Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jeweler's Saw Tips

No one has taught me how to use a Jeweler's Saw. I've only learned by trial and error. But I thought I would share some things that I've learned.

Buy yourself a bench pin. Either with a V cut out, or cut it out yourself. They are invaluable.

Expect to break a lot of blades and don't get upset. Just make sure you buy lots of them. Dozens. Really.

The saw blade should be tight in the saw. I start by inserting the blade on the side of the saw opposite from the handle, and tighten the screw. Then I push the handle into the middle of my rib cage and press (ow), insert the other side of the blade and tighten the screws.

When you quickly pull and release the blade, it should "ping" . (If it doesn't, unscrew the blade, press the handle harder into your ribcage, and insert that blade in the saw taunt.)

The teeth of the blade should point down and out. If you can't see them, you can run your finger against the blade to make sure they're pointing the right way. (Now that you've checked, go back and reinsert your blade the right way.)

When sawing, remember to let the teeth of the saw do the work. Do not push the saw

When sawing, keep the saw straight and not angle it.

Most of the progress in sawing is made on the downward stroke. But it's easier to start your cut by bringing the blade up than down.

When cutting a circle or pattern, move the metal sheet, not the blade.

Use long, even strokes instead of short, quick ones. It will cut much quicker that way. EXCEPT when sawing a corner/angle. Then saw in place with short quick cuts and move the metal sheet, not the blade.

Lubricating your blade often. (I use bee's wax, but there are other products available.)

Read every article you can, on how to use a jeweler's saw.

Remember, it WILL get easier. And, who knows, you might even find that it's fun!

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  1. DalkullanJewelry said...
    Interesting blog post, the saw can be tempermental, that's for sure. Thanks for the useful tips.
    I've found letting the saw do the work, by not pressing too hard, and taking my time really helps.
    AFlyOnTheWall said...
    WOW - for someone with no training you have it down!

    One other tip - hold the metal down firmly the saw blade breaks are usually the result of bouncing the metal when you draw the blade.

    Have fun playing!

    Contrariwise said...
    Thanks Robyn!

    You're right about that (having learned it the hard way). The Bench Pin helps with this but most of my saw blade breaks are probably due to me not holding the metal securely and allowing it to bounce about.
    sandyxxx said...
    I love the summary you put for your work. They describe your work very well. When I first see your creation, it strikes me immediately is the colors. It is so strong and beautiful. You have very good sense of colors and details and skills of sewing. Good work!
    925 sterlingsilver

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