Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'v been thinking of buying a jewelers saw and was wondering if any one has tried one and is it worth the investment?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using them for about ten years now and while I hate them as fickle, fragile, evil pesky things I can't live without 'em.

 

They do work on steel, but you need great patience, a steady hand, and a large stock of very good blades in the proper size. If you get one, get the smallest frame that will fit what you want to do. They come in 2" deep, 5" deep, 6" deep, and even larger for working on big thin sheet, but the shallower frames are more rigid and result in less blade breakage. Buy the best blades you can afford from a jewelry supply place, not a knife supply place.

 

The only tricks are knowing what blade to use (must have at least three teeth in the cut at all times, but not more than six if you want to get it done), and being able to hold it perfectly vertical while sawing and applying just enough pressure to cut without bending the blade in any direction. The blades are high carbon, hair-thin, and will happily fatigue and snap at the slightest bad move on your part.

 

Get a copy of Tim McCreight's "The Complete Metalsmith" for some good tips on fine metalwork before you start sawing. It will help you in many ways.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got 2 a cheap one and a good one. Don't bother wasting your money on a cheap one, if you can't afford a good one (still not much) don't bother. The cheap one I got from a knife supply place. The good one from a jewelry supply place.

 

With a little practice you can dull blades before they break. A jewelery cutting v block helps. (I think that is the right terminology).

 

ron

Link to post
Share on other sites

You want a nice, German saw and good blades. A jewelry bench pin (the V-block above,) is the ticket. Saw straight up and down, turn your piece and not the saw, sit with your sawing shoulder in line with the piece, sit lower than you normally do and with a little practice you should be able to saw through anything short of hardened steel.

Link to post
Share on other sites

They are not a costly investement and there usefulness will have much to do with your temperment. If you are patient meticulous type person they are invaluable IMO. I have been using them for about 20 years now. I cut steel plate with them frequently... It takes a great deal of patience and very good form to optimize, but you can do some great stuff with a $15 frame.

Jewelers saw project

Patrick :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Impressive work, Patrick...

 

I find mine useful for slotting guards on the rare occasion I make a knife with a guard. I drill 2 holes and saw out the excess between them with the jewelers saw, and then touch it up with a thin file. It seems to be more foolproof for me than other methods I've tried.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow thanks for all the input every one that makes it a no brainer. Patrick the pic's were amazing thank you I can' wait to try for myself.

 

Kip

Link to post
Share on other sites

A trick I learned in school was to wax the blade. Just saw gently on a harder chunk of wax to coat the blade. You will get a little more forgiveness when you apply pressure in a non-desired direction. You will break a few less blades. Once you get the hang of it, the wax becomes unnecessary.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to this topic I once again tried cutting the slot for my guard with a jewelers' saw. Oh my gosh!, it worked. This time I built a bench pin. It made all the difference. It only took me about 15 or 20 minutes and the slot was cut. Another few file and fit, file and fit tries and I had a tight fit. Oh my gosh!!!

 

Thanks all, Art

Edited by Art Lawrence
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

I'm planning to try one of these:

 

http://www.knewconcepts.com/saws.php

 

I use mine a fair bit; the only caveat on Lee's saws is if you're doing a lot of piercing (cutting out internal shapes) then the standard screw top is very slow to undo & redo (for an eternity ring I completed a wee while ago, I ended up swapping back to one of my older sawframes because of that). The lever tensioner version gets around that.

 

The rigidity of the frame is very good, but is particularly noticeable in the larger sizes, where frame flex is a lot worse on the more traditional designs.

 

As for blades - buy the best (usually the more expensive ones!). The cheap selection packs that you see around are invariably not terribly good; they either break quickly or blunt. All the Swiss ones I've used have been very good; if you're cutting steel (for tsuba for example) then I've found blades meant for platinum work are good. Buy lots, you'll break them :) Do lube the blade - although I find that if I cut into the block of wax with the blade, the teeth end up packed with wax + filings, so I always lube the back & sides of the blade. Doesn't need much, just an occasional wipe.

 

Above all, don't force the saw - let it cut under its own weight, more or less; if you want to change direction, march the saw in place and turn it gradually so it cuts its way around to the new direction.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Just chiming in my little bit but as with all saws, files, and chisels it is handy to keep it well oiled to remove friction and make your life a lot easier. I tend to follow the mutton pot example and use types of lard/bacon fat to lubricate things and protect them from rust. It will make your life so much easier with both wood and metal. Let the saw do the work your just moving it up and down it does the cutting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Knew concept saw frame

 

There's only one guy who uses it and endorses it that I can say I like his work. However, don't fool yourselves guys. The tool alone doesn't do the work. Learning the correct technique and doing a lot of practice does.

