Zephyr Ring Saw
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I choose the saw that is right for me?
The Zephyr Ring Saw is smooth and quiet and cuts in any direction. Many people prefer the ability to cut in any direction, as they find it intuitive and useful. The main section of the saw can be removed from the base to allow the saw to be used hand-held. The Zephyr has a larger throat than the other saws in its class, which can be useful for some jobs.
Follow this link for an overview and short video that describes the differences between the various types of diamond saws.
2. I'm having trouble putting the work surface on. What's the secret?
The work surface is designed to fit tightly so that it will not rattle. The surface is easy to install once you know the technique. To install the work surface, put it in place starting with the left rear corner. Fit the left rear corner into the slot running around the base. Next, take your right thumb and push the right side of the platform towards the center of the saw and down. You will hear it snap into place.
3. What is the best way to mark the pattern before I cut?
As you undoubtedly have or will discover, the glass gets wet when you use a diamond saw. For this reason regular markers, such as Sharpies, quickly wash away. There are markers available that use paint rather than ink, and these are well suited for marking patterns on glass. The most popular of these seems to be the Pilot Extra Fine Gold and Silver Creative Marker. We have found these at our local Staples, and Office Depot has something similar. You can also copy your pattern onto overhead transparency material and glue or tape the pattern to the glass. Your stained glass dealer can probably recommend some commercial products that can be applied over a regular felt marker lines to improve their resistance to water. In a pinch, you can use Chap Stick or Vaseline.
4. Should I be taking any precautions when I don't plan to use the saw for awhile?
We recommend that after using the saw you empty the base, add some clean water, and run it for a few seconds. This will help to rinse out the glass dust that was in the dirty water and has accumulated on the inner workings. Emptying the base of the new water is a good idea if the saw will be sitting for a while, as the lowest pulley inside the saw would otherwise be sitting in water.
5. How do you change the blade?
Watch this video for a quick course in changing the blade.
6. What is a Separating Blade?
A Separating Blade allows you to make inside cuts without a lead-in. Watch this video for a short demonstration of using the Separating Blade.
6. What sort of preventive maintenance should I be doing?
You should open the covers and inspect the working parts on a regular basis. Clean out any sediment that has accumulated, rinse the inside with fresh water, and inspect the rubber wheel inserts for wear. When you notice that the rubber has worn enough so that it doesn't hold the blade from moving from side to side, you should replace them. Follow this link for more information on wheel maintenance. The residue from some of the materials that you will cut is much more abrasive than others, and after a few inspections you will have a good idea of how often to inspect and clean your saw. You can often extend the life of the blade when cutting speed diminishes by cutting a small section of a dressing stone, or alternately any hard gemstone or garden stone. This will help flush the softer material from the blade and sharpen the diamonds. Also, this is a good technique for removing burrs from the blade if you find that you are getting chipping in your glass.
7. How do I prevent small pieces of glass from falling through the blade hole in the worksurface?
If you are trimming your piece and having trouble with the very small scrap falling through the worksurface, you can cut a small square piece of tape, such as electical tape, to cover the hole. Cut a slit from the middle of one side to the center of the square so that you can install the tape around the blade. If you prefer, you can buy ready cut tape.
8. What size fuse is used in the Zephyr?
The Zephyr uses a standard fuse (some times called a mini fuse because of the size). It is 3 amps, fast acting. The easiest way to obtain replacments is to visit your local electronics store such as Fry's or Radio Shack.