Cutting rings with a flex shaft
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Joined: June 6, 2019
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Cutting rings with a flex shaft
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Posted on Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:24 pm
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Have anyone ever tried out cutting rings with a flex shaft? What is your setup/support?
For those who are wondering, the flex shaft is that hand held motor rotary tool that is quite useful a lot maille and metal artisan related activities:


Right now I'm using a jeweler's saw, and while its working pretty well, its still very work intensive and prone to errors every now and then. The hardest part is getting just the proper support for cutting without screwing up. And I guess while a flex shaft could work nicely, the biggest problem would be the support as well.

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Posted on Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:43 pm
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There was an old system designed to work with a flex shaft rotary tool for jewelers, it was called the jump ringer. PITA to use and didn't really have the torque to work well with standard sizes and ferrous metal.

One of the members here makes a cutter that's much better, you can check it out at https://www.ringinator.com/

I believe TRL still also sells blades and parts to setup your own cutter using a drillpress, mill or lathe.


www.mailletec.com

Y'know, that might just be crazy enough to work!

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Posted on Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:10 pm
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Thanks, I'll look into that, unfortunately I don't the financial condition to buy in USD and import.
I saw something like the jump ringer before, don't know if something like that is available locally, and even then it could be pretty pricey as well.

I guess thing would be to make something similar to that jump ringer support for the cutter.
I did my own support for cutting with a jeweler's saw and even then its pretty troublesome every now and then.

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Posted on Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:36 am
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Perhaps I should change the topic (or make a new one), asking about cutting supports, for the flex shaft or jeweler's saw.
And speaking of which, I tried cutting a steel coil the other day and failed miserably, the saw barely cuts 1 ring before going blind.

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Posted on Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:42 am
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Gfurst wrote:
Perhaps I should change the topic (or make a new one), asking about cutting supports, for the flex shaft or jeweler's saw.
And speaking of which, I tried cutting a steel coil the other day and failed miserably, the saw barely cuts 1 ring before going blind.


Use cutting lubricant.
Even cooking oil will work better than cutting dry.



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Posted on Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:39 pm
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Daemon_Lotos wrote:

Use cutting lubricant.
Even cooking oil will work better than cutting dry.

I do use vegetable wax, going to buy bee's wax when I get the chance (supposedly the proper thing for this). Still it just doesn't work, the saw must be of a soft material, or perhaps regular steel itself, it works wonders for the softer stuff but not for steel coil.

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Posted on Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:16 pm
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That sounds like poor quality saw blades to me, or perhaps you are trying to cut too fast?

You should be able to cut at least a few cm of coil per blade if you go slowly and carefully.

It's still not worth it in my opinion though.

As for the support needed I find 2 straight pieces of angle iron bolted firmly to your work surface to be adequate. Be sure that they have a parallel gap to hold the coil and grip just tightly enough to keep it from moving.


www.mailletec.com

Y'know, that might just be crazy enough to work!

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Posted on Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:38 pm
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lorenzo wrote:

You should be able to cut at least a few cm of coil per blade if you go slowly and carefully.
It's still not worth it in my opinion though.

Yeah, I can't say per the quality of the saws, but they just not worth it, for cutting steel I would need something harder like higher grade SS or titanium. They work fine for anything softer though.


lorenzo wrote:

As for the support needed I find 2 straight pieces of angle iron bolted firmly to your work surface to be adequate. Be sure that they have a parallel gap to hold the coil and grip just tightly enough to keep it from moving.

Could you perhaps share some picture for to see this? Maybe get a whole thread specifically for that, since I'm sure many designs will come to mind.
I want to make some new pieces next month, I'll take some pictures and share mine as well.

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Posted on Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:19 pm
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There are already many threads, pictures and articles on this site describing v-block or angle iron guides for saw cutting.

Here are links to some in the gallery to get you started in your research.

https://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=948

https://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=1549

https://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=5772

https://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=9102

https://www.mailleartisans.org/gallery/gallerydisplay.php?key=9426


www.mailletec.com

Y'know, that might just be crazy enough to work!

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Posted on Fri Jan 10, 2020 2:37 am
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Well, maybe it would be best to start a new thread, but since the forum is pretty slow already I don't see much point. Letme know what you guys prefer, but:
On regards with the support topic, let me share what I already use, this is of course best for working with a jeweler's saw.


First I got these templates, they work pretty well, but you can't get the hole precisely for all needs, so depending on what coil size I use they end up loose ( I have coils ID from 2.5mm up to 6mm in 0.5 steps). These will still work alright for the larger ID ones, since its hard for them to slip, but even then its a pain in the ass when you get close to the coil's end.


