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A few new/favourite tools

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escher7

Active Member

Posts: 696

Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:20 am

Location: Canada

Post Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:01 am

A few new/favourite tools

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The problem in drilling something as thin and hard as a hacksaw blade, which is what I use as my pick raw material is two-fold. Firstly' because the blades are so hard it is difficult trying to get an accurate hole exactly where you want it. I center-punch the holes which, because of the hardness, destroys the punch tip every hole or two forcing me to resharpen. Even then, if I try to use a standard drill it will often wander off center, so a center drill is best to start the hole. They are much thicker and remain accurate because they don't bend. Then I enlarge the hole to the correct size with a standard drill.
The second problem is holding the blade properly. You cannot put the thin material in a drill vise without a backing as it will bend and flex so that the hole is slanted or the break-through will otherwise screw up the hole. I use a 5" X 5", half-inch piece of aluminum on the drill table which works fine except trying to clamp the piece down is awkward. The solution is a hold-down or toggle clamp which applies a 200 lb. force directly down on the pick, allowing accurate drilling.




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Every craftsman uses the same basic tools: vise, Dremel, drill press etc., but we all find unique, often hard-to-get products that are particular to our techniques.

A long while back when I was making knives I obtained some jeweller's saw blades from a local company that is no longer in business. When I started to run low it became apparent that the manufacturer (Herkules) no longer offers this particular blade. Most jewellers use a round blade but these are flat and were used by die-sinkers because they cut straighter and are so thin that you can actually cut a thin bolt for example, without having to clean up the threads.
After several hours on the net I found a company called Artco (American Rotary Tools Company) that had some remaining stock. They had only one 12 blade package of the 42.212 size I had been using, but the next size down was nearly the same, (.0086" X .1060") so I ordered three more packages.
http://www.artcotools.com/herkules-flat-sawblades.html

I often use aluminum or brass parts on my picks and have been less than satisfied with securing these parts with epoxy or crazy glue. Fortunately I was able to find a low temperature solder (http://www.gesswein.com/p-3561-silver-s ... =&perpage=) that comes in a pre-mixed paste and is 5 times stronger than ordinary solder. It melts at 475 degrees F which means that a quick soldering job with a pencil torch will not over-heat the pick and affect the temper. A test showed that it works perfectly:
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jones

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Posts: 326

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:40 pm

Location: AZ, USA

Post Sat Aug 23, 2014 2:54 am

Re: A few new/favourite tools

Have you tried using a nail for your center punch? They are fairly hard and disposable too
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escher7

Active Member

Posts: 696

Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:20 am

Location: Canada

Post Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:56 am

Re: A few new/favourite tools

[quote="jones"]Have you tried using a nail for your center punch? They are fairly hard and disposable too[/q

Probably too soft and they would have to be dressed like a center punch anyway. I have a slow water cooled grinder beside the drill press so it is pretty easy to touch up the point when needed. Good idea for softer material though. The hacksaw blades I used are really hard and if you catch the part of the bimetal blade that didn't get ground off, it even resists a file, requiring a carbide Dremel wheel to remove that part of the blade. It took a few whacks before I figured out that it was the blade and not the punch that was the problem.
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Deadlock

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Posts: 356

Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:37 pm

Location: England

Post Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:41 am

Re: A few new/favourite tools

Masonry nails are hard. Never tried using one as a centre punch, but it might work.
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Altashot

Active Member

Posts: 416

Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:32 am

Location: Western Canada

Post Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:09 am

Re: A few new/favourite tools

I've used an old dull 1/4-20 tap as a center punch.
It stays pointy, it's harder than almost anything else.

M.
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Josephus

Familiar Face

Posts: 238

Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Location: Michigan

Post Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:04 pm

Re: A few new/favourite tools

Deadlock wrote:Masonry nails are hard. Never tried using one as a centre punch, but it might work.


I have heard that from a home machinist forum.

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