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Copper forming


Jim Kelso

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Dick,

this is a standard jewellers bench shape, if you look in The complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight, at the back of his book he has a bench plan. When I made mine many more years ago than I care to remember I cut out a half-circle and found it was too deep.

I ended up cutting about 5" (from fading memory!) off the front of the bench .

I suggest you start your circle away from the front (if that makes sense) you can always make it a bit deeper. The other thing is to put your bench pin a bit round to the left ( if you are right handed) make it all a bit temporary until you find out what suits you .

 

Tim.

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Hi again Dickyou seem to be building up a fine set of piercing saws!

The one that is my favourite at the moment is a very light one, I will post a pic, it came from Cooksons in the UK.

I have one that I modified to cut at a consistent angle to make pancake dies, it occurs to me that it would work very well to do inlaid shapes with perfect registration . When I get time i'll do some pics and show you what I mean.

Tim.

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Dick,

 

I suggest you start your circle away from the front (if that makes sense) you can always make it a bit deeper. The other thing is to put your bench pin a bit round to the left ( if you are right handed) make it all a bit temporary until you find out what suits you .

 

Tim.

 

Good idea Tim. You could even use a big cardboard bicycle box as a pattern, and play around with the positioning of all your goodies.

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Tim and Jim,

Thanks for the information. I think I'll go with a shallow cut first and see how I like it. I have only been using this desk for a year or so. I used to work at a antique roll-top jewelers work bench but the high stool was hurting my back.

I only seem to use the 4 1/2" saw. It seems to balance very well, in fact I have three of them with different size saw blades so I am not having to change the blades as often when working in many different gauge metals. Of course I have to put blades in when they break and break and break.... When I was making prototypes and had to work fast to meet deadlines speed was more important than now. Here is a picture I found of a small saw frame that is used like a file by a watchmaker. It is about 1 1/2" wide. I think I'll make one and see how it works

Dick

post-15-1132891688.jpg

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Dick,

 

that little brass D shaped saw is beautiful! :) , now, I wonder if it would work with a piece of wire and some grit!, I must try that some time. ;)

 

thanks for the image, Ford

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Guest ford hallam

Evening Dick,

 

thanks for the link, it`s amazing to see what what`s being created out there, in all sorts of places.

 

hey Doug, sounds as though you may have been infected by the metal bug. ;)

 

cheers, Ford ( enjoying a 10 yr old tawny port smiley ) :)

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Hey Dan,

 

you are quite right, Having spent 5 years as an apprentice to a German master goldsmith, using the piercing saw as a file is second nature. In fact using the saw-blade in that fashion is an integral aspect of diamond mounting, i`m referring of course to the opening up of the underside of stone settings in particular. No burrs in use here! :). Perhaps yet more arcane craft technique ;)

 

regards, Ford

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Kristopher,

 

yes you can use a jewellers pircing saw to cut mild steel, I`ve cut out at least 2 dozen tsuba in that way, and up to 8mm in thickness. The thickness of the blades is supposed to be related to the thickness of the material you are cutting but to be honest I find that using thicker blades on thicker material tends to get a bit "heavy duty" for my taste. I tend to stick with No 2; No3 and No2/0, for very fine pieces to be inlayed i use No 6/0 and No 8/0.

 

You`ll find using beeswax as a lubricant will allow the blade to cut a little easier. My biggest tip when cutting steel ( or any thick metal ) would be not to fight it, take it nice and steady and let the teeth do the work. Make sure your bench and peg are absolutely rock steady too.

 

I hope this is of some use,

 

regards, Ford

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Guest ford hallam

Hello Dick,

 

I`d like to second Tom`s request to see the "making of the tiny bow saw"

 

thanks, Ford.

 

I love metalwork, I could watch it for hours ;)

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Guest ford hallam

here`s an image of a jewellers saw/ piercing saw being used as a file to open up the back of diamond mountings.

 

and a pic of me piercing a 5mm thick steel plate for a tsuba.

