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Joined: September 25, 2005
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Location: Victoria, Australia

Hand cutting tools
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Posted on Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:48 am
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Okay, the other day i bought myself some seemingly heavy duty end cutters, for cutting my 1mm stainless steel. they're trojan brand, sorta around 10", to start with they cut wonderfully, but now the cutting edge has been worn down. i guess they're just not designed for that gauge of stainless, but they didnt really specify a max size...

i was wondering, would wiping the edges with an oily rag or something prolong the tool, similar to a saw blade?


i hate coffee. with a passion

"It's curtains for you... Lacey, gently wafting curtains"

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Posted on Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:23 pm
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No, it won't. Use Knipex and you'll be fine for many, many thousands of cuts even through thicker stainless wire. I have a CoBolt Boltie (#7102200), and after around 30,000 rings now, it has dulled only a little bit. And the Knipex guys state, that their CoBolts are able to cut piano wire (full hard) up to 3.6mm, and soft wire up to 6mm in diameter. They did series tests up to 60,000 cuts on the same blade position with these wire types. If cutting just with the tip of the CoBolt (as we are used to do when cutting rings off coils), it is imho good and convenient to use for up to 2.5mm dia half hard stainless. And Knipex makes a similar end cutter variant (#6102200), if you prefer end cutters.

-ZiLi-


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.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: September 25, 2005
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Location: Victoria, Australia

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Posted on Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:00 pm
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hey, thanks a lot, i've seen those end bolties before, but not at a hardware store, i dont think. i'll have to ask the next time i go hunting

cheers!


i hate coffee. with a passion

"It's curtains for you... Lacey, gently wafting curtains"

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Location: Germany, Herxheim

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Posted on Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:24 pm
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Just to add: I had a CoBolt with a broken (not dulled) blade - and the Knipex guys replaced it for free without any hassle. So I came to talk with them about our hobby's cutting tool needs.

And I fitted a closing limiter bent of wire to the new one, so the blades do not close the whole way when cutting wire. See here. That is, because the main risk for boltie blade breakage (and the most of dulling wear) occurs, when the blades crash together after the wire is separated. And besides: if using the score'n'break method for separating the rings, cutting is much 'friendlier' to your hands as well as to your ears...

-ZiLi-


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.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: September 25, 2005
Posts: 52
Submissions: 0
Location: Victoria, Australia

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Posted on Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:29 pm
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yeah, thats right, i remember hearing that the cobolts had some sort of guarantee on them...

yeah, i definately prefer end cutters and the score and break method, my wrists just prefer the angle of end cutters.
again, thanks a lot


i hate coffee. with a passion

"It's curtains for you... Lacey, gently wafting curtains"

Joined: March 27, 2002
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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:59 am
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You're cutting stainless, and stainless eats cutters, as any machinist can tell you.

If you're making armor and a pinch-cut is okay, resort to 350mm size small bolt cutters. The jaws will be too big to fit inside the coil, but they don't have to; just angle the coil until the jaw tips bear. It also works with stretched coils, which is cool because then a different part of the cutter jaws is doing the cutting. I've never run into trouble with the jaws "crashing together" in the manner described. They've never visibly worn, either. I don't think...


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

Joined: September 25, 2005
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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:18 am
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yeah, i have some 12" mini bolties, but they're pretty crap and cheap, the jaws are loose and the cutting tips are sorta worn...

i'm wondering what stainless is on the mohs scale, and whether the problem is that stainless is a harder 'mineral'... on that note, i wonder if there are any cutters made from tungsten carbide or something like that?

anyway, i will definitely give the cobolts a try


i hate coffee. with a passion

"It's curtains for you... Lacey, gently wafting curtains"

Joined: May 07, 2008
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Location: Germany, Herxheim

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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:44 am
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About Stainless' crystallographic properties: The chromium in stainless steel is relatively hard in itself, AND it builds carbides with the carbon content of the steel, that are REALLY hard - and so the cause for the high wear. In fact the normally low carbon contents of stainless steels are nearly totally bound to the chromium because of the high affinity of chromium to carbon. And that is the cause, WHY Stainless steels normally have relatively low carbon contents; because all Chromium bound to carbon as carbide is not more available as rust inhibitor for the steel. And simply increasing the chromium content would increase the brittleness and decrease the toughness of the resulting steel - there is no SIMPLE way to circumvent this metallurgist's dilemma.

And btw: That is the cause, why stainless hardenable steels are often NOT corrosion resistant, as long as they are not yet hardened, or why during the last years steels with some content of niobium/tantal entered the market in more significant amounts. I could tell much more about properties of alloying elements (as a knife maker I learnt a bit about metallurgy), but that might be not of much interest here.

