The ultimate coil guide.
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Joined: January 29, 2005
Posts: 674
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Location: St. Paul, MN

The ultimate coil guide.
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Posted on Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:55 am
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After extreme frustration with Harmony's coil guide not working how I wanted it to, I commissioned this new design from a local machine shop. It is fully adjustable, and rock solid for use with frill presses, milling machines, and lathes.
This design is 95% completed and ready for sale. Taking pre-orders now! Expected retail price is $50-75, for one quality piece of craftsmanship that will last you forever. If there is high demand I may be able to get them made a lot cheaper.

Solid construction out of 1/4" thick machine steel. Unlike this prototype, the final one will be shiny.

Large plate is 6" by 6" right now, slight overkill, will be smaller in final version. The 4 holes are threaded for 5/16" bolts, this keeps everything aligned and secure in place. I simply hated those lag bolts on Harmony's guide. With these you tighten them once and never have to worry about them again.

Slit for blade is precision machine milled so it is in the exact center of the groove. Current design is for a 0.025" slit. This leaves ample room around the blade for lube and such, yet no room at all for rings to snag. That is another improvement over Harmony's design that simply drove me nuts. The blade would suck small rings in the groove, and snap after they got stuck in the plastic.

The grooves themselves are precision planed in there. So far I have tested several coil sizes from 20g 1/8" up to 12g 1/2" and it cuts all of them great. The bolts have enough room in between them to allow for up to a 2.5" OD coil, possibly larger.

The small plate.
Mirror images of the grooves milled into the larger plate, so everything lines up correctly. Holes are not threaded, so they allow smooth travel back and forth.
This is one part of the old design that caused much frustration. Then I thought, acrylic! voila. A thick chunk of clear acrylic will make the small plate in the final version. That way you can see the coil, see whats going on with rings, are they snagged, hung up, etc.
The little side chute is positioned right after the blade. So once the rings are cut and clear the blade they can pop right out the side. A big frustration of mine was that rings would jam inside the coil guide, many times leading to a broken blade. When you have to push a column of cut rings 2-3 inches past the blade, there is room for accidents. This is fixed by two ways in this design. After the blade, the grooves on each side enlarge drastically, allowing for lots of extra wiggle room for cut rings, in addition with the side chute, this expels rings very quickly.
The acrylic in the picture is real ugly, thats a proof of concept that I made using hand tools. The final one will be machined properly, or laser cut out of a larger sheet.

The sponges!
Yes, springs are a PITA to use, especially with small size coils, the more you compress them they harder it gets. Sponges solve that two ways, they are squishy and compressible down to real small sizes, yet bounce back and hold their shape. While at the same time providing shock absorption, and lubrication. Fill em up with a bit of oil and forget about em.

All of the above should reduce broken blades down to zero, and that's money saved that adds up fast.

Comments? Suggestions? Anyone notice anything I may have missed?


Make saw cut rings:

Joined: November 25, 2005
Posts: 624
Submissions: 51
Location: TX

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Posted on Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:04 am
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Sounds like an interesting concept, similar to the design I'm working on- mine is the whole machine though, not just a guide.

How do the rings exit through the side shoot? For example, in my design the blade is not parallel but perpendicular to the ground, so the side chute is underneath and gravity pulls them out. Does your machine actually expel the rings as you planned it too? And can they fall into a collection bucket or do they just shoot out? Where does the extra oil and metal shavings go?

Also, why would you want a sponge in there? I don't understand why the shock absorption is needed. What good does a sponge do other than maybe snag on the coil and trap the blade?


It's never too early to be listening to your car while you are sittin' in Rod Ryan!

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Joined: May 07, 2008
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Posted on Wed Nov 05, 2008 12:14 am
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Yep. That looks well done - Maybe I would like to make a similar set-up, but would prefer to have the sawblade arbor mounted twice. That should prevent tendencies for the arbor to swing; especially if the drill press was on the cheaper side of the price list...


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
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Joined: March 12, 2003
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Posted on Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:45 am
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the plates look like a std 'v' groove design, nice thinking!

the sponges, i have to say creative but filling them with oil will only give you a sticky mess. now filling them with somthing like CharCool, would work good. but keep in mind that a flowing coolent is better then a stagnent one. use a buket of collent above the project and place a collection bucket below and just use a pice of yarn to move the coolent from upper bucket to the top sponges. this should keep them full (to dripping)and keep the coolent flowing. keeping it cooler witch in turn will work better for you.

maille Code V2.0 T8.3 R6.4 Ep.f Fper Mfe.s Wsg$ Cpw$ G0.25-2.5 I0.5-30 N31.31 Pa Dacdjw Xa27g37w1 S94

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Posted on Wed Nov 05, 2008 6:51 pm
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Great looking design. I'm working on something similar, but finding good blades is really a problem here.

Just one suggestion: if you put a string through the coil, the rings will stay together instead of just falling on the ground.

Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae. [Of all these the Belgians are the bravest/strongest.]
- Gaius Iulius Caesar, De Bello Gallico I 3

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