Jewelers saw blades.......funny looking things!

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by ChrisCam, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Hi, I have just taken receipt of my jewelers saw with blades has anyone any idea as to why there is what looks like very fine brass wire wrapped round the blades, I expect for transit but hey I could be wrong. Also the blades have stickers ranging from 1/10 to 7/10 at first glance unsure which is finer the 1 or 7:???:

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    believe that's just to keep them bundled together... you only use/need one blade at a time....
     
  3. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Mine are marked 1/0 through 7/0. 7 is the finest pitch i.e. most number of teeth.

    I think the fine nuisance brass wire just holds them together.

    David
     
  4. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Thanks Guys that clears that up, I wonder how many I'll get through cutting 4mm brass?

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  5. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    Yes, the wire is just to hold the bundle together, and it's a nuisance unless you unwind it quite a bit. This page on Cousins website lists the sizes and tooth counts, although the different brands do vary slightly within the same size ratings. It's important to fit the blades in the frame so that the teeth cut on the pull stroke, and also to make sure the tension is good and tight. If either is wrong you'll break lots of blades, (probably will at first anyway, we all do!). Use the finer blades for harder and thinner metals, the coarser ones on softer metals. Paying for decent Swiss or German made blades is a worthwhile expense.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
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  6. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Depends very much on your technique, the length of the cut and whether or not you have to cut narrow curves. The blades don't like to be twisted while cutting and don't like sudden movements.

    Uhralt
     
  7. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Thanks Graham, orientation of teeth useful info. When you say unwind the wire quite a bit why not take it completely off??

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  8. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    You can remove the wire - just don't get the blades mixed up! :) The number 4 blade is a good all around blade. You have the right tension on the blade when you can strike it and it sings.
     
  9. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Thanks Shutterbug...Sound advice.

    Kindest regards
    Christopher
     
  10. wow

    wow Registered User
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    What song, Shutt?
     
  11. Troy Livingston

    Troy Livingston Registered User
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    Christopher,

    Cutting 4mm brass with a piercing saw is going to be a bit of work. If you decide to buy a power scrollsaw be sure it has variable speed. I have an old single speed Hegner that runs so fast that it eats fine metal blades making it nearly useless for anything but wood.

    As others have noted the brass wire is just to keep the blades together. You can remove it completely. In a rare organizational frenzy I bought storage tubes from Lee Valley (Shop Storage Tubes - Lee Valley Tools) and labeled them with the make and blade size. I also have a number of these saws and write which blade is installed on the frame with a sharpie. Release the blade tension when you are done with the saw.

    saws.jpg

    When using the piercing saw, install the blade so it cuts on the pull stroke and use enough tension so it gives a sharp ping when plucked. The general rule is to have three teeth in contact with the work but this is not always possible. Use long smooth strokes to make use of the full cutting length of the blade. Start slowly at first to get the technique right and gradually speed things up. The technique is difficult to describe but it takes a light touch, letting the blade pull into the work rather than pushing it forward. It is vital to always keep the blade in motion when turning or backing out of a cut. Keeping the blade in motion while not allowing it to advance forward and turning the work piece will allow you to cut sharp corners or make tight turns safely. On long cuts it is a good idea to make relief cuts that intersect with the true cut line so the waste will come off in small sections instead of one big piece. This is especially helpful if your shape is complicated or requires backing the blade out. Remember, let the blade do the work any attempt to force it and you will be installing a new one.

    Some people like to lubricate the blade with beeswax but I have found that it really doesn’t matter and don’t like the way it mucks up your line if you are using a paper template on your work. Good technique is the best way to extend your blade life and that only comes through practice and a pile of broken blades.

    I like to keep the work up high and prefer to use a bench pin instead of a vise. Finger pressure is sufficient to hold the work and I find that if you use a vise you tend to break more blades by turning the saw in odd ways to keep from having to loosen and retighten the vise as often.
    bench pin.jpg

    saws.jpg
     
  12. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    All above is very good advice. I will stress as also stated above that it is very beneficial to have 3 or 4 teeth in contact with the brass so size your saw blade accordingly. Personally I do think that a little lube is helpful, I use a piece of a broken candle. Trying to cut faster than the saw wants to cut will only cause you to break blades so be patient and use long strokes with moderate pressure.

    I found some old plastic cigar tubes that I have labeled and store my blades in.
     
  13. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Bee's wax is good for blades. 4 mm, yep that's doable, but it will take a while. Probably better to use a scroll saw or a sabre saw and clean it up with files.
    Willie
     
  14. shutterbug

    shutterbug Super Moderator
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    I think they make it up as they go :)
     
  15. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Thanks for your comprehensive reply Troy. What caught my eye was the clock plate supports, something I still need to evolve. You look to be using pots of some kind would you care to point me in the right direction?

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  16. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    Pieces of PVC sewer pipes in various diameters are quite useful for that purpose and cheaply available in hardware stores.

    Uhralt
     
  17. David S

    David S Registered User
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    I have used the PVC pipe, ABS couplings, however recently my local restaurant had placed an empty toilet paper tube on the back of the toilet tank. He didn't mind if I took it. It is thinner than the pipe I am using and about 3 1/2" diameter. The cardboard tube is soft if you place a pivot on it.
    David
     
  18. Troy Livingston

    Troy Livingston Registered User
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    Christopher,

    Not pots, but wooden rings.

    For most of my repair career I have used the cardboard tubes from packing tape as movement supports. I expect PVC pipe would serve just as well but have never tried this as I used to have a steady supply of the cardboard tubes.

