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Breath-powered chip remover


#1

Hi all. In sawing of any kind, but especially during intricate
piercing, getting the debris out of your line of sight is critical.
I’ve tried brushes and bulbs, but these are interruptive and
inelegant when you really have to pay attention. Just blowing with
breath is imprecise and tends to scatter stuff everywhere. I’ve tried
a couple of straws, held in the in mouth and blown when and where
necessary, but these get drooly and uncomfortable to hold. I know
there are powered blower possibilities, but I want to keep it simple.

It occurred to me that one of you geniuses out there might have
developed or know of some mouthpiece apparatus that would allow me to
precisely blow some debris away without stopping the operation or
losing my concentration, hopefully without discomfort or drooling. Am
I hoping for too much? Let’s see what the wisdom or Orchid has to
say! Thanks!

Allan, who will probably still drool occasionally
www.silvermason.com


#2
It occurred to me that one of you geniuses out there might have
developed or know of some mouthpiece apparatus that would allow me
to precisely blow some debris away without stopping the operation
or losing my concentration, hopefully without discomfort or
drooling. 

Not mouth blown, but on occasion with that situation, I’ve been
known to put my little torch’s tip in a third hand, with a larger tip
installed and just the oxygen turned on, and let the oxy stream do
the blowing. Not the cheapest, to be sure, but it was there. Since
getting a Lindsay air graver, I now use an extra air line from it’s
controller, with a larger size hypo needle on the end of the plastic
air line, which also is held in a third hand. (again, it’s there and
easy. there would be less obstructive ways to do it if I needed this
more. With the Lindsay air graver controller, I then have foot pedal
control over a jet of air, or can just turn up the idle control for a
constant stream. Doesn’t run down the oxygen tank, and the line and
needle are much less in the way that the whole little torch. I would
imagine you could do the same with an airline from a GRS controller
too, and the pulsed air might be even more effective. Don’t know, but
maybe…

However, most of the problem went away a while back, after reading a
post from our esteemed James Miller, who mentioned that he doesn’t
saw with the direction of cut going away from him, but rather
sideways. When that light bulb flickered on, I found that cutting
from the side, with an already clearer view of the saw cut, the side
orientation also helps light reflect from a scribe line on the
metal, so the saw dust no longer is as much an obstruction to seeing
the cut either. Not always possible with all jobs, but often it is.
Try it. Might work for you.

Peter Rowe


#3
.. In sawing of any kind, but especially during intricate
piercing, getting the debris out of your line of sight is critical.

i sometimes use to use a fish filter pump, hook the hose up with a
clamp and wire, also have a small hose from the dust collector,
next to the bench pin, goes under or over,dave


#4
there are powered blower possibilities, but I want to keep it
simple. 

Allan, Stewart-MacDonald (musical instrument making supplies) makes a
pearl cutting jig for cutting the MOP decorations on guitars. I
ordered the jig only (stewmac.com)

for about $10 but seems to me you could attach a piece of metal
tubing to your bench aimed at where your saw blade is cutting the
material. Attach a piece of flexible plastic tubing (that fits the
metal tube tightly) and is long enough to comfortable hold the other
end in your mouth. Now you can blow as needed, hard or gently and
because the metal tube is fixed in place, you will clean off the
correct area. I can’t guarantee this will be without discomfort or
drooling but it is simple.

jeanette


#5

I use a fish tank blower, I would set it up so it blows sideways, it
is surprising how far the dust goes if you do a lot.

regards Tim Blades.


#6
However, most of the problem went away a while back, after reading
a post from our esteemed James Miller, who mentioned that he
doesn't saw with the direction of cut going away from him, but
rather sideways. When that light bulb flickered on, I found that
cutting from the side, with an already clearer view of the saw cut,
the side orientation also helps light reflect from a scribe line on
the metal, so the saw dust no longer is as much an obstruction to
seeing the cut either. 

In a similar manner of thinking, I have been experimenting with
sawing towards myself, as we do with band saws, the Knew Concept
electric jewelers’ saw, as well as the manual (hand powered)
blanking die saw made by Lee Marshall/Knew Concept. It’s a little
difficult to change nearly 40 years of habit, but it really seems
like it makes more sense…

Cynthia Eid
http://www.cynthiaeid.com/


#7

Thanks Peter! Now I know why I am always turning my work sideways! I
guess it is one of those things you just evolve into and don’t notice
"Why". I have noticed myself sawing sideways, and tried to correct
it, but now I am guessing the better view was why I started sawing
sideways. Now I’ll know it has a purpose!

Theresa


#8

Could you not make a ring to fit your index finger, which is pointed
right at your work anyway, and attach a plastic hose thru which you
blow?


