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gourrythecrazy

Saw Blades vs Stainless Steel

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Hello all. I am currently trying to use my jeweler's saw to cut some 19ga stainless steel wire. Unfortunately, every saw blade I have thrown against it has gone dull (or just plain is not cutting whatsoever).

I'm using all sorts of saw blade sizes,1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 1, and 2, but none of them are working. spent over an hour constantly changing saw blades but i haven't produced a single ring from my efforts. 

Is there a certain type of saw blade you recommend? Am I using the wrong sizes? Is this a pointless endeavor?

PS: I have used the jeweler's saw in the past with much success on copper, aluminum, and galvanized steel

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I would say that rather than being more aggressive, with a jeweler's saw blade, you need to go more slowly. It all depends on what you're using the jeweler's blade with. If you're using something like a Dremel Tool, that's high RPM, then you're going to burn through saw blades incredibly quickly. You want something that's high torque and low rpm, with a slow coil feed rate to take off a tiny bit at a time. You also want a lubrication system. Even then stainless is going to be far tougher on blades than the other metals that you've mentioned. Sometimes it's simply not cost effective to saw cut your own stainless. While I use a home made rig to cut aluminum, brass, and bronze, I buy my saw cut stainless rings.

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Stainless links as a rule get sawn with rotary saws, electrically powered, sprayed or dripped water- or oil-cooled to preserve saw life, and always with some apparatus to hold the coil and feed it reliably.  Try looking through the Gallery for saws, and seek out the saw type needed; these come in a couple of thicknesses, and generally you want the thinner one. 

What you've run up against is stainless is balky stuff to machine, and sawing it is a machining process.  On the one hand, its chromium makes it tough, and on the other, its chromium makes it difficult to anneal.  All that conspires against the hair blade of a jeweler's saw being effective.

Will you be making jewelry, or something bigger?  It looks like your previous experience, saw-cuts of ornamental metals, is aimed at jewelry.

Because of its toughness, a lot of people resort to having their ring supplier cut their stainless rings, and hang the additional expense.

Edited by Konstantin the Red

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Over on M.A.I.L., there is an article with pix (some of which aren't focused so well, but others make up for the lack) on an electric powered saw rig and the fine slitting-saw needed for it, arranged quite like a circular saw with the sawblade coming up through a table, which in this apparatus has a prominent V-groove to hold the coil you're cutting.

http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=787

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14 hours ago, Konstantin the Red said:

Stainless links as a rule get sawn with rotary saws, electrically powered, sprayed or dripped water- or oil-cooled to preserve saw life, and always with some apparatus to hold the coil and feed it reliably.  Try looking through the Gallery for saws, and seek out the saw type needed; these come in a couple of thicknesses, and generally you want the thinner one. 

What you've run up against is stainless is balky stuff to machine, and sawing it is a machining process.  On the one hand, its chromium makes it tough, and on the other, its chromium makes it difficult to anneal.  All that conspires against the hair blade of a jeweler's saw being effective.

Will you be making jewelry, or something bigger?  It looks like your previous experience, saw-cuts of ornamental metals, is aimed at jewelry.

Because of its toughness, a lot of people resort to having their ring supplier cut their stainless rings, and hang the additional expense.

Yeah, I primarily make bracelets. Made a few earrings and necklaces in the past. Used to use copper wire I would buy from Michael's craft store then spin myself and cut, but it petinas too much. So now I want to use stainless.

I ended up using a diamond dremel wheel. A bit sloppy, but it does stuff. Diamond dremel wheel was the thinnest I could find

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Stainless is a pain to cut no matter how you're cutting it. I've had blades go dull or shatter after only 5 or 6 rings, while other times I've gotten 100+ from one blade. I use a jeweller's saw with 2/0 blades. Before attaching the blade to your saw, inspect the blade carefully to make sure it isn't already slightly dull. In every gross of blades I get, there are always some that are already semi-dull. Also, if you don't already do so, always lubricate your blade. It'll make it last longer and cut more easily. There are lubricants you can buy, but I just use oils from my own skin. It sounds gross, but it works really well and will cut down the amount of friction on the blade so it cuts better and won't go dull or shatter as quickly.

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Stainless wears blades down much faster than anything you have tried so far. 

Better Quality blades can help a little. Otto frei has a decent selection.

Its difficult to get the teeth to catch  on the round wire, supporting the coil to minimize wobble and take your time. 

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