More than 25 years of uninterrupted research on ground support technology for underground mines has been undertaken at the University of Wollongong. This research has resulted in significant findings on tendon characteristics and strength properties. The paper focuses on the development of a fourth generation of cylindrically shaped shear test apparatus for assessing tendon performance in shear. This shear apparatus is known as the MK-IV Double Shear Box or Naj Aziz Double Shear Box (NADSB), and is based on the experience gained from the development of previous versions of rectangular double shear boxes. The new NADSB is circular in shape and is fitted with a truss system, which permits friction free shear testing of tendons across joint planes. A series of double shear tests were carried out on a number of cable bolts commonly used in Australian mines, both plain and indented wires, under varied pretension loads. The results were compared with similar test results using rectangular shaped double shear apparatus, with and without friction across joint faces. The significance of wire surface roughness and increased initial pretension loads are discussed and conclusions made, suggesting that indented wires are inferior in shear compared with plain cable bolts. The general test procedure of the NADSB is described and different concrete reinforcement technics are reported. The influence of external and internal confinement of the concrete medium blocks in circular double shear box contributed to consistent test results with a minimum of lateral and axial cracks occurring in the host medium.