#9

It seems to me that it would be easy to set up one of the small
plastic accordion foot bellows, such as is used in filling air
mattresses and beach balls, under the bench with a plastic tube
snaked up the bench and aimed at the saw location. A quick push with
the foot would blow away any debris.


#10

Thanks, all, for this interesting thread! I’ve often dealt with the
same problem, as I like to pierce wee, precise designs. (And I got a
laugh out of the drool issues.)

Peter, how does one saw sideways? Is the entire saw held at 90
degrees to the forearm, or do you just alter the saw to have the
blade perpendicular to the frame (as can be done with a coping saw)?
I’ve seen James Miller’s incredible work, so obviously this technique
is going great for him, but I don’t know if I could do it to save my
life.

Cheers,

Jessee Smith
Cincinnati, OH
www.silverspotstudio.com


#11

May I first answer the question put by Jessee Smith to Peter re saw
piercing. As Peter said earlier I suggested in an earlier posting on
saw piercing, that I hold the saw frame at a90 degrees angleto my
sight line for most of the time while piercing, obviously this angle
is not critical as I tend to hold the saw frame at various angles
between 45 and 90 degreesto suit the job, but unless I am just
cutting a wire held across the bench pin, I rarely use a saw frame
cutting directly away from my face… I was taught that this was one
of the reasons why thebench pin was the size and shape it is,
bevelled side for filing and the flat side for piercing and a width
of only 3 inchesto enable the saw frame to be used sideways.The
jewellers saw frame is avery adaptabletool when you get used to it’s
capabilities. When I am cutting out shapes from thicker metals, that
are to to be carved or filed as higher relief patterns, I can saw
pierce holding the blade at angles, giving me a bevelled edge to
whatever I am piercing, this methodcuts down on filing times after
saw piercing. When piercing I may change the angle of the blade many
times per minute, which is why I prefer a hand saw frame to a
mechanical saw frame although I am sure that those mechanical saw
frames have their place I am too old to change my ways now. Remember
also when saw piercing that the blade requires little or no forward
pressure when cutting as the downward stroke cuts the metal. Also I
lubricate the blade downit’s bladeback and not onit’s teeth, this
stops the blade clogging with lubricant and dust, I still use my old
tried and tested method of using a wax candle as the lubricant.

If Hanuman will kindly post this attached photo, it shows one of my
more complicated piercings, on a cone shaped design,to my knowledge
this type of piercing can only be achieved economically by hand saw
piercing with a saw frame and some skill and patience.

The cone was 8 inches tall and made of 18ct gold, theactual labour
time for me on thiscone was 24 hours and that included drawing,
engraving the outline pattern for piercing,finally piercing and
filing,it was part of the job that is shown on my Orchid Gallery,
titled Rock Crystal
Bowls.

Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding this or any of my
work and I will try and answer clearly.

Peace and good health to all.
James Miller FIPG.


#12
Could you not make a ring to fit your index finger, which is
pointed right at your work anyway, and attach a plastic hose thru
which you blow? 

I wasn’t originally going to respond to this inquiry (due to slight
embarrassment), but when I saw this response, I couldn’t resist. I
tried exactly this solution several years ago. However, no matter
what I tried, I always ended up with moisture in the tube (and
spraying onto the work surface). At first I thought it was just drool
(hence the embarrassment), but ultimately I think there was a
condensation factor at play. I hope someone solves this question,
because I still like the idea.

Jamie


#13
Not mouth blown, but on occasion with that situation, I've been
known to put my little torch's tip in a third hand, with a larger
tip installed and just the oxygen turned on, and let the oxy stream
do the blowing. Not the cheapest, to be sure, but it was there.
Since getting a Lindsay air graver, I now use an extra air line
from it's controller, with a larger size hypo needle on the end of
the plastic air line, which also is held in a third hand. I then
have foot pedal control over a jet of air, or can just turn up the
idle control for a constant stream. 

One advantage of this, having a constant stream of air on the blade
is its cooling action. Essentially you are flood cooling the piece
with air helping with the heat dissapation. One process in the
machining industry that has gaind a lot of support is minimal
quantity lubrication (MQL), it is a near dry lubrication technique
that utilizes an atomizer of sorts to incrimentally add in droplets
of coolant (oil) to the operation.

Granted there are many other factors with this process, tooling,
chip load, heat removed in the chip, material, etc…etc…, but for
piercing, this could be a great avenue for someone to persue that
does a ton of sawing. It could elminate the usage of any standard
lubricants used for sawing today.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#14
At first I thought it was just drool (hence the embarrassment), but
ultimately I think there was a condensation factor at play. 

Definitely condensation at play. When our cells respire, they
produce carbon dioxide and water as waste products, both of which are
breathed out by the lungs. That’s why we can see the water vapour on
a cold winter’s day when we breathe out. Breathing through a tube
will produce condensation, but the compressed air idea sounds like a
good one if you already have a source of it running to your bench.

