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Sheet Metal Fabrication Tutorials

Straightening out a sheared strip of material


Tip courtesy of Design Optimization Consulting Services: "Here’s a tip that I’ve given to several people over the years concerning straightening out a sheared strip of material. It’s one of those things where you read it, and say to yourself, well that’s pretty obvious. But it’s something people never really think of at the time."


The material is .074” CRS, say 24” long sheared to .5” strips. After being sheared into strips, the material curls from being pinched off of the sheet. Some shears are better than others, and this happens differently with different materials, thicknesses, etc... When it does happen, it can curl down the length of the strip, or twist a good 45 degrees from one end to the other. This can be pretty frustrating if you are planning to use this for a shim for whatever reason. You aren’t shearing a strip because you wanted a pretzel.

The fix is easy and only takes a second. Using a vice that is stationary, clamp approximately 1 inch of one end into the jaws, just snug enough not to go anywhere. Position it so it’s pointing toward your gut. Next, grab a set of vice grips, or use a C-clamp so you don’t mar the material, and clamp it down on the opposite end of the strip.

Twist in the opposite direction of the curl and presto! You’ve straightened out your strip. I told you it was easy.

Brian Reynolds
Design Optimization Consulting Services