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piercing saw

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duncan webster16/10/2020 21:47:46
2849 forum posts
43 photos

I'm about to start on the lampost engine, so I've decided it's time I had a piercing saw to cut out the lantern. I've found a NIUPIKA on Amazon complete with 144 blades for £13, Faithful with no blades for £8.56 or Eclipse for £9.05

Anyone got any advice?

David George 116/10/2020 22:03:51
1387 forum posts
448 photos

Al findings Ltd have one with 144 blades of various tooth count. for £10.00 plus carriage.

I cut my lantern by tapeing the 4 sides together and using a piercing saw cut out the windows. 



Edited By David George 1 on 16/10/2020 22:07:47

Martin Kyte16/10/2020 22:33:43
2127 forum posts
37 photos

Personally I find the saws with the adjustable frame the most versatile. If you attach a thumb pad to the end of the top bar you can tension blades with one hand leaving the other to turn the thumbscrew. The non adjusting frames I have to tension by holding the saw in the vice.

I would suggest the blades that come with the saws offered are something of a pot luck. I buy the best quality blades I can find just to avoid all the frustration of regular breakages.

regards Martin

IanT16/10/2020 23:11:14
1682 forum posts
163 photos

I nearly always use an adjustable piercing saw, which I much prefer to the fixed kind (but opinions here do differ).

I started with a selection of blades from Cousins, their own brand are German made and work perfectly well. They are not expensive but you will break a few (particularly at the end of a cut). Don't start with too fine a blade.

Most recently, I treated myself to some of their 'Valorbe' blades - which also work perfectly well but I'm not sure I can really tell that much difference between them and the Cousins own brand - although there might be a slight edge in smoothness of cut (or it could just be my imagination). Both types all cut well enough though and also seem to last OK - at least until I do something daft of course...(like losing concentration)

I've learned not to skimp when it comes to buying cutting tools (like hacksaw blades, files and piercing saws). I've used quite a few Cousins products over time and they are generally reliable and not that expensive. I'm sure there are other good suppliers around but that's where I get this kind of thing from (I'm just a satisfied customer - no other connection).



Bo'sun17/10/2020 08:51:03
234 forum posts

Another thumbs-up for an adjustable frame. Sometimes I find a full length blade a little too flexible, so I shorten the blade, which an adjustable frame will accept. My Eclipse frame does all I ask of it.

Dave S17/10/2020 16:51:51
66 forum posts

Whilst I have an adjustable frame I have never felt the need to adjust it.

Quality blades do make a difference. I’m currently using Super Pike from Cookson Gold for most things.

Their platinum blades hold up better than normal ones for stainless and shin steel.


Vic17/10/2020 18:14:33
2645 forum posts
20 photos

The adjustable ones look very easy to make if you know a machinist ... laugh

Bob Stevenson17/10/2020 18:15:56
440 forum posts
7 photos

Piercing saw matters are not a simple as might be supposed;........Both of my own saws are Victorian and have served me well, however, I'm about to start on some bigger and more intricate clock frames and my old saws will not reach far enough for some of the more important cuts so I have been considering aquiring or making a new saw....... Modern piercing saw designs centre around CNC alloy frames designed for much higher blade tension than the old 'simple' frames. Several members of my clock club have these new saws and there is no doubt that the increased blade tension is very useful in use and make for much better and more accurate cuts.


We have a couple of members who have made very nice and well performing saws including one made from something called 'Zirconium'...which was new to is a look at the 'Knew Concept' range although I have trouble believing their claim that the red frames enhance cutting by the colour alone..!!?


EDIT;....I forgot to add that there is a v. interesting video on the website of South Lon. BHI showing Ron Rose using his converted fret saw to very good effect....he uses the long length to lodge the frame in his elbow for added speed and accuracy....

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 17/10/2020 18:19:49

Ian B.17/10/2020 18:55:29
95 forum posts
2 photos

And another for the adjustable frame type. I bought mine from SHESTO along with a selection of blades of differing tooth pitches. They also offer a little advice in their catalogue, like having a few beers the night before is not conducive to good piercing saw use the next morning. Along with my piercing saw I keep a couple of what jewellers call bench pegs made from scraps of ply and timber. Just a vee cut into a flat piece of wood with timber screwed on the back to clamp in the bench vice. A couple of sizes suffice for my needs.

Edited By Ian B. on 17/10/2020 18:57:03

Edited By Ian B. on 17/10/2020 18:57:53

duncan webster17/10/2020 19:13:02
2849 forum posts
43 photos

The fancy ones shown in Bob's link range upwards from £150 or so. Whilst I've no doubt they are very good, I've managed without one for 45+ years, so I've ordered the one from David's suggestion.

Thanks to all

Nigel (egi)17/10/2020 20:04:36
72 forum posts
8 photos

I used Faithful fretsaw blades and an Axminster variable speed fretsaw. The fretsaw is ok, not brilliant as the vibration is rather severe. I only cut it out roughly using the fretsaw. The most important step was achieved using a clamp with a straight edge that I could file to. This was made using 1/4" thick mild steel plates with case hardened edges.

This allowed me to clamp accurately along the scribed line and then file down to a given edge.

IanT17/10/2020 21:57:04
1682 forum posts
163 photos

I have a variable speed scroll saw (cheapie one from Aldi/Lidl) but I haven't tried using it for brass work thus far, (only for woodwork) - but maybe I should try? Many of these (inexpensive) power tools can be much improved by just using good quality blades (Olson scroll saw blades are my preference in this particular case).

However, for thin work, I'm not sure a scroll saw would be (all together) that much quicker than a (hand) piercing saw. I'm no expert with a piercing saw but I can still cut pretty close to a line (better than I can file a flat for sure). My cuts are not as level (as an experts might be) but they don't need too much cleaning up. I can do this with a file but for thicker work I hand-shape down to the line (to keep the edges sharp/flat). A toolmakers clamp set along the marked line and then dropped into the vice will set the work level (but best remove the clamp before cutting anything). You could of course use a milling machine for this too...

Small work can be cut very quickly with a piercing saw and for anyone who hasn't tried it, they are really useful for some small parts. For instance, you can buy (punched out) latch hooks for not too much money - but it's much more satisfying to cut your own and it only takes 15-20 minutes for a pair - and they will be the right size and suit your need better.



Piercing Saw cuts in 2mm brass Brass Latch Hooks

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