a gigantic grinding wheel to accomplish this, or you need to be able to fixture a cup wheel at a very slight angle.

    I'd suggest first chemically removing the rust. Then you can touch up the inside with sandpaper and see if the pitting on the interior face really runs into the cutting edge. I suspect that it does not, and that all this argument is for naught.

    Generally, the pitting on these is on the outside. You can safely sand this off without any worries. Then, you file or grind back the cutting edge past the corrosion, and all is well.
    This is what came out of the acid bath a couple of days ago. Deep corrosion damage all the way to the edge on the insides. Even if there was enough meat in the blade to grind this out and still have a working scissor I lack the equipment/ability to maintain the right hollow when regrinding it. Light damage I can handle with the curved side of a scythe hone, but this is waaaay beyond grinding w/o proper machines.

    If this is supposed to become a working scissor again, I think shortening the blades to remove the damage is the thing to do. Might turn it into something else too, I'm sure many tools could work well with scissor handles... Still waiting for the right combination of great idea and madness.

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  15. #15
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Quote Originally Posted by G-son View Post
    This is what came out of the acid bath a couple of days ago. Deep corrosion damage all the way to the edge on the insides. Even if there was enough meat in the blade to grind this out and still have a working scissor I lack the equipment/ability to maintain the right hollow when regrinding it. Light damage I can handle with the curved side of a scythe hone, but this is waaaay beyond grinding w/o proper machines.

    If this is supposed to become a working scissor again, I think shortening the blades to remove the damage is the thing to do. Might turn it into something else too, I'm sure many tools could work well with scissor handles... Still waiting for the right combination of great idea and madness.

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    if you had a spray torch oxy/acetylene , from what I read you can gradually build up the surface..this is more of a see if you can fix it for fun than fixing something economically to use or sell..many projects done are for that and to tune your skill..yes its easier to chuck em and buy a new set.. whats left looks almost porous metal...maybe try electrolysis to get the deep down corrosion out..

  16. #16
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    g-son; now how about the real story on those shears? were they used to cut the material on ingrid bergman's undergarments or what? to go through the time and effort for a rusted scissor there's gotta be a backstory here?
    i.u.o.e. # 15
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  17. #17
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Quote Originally Posted by docwelder View Post
    g-son; now how about the real story on those shears? were they used to cut the material on ingrid bergman's undergarments or what? to go through the time and effort for a rusted scissor there's gotta be a backstory here?
    They were used to cut the ribbon at the opening of trump tower.

    The Donald wants them refurbished.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynBravest View Post
    They were used to cut the ribbon at the opening of trump tower.

    The Donald wants them refurbished.
    .....Classic.

    Money's no object then, charge them to the public purse.......At least, that's what our lot would do.....pack of bastards they are.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    That would be the usual...but not the The Donald, he won't even take a salary.

  20. #20
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    Re: Rebuilding cutting edges on fabric shear

    Quote Originally Posted by docwelder View Post
    g-son; now how about the real story on those shears? were they used to cut the material on ingrid bergman's undergarments or what? to go through the time and effort for a rusted scissor there's gotta be a backstory here?
    Simple backstory. I'm crazy!

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