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  • Cutting coins - fine work?

    I have been doing some work cutting coins and while I do ok I look at EBAY and see a lot of really fine work there especially when it comes to cutting out the individual letters.

    I am using a Dewalt and wonder if that is the best machine to use for coins and very fine work. Around the designs and the edges it seems to do well but when it comes to cutting very close to the letters I wonder if it is a bit to "coarse" or sort of jumpy or aggressive for doing really fine work?

    Are there any coin cutters out there who can give me some ideas?

    IMG_20211214_135303922-Edit-1.jpg

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    Attached Files

  • #2
    I've done a few of these . . . lol. There are some really delicates cuts done on Dewalts. Usually when the blade touches the metal, the metal will stabilize out the blade. You can google "fixing blade travel on the dewalt scroll saw" to find help on how to tweak it a little. That usually involves a little "surgery" on your saw.

    The Pegas/Seyco/King (in the U.S.) style saws are a little better at tweaking blade travel. You set the arm level, then rotate the motor until you get the least "travel".

    I thought the example where you cut out "Liberty" looked pretty good. There are some folks out there that can cut pretty near perfect, even with the Jeweler saw, but it is really more about the time they put in, and not so much the specific tool they are using. Some of those guys have been cutting every day forever.

    Here are a few high detail examples I've cut on my saws:

    EagleFloatingSmall.jpg

    EisenhowerEagle.jpg

    SmallCelticHeart.jpg
    The coin in this last image was a dime, and the lines are not a lot wider than the saw blades.
    Last edited by hotshot; 01-15-2022, 07:01 PM.
    "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
    website: http://www.coincutting.com

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    • #3
      WOW I hope some day to be able to do that well!

      So far I have probably cut about 20 coins so I think I need a lot more practice

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      • #4
        You have already done some fine work. Randy you never cease to amaze me!! In general I find the Dewalt to be a very aggressive saw. You have shown that you can cut fine details with it but a properly tuned saw with an almost vertical cut will make it easier.
        Rolf
        RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
        Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
        Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
        And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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        • #5
          Randy what blades do you use for this?
          Rolf
          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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          • #6
            Randy, I still have that pack you sent me years ago with a blade and coin to cut. This year is “do something different” and that is #1 on my list.
            Betty

            "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital

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            • #7
              what would be the best saw for coins? Jet Pegas Excaliber or what?

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              • #8
                As a Pegas dealer, I would suggest the Pegas. With that said, the Seyco is also a very good saw with excellent service. I would not recommend the Ex as they are now made in China with poor quality control.
                Denny
                ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rolf View Post
                  Randy what blades do you use for this?
                  I played with some coins. I believe it was Randy who told me to use Super Pike Jewler blades.
                  Super Pike Swiss Jewelers Saw Blades | OttoFrei.com
                  Scott
                  Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry for the Novel . . . read until you get bored, or scan, or skip . . . . . I commented, and gave some tips.

                    As Scott mentioned, Super Pike is the best I've found, but Regular Pike is almost as good, so I would find the best price between those. I've done pretty good on Amazon. The Same people behind the Pegas Scroll saw make these. You might see if Denny can get these. They are specialty blades normally used by Jewelers, so he wouldn't be able to sell many of these as these are not a good fit for wood cutting which is most of Dennys customers.

                    At this point I would go with the 21" Pegas Scroll Saw also for a new saw purchase. 21" may not have the issue shown with the 16" king shown below.

                    Concerning blade travel, the main time I've found blade travel to be a problem is making that very first engagement into the cut, especially if you engage at an angle. That blade going back and forth, forward and back, makes taking that first bite a little tricky. After the blade engages, it cuts pretty similar to any other saw of this style. There are a ton of cutters in the Atlanta Scroll Saw Club that do cutting with the Dewalt. There is one thing about Dewalt that is much better than any other saw out there that I know. The mechanism to tension blades is very precise. On the Pegas/Seyco/King style saws, that setting is almost "binary". On the 21" Pegus style saws, there is a little more flex in the arm than the 16", and it puts a little less stress on the blades. On my 16" King, I'll snap the blade every time, unless I take special precautions. Here is a video that shows a Jeweler blade breaking under normal loading, and also how I workaround that issue:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpvnN9bXw58&t=5s

                    As mentioned, don't buy a new EX. If you are looking at older used saws, the older Taiwan made Ex saws were good. Any good condition "Green" ex saws is ok. Any good condition Black EX Saw made in Taiwan is good. I would not buy any black EX made in Canada (non-supported now) nor any saw of any brand made in China. King sold in the states are identical to the older Taiwan EX saws. Pegas has a few additional improvements, especially in the clamp, that make it the best.

                    Don't believe the "smaller the blade the better" detail. Use the biggest blade that is appropriate for the types of cuts you are doing. For straight line cuts, or cuts with no sharp inside corners, I usually go 3/0 or even 2/0 on thicker coins. For sharp inside angles I like to use 6/0 to create the sharpest inside point I can. If you use 6/0 on everything, it is harder to "drive straight" and you will break a lot more blades. So use the largest Jeweler blades that is appropriate for the cutting you are doing. I could literally get buy with just a stash of 3/0 and 6/0 blades for these two usage senerios.

                    Finally, magnification is key. You can't cut detail you can't see. I have eyes probably worse than any of you, but I use these glasses, and cut with my face very close in.https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                    I have a friend using the Jeweler saws that uses an expensive Jewelers binocular setup that is probably better, and least for the hand jeweler saws, but that solution is a little steep for me, especially since I don't know if I could position it comfortably and still see around the arm of the Scroll Saw.
                    Last edited by hotshot; 01-15-2022, 07:54 PM.
                    "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                    website: http://www.coincutting.com

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                    • #11
                      Randy, Regarding blade tension on the EX 16. I was so used to the tensioning on my Hawk and was mystified by the inability t do so on the EX 16 that I had acquired. I don't want to mess with the back knob because that will throw the machine out of whack unless you bring it back to the same position each time between blade removal and replacement.

                      My work around is to place the blade in the upper clamp (I have the Pegas clamps) then clamp it in the bottom. I will then loosen the top clamp and lower the blade a bit in the clamp then tension ( approximately 1/16 or bit more) . It is now an automatic motion.

                      I hope that is clear. The blade visibility in the Pegas clamps is great with the red background.
                      Rolf
                      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Rolf, on the 21" I do sometimes have to add more tension when I'm cutting wood. I am a top feeder, so I clamp the blade into the top clamp first, feed down through the hole to the bottom clamp, then push down on the top arm to create some tension before I tighten the clamp. Then when I hit the tension lever, there is plenty. It is a little awkward as I usually tension the bottom clamp with both hands . . . . so I use my chin . . . . I kid you not.

                        For Jeweler blades, the default tension on the 21" is perfect.
                        Last edited by hotshot; 01-16-2022, 01:11 PM.
                        "Ever Striving, Never Arriving"
                        website: http://www.coincutting.com

                        Comment

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