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Jacques Board Shear -- Manual and other information

Fellow Binders:
A few months ago, there was a request for a copy of the manual for the
Jacques Board Shear. Paul Brubaker has a copy of a manual for the Jacques
Universal Shear. That shear was manufactured for decades. He is willing to
send a copy for a fee of $2.00. Contact him at:

2350 Division Hwy.
Ephrata, PA   17522
e-mail: binderyequip2000@aol.com

In addition to rebuilding and manufacturing various pieces of bindery
equipment, Paul will also visit your bindery to adjust and service your
Jacques Board Shear. Another important fact: he has some replacement parts
for the Jacques and is able to cast other missing or damaged parts.

In addition to the manual, there is another source for information about the
Jacques Board Shear. Very soon, the Guild of Book Workers will be offering a
video on servicing the Jacques. It is currently being edited. The video is a
compilation of information and ideas from three binders.
If you have any information about caring for the Jacques Board Shear, we hope
you will share that information with everyone.

Following is some safety information from the video, as well as another new
safety tip.

1)  One important fact that is applicable to every board shear: Make sure
that there is a "Safety Pin" at the end of the counterbalance bar. DO NOT
RELY solely on the bolt to secure the counterbalance weight. There are some
horror stories of the potential dangers when the weight falls off.
2)  At the same time, you will want to insert another safety pin into the
other end of the counterbalance bar. That pin or bolt will prevent the bar
from falling from the head of the cutting arm. Recently, we found a shear
where the bolt to the bar was very loose -- another very dangerous situation.
3)  Another safety concern is the clamp. Many of our shears have a gap that
is large enough to allow one's fingers to get underneath. If the user can fit
their fingers under the clamp bar, there is the potential for serious injury.
For many years, I would always tell my students that they MUST USE THE CLAMP
-- I would rather have them squash their fingers than have them chop them
off. Unfortunately, this type of statement will not satisfy the concerns of
OSHA. Therefore, Paul Brubaker is now recommending, and setting up board
shears with the clamp bar gap reduced to about 1/4 inch. This is done by
adjusting the two vertical rods that control the clamp.
This is valuable safety information, however, as many of us know, there are
times when we might want to cut something thick, such as foam rubber. I have
designed an adjustable stop-bracket, that will fit some of the wood top
"Universal Shears".  The stop-bracket will reduce the gap. If a thicker
material is encountered, the gap can be TEMPORARILY enlarged by moving the

Another Safety Concern:  Plexiglas guards are being attached to some board
shears, as required by OSHA. Obviously, these "safety" devices can be a real
nuisance. Therefore, you will want to do everything possible to insure your
personal safety while using the shear.

One final recommendation: In addition to the safety pins and the smaller
clamp gap, you should also consider a yearly safety check. Make certain that
all bolts are snug or tight. Many bolts will loosen which will then wear
improperly causing further trouble. A light oiling or greasing of some parts
would also help. Also, make certain that the return spring to the foot
treadle is properly secured.

Again, if you have any information about Board Shear safety or operation,
we'd like to hear from you.

Bill Minter

William Minter Bookbinding & Conservation, Inc.
4364 Woodbury Pike
Woodbury, PA   16695
fax 814-793-4045

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