Ray, if you are not gonna go into the bracelet makin' business in a big way right now, why not simply find someone close to you who'd shear it for you? Gotta be someone from the forum close by.
You could even send the stock to me to have it sheared...
At least until you needed more'n 20 or 30 pieces cut at a time
P.S. None of these shears will stay sharp for long if you use them to cut stainlesss sheet. Guess how I know...
Stick with non-ferrous metals and you should never have to sharpen a new one during a lifetime.
Last edited by Brian Marshall; 09-12-2012 at 04:39 PM.
Thanks Brian and Rod.
Rods post made me remember something. I saw someplace years ago that was selling metal cutting blades for use in a power scroll saw. I have a nice variable speed delta scroll saw. If I could find blades for that for cutting my non ferrous metals I could cut out quite a lot fo them that way. For the life of me I can't remember which outfit had those for sale.
either of you guys have any experience with those or know who sells the metal cutting blades for scroll saws?
I've been looking around for that type of blade for several years with no luck. I hope someone has a source.
Originally Posted by Ray Cover
Ray, If you scroll saw is the clamp type rather than the pin type you can use jewelry saw blades. Fred
I have one of those blue shears and bought it for the very purpose of cutting out bracelet blanks from sterling and argentium sheet stock. It does the job.
When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear.
- Mark Twain
With my small Delta three-wheel ( giving a bigger throat than a two wheel) band saw ($140), fixed fast speed for cutting wood, with a 24 tooth per inch wood blade, you can cut silver and brass sheet all day long, with the ordinary wood blades. You may not cut nickel, stainless, or mild steel with a wood blade at wood speed.
With the very nice Micromark two wheel band saw at about $320, you can set the variable speed to low, and add the optional drip lubricant system (about $30) to cut the harder metals. They sell a diamond blade that will saw through hardened steel, marble, glass etc. I have the diamond blade and it is useful, but for chopping up, say, steel bars, I always just use 1/16inch thick grinder cut-off wheels, on my grinder, preferably a wheel with fiberglass sides, for safely. They are cheap, and very effective
So cut merrily away with wood blades at wood speed for your non ferrous metals.
If you wanted to cut through a thick chunk of, say, brass, maybe 2 inch diameter bar, it will do it at wood speed, but the blade will not last as long. For thick stock, you change the blade back to about 4 tpi 'skip tooth'... to help clear the chips, and it will do the job.
Tip for blade choice: thin non-ferrous sheet.. your blade needs to have more than one tooth in contact with the sheet thickness, ergo, fine tooth blade for thin sheet, but that same blade in thicker plate means the space between each tooth fills up with chips before it passes through the thick metal, hence does not bite into the thick sheet. You will experience this as having to push harder, and progress is slow. It is simply a chip clearance problem, so you change to a 'skip tooth' blade of about 4 to the inch.
If you do not have a small bandsaw, you will soon not be without it, it is a very useful and a not too pricey addition to your shop.
Last edited by rod; 09-13-2012 at 11:10 PM.
I've been teaching jewelry for 20 years at a community college. That first style bench shear was in the classroom when I started teaching there and it is still serving us very well. It does curl the metal a little when cutting, but a few taps on a steel bench plate with a rawhide mallet straighten that out easily.
Ray - I agree with the opinions provided and would add that like most things, you get what you pay for. The guillotine style would probably be best if you can get one for a price you are happy with.
I took jewelry making classes from the nearby School of Jewelry Art, and they had a "bench shear". It was adequate, did curl the metal a bit, and took some finesse to cut very straight. Not really searching the options, I bought an 8" model bench shear for under $100. The quality is decent. Forget where I got it from, but it was NOT Harbor Freight. May have been Enco?
I also have a Dremel mini table saw. With a carbide tooth blade, it cuts non ferrous metals smoothly and has a thin kerf. The limitation with that is the small table surface.
Ray check out woodward fab in Michigan. The Blue one on the left I purchased back when I was building the wifes first Harley and redon all the sheet metal work on it. Fine piece and since then have used it quite a bit for other engraved items. It as well has a rod or small bar cutting hole in it that is a handy item. The plate shear I got from my father when he closed the trophy shop a great piece for plate cutting, it as has its place. I use the other more often though. If you look at Woodward's cataloge online you will see they have a rotary shear as well. It works much like the beverly shear, check the gauge of material. I believe the beverly is more robust and more than twice the price. The company has quite a few metal cutting options, but being in Detroit they are geared to the auto customizing crowd. Hope some of this helps and tell Rachel good luck !