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Thread: Please help me save time

  1. #1
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    Default Please help me save time

    Hello to all again, does anyone have any ideas. I want to cut large numbers 100++ of small squares of sterling silver in varied thickness's. So far I get Cooksons to cut long lengths of silver in different widths, normally 6mm or 8mm, I then laboriously mark a centre line, mark out each 6mm or 8mm square and cut them off with a hand saw, I then centre punch each little square, drill a small hole and polish each edge taking care to round off the corners. I use a tube cutter (chennier) for the lengths, hold the tiles in a pair of pliers when drilling and polishing and throw them in a tumble polisher when ready. It's just that it takes all day to do around 100 and there must be a quicker method. This is what I do with them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Green Bracelet.jpg   Bracelet and ER.jpg   Purple crystal 1.jpg  

  2. #2
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    If all your squares are the same size then would a blanking setup do what you want? A flypress with a suitable die set would breeze through those. Alternatively, you could buy the squares already cut to size, although the sheared edges may need some additional finishing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruggen View Post
    Hello to all again, does anyone have any ideas. I want to cut large numbers 100++ of small squares of sterling silver in varied thickness's. So far I get Cooksons to cut long lengths of silver in different widths, normally 6mm or 8mm, I then laboriously mark a centre line, mark out each 6mm or 8mm square and cut them off with a hand saw, I then centre punch each little square, drill a small hole and polish each edge taking care to round off the corners. I use a tube cutter (chennier) for the lengths, hold the tiles in a pair of pliers when drilling and polishing and throw them in a tumble polisher when ready. It's just that it takes all day to do around 100 and there must be a quicker method. This is what I do with them.
    I heard somewhere that you can stick the sheets of metal with glue stick (I would think 3 or 4 depending on how thick the sheet is), let it dry and then cut several in one go - make sure you hold the saw at the right angle, so they all turn out identical.

    Also, this is the expensive option, I think Rio Grande sell square cutting tool (like disc cutter, but square), however it is around $350 + shipping.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps_bond View Post
    If all your squares are the same size then would a blanking setup do what you want? A flypress with a suitable die set would breeze through those. Alternatively, you could buy the squares already cut to size, although the sheared edges may need some additional finishing.
    I have asked if they could be cut to size but at 50p per cut from Cooksons it is not economical, finding a flypress with suitable die stock is difficult, never seen them (will look though) the tiles are all either 6mm or 8mm the edges and corners are rounded slightly by polishing and the thickness ranges from 1mm 1.5mm and 2mm.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilia View Post
    I heard somewhere that you can stick the sheets of metal with glue stick (I would think 3 or 4 depending on how thick the sheet is), let it dry and then cut several in one go - make sure you hold the saw at the right angle, so they all turn out identical.

    Also, this is the expensive option, I think Rio Grande sell square cutting tool (like disc cutter, but square), however it is around $350 + shipping.
    I have tried layering the strips but what I save in time by stacking I take up in sawing and also get far more blade breakages, I clamp them on the chennier cutter which gives me a consistent length. The disk cutting set would be the answer but not seen one and as you said Rio Grande is a tad expensive.

  6. #6
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    It depends upon your economy of scale whether the flypress option makes sense - but I suspect you'd have to make your own dies. Blanking 2mm from silver should be well within the capabilities of a small press; hopefully James will chip in on this soon - my experience of flypresses is more as a forging tool than as a fabrication tool.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for that Peter, will look for tooling. If you find any links or know of any suppliers then please let me know, economy of scale at the moment would suggest that I carry on cutting one at a time, getting better though with a production line, I tend to cut ten, punch hole and de-burr, then round the corners on a wet grinder, polish the edges with tripoli on a bench polisher, clean in the ultrasonic bath, then while that is buzzing do the next ten, when I run out of metal I barrel them for around four hours or so.

  8. #8
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    As Peter says, the tooling idea depends on your economy of scale, setting up with a press and tools can cost thousands. If you can get hold of a second hand press then I can suggest the Hunton tool holders, I have one of these that I used cutting various sizes of circles up to 2 inch diameter, but you have to be making sufficient to cover the costs of the dies and punches. See; http://www.hartleige.com/product/fly...ts-and-tooling
    You could purchase your own blanking out dies and then get a press company to do the work for you if you do not wish to buy a press.
    Looking at your photos, I think I would consider making a casting pattern with perhaps 10 squares on it, then get the squares cast, this would be the cheapest method of reproduction.
    James

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    Hi, would a guilotine work, I got a sheet of 1mm stainless steel cut by my daughters boyfriend who works at a sawmill, and that worked, not sure how much it would be to buy one tho. Just another idea to add to the pot. Pat

  10. #10
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