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Dense? Who me?


#1

Hi, gang,

I am sure that others can relate to this (at least I hope so)
but after 10 years of doing bench work to some degree or another,
I have had a revelation. Let me tell you, when it comes to buying
tools for the home, I never settle for less than the best, but
for some reason that attitude eludes me here at work. I had
ordered various replacements for worn out tools, drill bits, etc.
and decided for no particular reason to order Herkules saw blades
(with the rounded backs) rather than the cheapest ones I usually
buy. I have never been good at piercing or cutting sheet. My
lines were never straight, my curves were never smooth, I never
seemed to be able to stay on the correct side of the line, all of
which I chalked up to my eyesight. Today I used one of the new
saw blades for the first time to cut out a very small initial to
be used on a belly ring. Not only did I cut it out in record
time, but I had no filing to do once I finished cutting it. I
was amazed at the difference in the feel of the blades and the
resulting control that I had.

I almost felt too stupid to post this, but I figured, if only
one other person could benefit, it was worth feeling stupid.

Are there any other obvious benefits between tools that people
have ‘discovered’ and might want to share?

Sharon Z.


#2
       Are there any other obvious benefits between tools that
    people have 'discovered' and might want to share? 
Sharon, 

I have one.  For years I have been using a rawhide mallet
for metal working. Recently,  I took a course at the Revere
School in San Francisco and discovered the deadblow mallet
which I purchased from Frei & Borel Company also in San
Francisco.   Needless to say it has saved me a lot of
sanding and finish work. I love it.  Every time I use the
deadblow mallet I thank the Revere school.  You hear that
Alan! 

I also use the Herkules saw blades and they are worth every
penny. 

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs
http://www.jps.net/lcrawford


#3

Hi All! I recently decided to buy some “bargain” saw blades
at a local gem show. I started using those blades last week.
Unlike the previous story, mine was the total opposite. I,
who can usually cut a straight line; sometimes very quickly,
find that when I use those blades my cut is off to the far
right of the mark (I’ve been using mid-priced blades.) I
have used more than one blade, and found the same results, I
even changed saw frames (thinking that I may have, somehow?
bent my favorite saw frame) . . . the result was always the
same. I looked at the blade . . . it appears that the
"teeth" are bent in the direction in which it ends up
cutting. Strangest thing that has ever happened to me! Oh,
I also found that the blades broke very quickly. I am going
to buy the best that I can afford from now on.


#4

I find the Laser Blades through Rio Grande are wonderful–worth
every cent! I’m the master at breaking blades and they’re much
sharper and stronger than ordinary blades. Check them out!

Rebecca.


#5
 Are there any other obvious benefits between tools that
people have 'discovered' and might want to share? 

If you work with platinum, try the yellow tang files from
Fredrich Dick that Frei and Borel sells. At 25 to 35 dollars for
an otherwise ordinary half round or flat hand file, these seem
ridiculously costly. But they are cut more uniformly, and the
tooth structure is optimized for metals like platinum (instead of
for mild steel, as are most of our files). The result is a file
that I have to say is much, much easier and nicer to use, and
doesn’t clog up with metal anywhere near as quickly either, as
well as staying sharp much longer.

As to saw blade, do buy the best you can. but more than a few
of us no longer consider the hercules blades to be the best. I
find them way too brittle and easy to break, and no smoother
cutting than the antelope or lotus blades I like. The rio lazer
gold blades are also nice to use, though not especially long
lasting on harder metals.

Not all the newest and best are that, however. When Grobet came
out with what they called was a revolutionary new saw frame, I
jumped in and bought one. It’s nice to use, all right, except
that the thumb screws they use to adjust the frame and tighten
the blades in are these little plastic things, too small to grip
and easily broken off. Makes the frame worthless IMHO. Looked
nice though. I’ve ended up with similar opinions of a number of
"new and improved" saw frame designs, and somehow, always end up
with the old traditional standby, the german black handled
frames.

Again on the new side, after just once using Rio Burr Life over
a decade ago, I’ve never again gone back to bees wax for
lubrication of burrs or saw blades… Occasionally will still use
oil of wintergreen, but burr-life is still, I think, a better
product…

Peter Rowe


#6
        [snip] ...discovered the deadblow mallet which I
purchased from Frei & Borel Company also in San Francisco.  
Needless to say it has saved me a lot of sanding and finish
work. I love it.  Every time I use the deadblow mallet I thank
the Revere school.  You hear that Alan! 

Ok, now I really do feel dense! Linda, would you please mind
explaining for those of us who don’t have a Frei & Borel catalog
with us what a deadblow mallet is? All I can find in right now is
my Rio catalog (all the others are in storage) and of course
there’s nothing there called a “deadblow”.

I’m in the market for a new mallet, so I’m really interested!

Thanks in advance,

Kat Tanaka
kat@vincent-tanaka.com


#7
      Are there any other obvious benefits between tools that
people have 'discovered' and might want to share? 

