One way to remain happy is to lower your threshold for what makes you happy. In other words, take joy from the little things. Last night I found that a decision I made a couple of weeks ago is going the be the source of a lot of happiness in the future.
I do a limited amount of engraving on metal-based products, like anodized aluminum and the various flavors of laserable coated metals. I like the results I get from the lasering, but have always been frustrated by the mechanical issues involved. In particular, cutting the metal sheets has been troublesome.
In the past, I have used a large paper cutter at the office. It worked somewhat, but it is not convenient to take product or materials to the office. I am sure it was not particularly good for the paper cutter either. I had also tried using good quality hand shears. As talented as I may be with hand shears, it just wasn't presentation quality. What I needed was a good metal shear designed specifically for the types of metal plates used in the engraving industry. But price was always an issue - starting at about $369, I just could not justify the expense.
About a month ago, I decided to go ahead an buy a dedicated, heavy-duty paper cutter for the shop. Staples had one that looked to be sufficient for $75. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned this to my wife. Since she has been wanting me to do some metal-plated-based awards for her to hand out, she offered to pay half the cost of the paper cutter. I were going to go that weekend and get it, but I decided to wait a little longer. Unconsciously, I may have been putting off doing her job, but the decision to hold off turned out to be a very good one. A few days later, I happened onto an eBay listing for a used shear designed (and used) in an engraving business. Opening bid needed - $75.
I waited till the last few minutes of the auction to see if anyone else would bite. They did not. The last few seconds, I put in a bid of $75 and got it.
It arrived last night. Looks to have been used quite a bit, but overall it was in good shape.
The question was, how used (worn out) was it? Time to test and find out.
I happened to have a piece that I had cut with hand shears. I don't care how careful or skillful you are with hand shears, the results are never going to be acceptable for the engraving world.
Here is an example of what what cut with hand shears. Notice it does not lay flat.
Here is the same piece of metal cut with the new (to me) industrial shear.
Happiness a plenty!
The shear is sharp, straight, and seams to be everything that I will be needing for some time to come. Guess you could say I was "Shear(ly) Delighted".