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Cutting stringing

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Forum topic by AHuxley posted 05-23-2015 10:33 PM 800 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AHuxley

493 posts in 2786 days


05-23-2015 10:33 PM

Has anyone used a pasta machine (ie Atlas 150) to cut stringing? If so what is the width of the resultant stringing from the standard “spaghetti” sized cutter that comes with the machine.

In case someone is wondering, no I haven’t gone mad, this is actually a “real” technique.


10 replies so far

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shipwright

7173 posts in 2263 days


#1 posted 05-23-2015 10:42 PM

Your edges must be a lot sharper than the ones in my pasta cutter (Kitchenaide). I can’t see mine cutting even very thin veneer cleanly ….... and I would not even consider trying.
There are much better ways to cut stringing.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2786 days


#2 posted 05-23-2015 11:02 PM

It isn’t a question of proof of concept, I have seen it done more than once with the Atlas, the key is dampening both sides of the veneer and the string just comes rolling out just like pasta. I think the first person I was aware of to use the technique was Dan Faia from NH and he is not exactly a hack… While I have cut stringing quite a few different ways over the years I have never seen one that would cut 100 or so correctly in much less than 60 seconds.

The key here is the stringing from the machine needs to be bigger than my preferred cutter size for my LN inlay cutter blades .030” and still small enough to pull cleanly through my LN thicknessing gauge. If that is the case then it will save a SIGNIFICANT amount of time. Those who I have seen use it fabricated their own scratch stock so matching the thickness was a non-issue, while I could certainly do the same I really like the aesthetic of the roughly 1/32” stringing.

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shipwright

7173 posts in 2263 days


#3 posted 05-24-2015 12:17 AM

Interesting to be sure. Do you have any video or other links?

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2786 days


#4 posted 05-24-2015 12:34 AM

I looked for something online and couldn’t find it, admittedly it is an oddity. I just looked it up in my Fine Wood Working archive DVD and found a reference to it and a picture on page 53 of issue #166 Nov/Dec 2003 where it shows the pasta maker in use and the stringing just pouring out. While it describes the machine and how to use it for this purpose it never mentions the stringing size. My memory was jogged earlier today by the fact I had been ask to make some pieces for a niece and her husband which will have a lot of stringing.

I did some further research into the machine (I figure it can do double duty and isn’t very expensive and we seem to have lost our pasta machine in our last move) and it appears the most narrow width (angel hair) is about 1/16”. Not sure I want to create that much waste, high quality holly is getting harder to find. At this point I think I will just cut it one of the “old fashioned” ways, I just liked the idea of such an efficient use of time and the machine could be used for its intended purpose as well. Sometime in the future when we get a new pasta machine I’ll try it out and use it for thicker stringing and maybe banding with the wider cutter.

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Planeman40

805 posts in 2226 days


#5 posted 05-24-2015 02:17 PM

I’ve never cut any hardwood stringing, however I have cut plenty of 1/16” sq. strips of balsa for model plane building. We have a tool for that that may be useful. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__12439__Master_Airscrew_Balsa_Stripper.html You can adjust the width of the strip from 1/32” or less upward. Works like a charm! Note: properly setting the blade is important. The blade tip should just barely touch the cutting board beneath. I do this quickly by setting the stripper on a small plate of glass and then let the tip of the NO. 11 X-acto blade rest on the glass while tightening it down.

Planeman

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

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2786 days


#6 posted 05-24-2015 08:17 PM

^ is essentially a smaller/simpler version of the strippers I currently have. Using a stripper is the “standard” method but the ability to cut 100 at a time intrigues me.

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1417 days


#7 posted 05-24-2015 08:47 PM

Hey! Finally a question I can answer. Well, to tell the truth, I have never cut stringing with an Atlas pasta cutter, but I do own one and can give you the dimensions you are looking for. I ran a piece of paper through the machine and you are correct. the strips turned out to be about 1/16” wide. That’s a bit hard to measure, so I cut another piece of paper 1” wide and ran it through. I got 15 nice even strips and a bit of tear out on the edges.

Here’s the experiment:

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2786 days


#8 posted 05-25-2015 05:07 PM

Thanks very much Kazooman for taking the time! While the width just won’t work for this project (with the holly I have) I think I will pick one up at the kitchen supply store when I am out that way. I can get a holly black when I can find some good clear stock and cut some 1/32” veneer and then the 1/16” width would be perfect. The problem currently is all the holly I have is standard .02-.025” veneer so the time savings would be lost having to then size it again.

I do understand this is a weird way to approach a pretty simple operation and the processing of the stringing is the least labor intensive part of the process but I just think it would be cool and we need another pasta machine anyway. It might be interesting to experiment with the wider cutter (and possibly the optional width cutters) for wider stringing and banding.

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Kazooman

628 posts in 1417 days


#9 posted 05-25-2015 08:47 PM

Happy to help out and I was curious to learn a new technique. I looked through my pile of veneer and most of it is highly figured (of course). I don’t think that would work so well with the pasta machine. The only thing I had that was about the right thickness and remotely straight grained was the edge from a sheet of crotch mahogany. My digital caliper says it is 0.03” thick. Just under 1/32”. I quickly ran a little water over a piece and wiped it off with a towel to soften it a bit. It was hard to get the edge started in the machine, but once it took hold I got some really nice strings. Several broke, but about half of them remained full length. I think that with a straighter grained veneer and a little practice you will be very pleased with the results.

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AHuxley

493 posts in 2786 days


#10 posted 05-25-2015 09:25 PM

Very cool. I look forward to trying it out, I tend to be a gadget geek in the shop and love top try new techniques, often they come in handy in ways I never envisioned years later.

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