    I bought the set of nested wooden rings at a Regional from a dealer who specializes in selling materials from closed clock/watch shops. I don’t recall ever seeing them listed in catalogs. My set appears to be made from beech although I expect most any wood would do.

    If you have a wood lathe or a friend with one, there are tools made for woodturners that will create such rings. However, I expect you could do just fine with the careful use of a parting tool.

    Troy

    movement support.JPG
     
  19. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Thanks Troy and Everyone....great ideas!
    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  20. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Thanks for this. Even before my hands got trembly I had rotten luck with a jeweler's saw, but Timesavers' deadly closeout section had one for like three bucks, and cheap blades besides. My first attempt was to slit some annealed clock mainspring, which worked rather well though from reading this thread it's clear I had the blade way loose. Apparently they stretch from the stress and expand from the heat of cutting as well. Used a wax candle for lube, which made no obvious difference. But now I'm glad I've got another helpful tool, and that springy wire ought to be good for something besides.

    Mark Kinsler
     
  21. wrobbie

    wrobbie Registered User

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    I got so sick of trying to manipulate a blade out of the wired bundle that I made a little stand for them. Very easy to make from some scrap wood. I added a label that lists all the teeth counts, blade widths etc (picture below was taken before that). Should have done that 10 years ago!

    sawblades.jpg
     
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  22. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    ,

    Thanks Mark and Everyone,
    So it has other uses though for cutting the d hole for a mainspring would an abbra file be more suited and robust, will remember the mainspring application just in case though. What is supposed to be the advantage of using the jeweler's saw over a 12 inch hacksaw that I used for cutting say solid 3mm brass wire.Surely the jewelers saw is a metal / craft equivalent of a carpenters coping saw for curves. Also it appears you are supposed to put the brass wire back for protection, which I would like to avoid...time to get some cigar type tubes!

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  23. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Christopher,

    Not really for protection, just to stop the different sizes becoming mixed up. Cigar tubes are a good idea, as is wrobbie's wooden block.

    A piercing saw frame should have a little springiness to it which keeps the blade taut if it does expand during use.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  24. David S

    David S Registered User
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    One of the advantages of the jewelers saw over the 12" hacksaw is the number of teeth available for the job. If you wish to cut some 0.020" thick sheet brass you will need a blade with many more teeth that the range available for hacksaws. As in cutting in new teeth in a wheel repair.

    I keep two jewelers saws, one with a very fine blade and one much coarser. The fine one works well cutting brass tubing.

    David
     
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  25. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Thanks David I slightly got put off using the jewelers saw but will try next time to get a comparison.

    Kind Regards

    Christopher
     
  26. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Another saw that I use quite frequently is the mini 6" hacksaw. Mine is an ultra cheap version that is just made with bent wire like the cheap coping saws. The blades are 24 tpi and it is more robust than the jewelers saw for quick rough straight cutting.

    Without getting too far off topic. You mentioned 12" hacksaw and feel comfortable with it. I also use that alot for making fixtures etc out of aluminum, but was never all that crazy about the quality of cut I was getting...until I discovered the high tension hacksaw. Night and day difference in quality of cut. Nice and straight, much less blade wobble. I got rid of the hacksaw that you hand tighten the blade with a wing nut.

    David
     
  27. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User

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    Thanks David you have confirmed my thoughts!

    Kindest Regards

    Christopher
     
  28. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Cigar tubes.

    If anyone is still smoking cigars outside of Cuba they're clearly not smoking the kind that come in aluminum or glass tubes. This is tragic, because the venerable aluminum cigar tube was an integral part of many a craft project, including various pocket-sized signal generators meant for use in electronics. And you cannot find a cigar box these days: neither the wood kind nor the cardboard variety seem to exist.. And what of the now-vanished bounty of tobacco cans?

    M Kinsler
    outraged
     
  29. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    I believe Spam still comes in cans, and doesn't have a health warning (although you might cut a finger on the edge of it....)
     
  30. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Oh my gosh Harold that brings back memories. There was a time when I was young my mother would have to be very frugal with her budget while dad was on trials at sea. And occasionally she would buy Spam and I think something called Klik. She would sometimes spoof it up a bit with pinapple slices and bake it in the oven..

    And I remember those wind up keys that were used to decapitate the can..and leave that nice razor edge.

    Thanks for the memories.

    David
     
  31. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Hi -

    You can still find cigar boxes at stores that sell cigars in our area. Some are quite decorative and in a variety of materials. In fact, the wooden ones are quite desirable, with a large following of crafters who repurpose them very imaginatively. Do a quick search on wooden cigar box crafts to get an idea why you might not see them around.

    Not so sure I'd want to try to collect - or repurpose - Spam cans, or even the canned ham cans. :eek:

    Pat
     
  32. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

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    I buy my blades by the gross, often they come in a plastic tube, I'll just undo one bundle at a time, I generally use #2 blades for brass, blade sizes run from 6/0 to 6 finest to coarsest.

    The wood tubes are clock movement stands, Bergeon make them, part #30045
     
  33. Troy Livingston

    Troy Livingston Registered User
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    Thanks for the identification, I had always assumed that the gap in the middle of my set was due to a missing a 5th ring. It looks like I bought a complete set and found a bargain. I happily paid $10 for mine but would probably make my own if I had to pay the $110 price for a new set.
    The movement holders are nice and while I am in favor of buying good tools I do think these would be pretty low on my recommended tool list for someone just starting.
     

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