 

Ford

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Thanks Ford

 

What size blade do you use when cutting thick blanks like the tsuba? or more appropriately, what blade sizes and brands do you recommend for the jeweller's saw? I use one often, but have to admit to being ham handed with it.

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Hi Don,

 

I`ve been using Vallorbe blades for 20 odd years ( hmm, very odd years ), they`re swiss made. Patrick was very impressed by them when he was over, too.

I tend to use anything from No 2/0 up to a No 3, so I suppose as an all round blade for piercing 5mm steel a No 2 would do.

 

regards, Ford

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Hi

When I checked the pictures of making the little saw most were out of focus and not worth showing. I also use my saw as a file that's why I thought the little saw was a great idea, however, it is uncomfortable to use. Needs modification.

Ford, have you tried Antilope blades for "harte metalle"? I have used them for cutting out steel flintlock parts for minatures. I will try the Vallorbe blades. Here are a pair of highland pistols with a lot of detailed steel work. The stocks are brass and silver all other parts are steel. Please forgive the tacky lens flare. The picture is from my portfoleo and put in when I started to use Photoshop. Thought it was "neat" at the time. Embarrassed smiley.

Dick

post-15-1133107491.jpg

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The last few years I've settled on Rio Grande Laser Blades(not Laser Gold as I think they are too expensive for any advantage) These are made for Rio in Germany(probably by Herkules). I find they hold up very well and I often change a blade as it dulls rather than when it breaks, rather than formerly when a blade would often break before it was dull. They are a bit more money than some, but I'm not going through so many blades that it's breaking me! This is all based on very unscientific, but nearly daily use and I could see someone else not finding the extra$ worth it.

 

I use 8/0 to 4, with most use in the 2/0 to 2 range. Smaller than 2/0 mostly used to clear very fine tapered corners.

 

Ford makes an excellent point about the appropriateness of the larger sizes in thicker work. I almost never use any size blade above 4 even in thicker mild steel. The larger blades seem to hang in the material. They are quite useful as mini-files as earlier mentioned. A #2 if handled properly is quite a tough item. Don't forget that the wider a blade, the more material it has to saw through to go the same distance. Another good point Ford makes is about letting the teeth do the work. A light touch will increase your blade life and make for a more pleasant saw. ;)

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Hi Don,

 

I`ve been using Vallorbe blades for 20 odd years ( hmm, very odd years ), they`re swiss made. Patrick was very impressed by them when he was over, too.

I tend to use anything from No 0/2 up to a No 3, so I suppose as an all round blade for piercing 5mm steel a No 2 would do.

 

regards, Ford

 

 

I was impressed,

The quality of the standard line up even the expensive versions has been spotty. I get good batches and bad batches of the same item. Crocodiles have served me well as a mid priced brand, but the Vallorbe really has a smoother and faster cut and most importantly striaght cut. Nothing worse than when a cut pulls to the left argh! I bought a gross of herkules 4/0 and the whole lot would twist left in the cut. I would have to run the pressure funny and twist the axis to compensate for it. Not a big deal, but much of the cut efficiency is lost and the added stress breaks more blades.

patrick

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Ford makes an excellent point about the appropriateness of the larger sizes in thicker work. I almost never use any size blade above 4 even in thicker mild steel. The larger blades seem to hang in the material. They are quite useful as mini-files as earlier mentioned.

 

I have also been using the Rio Grande laser blades. I mainly use 6/0 to 2. I find myself using 4/0 for many cutting jobs. The finer blade flows smoother. The Bur-Life lubricant that Rio sells makes cutting much smoother and blades last longer. It comes in a container which screws to the bench pin. The Antelope blades for cutting steel are sold by Contenti. They seem to stay sharp for a very long time when cutting mild steel.

Dick

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i use pike or antelope blades in 4/0 and 6/0 for most everything. i prefer those sizes for cutting 1/8th inch brass and even 3/32nd inch annealed O-1 steel. i have better control with the finer blades and really don't see the cutting time difference between them and a #2. i have never had good luck with the Rio laser blades. about the only time i break blades is when my bench helper cat assist in sawing.

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