Next I worked on this concept, the idea being that you have a stopper both above and below, and that you saw from the inside out. This technique works better or thin wires and smaller ID, since its harder to accidentally slip. But it also means I can only make coils a certain size (it has to be precise to fit), and that I always need to unscrew the saw, adding in work and time. Having the upper limit means I can rely fully on the piece to support the coil and use both hands on the saw, its a bit more work to cut them all at once but makes for a much cleaner cut.

My next idea is something like the ring mailer, a V shaped cut in the wood for the coil to rest horizontally, something that could work both for a rotary saw as the hand held one. And in all cases I tend to use masking tape to wrap around the coil to avoid them dangling and twisting when nearly cut.

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Posted on Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:33 pm
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The masking tape is probably a bad idea, the adhesive will clog the saw teeth and shorten the blade life, the paper has abrasive mineral fillers that cause extra wear. Try running beeswax over the coil instead, it should help stick them together and is a good lubricant as well.

This website isn't just a forum, it's meant to be a repository of knowledge from all the members. With that in mind we usually encourage members to submit pictures and techniques to the appropriate section of the library. Please consider doing that too.


www.mailletec.com

Y'know, that might just be crazy enough to work!

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Posted on Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:47 pm
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lorenzo wrote:
The masking tape is probably a bad idea, the adhesive will clog the saw teeth and shorten the blade life, the paper has abrasive mineral fillers that cause extra wear. Try running beeswax over the coil instead, it should help stick them together and is a good lubricant as well.

This website isn't just a forum, it's meant to be a repository of knowledge from all the members. With that in mind we usually encourage members to submit pictures and techniques to the appropriate section of the library. Please consider doing that too.


Heck, any lubricant is good. Cooking oil works, even!

If you have a medium that transports away debris and heat, rings Don’t even need to Dangle!


Total Nerd: MScDS, Mailler, Gamer.

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Posted on Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:38 pm
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lorenzo wrote:
The masking tape is probably a bad idea, the adhesive will clog the saw teeth and shorten the blade life, the paper has abrasive mineral fillers that cause extra wear. Try running beeswax over the coil instead, it should help stick them together and is a good lubricant as well.

I beg to differ, though this might be a reflect on my inadequate supports, without the tape the ring may start to bend, break or get stuck, while keeping it in place ensures for a clean cut. I can't remember where I saw this but it was a recommendation for cutting with jeweler's saw. I do use lubricant too, though regular vegetable wax or even my own face's oil, but I aim to buy the bee wax when I can.

This raises another question too, about maintaining these thin blades, the masking tape does leave some glue and debris on the tape and rings, I wonder if there is any good way to clean or sharpen them as they start to go blind. On that same matter, I wonder what the rotary saws life spam is like.

I looking to buy the flex shaft next week, along with some extra tools, I don't think there is anything like a jumpringer available locally. I'll then start the project on a new support to work with it.

edit: just found one guide that uses the masking tape idea, as well as cutting from inside out, just to get a better hint of how it works
http://daisychaindesignsjewellery.blogspot.com/2010/04/tutorial-tuesday-cutting-jump-rings.html

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Posted on Thu Jan 16, 2020 7:47 pm
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Alright I purchased the flex shaft along with a bunch of new tools for my bench (not really a bench or workshop since I'm very limited in space atm).

Now to the challenge of making the wood support for it, I still have some wood scrap pieces similar to the ones from the other support I've made. I'm thinking of making something similar to the "jump ringer" kind of thing, a V cut on the lower piece with a top to hold the coil in place, butterfly screws to close the thing into place.

The question now is, how do I go about cutting this thing properly?
The V cut isn't that hard to do with jewelry saw, or even a regular one, the problem though is making the cut while leaving the ends straight to stop the coil from moving. Another problem is leaving enough space for the buttlerfly screws and having the whole thing in one piece.

I'm also thinking of making something that could possibly double for me to use with the saw alone, in which case just the lower V block is needed, not the top, but a opening for the saw to come through at the coil stopper.
And finally the biggest issue I can think of, the cut at the top, where the saw goes through, needs to be perfectly aligned with the V cut at the bottom, otherwise the cut on the coil with just veer to the sides.

Tomorrow I'll be look at the stores nearby to check what kind of butterfly screws I can get, something thinner and longer would be best. Any hints you guys can think off?

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Posted on Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:57 pm
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There are a few threads on theringlord.org forum as well.
Flex shaft tools run much to fast and don't have enough torque for hard materials like Titanium, stee, stainless, etc.
The pepe jumpringer, koil Kutter and similar setups are comcercialy available, They are designed for fairly short coils.
A mandrel and slitting saw blade are parts you will need to find if your building your own.

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