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Looking for ideas on cutting split cross / Freidrich cross blanks


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My daughter goes to a Catholic High School and I want to make split crosses for her class and all the teachers and SIsters there for graduation. I am going to make about 150- 175 of these. I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on better ways of getting the blanks cut. I want to use 3/8 or 1/2 inch square stock. I have cut out 5 at a time using my portaband on a table, so I know I can do it, I am simply asking for suggestions on better ways. For example, I was thinking maybe getting the slits cut in the stock using a water jet or similar process. Thanks for any and all suggestions ahead of time

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Wow, that's a lot of crosses. If it's anything like our local engineering shops, water jet cutting would be cost prohibitive. I would go with 3/8 stock and the bandsaw ... plenty of patience and a couple of spare blades on hand.

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I built a guided splitter jig for my power hammer that works well on hot material. It cuts from both top and bottom so 2-3 hits and I'm done, although I sometimes will have to hot rasp a few sharp burrs. I have used it to split crosses (just never made 150 at one sitting).

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Upright bandsaw with a fence as a guide would be my 1st thought. If you clamped a stop to the guide, you could simply just push the stock thru until you hit the stop and then pull it out and grab the next one.

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I know I'm in for the long haul - appreciate the suggestions. I just know pushing that many through the bandsaw will get quite tiresome. That's why I asked. However, as we all know, it will be worth it - even if only one person appreciates the effort and thoughtfulness put into making them, that's enough for me!

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Cut them out of 1/4 in. sq.  Cut the top a little longer and draw it out to a long taper and put a eye on the end (with scrolling tongs) to attach a cord.  I will use a small two brick gas forge for the opening up.  Then I have a treadle torch to heat the tapered end (this a big help).  I will cut 125 out in about 3- 4 hrs with my porta band saw with a small table mounted on it using guides and stops. Then about 2-3 hrs to forge out.  I also made a putty knife like tool with a S-7 tool steel blade attached to a 5/16 round twisted handle, for opening the cross this also is a big time saver.

Then like you I will give them all away. 

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I think the saying of "Patients is a virtue" would be appropriate here. When I worked in a tool shop we had jobs that required 100-300 items to be hand cut on a bandsaw. We usually had a jig that allowed for extra level of safety and it's easy to loose concentration doing work like that and injuries were soon to follow. Get an early start.

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The band saw with a guide is the way to go. Do batches of 10 so, you don't get discouraged. 5 months is twenty weeks,that should give you enough time to knock it out. Another approach, would be to have a few buddies over and knock out the cutting all at once. With everything cut you can forge out the batches yourself when time is available. I am always reminded of a saying one of my instructors was fond of when I was a cadet, " what is the most expensive thing? Ans. Free time" . You have a great idea there, good luck with your project.

Peter

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Look for a laser cutting shop. The one I checked with for a project of mine could do .375 with great accuracy, .500 with a little more tolerance, and surface texture for the same speed. Plus they may cut you a break when you tell them what they are for.

For long , or heavy,cuts on a bandsaw I always use what I call a belly board. I get a board that is long enough to reach from the part to my waist. Once the part is started I place the board against it,and just lean against it to feed the part through the blade. The fingers don't get strained this way. To keep the cut straight on the line I just shift side to side. Works great for me.

If you do use a bandsaw get the correct pitch blade. You want at least 3 teeth touching, and a coarse pitch will cut faster. An 8-10 tpi should work best for either .375, or.500.

Another option would be to make a jig to hold them in a horizontal bandsaw.

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Thanks for the advice Mr. trez Cole. I figured that I would try different ways 10 at a time to find the most efficient. I do think that cutting them all, then starting the opening up process, then finishing is probably the best route. Reckon I will be finding out though.

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My old joints don't like pushing stock through my band saw lengthwise like they used. I've been kicking around sacrificing one of my old buggered up C clamps for a screw feed. It needs guides, first so it clamps to the saw table at 90* to the blade, secondly guides to hold and direct the stock through the blades and lastly a nice but not necessary depth stop.

 

Maybe the ticklish part is the contact between the stock and the feed screw. Not a big deal but it needs to feed as directly down the length of the stock as possible so will probably want some sort of way guides. Of course those need to be adjustable too for different stock thicknesses.

 

I know that's not a very clear picture but I haven't been giving this a whole lot of thought, it's way back burnered so I just do a little brain dabbling with the idea now and then.

 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Frosty, been thinking the same kinda thing. Have been thinking about a jig with a replaceable center piece that has a slot for whatever size stock I am using. Then using the screw to push the stock up the slot. That way I could have different size inserts for various stock, like 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, or whatever, so I can cut in the center of it.

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Wow, that's a load.  I just got a portaband for Christmas and cut one out of 5/8.  took a while.  look for donations or do what biggundoctor mentioned and look for a cut shop.  you may want to consider cutting more for gifts/demos later on while you are at it.

good luck and enjoy

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This worked good. They are 2 1/2" long cut from 3/8" stock.I made a jig to hold them in a horizontal band saw. First cut was made down to horizontal piece on the jig. Then, after inserting 3/4" spacer block, piece was flipped & rotated 90 degrees.  After cutting in the jig, I cut 3/4 off a long leg.   made probobly 20 in 1 hour. We had Pioneer Day at our church last fall. They make good demonstration pieces after pre cutting. Folks watched like it was magic . . . It kinda is!  I hope the pictures help.

post-8563-0-16253700-1420216909_thumb.jp

post-8563-0-49991400-1420216923_thumb.jp

post-8563-0-62593900-1420216935_thumb.jp

post-8563-0-90308000-1420216943_thumb.jp

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