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Cutting 18 gauge silver sheet


#1

What does the group recommend as the best way to cut 18 gauge silver
sheet into fairly long, straight lengths without access to a large
machine cutter?

Thanks for the advice!

Sally


#2
What does the group recommend as the best way to cut 18 gauge
silver sheet into fairly long, straight lengths without access to a
large machine cutter? 

If you plan to saw these, try this: Tilt your saw forward as you cut,
to 45 degrees or more, so that more of the blade is in contact with
the slit. Make a good deep scratch line, look ahead of the saw as you
cut, and make sure to have good lighting. Cut just to the side of the
scratch, so you can still see it, but no edge, just the scratch. That
is more accurate than trying to cut down the center of the scratch.
If your cuts are really long, you will have to get a deeper- throated
saw.

More specs on the job would be helpful to those answering. Just how
long are you talking about?

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA
http://www.craftswomen.com/M’louBrubaker


#3

Hello Sally,

You ask a good question: " What does the group recommend as the best
way to cut 18 gauge silver sheet into fairly long, straight lengths
without access to a large machine cutter? "

How long and wide are these lengths (or strips?)? If they are longer
than twice the throat depth of your saw, that’s a REALLY good
question. (The deepest throat I’ve seen is 11 inches.) I have not
seen a saw with the blade oriented at right angles to the frame,
which might work, but I’ll bet many blades would be broken. If I had
a New Concept power saw, that would be a good idea.

I’ll be watching to see what wonderful ideas this group has,
Judy in Kansas


#4

Judy & Sally,

The deepest throat I've seen is 11 inches.) I have not seen a saw
with the blade oriented at right angles to the frame, which might
work, but I'll bet many blades would be broken.

Your instinct on twisting the saw blade is on target: Sharr Choate’s
book “Creative Gold- and Silversmithing” page 70:

"Long Strips of metal may be sawed by using the saw frame with a
rotated blade. Before inserting the blade in the bottom clamp,
the blade is twisted 90 degrees with a pair of flat-jawed pliers
(see Fig 50). The blade is removed, the opposite end is inserted
in the clamp, and the twisting action is repeated, but one should
be sure that the twist is the same on both ends." 

(no kidding :wink:

This was my first reference book, back in the 70’s. I generally like
it, but I have to wonder with her further recommendation, also page
70:

"Lubricants for the saw blade are not necessary... The only
lubricant should be saliva, used infrequently and in sparing
amounts." 

YUCK!

Jamie


#5

Not necessarily cutting, but one can get even strip of metal as
follows:

Cast an ingot like for a wire drawing; forge into flat strip (do not
worry too much if it is uneven ); anneal it and pass it through
groved rollers edgewise to even the edge; Anneal again and roll it
through flat rollers to obtain the strip. The exact size is achieved
by alternating edge rolling and flat rolling a little bit at a time.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#6

search nibblers at eastwood.com. your choice of hand, air, electric
nibblers at pretty reasonable prices. some metal loss but what’s the
important thing…to cut or to save?


#7
What does the group recommend as the best way to cut 18 gauge
silver sheet into fairly long, straight lengths without access to a
large machine cutter? " 

You have two options: Take it to a machine shop with a slitter or
buy one yourself. That’s the right tool for the job - a shear will
only cut as wide as the blade is, a slitter will cut endless lengths
to a given width

a quick Google:
http://www.sheetmetalequip.com/newequipment/slitter.htm

Your other option is to do it the homemade way, and you won’t get
perfect results like machinery will give. A jeweler’s saw will only
reach so far, and then you’re sunk if the cut is longer - you can of
course cut from each end and meet in the middle. Otherwise you can
use a jig saw or band saw and a fence (use tape on the surface of
the sheet…) The old fashioned way is to scribe a line and work
down it with a cold chisel - crude but effective.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#8

What does the group recommend as the best way to cut 18 gauge silver
sheet into fairly long, straight lengths without access to a large
machine cutter?

On one of my postings about tips on saw piercing I mentioned that I
use Vallorbe saw blades, well one of the reasons I use these fine
Swiss blades is that they are tempered to a high standard. Although
the cutting edges are of a brittle temper, the blank sections at
each end of the blade are of a lower temper to make them more
flexible at the area where the saw frame secures the blade. What has
this to do with cutting lengths of silver sheet you may well ask.
Well when I wish to saw pierce a length that is longer than my
deepest frame, which is 12 inches, I use the simple method of
slightly twisting the ends of the saw blade, so that the cutting edge
runs at about a 45 degree angle to the frame. I twist the saw blade
with with a pair of pliers while the blade is secured in a standard 4
inch deep saw frame. For 18 gauge, which I believe is 1.27mm. thick I
would use a No. 0. size blade and just twist the blade slightly off
true, evenly at each end so that the saw frame will clear the metal
when sawing. I am afraid this method is easier to show than explain.

