Repurposing and Reclaiming tools

As a jeweller, repairing, repurposing, designing and making tools is an invaluable skill.
I have had my old peg for about three years, and after a series of intricate cuts, it had worn down a fair bit.

If you’re new to sawing, you may wonder how that happened. All the tutorials tell you to hold your saw steady and move the metal to ensure straight rather than bevel cuts, save your peg, and so on…
True, but to cut a long story short, after a while that becomes a load of cack (Sorry, I couldn’t think of another word)! Moving the saw around, as well as, or in some cases, instead of the metal, can actually provide better control, and certainly saves plenty of time – especially on those tight corners. The price for that speed, and unbroken flow is a that a bit of the peg is often sacrificed. Well, worth it in my opinion.
Now that ramble’s out of the way, today’s fix.

Although a new peg arrived a few months ago, it’s been stuck at the bottom of my drawer because it just doesn’t feel right. At the same time, the chasm between both ‘legs’ of my peg made it increasingly difficult to cut those tiny 5 – 10 mm pieces in a reasonable amount of time.

Enter the redesign. Here is my peg pre interference. The plastic bag is my makeshift bin.

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The green lines represent the redesign I had in mind. The steps on the left serve no real purpose but I rationalised them as providing some kind of rest when I need to cut jump rings.

The hole in the centre helps when making internal cuts in large pieces, because they can be centred better.

The heroes of this story are my 4 in saw frame, a 21tpi saw blade for the scroll saw, some cut lube, engineering files, 150 grit sandpaper and renaissance wax.

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Here is the saw doing its thing. At this point, the ‘hold the saw perpendicular to the floor’ rule applies. Last thing you want is a bezel cut, because it will have an impact on how you cut blanks too.

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By the time I got to the circle, my bicep was a little tired, and the discomfort of the dust mask was beginning to grate. The circle thus became a semi teardrop – large enough for my saw to move around freely but small enough that internal cuts in the smallest pieces would still be a breeze.

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The engineering files made quick work of the sharp edges and a little renaissance wax on 150 sand paper ensured a smooth finish.

Just as I was about to walk away, I decided to add a groove to support tube. I have designed a series of etched tube pendants but as they are still at the trial stage, the expense on a tube cutting jig cannot be justified.

I forgot to take a photo but I started with two parallel lines about 8mm apart. I started with the line closest to me, and  slanted the saw as I gradually cut, increasing the gradient until I got to the centre, and a depth of about 4mm, then reduced it until I got to the second line.

One last file and polish, and the new repaired and repurposed peg is good to
go.

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Next tooling post will hopefully cover designing and making some steel punches.

See you soon 🙂 xx