LumberJocks

Scrollsawing Brass?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Scrollsawing forum

Forum topic by Bluenote38 posted 09-14-2018 11:48 AM 386 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bluenote38's profile

Bluenote38

336 posts in 506 days


09-14-2018 11:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question trick scroll saw brass

Looking to draw on the vast LJ wisdom. I have a scroll saw – 16” Craftsman from the late 90’s.

I want to scroll some small pieces of brass. What thickness can I cut 1/16” to 1/4”? And are there special blades? And any tips for actually cutting it? Thx

-- Bill - Rochester MI


13 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2387 posts in 1505 days


#1 posted 09-14-2018 12:30 PM

I have only cut relatively thin and small pieces. I used a fret saw blade for that but probably not the best choice if you have a lot to cut. If your scroll saw is not variable speed it is probably going too run to fast to do it comfortably (safely?). You can check out this chart to find which Olson blades at least can be used for cutting non-ferrous metal. They can be a little hard to find. I did find some here that do not appear to be on that chart that might work. If your saw uses pinned blades you might be out of luck.

Note that I have read that some people sandwich metal between some thin plywood or lauan to make it easier to cut. You may be able to use double sided tape to attach the plywood.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1309 posts in 281 days


#2 posted 09-14-2018 01:18 PM

spray the back side of the brass sheet with some light-tack spray glue
and attach it to a piece of 1/4” plywood (luan) – - – yes, 1/6” will do fine.
(double sided tape will gum up the teeth on the blades).
you will have to practice on anything thicker than 1/16” as that depends on your saw,
your design, your nimble fingers, your keen eye, and patience.
when the blade appears to get dull – replace it.
practice – you will get over the learning curve rather quickly and it is smooth
sailing from there on out.

-- some people are like a Slinky - - - pretty much good for nothing. But still make you smile when you push them down a flight of stairs.

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

8067 posts in 2916 days


#3 posted 09-14-2018 01:59 PM

Brass is very common in French marquetry of the past. It was cut on the chevalet or frame saw then and can easily be cut on a scrollsaw. Look for jewellers’ blades in the 60 tip range. For marquetry at least it is always annealed. It’s not easy to find in the hardware store but annealed brass can be found online.
French marquetry in the day was in the area of 1.5 mm (1/16”).

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese! http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1239 posts in 2879 days


#4 posted 09-14-2018 02:04 PM

Shouldn’t be any problem. Just be aware of the rule that whatever blade you choose, a minimum of TWO TEETH of the blade must be in the metal at all times. The reason for this is to keep the thin metal from getting between the saw teeth and then breaking teeth from the blade. This holds true for bandsaw blades too.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Bluenote38's profile

Bluenote38

336 posts in 506 days


#5 posted 09-16-2018 11:58 PM

Thanks for all teh great help. Camping this past weekend so Trying this out is up next…

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

1214 posts in 692 days


#6 posted 09-17-2018 02:10 AM

If someone put in a link for these blades already I apologize, if not, these will be the best scroll saw blades you’ll buy for wood, not these but Pegas has a lot of wood blades. This page is just for Ferrous and non ferrous metal cutting. Again they will surpass the cut quality of any other brand of blades.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1038 posts in 2705 days


#7 posted 09-17-2018 03:22 AM

I sandwiched the 1/8” brass between 1/8” birch plywood and used a #5 mg pegas blade and it worked out great.

View Bluenote38's profile

Bluenote38

336 posts in 506 days


#8 posted 09-19-2018 03:18 PM



Brass is very common in French marquetry of the past. It was cut on the chevalet or frame saw then and can easily be cut on a scrollsaw. Look for jewellers blades in the 60 tip range. For marquetry at least it is always annealed. It’s not easy to find in the hardware store but annealed brass can be found online.
French marquetry in the day was in the area of 1.5 mm (1/16”).

- shipwright

I saw some of that kind of work – Boulle? It’s really beautiful. I have a magazine article on it too somewhere and it’s on my bucket list of things to try. This time around it’s just some scrolled piercing in 1/16” or 3/32” brass sheet. I’ll post later this month once I get the blades and run a few practice cuts.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Bluenote38's profile

Bluenote38

336 posts in 506 days


#9 posted 09-19-2018 03:28 PM



spray the back side of the brass sheet with some light-tack spray glue
and attach it to a piece of 1/4” plywood (luan)

- John Smith

I’m guessing 3M 77 Spray Adhesive? I have that laying around.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1309 posts in 281 days


#10 posted 09-19-2018 06:53 PM

Bill, 3M-77 is a bit aggressive when sprayed in thick films, but is ok with light passes.
I also use LOCTITE High Performance “200” which is a medium-firm tack.
just experiment with any of the above suggestions and see what works best for you
in your projects and fine-tune it from there.
most everyone here has their favorite products or methods of doing things and that
is because they have tried the different things and found what works best for them.
there is nothing wrong with thinking outside of the box, and is often recommended.
looking forward to seeing your completed project

.

.

-- some people are like a Slinky - - - pretty much good for nothing. But still make you smile when you push them down a flight of stairs.

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

1214 posts in 692 days


#11 posted 09-19-2018 10:06 PM



I sandwiched the 1/8” brass between 1/8” birch plywood and used a #5 mg pegas blade and it worked out great.

- Woodmaster1

Yes, I should have mentioned that. The blades even if they “can easily” cut metal will often find entry a bit difficult, and sometimes, especially if the shape is rounded will choose to glance off the metal rather than engage and start right off sawing. The reason your wooden sandwich worked so well is it allowed the blade to engage the wood first, and the wood is just strong enough to steer the blade to where you want it to go, without being so strong it breaks the blade.

If I see that cut coming up I simply make the sammich with the 2 outer pieces of wood, and my brass/aluminum shape slightly smaller than the wood, and I attach it it with DABS of plain Jane PVA, or Elmers glue. The glue does work slow, so you will need to allow 1 hour to a day for it to set, but seeing that it is “mostly” water that evaps off where there are gaps and your hold is just tiny pinpoints. After sawing those pinpoints are easy to break free with a little prying. Sometimes you break the thin wood, and sometimes a speck of wood will remain on the metal.

Usually the wood is just a bit of junk anyhow, and a very quick light sanding will return your metal to it’s initial shape, with no further work to do. If you look around the tips, and hints sections of Titebond, and Elmers websites you will find this mentioned. For long term bonding, no it isn’t good, but something light to hold your sammich together, it works fine.

A lot cheaper than any special sprays, Epoxies, or whatnot, plus in all likelihood you have some in the shop already.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

218 posts in 1853 days


#12 posted 09-20-2018 01:24 PM

The guy on the Clickspring YouTube channel seems to have no problems scroll sawing thick brass without any sandwiches.

Check out this video at around the 5 minute mark. About 43 seconds into the video, he says at the plates are 3/16” engravers brass. He cuts two plates at a time, meaning the full thickness is around 3/8”.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Bluenote38's profile

Bluenote38

336 posts in 506 days


#13 posted 09-20-2018 10:08 PM



The guy on the Clickspring YouTube channel seems to have no problems scroll sawing thick brass without any sandwiches.

Check out this video at around the 5 minute mark. About 43 seconds into the video, he says at the plates are 3/16” engravers brass. He cuts two plates at a time, meaning the full thickness is around 3/8”.

- Tony1212

Sweet – he cuts it like butter. I like the die filer he uses.


-- Bill - Rochester MI

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com