-ZiLi-


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.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: September 25, 2005
Posts: 52
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Location: Victoria, Australia

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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:49 am
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haha, i'm doing first year engineering, i would prolly know that already if i had paid any attention to the lectures Razz i seriously havent been to any where near as many as i should have, and the exam is a week away...

oh dear

and i'm really not one for studying


i hate coffee. with a passion

"It's curtains for you... Lacey, gently wafting curtains"

Joined: March 21, 2004
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Location: CT, USA

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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:52 pm
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I've been kinda lurking here for this entire thread and thought what the hey, I'll weigh in. I've been through 25+ pounds of 16G stainless at 3/8"ID and I've done it all with the same pair of bolties. When I bought them I had intended to modify them as a protype test model and so I wasn't going to pay for and ruin goot ones if my alterations didn't work out. Turns out the I didn't make the alterations after all but instead just attached a hinge that bolts to a bench top. This allows me to work the cutters (open and closed) with one hand, leaving the other to feed. Anyway, I paid $2.99 (USD) for el-cheap-o brand 18" bolties. the only thing I have to do is tighten up the head bolts every so often. I had fully expected it to fail shortly after commissioning it but it just keeps going and going. Maybe I just got lucky.


Hail to the king, baby.

Joined: September 25, 2005
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Location: Victoria, Australia

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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 12:58 pm
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yeah, i dunno, the ones i had were riveted, and i think that was the problem, i was getting serious overlappage on my jaws, and that was making it worse... the problem is that i dont want to use huge ass-bolties on my 1mm stainless, and its gonna be even more hassle on my .8mm, which was working pretty well with jewellery/electronics sized cutters, except for a bit of jaw wear over time that killed them...but still not as quickly as the 1mm is killing my current cutters


i hate coffee. with a passion

"It's curtains for you... Lacey, gently wafting curtains"

Joined: May 07, 2008
Posts: 3615
Submissions: 149
Location: Germany, Herxheim

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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:57 pm
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Tip for buying bolties: If you go to a place where you can choose between a couple of makes and types - it is good to have chosen the most expensive one - or the second-to-cheapest one. All others will be worse than these two. And that is my experience with all types of tools.

And about riveted vs. screwed bolties: Usually the best ones are riveted - simply because there is no point in having these adjustable. Snips are 'another animal' - here I prefer the screwed ones, but especially these that have locked or lockable nuts, so you do not have to readjust after every coil.

-ZiLi-


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.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: June 26, 2008
Posts: 308
Submissions: 2

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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:20 pm
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My favorite hand-cutting tools are my 10" chefs knife, and my 8/0 jewelers' saw... oh, wait, that's not what you meant... Razz

Joined: March 21, 2004
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Location: CT, USA

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Posted on Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:21 pm
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oh.. Ya i see your dilemna with thi small rings. At the moment I use a pair of 6" Klein high voltage cutters. they breeze through smaller stainless stuff but I HATE the nipple butts. I have about 100 pounds of various stainless wire and I'm reluctant to use it because I can seeem to get around the pinch cut look.


Hail to the king, baby.

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Posts: 3508
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Posted on Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:42 am
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The bolties' edges have to stay aligned, yes. Otherwise, they're about useless. You might try hitting the rivets with a hammer some and see if the jaws line up better.

Otherwise, get new ones and retire the out of alignment pair. I've been rather happier with nuts-and-bolts fasteners, as I can adjust or tighten. My 350mm bolties are assembled with nuts and bolts. The first thing that happened with them was they began to loosen up and the jaws were going out of alignment. I tightened the nuts up, at first too much, and the bolties stuck. Wups. I backed 'em all off a quarter turn, maybe less. That worked. Never have had a second's trouble with them since, and that was...holy moley, thirty years agone. Bolties are made by people who aren't necessarily expecting the user to make hundreds of cuts an hour with them, and adjustments should be expected. Have your wrench handy when you start.

In stainless, you absolutely must use enough tool, both in weaving -- use enough pliers -- and in cutting; again, use enough cutter. If that means the next size up, so be it. That's the tool that gets the job done.

There are tungsten carbide cutters, varying from middling to quite expensive. The middling-costly variety are tile cutters. There are some elaborate end cutters out there with replaceable tungsten carbide jaws. They tend, however, to be brittle. I've managed to bust corners off replaceable TC jaws before, and would prefer steel-jawed tools.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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