The Board Shear. The most beautiful cutter ever built, the most useful piece of bookbinding equipment known to man, the greatest thing in the wide world.
When one finds oneself without a board shear, as I sadly do these days, one must make do with what one has. In my case, that is (1) a huge cutting mat, (2) a less than ideal straight edge, (3) a large metal triangle, (4) a pin vice awl thing, (5) a blade, and (6) rugged determination.
Here I am, grudgingly banging my board and triangle against my cutting mat. As I slide my triangle along and make marks with my pin vice, I try not to think about all the board shears in my past. Of how easy it all was then. Of how I didn’t even say goodbye.
Instead of a cast iron, foot pedal controlled clamp, I must use my actual foot to hold the cutting edge and the board in place. The indignity of it. The dirty directness. It’s like being a bookbinding peasant. But it gets the job done.
Having less confidence than a fully equipped bookbinder, I cut the sheets of board into oversize strips. When it is time to cut them to the correct size for the book covers, I will turn to my under-appreciated kutrimmer 1058. It isn’t perfect, it’s true. It is too small to cut down large sheets of board. It is not as easy to cut squarely and it isn’t as glamorous. But it is a steady friend in lean times. And it can do some things a board shear cannot:
I believe Stephen Stills expressed this better than I ever could, so I will leave it to him. This one goes out to you, kutrimmer.