Peace and good health to all
James Miller FIPG.


#9
What does the group recommend as the best way to cut 18 gauge
silver sheet into fairly long, straight lengths without access 

I can cut pieces a few inches long quickly on my big old paper cutter
(the kind with a wooden, not a plastic, base). I used unannealed
18-gauge brass (Nugold), which I think is a comparable hardness to
sterling silver. My paper cutter cuts well for about two inches –
then I flipped the piece over and cut in the same distance from the
other side. Then I curled the cut area down (or up) and continued
cutting until the cuts met in the middle. In a matter of seconds, I
have a straight cut piece of 18 gauge metal which is 5.7 inches long
(this just happened to be the width of the piece I was cutting).
Depending on how good your paper cutter is, you could probably make
longer cuts. Let us know!

Judy Bjorkman
Owego, NY USA


#10

Jamie- Spit is a great tool! I’ve used it for many years as a sawing
lubricant. My sweetie Tim and I both use spit to place platinum
solder pallions. And… as many a mother will tell you, that spit is
a great grooming and hair styling product when your kid’s hair is
sticking up. Yuk indeed. Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#11

Hi there No idea where I got this tip from, but the way to do this
(by hand) is to take an appropriate sized saw blade (3 teeth for
every 1 width of metal) and twist the ends 90 degrees so that it can
cut along the strip without the saw throat getting in the way.
Obviously, this will shatter the blade, but if you heat the ends up
first and then let them cool they anneal and are easy to bend. Use a
match, candle or lighter to heat a spot about 1cm from the end until
it glows, then let it air cool. Do the same to the other end and it
they should twist easily. I usually keep a few pre done in my saw
blade case so that they are ready to use.

If you want to be mechanical about it, you can use an electric fret
saw designed for woodwork. Put in a standard blade with as many teeth
as you can find (it is unlikely that you will find one with 3 for
every width of metal, but that is not a problem and if you can find
something for non ferrous or very hard woods this will do) and run
the strip through that. Keep a piece of wax on hand and regularly
touch it to the blade as this will both cool it and lubricate it, I
use the end of a candle. Coating the back in masking tape will help
prevent scratches. Wear eye protection. Gloves might not be a bad
idea either.

Chris
About to spend a week seeing how an English Wheel can be used to help
make fold formed bowls and experimenting with patinas - what fun.
collarsandcuffs.co.uk


#12

Hi James,

just twist the blade slightly off true, evenly at each end so that
the saw frame will clear the metal when sawing. 

I get it! I must also try this method when trying to pierce on a
metal sheet that is just a bit too big for my sawframe.

Incidentally, I have found a sawframe which has a lever tightening
mechanism rather that a wing nut. Really works. This is good news for
my arthritic thumbs.

Thanks and looking forward to reading "The Book"
Ruth.


#13
I sent this once, but am not sure it arrived. Here it is again.
What does the group recommend as the best way to cut 18 gauge
silver sheet into fairly long, straight lengths without access

I can cut pieces a few inches long quickly on my big old paper
cutter (the kind with a wooden, not a plastic, base). I used
unannealed 18-gauge brass (Nugold), which I think is a comparable
hardness to sterling silver. My paper cutter cuts well for about two
inches – then I flipped the piece over and cut the same distance in,
from the other end. Then I curled the cut area down (or up) and
continued cutting until the cuts met in the middle. In a matter of
seconds, I have a straight cut piece of 18 gauge metal which is 5.7
inches long (this just happened to be the size of the piece I was
cutting). Depending on how good your paper cutter is, you could
probably make longer cuts. Let us know!

Judy Bjorkman
Owego, NY USA


#14

Most sheet metal shops will have shears capable of cutting soft
metals to 16 gauge in lengths far greater than your needs.

Further, in my experience, the shop foreman will be sufficiently
interested in finding out what YOU do with metal that there will
likely no charge for making a few cuts.

Jim


#15

Jo,

Spit is a great tool! I've used it for many years as a sawing
lubricant. My sweetie Tim and I both use spit to place platinum
solder pallions. And... as many a mother will tell you, that spit
is a great grooming and hair styling product when your kid's hair
is sticking up. Yuk indeed. Have fun and make lots of jewelry. 

I should have put a little more thought into my response. I too use
spit in my craft. Nothing beats it for picking up a 2mm diamond with
my index finger and placing it in the setting. And of course, both
of my daughters had the occasional spit hair grooming or chocolate
removal from their cheeks.

As young adult women, I’m sure they’d cringe at the thought (because
they are not yet mothers). No offense intended!!

Jamie


#16

harborfreight.com - Throatless shear, item 38413-2VGA

Works great :slight_smile: