As per its name, the board shear is the tool used to cut the various types of board used in conservation work. Its cutting action is that of scissors, as it cuts by means of two blades sliding against each other. The stationary cutting edge is the corner of its table (or bed). The moveable blade is the cutting arm. The blade of the cutting arm is sharpened to an angle only about 20 degrees acute of square, and of course the cutting edge of the table top is square, so the risk of cutting oneself by merely touching either blade is minimal. The board shear has a built-in ruler along the edge of the bed nearest the operator, a pedal-operated hold-down, and an outside fence which can occasionally prove handy for cutting certain materials to narrow widths. The board shear is also used to cut materials other than board, such as cloth, and paper.
The table fence of our board shear has a bare metal face, and under the heavy use to which our shear is subjected, the fence began to erode away at the enamel surface of the table. Aside from the concern of wear to the table, this problem resulted in the presence of a messy residue of green dust. This was naturally not acceptable, especially when working with bright white paper. Our solution was to give the table a good cleaning and then cover it with 5 mil mylar, affixed with double-sided tape. This solution has proven to have been a good one, as it has worn very well and has altogether eliminated the problem of work being stained by the colored enamel dust. A teflon-faced aluminum replacement fence was also available at one time and may still be. These were made by an individual, not the company that makes the shear.