Using a Bow Mill…PART I

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  • #49039
    tmac1956
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    Well, I finally decided to try to figure out how to use the old bow mill that I picked with some other tools a while back. I’m using nickle silver wire as I don;t have any silver wire large enough.

    DISCLAIMER: I am not a jeweler and I figure one could cast a better bow than by bending the wire.

    1) I found a piece of rod stock the diameter of the I.D. of the bow that I wanted. I placed it in my vise and clamped the wire as shown.

    2) Wire bent around the rod stock.

    3) Wire prior to cutting.

    4) I used cutters to cut the wire and left a small gap to clear the pendant.

    continued…

    #57623
    tmac1956
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    5) Next I filed the ends to flatten the deformation left by the end nippers.

    6) I set up the bow mill in a small vise.

    7) I finally figured out what the spring loaded plunger was for – it holds the bow in place by placing tension with the spring arm. As you crank the handle, it seems to help by milling in both directions. One could reduce the ends down further by using successively smaller milling holes.

    8) This is what I ended up with. It’s not very good, but with a little more effort I think it will work for pocket watches.

    NOTE! No choice expletives where used in the making of this presentation. ;)

    #57624
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
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    Nice post Tom, it always takes a bit of practice to get used to a new tool. Thanks for taking the time to post it up, I have never seen one of these before and I am sure it will be a very useful tool as you quite often see bows missing.
    Paul.

    #57625
    jim1228
    Participant
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    Great set up and awesome pics

    Jim

    #57626
    tmac1956
    Participant
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    All:

    Thanks for the support. It’s a neat little tool and I’ve never seen anything on how to use it. You’d think YouTube would have at least one video on this topic. If it does, I can’t find one.

    Thanks!
    Tom

    #57627
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
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    Hey Tom, looks fun….. do you think you have to flatten the ends seeing as your milling the ends anyway? just a thought. William

    #57628
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    William:

    Maybe… but I’m not sure I understand how to flatten them…

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Tom

    #57629
    tmac1956
    Participant
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    @willofiam wrote:

    Hey Tom, looks fun….. do you think you have to flatten the ends seeing as your milling the ends anyway? just a thought. William

    William:

    I mis-read your post. Yes… I probably didn’t need to flatten the ends. D’oh!

    Thanks,
    Tom

    #57630
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
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    Tom,
    Try a brass rod, it will machine easier than nickel. You can make a ring roller with the tools you have that will roll a perfect ring but it is difficult to describe in a post. Harbor Freight sells them for not a whole lot of money and you can probably find them for sale on Ebay. When you see a picture of one you will understand how they work and can size it down to the size ring you want
    david.

    #57631
    tmac1956
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 171
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    David:

    I’ll search for those – I’ve never heard of these before.

    Thanks!
    Tom

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tmac1956Using a Bow Mill…PART I