 

The person I'm referring to is James Miller FIPG

http://hartquotes.blogspot.co.uk/2008/05/june-2008.html

 

As you can see in the picture, he's using a regular traditional pattern saw frame, however he's been endorsing the Knew concept frame for a while.

 

As PS Bond mentioned, I have heard plenty about how slow it is to change blades, and there's a big difference in price for the convenience that should have already come included if you are claiming to make sawing easier! Also, the red colour, what nonsense. Why didn't they anodize their titanium frame (their most expensive hand model) if the colour was that important? To go with that marketing charade they should offer Digital camo and Multicam paint jobs for it :P

 

I will probably get one of the small ones one day to try it out, but trust me, I will paint it a different colour. Also, I doubt that if swapping blades is that much of a hassle, that I will swap my vintage German and English saws for this. Maybe will keep it for cutting 4-6mm mild steel fitting blanks.

 

Also, did I mention they are expensive?

Edited by Hÿllyn
Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Knew concept saw frame

 

There's only one guy who uses it and endorses it that I can say I like his work. However, don't fool yourselves guys. The tool alone doesn't do the work. Learning the correct technique and doing a lot of practice does.

 

The person I'm referring to is James Miller FIPG

http://hartquotes.blogspot.co.uk/2008/05/june-2008.html

 

As you can see in the picture, he's using a regular traditional pattern saw frame, however he's been endorsing the Knew concept frame for a while.

 

As PS Bond mentioned, I have heard plenty about how slow it is to change blades, and there's a big difference in price for the convenience that should have already come included if you are claiming to make sawing easier! Also, the red colour, what nonsense. Why didn't they anodize their titanium frame (their most expensive hand model) if the colour was that important? To go with that marketing charade they should offer Digital camo and Multicam paint jobs for it :P

 

I will probably get one of the small ones one day to try it out, but trust me, I will paint it a different colour. Also, I doubt that if swapping blades is that much of a hassle, that I will swap my vintage German and English saws for this. Maybe will keep it for cutting 4-6mm mild steel fitting blanks.

 

Also, did I mention they are expensive?

 

I have had a chance to use three different models now. The first generation versions were very awkward IMO. Any advantages from the stiffer frame were burned away by slow awkward blade changes. The tensioning mechanism often simply falling apart and was fussy to put back together. The newer cam tension models I have used both the aluminum and titanium versions. Both of these were the deeper throat models. I have to say that the stiffer frame makes itself much more felt and appreciated in the deeper frames. Still the quality of construction and precision of the components seems rather low grade. In my class one of my generous students offered to donate a brand spanking new one to me. As much as I like free stuff I declined.

 

My $15 German frame saw has too many advantages over the new fangled versions. One issue is the pin hole type blade mount. These get clogged with blade lube metal dust and broken blade bits are difficult remove Not an issue with the flat plate type vise on my saw. Mounting and tensioning the blade on the concept saw is two to three different actions. The screws that hold the blades in the concept saw have weak little plastic handles cast over a steel screw. These don't look like they will hold up IMO. In my experience the plastic always breaks off tensioning levers like this. Also I find there is not enough leverage to tighten the screws enough for the amount of tension I like so blade pop loose on me.

I really did not like the look of the cam axis. The shaft or tube this pivots on has plastic plugs on either end. I am not sure what purpose these serve, but they are just smashed in there and it looks sloppy. If i pay $50 to $200 for a saw frame I want the thing to look and feel qualitative and to last a lifetime. This saw just does not inspire me with confidence. I have been using my German saw frame for over 20 years now and I have never had maintenance it ever.

 

I think if you need an ultra deep frame that the concept saw is worth looking into. In the sizes I like 5 inch or smaller I personally prefer a standard frame.

Patrick :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I concur Patrick.

 

I was thinking of a deep frame to cut lengths for blanks and other larger formats.

 

There's something I do about the clogging issue, and that is to pierce a piece of nitrile or similar with the blade and then just use it as a bib. Admittedly that grobet that requires the bib is my least favourite of my saws and thus I use it very rarely. Sometimes when I pick it up, it is because I put blades on all my saws, so if one breaks I cycle through two of them at least.

 

My vintage ones are just a dream and further make the point about over engineering not being the answer if you will cock it up during manufacture by making poor material and procedure choices.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...