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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Mon 14 Jul, 2008 3:09 pm    Post subject: chainmaille cutting issue         Reply with quote

I browsed the forums for a while and didn't find the answer I was looking for. So I'm going to ask you good people here:

What is the best way to cut galvanized steel coils?

I've been cutting them by hand with a pair of wire cutters, but it is taking far too long, is painfully hard on my hand, and I was recently approached by a small business to possibly supply them with some chainmaille, and thus need a more efficient and effective means to cut my rings.

I'm considering a dremmel tool, but I've run into the problem of the cutting discs either breaking due to stress, or wearing down rather quickly.

Is there a particular type of cutting disc that is durable and gives a consistently clean cut?


Any and all suggestions are welcome, but please don't suggest anything that you haven't tried and know works well.

Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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Thomas Beckett




Location: Kansas City, MO
Joined: 23 Feb 2004

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jul, 2008 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know how you're cutting your rings exactly, but most maillers I know use the "crimp and break" method. basically, you just squeeze the coil where you want it cut with the cutters, but not all the way through. Then, you grasp the opposite side of the coil with the cutters and pull toward you, breaking the ring off the coil. It takes a lot less work, is easier on your hands, and leaves nice, flat ends to the rings, giving you better butted closures.
"It's only funny until someone gets hurt... then it's hilarious!"
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Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jul, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

just tried a new technique that seems to work well. Using something called a slitting saw. Its a thin saw blade for putting slits in pipes. So get one of those and a mandrel too put the blade on and put it in the cordless drill and slide the coil onto a close fitting dowel. Then start cutting. the big issue is trying to cut to fast. burned up a blade trying to cut to fast.

Other issue is finding a slitting saw. had to go to a dedicated tool store and even they were confused by the request but they found me one.

made a nice clean cut that made a good butt joint
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Dan Dickinson
Industry Professional



Location: Michigan
Joined: 03 Oct 2004

Posts: 967

PostPosted: Wed 16 Jul, 2008 5:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, back when I was making butted mail, I would use aviation snips (the kind designed to cut straight) with the lower jaw reground a bit to better fit into the coil. These gave you a nice sheared flat end...but were a bit slow....so I might recommend this solution that Aaron Schnatterly came up with.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...rill+press
Dan
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
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Posts: 936

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jul, 2008 5:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i was often bias towards my small spring loaded bolt cutters
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jul, 2008 7:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan, that's almost exactly the kind of rig that I found here: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articl...i?key=6667

I'm thinking that I will go the the one I linked to, (merely due to the fact that I lack a drill press), and try it out to see how it works.

One question that I have: Is there a recommended way to lube the blade? In the article, he recommends using plain candle wax. Do you put the wax on while you cut, (just let the blade cut into the wax as it spins and cuts the rings simultaneously)? Or would I be setting myself up for injury doing that?

Thank you all for your help and suggestions!

Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Thu 17 Jul, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks to Jay for directing me to the M.A.I.L site!
Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've solved the problem of cutting my rings by using the basic setup that Dan linked to. (Thanks by the way!)

I've come up with a few more questions:

How long can one expect to use the jeweler's saw blade before it becomes dull and you need to buy another?

Is there a particular brand of cutting oil that works the best?

Thanks for the help everyone!!! Big Grin

Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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Russ Thomas
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Location: Telemark, Norway
Joined: 25 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Thu 07 Aug, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would use a jewellers ' piercing' saw with a fine blade. These cut fast and efficiently and you will get a super neat cut. These saws have many uses and they are well worth the small investment in time to get to master them. They, and the blades, are cheap too !

The saw is held in a vertical position, while the work to be cut is held flat against a thin board with a V shaped slot cut in it. The saw blades teeth, of course , point in a downward direction. Very fast and neat.

Here is the saw I mean............

http://www.bernieslapidary.com/selprod.asp?CAT=S&OTHER=YES


Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Tue 12 Aug, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wirecutters come in several sizes. If you are going to be doing a LOT of cutting, it's vital to get cutters with LONG leverage arms.
To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Sean Flynt
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myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 9:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See these threads for mechanical solutions--jigs and such, especially Aaron's (first link below). Note that Aaron's setup can cut "approx 120 14g 3/8 ID galvanized rings a minute, and 300 14g 3/8 ID aluminum rings a minute". The second link shows a downscale solution using a mounted drill.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...light=mail

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...hlight=jig

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Chase S-R




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 31 Jan 2008

Posts: 166

PostPosted: Wed 13 Aug, 2008 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do what Russ does
but be sure to rub the blades with beeswax or they break. I used pliers for a long time until my metal teacher showed me the saw and I much prefer that way

Charles Stewart Rodriguez
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2009 7:22 am    Post subject: New issue....         Reply with quote

Everyone has been extremely helpful with my last chainmail cutting issue, but a new one has appeared for me.

I have a drillpress set up to cut the rings. I'll post pictures of my set up when I get the time to take any. The issue that I have now is that the chuck (The entire head of the drill) is only held in the drillpress by pressure. When drilling, this wouldn't be an issue as you are applying more pressure onto the chuck. However, when cutting steel chainmail coils, the resistance that is put against the saw causes the head of the drill to fall out of the rest of the drill. Does anyone here have a fix? Is there a different type of drillpress head that I can buy that isn't held in just by pressure? Any other ideas?

I'll take pictures of my set up and the issue of the head falling down when I get the chance.

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Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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