Friday, September 23, 2016

Can Paper Cut Metal?

Can Paper cut metal?  After watching John Heisz's video "Can Paper Cut Wood" I was intrigued and thought about what else it can cut. I wanted to try something different so I came up with this idea of cutting metal with playing cards and using a router. 

The router spins up to 30,000 RPM which is necessary for a paper blade to cut metal. It needs to spin fast to work. As for the metal, I will be using an aluminum can, it is a soft and malleable metal.


Make a paper saw blade

The first part to make would be the 1/4" shank. A piece of threaded rod works best for this. 
Quick tip;  Bolt cutters are used to cut a piece of threaded rod to the desired length. It cuts easy and you don't have to pull out the hacksaw.

I used my new Belt Sander and took off the rough edges of the threaded rod. This will look better and make it safer to handle... and makes it easier to put the nuts on.

For the saw blades I will be using playing cards. I used a compass the type with two points and cut out a couple of blades. Several blades will be made since they will wear out quickly.

To enlarge the hole for the 1/4" shaft I used a punch, this is the same size as the threaded rod that will be used.

The router setup.   A Makita compact router and table will be used. This is a very handy table for small jobs.

 The paper blade is put on the  threaded rod or shaft and tightened with a couple nuts and washers. Two wrenches are used to make sure the nuts are tight, then it is placed in the router collet and tightened. Keeping the blade low to the table seemed safer to me.

This was the first cut, it was very clean and cut fast up to a point then the blade would wear quick and start to wander. 

The blade wears out very quickly because the aluminum can is very sharp and will cut the paper, also friction will cause the paper to burn.

It took three blades to cut the can. The blades are easy to make and exchange. 


Making saw blades from paper is very interesting, and to find out if they cut metal was incredible. This was more of a test to see if it would work. I probably would not make any more but I always like to experiment.   

If you want to make your own paper blades this is very easy. Let me know if you do. 

What else do you think paper would cut?

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Belt Sander Stand Build - Part 2

In the first part I built the main frame to hold the belt sander. It has a handle in the front for quick install and release of the sander. See here for the first part of the build.

Now I will show you how to build the second part of the belt sander. It will have two tables one for the side position and a tilting table for the upright position. The tables will be very easy to put on and take off.

The side table

To build the table for the side position the table top should fit perfect around the belt. This would work best and look best.

 A piece of cardboard was roughly cut out to the shape of the sander belt. Then it was placed against the belt and sanded down giving it a perfect profile.

The outline was traced onto the table top.

After it was cut on the bandsaw it was put on the stand and it was a perfect fit.
That was too easy to do and the results were incredible.

Making Knobs

This project will used three turn knobs. The cost of knobs can add up they can cost around $3.00-5.00, so if you can make your own that would make sense.  

Here I will show you step by step how to easily make your own knobs. 

1. First, clamp a store bought knob on a piece of wood and trace the top and bottom of the knob. Hardwood or plywood works best. Below I used a piece of maple.

2. Cut out the knobs on a bandsaw or you can use a jigsaw.

3. Drill out the center of the knob with the right size bit for the bolt you will be useing. This is a 1/4 " bit.

4. To make it look more like the store bought knobs  the bottom should be cut out. Using a small hand saw this can be done in minutes. 

 5. Bolts are added to the knobs using Gorilla Glue. The glue worked fine but needed a bit of clean up after it was set. 

The knobs are easy to make and when you are finished you can either lacquer or paint them. They will look just like store bought and you can make many for cheap.

Tilting table                                                        

T-nuts are added to the front plate. I just pounded them in and did not find it necessary to glue them or add a small screw for this application.

                     Slots for the upright table are cut with the bandsaw. 
                     This system will make it easy to add or remove the table.

A small block is drilled onto the front board. This will hold the table and will also help for support and keep things lined up. 

A drill guide block is used to drill a hole through both the sliding board and frame of the stand. A T-nut will be put in the back, this will be for the knob so the hole has to be precise.

 A slot is cut in the side for the tilting table.


The tilting table is just two pieces screwed together.

The wooden knob is added to the and can lock at any position up to 45 degrees. I tested it at different positions and it does lock very well. The table rests on the face board which helps keep it secure.

The table is taken apart and painted with lagoon and silver colour paint, which is the same colours as Makita tools. 


Sanders are great for any workshop whether you are a hobbyist or a woodworker. I think they are a necessity. With the tables and different positions this small workhorse will get the job done. 

With this handy sander you will find many uses and when you are finished it stores easy.

What type of sanders do you use? What is your favorite grit paper?

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