Helen
UK


#15

If it wasn’t for Mr. Miller’s descriptions and advice on sawing, I
would have quit before I started. In my first class (a metalsmithing
1 level at a local arts center), I started our first sawing exercise
and was sawing along happily on the pattern given, until my
instructor came along and told me I was holding the saw incorrectly,
etc., then I started breaking blades. Well, at home I sawed away
happily, unbeknownst to me, the way Mr. Miller described. Got so
frustrated at sawing in class, per my teacher’s instructions on how
to hold the blade, that I just stopped doing any sawing in class,
always found something else to do. Did all my sawing at home, on a
little bench pin at an old wood kitchen table. I’m fine on my own and
do it pretty much the way Mr. Miller describes, except I rarely wax
my blade, and when I do, only the back. I can hardly wait for Mr.
Miller’s book to be published! I hope there are some descriptions in
it of his working methods!


#16

I don’t think you’ll get past the problem of saliva exiting your
mouth if you’re blowing frequently/continuously. If you want to use a
mouth powered air blower you’d probably have to install a spit trap
inline somewhere. You won’t realize the saliva is leaving your mouth
because it is body temperature and you won’t feel it.

Mike DeBurgh GJG
Henderson, NV


#17

Today as I was doing some piercing and I either blew the chips away
or wiped them with my finger as I have over 30 years of making
jewelry and I just wondered why I am so satisfied just doing it that
way while thinking about this thread. Piercing for me is such a
simple pleasurable process. I can saw pretty fast and I doubt
powered chip removal would increase my productivity significantly.
The rhythm of sawing and stopping to clear chips and then sawing some
more allows me to pay the amount of attention and focus to exactly
how precise I need to be to achieve the results I want. Does removing
the chips faster allow the same precise control? Seems to me with
some processes, increasing speed does not increase accuracy. Sawing
faster usually results in me having to do more filing.

Richard Hart G.G.
Jewelers Gallery
Denver


#18

James Miller may respond himself.

But if I understood correctly James’ publisher did not think that his
notes on his work were not sufficiently interesting to be published.
How sad.

Perhaps if there is enough interest James might be convinced to self
publish his working notes. It would be a great loss if his notes were
not made available.

KPK


#19
Peter, how does one saw sideways? Is the entire saw held at 90
degrees to the forearm, or do you just alter the saw to have the
blade perpendicular to the frame (as can be done with a coping
saw)? 

Sorry for the delay responding. I was enjoying the SNAG convention
in Philly…

As James also says in a reply, this is not complex. No modification
to the blade. Just hold the saw frame so your not cutting away from
your line of sight. Whether you hold the saw frame sideways in your
hand, or just point your whole hand to the side, or some combination,
is a matter of choice and comfort. Just saw from right to left (if
you’re right handed), rather than from front to back. You can still
adjust the exact direction and angle of the blade same as you’d
otherwise do, as needed. it just gets the frame itself, and the
blade, out of the way of your view of what’s happening. Try it.
You’ll figure out quickly enough how to make it work best for you. No
hard and fast rules here. More like discarding the traditional hard
and fast rule that you have to saw away from you.

If you want even more variety of experience, try it the way some
folks in Asia, India, Thailand, etc do. Without benefit of a nice sit
down work bench, some of those workers are sawing much closer to the
floor, on only slightly raised work surfaces. No clearance for a saw
frame under the work. So the frame can be held delicately, almost
like a pencil, with the saw blade installed upside down from the way
we usually do it, and held above the work. The saw cuts on the
downward stroke, still, but the saw frame is above the work. The
spring of the frame used this way tends to loosen tension on the
blade with each stroke, rather than the reverse, so a slightly more
gentle touch may be needed, but it works just fine for them. Sitting
cross legged on the floor with a low table/work surface, sawing
away… In this method, the work is held much below eye level, and
you’re looking down on your work. Different, but works fine for
those people doing it this way.

Bottom line? Feel free to break the rules and do whatever works best
for you. Don’t assume that conventions and the way you were taught
are always correct for all situations. They may be the best way to do
most things, for most people, most of the time. Or they may simply be
conventions used “just because”, open to individual variations and
improvements.

Peter


#20

Richard,

Does removing the chips faster allow the same precise control?
Seems to me with some processes, increasing speed does not
increase accuracy. Sawing faster usually results in me having to do
more filing.

I remember you saying something similar a couple of years ago in a
thread about stone setting and the story of the guy who came in,
refused to learn cutting the bearings with a file instead of tearing
in with a bur. I think about you every time I set a stone, which gets
a bearing cut with files.

Thanks Richard, it was a bit of wisdom well remembered.

Nel Bringsjord
GIA Diamonds, AJP
Safety Harbor, FL