I learned from Tim McCreight to use the largest tool possible
for the job. This is particularly true with files. I also
learned that a good file is well worth the investment. I also
wrap my sandpaper around a piece of wood lathe so that when I
sand I am using the same motion as when I file. I don’t know how
I managed to make anything before I took Tim’s workshop. - Deb


#8
with us what a deadblow mallet is? All I can find in right now is
my Rio catalog (all the others are in storage) and of course
there's nothing there called a "deadblow". 

this is a hammer with a hollow head, with a loose fill. lead
shot, sand or similar when you strike a blow this absorbs the
impact so there is no recoil. if anyone is doing heavy work NAPA
has them up to 20 pounds -)


#9

Kat: I hope I got this right, a deadblow mallet you can buy at
any good hardware supply place. Its a plastic mallet but the head
is filled with lead shot. It rattles when you shake it, but when
you strike a blow the shot keeps the head from bouncing back.
DAve

Kickass Websites for the Corporate World http://www.kickassdesign.com
Crystalguy Jewelry http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Recumbent Cyclist’s Advocacy Group
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/bent/rcag.html


#10

Basically, a dead blow hammer is usually molded out of some
tough plastic (head & handle are one integral part). The head is
partially filled with shot. When the swinging hammer strikes a
stationary object, the shot shifts to the bottom of the head and
absorbs most of the recoil. The hammers are available in several
weights, usually staring about 12 oz and increasing in 4 oz
increments. They’re available at most any store that sells
tools.

Because the head is made of a conforming plastic, they don’t
leave any marks on the item being struck (unless there are any
foreign objets imbedded in the face from previous uses). They can
replace rawhide mallets for most jobs.

Dave


#11
   explaining for those of us who don't have a Frei & Borel
catalog with us what a deadblow mallet is? All I can find in
right now is my Rio catalog (all the others are in storage) and
of course there's nothing there called a "deadblow". 

Kat,

A deadblow hammer is a nylon faced mallet that contains steel
shot inside the head that minimizes hammer bounce. In Rio Grande
it is called a “Power Head” Hammer. In the new catalog it is
on page 203 letter I and J.

I have a 12 oz deadblow which is a Swiss made mallet which I use
for bezels ring shanks etc. and it works great with no
distortion of the metal. Since I purchased it my rawhide mallet
is growing cob webs.

Rio’s smallest size is a 16 oz. If you want a larger variety or
a smaller hammer Frei Borel is your best bet they have five
different sizes, where as, Rio has two. There is a price
difference and Rio has the better price. But I don’t know if
they have a comparable product. Maybe some one else on Orchid
has experience with a Rio “Power Head” hammer and would be
willing to share their experience.

Again, the number for Frei & Borel is 1-800-772-3456.20

Hope this helps. Happy hammering!

Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs, Willits, CA
http://www.jps.net/lcrawford


#12

hi all ,

being largely self-taught, i’ve done a lot of dense stuff.

i couldn’t figure out how to use china white. no matter how
gently i heated the stuff up, it would just burn it never turned
liquid. genius that i am (when i use my brain), i finally tried
mixing with water. wow.

another favorite dummy trick of mine is soldering a hollow
bracelet with the opening pointed toward my chest. after
carefully dipping the bracelet in alcohol, it sputtered a few
fire balls in my lap.

i had a cheapy tungsten carbide draw plate that could really
screw wire passed thru it. for years i thought they were all
junk. four years ago i bought the high polished type. i really
enjoy that tool.

best regards,

geo fox


#13

I always instruct my students to move the saw frame straight up
and down and you should be able to saw using only two fingers to
move the saw - that usually means you have the right amount of
pressure. I have found great success with Gold Shark and
Antilope saw blades. I usually use no blade larger than a 4/0.
Laser Gold’s from Rio Grande always snapped as soon as I put the
blade to the metal. A good lubricant is always good to use. I
have found that total concentration is important and once you get
the rythm going it is very soothing to just saw away.

Iris in Baltimore


#14

(How did we get that subject title?) When you are sawing, there
is another frame involved; your frame of mind. You might want to
try to create a symbiosis between your mind and your body, so
that you achieve just the right rhythm for the task. One
possibility is to try deep, regular breathing, along with a form
of meditation, like a simple mantra. In other words, relax.

Good luck.
Frances Gross

P.S. I’m a retired psychologist (and I’m still using the
original batch of sawblades)

Visit me or “beam me up” at:
http://www.toast.net/~frangro/index.html


#15

On the broken saw blade issue…

Just rapidly went thru six 8/0 blades in a matter of minutes.
Realized I was breaking them because I was holding the piece in
my hand rather than supporting it on or against the bench pin.
It doesn’t take much pressure in any direction to break the
thinner blades. Improper support may be part of the equation in
some broken blade cases.

Just a thought (at 1:15 am).

Sharon Z.


#16

Dear Iris in Baltimore, thank you for reminding me how soothing
saw-piercing can be. In the hurley burley of production and
deadlines it’s all too easy to overlook the pleasures, the
"rhythm" of competent procedures. I’m most conscious of this when
I’m hand-engraving. There is a zen of engraving which can be
almost meditative … the lovely curl of metal that spirals up
from a well cut line, the way two cuts will meet perfectly in a
scroll… ah bliss. Thank you for reminding me why I’m a
jeweller.

Rex from Oz