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Old 08-16-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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Default scroll sawing metal

I am trying to make something for another hobby I have, blade making, I want to cut out some designs on an oval that I will use for a gaurd (make a tsuba). Is a scroll saw capable of cutting on a metal 1/8 of an inch? I have searched the net, but find nothing on metal cutting with a scroll saw. I have numberous patterns I would like to try on a circular piece of metal about 3 to 4 inches in circumference. I bought some jewelers saws, but the blades break on me and also are very very time consuming. I just wonder if a scroll saw is the way to go.

thanks for any advice.
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Old 08-17-2007, 03:59 AM   #2
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There are some SS blades designed for metal. I think Sloan's has some at www.sloanswoodshop.com . Use a tape on the metal, a blue painter's tape or clear packing tape for lubricant. I don't think oil will work well with a SS. There are other places with metal blades if you hunt on the internet. Maybe Mike (our resident blade expert) will have an idea. His website is www.mikesworkshop.com . Hope it goes well for you.

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Old 08-17-2007, 08:01 AM   #3
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It depends on the metal, Aluminum and Brass are alot easier to cut than Steel.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:21 AM   #4
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I have cut some very strong aluminum. A discarded STOP sign.
At first I thought regular baldes would work but they burnt out way too fast.
Most blade manufacturers make metal cutting blades.
I have two saws, one has a teflon table...not for metals, and the other an aluminum table.

I did not need cooling for the aluminum although it did get too hot to touch near the blade.

I have seen oil used for cooling before. A can with a hose was mounted over the saw and a valve set the flow rate. The motor was nowhere near the coolant so it wasn't a hazard.


A note to keep the purists happy....If I was to use a cooling system on metals I would not use that saw for cutting wood again Also the filings from the cuttings will contaminate wood and can damage bearings.

I would cut metal again, once I find the right project.
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Old 08-17-2007, 10:59 AM   #5
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Cutting a circle 3 inch in diameter inside and out (like the letter 'O' ) is very difficult and takes a lot of skill. Cutting metal is even harder since the feed rate is so much slower. Can be done, but takes practice.

The viewer's eye can be fooled by lots of twists and turns to hide where the cutting wasn't exactly on the line. But a geometric shape like a letter 'O' 3 inches in diameter, or even oval shaped, and the viewer's eye can pick out very minor cutting errors.

Best to think about using a jig, fixture, or template for such a cutting. Making a fixture for a cutting as you described could be difficult because of the thin metal and attaching the stock to the fixture. Can be done, but a tricky piece of engineering.

If you have a floor model drill press, there is a tool you can use for circle cutting up to 6 inch circles, inside or outside cuts. Somewhat dangerous tool to use, but it would cut soft metal 1/8 inch thick in a circle. Will take some getting use to, as it might cause the metal to warp due to heat. Never use this tool with hand held drill!

This tool will mangle your hand in a heart beat.

Go to amazon.com and search under home and garden for a: General 5B circle cutter. Many other vendors, but Amazon has a good graphic to look at.

Phil
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:46 AM   #6
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Here are some diamond blades for metal etc.

http://www.scrollit.com/Olson%20Scro...saw_blades.htm

They are a little expensive but ones that use them say they are cheaper in the long run because they last so much longer .
W.Y.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:37 PM   #7
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When using diamond blades, they recommend this:
When using Diamond Blades you must use a drip system to keep the blade wet while cutting.
I would be carefull using water on a scroll saw. I know that some have used it to cut glass.
Most metal cutting blade are not used for cutting 1/8" metal. Most are used to cut copper and aluminum.

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Old 08-29-2007, 10:50 PM   #8
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Hello wannabeswordsmith,
The only metal that I have cut on my scroll saw was thin sheet metal to make armor (My husband and I and many of our friends are into medieval fighting, but only use wooden swords). But I found that if you put it between two pieces of thin plywood the blades cut easier. Be sure to post a picture of your guard when you finish, it should be cool. My husband does a little balcksmithing, but nothing like swordsmithing. Good luck
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:11 AM   #9
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I am Walt0903 I have been doing some kind of scollsaw work for the last 20 years I would like to get some new Idea for Chirstmas if any body has some would you Please let me know
My email is walt_evonda@hotmail.com so if you have anyway let me know Walt
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:13 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=walt0903]I am Walt0903 I have been doing some kind of scollsaw work for the last 20 years I would like to get some new Idea for Chirstmas if any body has some would you Please let me know
My email is walt_evonda@hotmail.com so if you have anyway let me know Walt
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