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Old 11-20-2019, 02:40 AM
Sean Jones Sean Jones is offline
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Worn jack blades

When I made my jacks I used mild steel for the blades. I wasn’t sure there was any point in using carbon steel and hardening them as they were going to get hot in service which could re soften them.
Now I have a little experience I can see that they need to be ware resistant. Is it worth using manganese steel (if I can find it) or is mid/high carbon best. From the colour of my used pair I’d guess it is worth hardening them as they don’t appear to get hot enough to draw there temper and loose there hardness.
I know I shouldn’t be grinding them on cold neck lines, I’m getting better at that.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:10 PM
Eben Horton Eben Horton is offline
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This is just my opinion but you shouldn’t judge a jack by its durability but by its workability. You want a set of blades that heat up quickly and hold wax.
Ivan Smith made his blades out of medium carbon Sheffield spring steel. He personally told me this.

If you blow glass properly you should not wear out your blades in your life time. The worst habit (and I have seen many English blowers do this) is to grab the punty rod with your jack blades to apply the punty to the bottom of your piece. This will wear your jacks out in a year of doing this on a regular basis.

If you make blades that are built to be durable the working properties of the steel on the glass may be less than favorable.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:53 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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If your jacks are getting hard enough to lose temper, you're doing it wrong. Medium steel should be fine, but Jim uses high and Jeff uses spring. Just remember to be nicer to your jacks that the other tools, your tweezers don't care what you do to them.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:26 PM
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Pete VanderLaan Pete VanderLaan is offline
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My best pair of jacks was made for me by Shorty Finley out of a leaf Spring on an old chevy. Those sadly vanished but they were light and held wax well.
I had a job at one point about 20 years back doing 800 weights and heavy vases for Washington Mutual. The weights were large and involved a hard jacking down off the punty. I wore a groove in the Moores and replaced them with Cutting Edge which have not worn at all. Of all of them, I really miss the one's Shorty made but a lot of that is probably sentimental.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:05 PM
Shawn Everette Shawn Everette is offline
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Jeff's materials and workmanship are top notch, but the ergo's always a little off for me. The angle the handles are set just seem too funky for me to want to get used to. If I had those demascus shears I might change my mind.

The Moore's have always fit my hand better, but they can get beat up easy. I have to fix shop sets every semester, but my personal set is working on 10+ years.

I won't bother to talk about essemce.
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Old 11-20-2019, 04:40 PM
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My first duck bills came from Essemce. Henry Summa wound up with them but they were wonderful compared to the stuff from Putsch, Jeff's duck bills continue to serve me well.
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:50 PM
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David Patchen David Patchen is online now
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There's a new glassblowing supply store opening in the UK called The Glass Toolbox; you can find them if you google. I'd recommend you see what commercially made jacks they carry and get a pair. The issue of jack blade material has been worked out (with varying degrees of success) and I bet any decent commercially-made jacks (Maruko, Jasen Johnsen, Carlo Dona, Jim Moore, Cutting Edge) are going to be better than what you make. That is unless you enjoy spending more time metalworking and less time glassblowing. Work hot and they won't wear much at all.
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