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Blade problems

I’m coming back to jewelry after a hiatus to do an MFA in sculpture. That’s done and I’m seeing a new problem. My saw blades are stripping teeth. Any brand, the same. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I saw on bronze or sterling, they strip, by the dozens, in a few strokes. Have I forgotten something critical or is this usual for old saw blades that have been siting for several years but are not rusty?

Just make sure that the teeth of the blade are pointing downwards on the down-cutting action. Next is to use a lubricant such as a candle wax! The third is what is the number of teeth you are using? I use a #4/0 for my settings practices, other folks use either a #3/0 which could a problem as the teeth are larger and have more separation between them. Numbers #5/0 or even #6/0 are too fine for what you’re doing (I think).

Hoping that this sheds some light on your blade breakage!!

Although you may not be able to see rust I’d expect that these blades have all oxidized and are useless.

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Yup. Those problems were addressed, thanks.

Stripping? Are you sure they are not getting clogged up with metal?. I’ve stripped teeth . cutting titanium … lol. If you are cutting copper alloys and silver it is not likey you can “strip” the teeth off a blade. Blades don’t get old. If they were rusted, you’d see it. Get some decent blades and lube them and try again. You can’t be stripping blades unless you are using 5/0 blades on 16ga titanium … really.

Yup, stripped right off the blade. Not filled with material, just gone! Where I had not sawn I can still see the teeth. I’m nearsighted and can see extremely fine stuff, even without the #5 visor. They are gone and the blade is narrower there. I’ve never seen such a thing before, but since then I pulled out my older Swiss blades and the same result. It must simply be age corrosion that is not visible with the visor it 10x loupe. It must be going all the way through.

This is just unusual. I believe you 100% and am not arguing. Steel blades can’t break down with age if there is no visible corrosion, they just don’t. And, if you used your older Swiss blades with the same result … what the heck are you doing to them :). I’ve worn a few blades out, but never, ever stripped teeth off them … LOL. Even with titanium or harder stuff like steel you just wear the blades out fast. How do you strip teeth off a blade?? I believe you … I’m just perplexed. And curious what the heck is going on.

Me, too! I got new Rio Laser blades this week, and guess what. I stripped the first one. So, maybe my bronze was very hard. And the new stripping, though it took longer, was on 1/8” steel, with which I am unfamiliar. The bronze had been cast then sat for several years. The steel is annealed and a file bites it well. So…I’m switching to a hack saw for reclaiming casting buttons, and for cutting out the knife blades I was going to give for the holidays. My blades (even a #3 jeweler’s saw blade) are simply not up to the task I’m asking of them, but what gets me is that I used to use them for this work!

Ah, live and learn. I’ve been doing this for 50 years … and never stripped teeth off a blade. I’ve dulled a few quick on titanium or steel, but never actually stripped teeth off. I’d expect that maybe from the crap blades you get when you go cheap … but Rio Laser blades are pretty decent blades. I never wear blades out because I am too impatient and end up breaking them :slight_smile:

This sounds weird to me, too. I wear blades out; “Platinum” ones , the hardest ones, so if a file bites something, they will too.
Sometimes small blades clog with wax and metal and blades snap because they’re not digging in and I push hard enough to break them. I have never stripped teeth off of blades in my life (sawing since 1973). Cheapo blades on hard material, that makes sense. I don’t know about sawing with the pressure on the wrong stroke, and I worked with a Vietnamese guy who loaded upside down and sawed on the upstroke, which was the right stroke, in his situation.

I know. It IS weird. Ive never had this kind of trouble before, but as I learn more about metallurgy, I suspect this is something in the martensitizing or in the tempering process that has gone wrong, or some other metals were included in the alloy. If this were mild steel rather than 01 tool steel, no amount of heat treating and tempering would make it a lasting tool, and it seems like an underhanded way to sell more sawblades. Now, under light use, like sawing thin annealed silver, you’d probably not notice, and likely it would break rather than strip and you wouldn’t think much of it. I can literally feel them going away as the blade become smoother and cuts less. But upon close examination, the teeth are just gone. When I am able to use my hand again, I’ll take photos. This surgery (thumb joint replacement) takes about 3-4 months to use my hand properly again and I’m only 5 weeks out at this point.

A couple of questions for you. Apparently you are using O-1, is that correct? How did you heat treat it? O-1 is a fairly easy steel to use. I’m a custom knife maker and I use it regularly. Tell me about your process.
Gene

Using? I am trying to cut out a blade, from 1095 annealed steel. I intend to make my first knives. The files cut into it fine. The saw blade is cutting, slowly, as to be expected for 1/8” thick metal. But a dozen strokes with the new blades and the teeth are rubbed down. I checked it part way through last time, and they were still there but worn half way down. A dozen more strokes then they were as smooth as the untoothed ends. This tells me they are much softer than annealed 1095. The bronze buttons and sprues I had cut a few weeks before had probably age hardened in the 3 years of if sitting, although it seems rather fast for age hardening. I have not found data that says exactly how fast this reordering of the crystalline structure takes when various metals sit at room temperature.
I have been known to break blades on off days, but usually I can go a week on a blade- with sterling. I noticed when I bought a batch 3 years ago that they broke easier than usual. I figured it was because they were “Rio” blades and rather cheap. My Scies Swiss blades which had formerly been good began breaking easily after 3 years sitting. I recently bought cheap blades on Amazon (never do this) and they had all been tempered right to blue. Worthless. The last batch was the Laser blades from Rio. They cut better but I’m still getting teeth either worn to smoothness or breaking off. No way to tell which. Sadly, I have no way to have the metal analyzed. Is anyone is having changed blade or tool quality different from say, 5 years ago?

Even annealed 1095 can be pretty tough. Are you cutting a design in or just profiling the blade? If it’s just profiling you might try another type saw. That’s a lot to expect from a jewelers saw.
Gene