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Troubleshooting jumpringer and flexshaft

Hi all, I wondered if any of you might help me trouble shoot a
problem I have been having with my flexshaft recently. It is a
Foredom S series. I make lots of jump rings with my beloved
Jumpringer and have been doing so for years. I cut fine silver,
sterling and 18K gold rings in sizes from 22 guage up to 16 guage.
Recently I seem to be having a little trouble sawing through my
coils. I replaced my saw blade and had a little but not total
improvement. I am cutting through the rings. But I am feeling more
resistance than usual and even am having the blade get hung towards
the end of the coil, or raise itself up towards the end of the coil
just riding across the top of the rings. I use lots of Bur Life to
lubricate the saw and the coils. Since the new blade did not totally
remedy the issue, I was thinking that my flexshaft must need a
tune-up of some sort. Maybe just greasing the shaft itself might
help. My flexshaft is of course a vital tool to my workshop and I
don’t want to damage it in anyway. Can anyone diagnose my problem? Or
give me a refresher on flexshaft maintenance? I recall a man being
mentioned here before several times who repairs flexshafts.

Thanks for any advice you can share!-

Carrie Nunes


Your flexshaft may be fine. The blade being round & at the very end
of the coil when the blade guide touches the screw it may not reah
the coil or be deep enough to reach the coil (depending on the coil
size & the depth on the coil holder). If you have the groove side of
the coil holder plate up try with grooved side of coil holder plate
facing down so the coil can get closer to the surface.

We have Dave Arens a wizard at cutting jump rings who can help you.
He can be found in the archives.

Kenneth Singh

Maybe just greasing the shaft itself might help. 

carrie - umm, you have had the foredom for how many years without
lubricating it? turn off the computer, get your car keys & get in
the car. go to the nearest auto supply store & buy a can of the blue
lubricating stuff. go home & collect: your foredom wrenches, an old
shower curtain or plastic sheet, a pair of rubber or plastic gloves,
a soapy moist cleaning cloth & your digicam. lay the flexshaft on
the plastic sheet (if you can do this on a friend’s or neighbor’s
floor that would be perfect). as you disassemble the foredom take a
picture at each stage - there is no ‘flexshaft guardian angel’ who
puts those things back together. you may need to open only one end
of the flexible cover to access the cable. open the can of blue
stuff & with the gloves on scoop out a small amount. rub the blue
stuff up and down the cable, with a straight face, until it is
thinly & evenly spread. the key to this process is to do it alone &
keep from touching anything except the cable - that stuff will wind
up everywhere if not controlled. after you’ve finished roll up
everything with blue on it & discard. store the can in a ziploc bag.
while you have the end of the cable exposed check to see if it might
be worn down & not seating well enough to turn at the right speed.
happy rubbing - ive

Carrie, A couple more things to check may be the brushes in the motor
housing of the flexshaft. If they become badly worn, it will wreak
havok on the performance of the flexshaft. You may want to blow out
any carbon residue that has built up inside the motor. Also look at
the armature to make sure it isn’t worn out. Another thing to check
is the handpeice itself. If you notice it becoming unusually warm
during use, it may need lubricated or new bearings. Lastly, check the
footpedal. If it’s the old style that has the rheostat type setup,
you could try cleaning it up or replacing with a solid state type.

One last silly question…On the cutter for the jump ringer…The
blade isn’t bent is it?


Sometimes it is as simple as we forget things… If you are cutting
small jumprings …Are you remebering to turn over the guide plate
to raise the blade from cutting through the other side of your
rings.? There is a flat side and a grooved side… Th oval groove has
to be UP for small rings …OH about 3mm in 20 ga. or smaller…
Large rings…It doesn 't matter… either side of the plate will

From your text it seems to me that the problem is probably with your
Jump Ringer technique rather than with your flex shaft. I suggest
you do the following:

Insert a 3" long wooden dowel into your coils and cut them on the
dowels.(Use bamboo skewers and round toothpicks for really small
diameters.) The dowels need not be a tight fit but will support the

Wind your coils no longer than 3" so that there is a space on both
ends of your “V” groove.

If you haven’t lubricated your flex shaft in several months, it
would be a good idea to do it now using Foredom’s grease. While
you’re at it, check the set screw at the motor end of the shaft for

Ray Grossman
Ray Grossman Inc.
Manufacturers of Jump Ringer

Thank you for your post about my flexshaft problem. I just removed
the handpiece and pulled back the sheath, fully inspecting the shaft.
It seem well greased even though I have neglected it for years. Well
made tool! I added a very small amount of the Foredom grease, closed
it up and ran it for a while as they direct in the manual. (had to
pull up the manual on the Foredom site). They said to adjust the
shaft so that the shaft key tip extends 3/4" beyond the shaft. It
even says “Important” in the photo showing how to do it. Mine extends
a little further and I couldn’t figure out how to adjust it
otherwise. But I put the handpiece back on and it seems to be working
much better! Feels more solid is the only way I can describe it and
it cut through some coils with no resistance. I gave the whole
flexshaft a looking over and wipe down, removing any dust from the
motor casing. " I feel a little ashamed for deferring maintenance
for so long but I am pleased to have not found any noticeable wear on
the inside on the shaft. I hope that hearing my previous symptoms of
resistance in cutting and then resolving the problem will be of help
to someone else. If nothing else, a reminder to give your flexshaft a
good examination. And it is great to know that if you have lost your
manual that you can find old ones in PDF files on the Foredom site.

For those who brought up checking if my blade guide was on the
grooved side or not, the particular guide I was using is for the
round coils and there is not a grooved side in the blade guide like
there is for the oval or other shaped coils (unless they are making
them differently than when mine was made). But I understand what you
were suggesting. I have had that happen with my oval coils before and
the blade is not deep enough and gliding across the top of the coil
but not cutting. What I was experiencing before working on my
flexshaft was cutting through the majority of the coil and feeling
some light resistance that I had not felt before and getting a little
stuck at the end of the coil. So if you ever find this happening
with your own flexshaft, and you determine that your blade is not the
problem, try taking things apart and putting them back together. It
may very well tighten up the connection between the shaft and
handpiece giving you back your full torque. Thanks everyone! It
makes me feel like I have some very helpful shop mates that I can
call on with a question like this. -

Carrie Nunes