RE: Bone Saw

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From:"Tarpley, John" <>
To:"" <>, "''" <>
Date:Mon, 11 Oct 1999 08:38:01 -0700

I agree with Jim Hall's comments regarding Olsen blades. One point to
remember however is that when using spiral blades they will cut in any
direction. Generally we consider that scroll saws don't cut unless we apply
pressure into the blade tooth, but with a spiral blade lateral motion will
also cause the blade to cut sideways which could give some unexpected
results. I also agree that using a scroll saw should be safer than using a
band saw which can cause burning of the bone as well as driving bone dust
fairly deep into the cut surface, but it is still possible to get cut using
a scroll saw. On either type of saw it is a good idea to fabricate a V block
holder for round objects such as femoral heads and long bones. This can be
as simple as a V notch cut into a suitable sized block of wood or something
made from plastic which would be much easier to clean. A device like this
can even be fitted with hold down clamp(s) to help keep your fingers away
from the danger zone. The block prevents the object being cut from rolling
during the cut which is likely what happened when the femoral head went
flying across the room. Finally, the best solution to bone sectioning that
I've found is the use of a low speed diamond saw such as those made by
Buehler Ltd. They're not inexpensive, but they produce a quality cut without
any burning or bone dust. Most importantly since they're actually grinders
rather than saws you can have your fingers very close to the cut without
much danger. Even when using an instrument as safe as this you still need to
use basic safety precautions and common sense. Hope some of this helps. Best
of luck.

John Tarpley 15-2-B
Associate Scientist
Specialist Image Analysis & Immunohistochemistry
Amgen Inc
One Amgen Center Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA  91320

Views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer

> ----------
> From:[]
> Sent: 	Sunday, October 10, 1999 8:24 AM
> To:
> Subject: 	Bone Saw
> Recently, one of our pathologist instructed us to buy a Scroll Saw so that
> we 
> would be safer cutting femoral head. (Our current method; using a Large 
> butchers ban saw tends to throw head at a great speed when you loose your 
> grip.  Ouch!!  Not to mention the risk of loosing a digit ) The problem
> with 
> the new saw, is that the blades for this saw are very thin 2-3mm and the 
> sections are jagged, when we replaced the blades with a thicker blade
> (6-7mm) 
> we are not able to adjust the tension tight enough to utilize it.  Also
> the 
> biomed department thinks we will not find a blade that will work.  The Saw
> was ordered along with a variety of blades that range from metal cutting
> to 
> softer material cutting blades.  The pathologist swears that a similar saw
> was used at Johns Hopkins, where he did his residency. Any help on ways to
> utilize this saw would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks
> Patty Eneff

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