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Drill bit and saw blades sizes for tiny piercing?


#1

As I learn to do some intricate piercing I am stumped by what size
drill bit for the tiniest hole to saw fine lines, and then what size
saw blade and how do I file such tiny lines?

thank you all
brenda


#2

Hi Brenda,

The only real answer is to get a good set of calipers (digital by
preference) and measure your sawblades. Then find a drillbit just a
smidge larger. (Imperial smidge. Be careful you don’t use the old
French Smidgeaux, or the metric Smidgiter. They’re different, and
the cross calculations are painful.)

Silliness to the side, the teeny drills (at least in the US) are
sized by wire gage (Naturally, it’s not the same wire gage we use
for precious metal wire, so no joy there. The numbers don’t mean
anything to us beyond ‘this one’s bigger than that one’.) They’re
called ‘number drills’. You can pick them up in better hardware
stores, and there are online cross references. So if you know that
your sawblade is.019" at its thickest, you can tell that a #75 or
#76 drill would work.

(Wikipedia page here: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep802b ) The
inch/mm conversion chart is about half way down the page. (along with
much more than you ever wanted to know about how we ended up with
such a screwy system in the first place.)

The big trick is getting a good caliper so you can measure your
blades in the first place. Without that, none of the rest matters.
Unfortunately, there’s enough variation between sawblade sizes and
manufacturers that there’s no point in saying that a 2/0 blade is
any particular size, and calling that a standard. You need to
measure the blades in front of you, and go from there.

Regards,
Brian


#3

Brenda

I might suggest using a #6/0 saw blade for fine piercing of metal!
If you are using a very fine twist drill, one thing to remember
reduce the speed, as it might heat up, bind & grab the metal & break.
You might find the twist drill broken and still in the metal!!!

Ask Stuller or Rio for a set of their smallest twist drill set. In
this selection you will find the best twist drill suitable to you.
In my collection I have twist drills measuring in at 1.03mm’s to
1.59mm’s. Of course you can get even smaller, but for me to initiate
drill holes, the 1.03mm’s is safer for me!

Gerry!
https://ganoksin.com/blog/gerrylewy


#4

Measure the saw blade, front to back, with a micrometer or digital
calliper, choose a drill just a little bit thicker.

You shouldn’t need to file after using a piercing saw - if the saw
is the same width, or smaller, than the line, saw along the line. If
it’s thicker, saw on the line on the waste side.

Practice makes perfect.
Regards, Gary Wooding


#5

Brenda- Saw blades come in all sizes. Use the largest that will fit.
It can be very hard to cut a straight line with an 8/0 blade.

Escapement files are pretty small. Have you tried them? They can be
a bit costly.

When I can’t file, I use my saw blade as a file. It takes a little
practice. The blade must be very tight in the frame and I just
attack the spot with a very slight angle with my blade. Try it on
scrap a few times to get the hang of it.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#6

Hi Brenda,

As I learn to do some intricate piercing I am stumped by what size
drill bit for the tiniest hole to saw fine lines, and then what
size saw blade and how do I file such tiny lines? 

You might try using abrasive cord. It’s a string like card that has
abrasive on it.

It’s available in different grits.

Google abrasive cord to find suppliers.

Dave


#7

Rio Grande has a chart in the learning with Rio section of the web
page

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep802c


#8
I am stumped by what size drill bit for the tiniest hole to saw
fine lines, and then what size saw blade and how do I file such
tiny lines? 

Well Brenda, first you have to define “Tiny”. There are people who
do all sorts of things, and one of those things is to get obsessive
about tiny lacy piercing. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.

Personally, I’ve found that you reach a point where the human eye
really can’t see it anyway.

The smallest sawblade I stock, and I can do everything I want to do
with them, is 6/0. We have some #80 drillbits putaway, but the
smallest I use habitually is #72, which is pretty small.Filing?
Define small… I have some pint-sized needle files that get in
pretty close. Otherwise there is the age-old method of dragging the
blade itself across the edges, which is a skill in itself and easier
to do than describe. I do a lot with a tiny-pointed point graver,
too. Sometimes you just need to clean up the edge that’s showing,not
the entire depth.


#9

Brenda after you choose which blade is appropriate for your use you
can look at saw blades in the Rio Grande catalog. They give the
blade deminsions for each size which you can cross reference with
the diameter of the drill bits to see what the smallest one you can
use. Next you need to decide the thickness of the metal you will
pierce. Too large a blade with thin metal and the saw will grab. I
do lots of fairly intricate piercing on mostly 22 gauge sheet and
find that 4/0 is best for my uses. I can go to 24 gauge but it grabs
a little. If you are piercing 24 or thinner you might consider going
to a 5/0. I have pierced thousands of pieces and for me the 4/0 is
perfect also remember that the finner blades break easier. generally
I won’t file because even needle files won’t fit. The exception
being straignt surfaces that I can file easily. Hope this helps.
Dave


#10
pretty close. Otherwise there is the age-old method of dragging
the blade itself across the edges, which is a skill in itself and
easier to do than describe. 

As an aside, an old term for this is “fash,” “fashing"or"to fash.” To
do this may be described as “fashing about the cut.” Apropos of
nothing but the past!