Jeweler's Saws - Good Brands/Sources?

I'm looking for recommendations on good brands or sources for jeweler's
saws.
I've been using what is probably an import and am frustrated by it's
apparent inability to keep the blade tensioned.
Reply to
Mike Henry
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Gosh I thought this company would.
Mostly wood tooling but some are universal - US made with US material. FINE quality tools. But nope.
Martin
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
I'm a practising jeweller and have been using an Eclipse piercing saw frame for the last 40 years. It works fine for me. I've seen much more expensive ones but I wouldn't swap.
-- Regards, Gary Wooding
(Change feet to foot to reply)
Reply to
Wooding
Have you tried fixing it? If it's an ordinary jeweler's saw, the blade is held in place by a movable flat plate against the frame -- the movable plate and the frame must both be very parallel. Also, the fit of the movable plate against the post or screw must be LOOSE. Sloppy here is better because it allows the plate to align with the frame. Another, but less likely possibility is that the screw used to adjust the frame size is loose or worn. I've yet to see a jeweler's saw frame that couldn't be fixed by a little judicious filing of the plates and/or retapping a screw. I've got two saw-frames, probably Grobet's but the names are worn off. The newer one I bought about 55 years ago as an apprentice. The older one was my father's, which puts it about 85 or more years old. Both totally serviceable and never a slipping blade that I can recall -- unless the plates were dirty. Of course, you may not have real jeweler's saw frame. If you want to buy one, go to a professional jeweler's supplier such as Gesswein, Ritter, or I. Shors. A good saw frame is a once-in-a-lifetime, trouble-free, purchase.
Boris
Reply to
Boris Beizer
The one I have I got from Brownells years back,
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Before that, I had a couple of hobby shop ones that I had the same problem you're having. I don't know of any domestic manufacturers, all the ones I've seen, good and bad, have been imports from somewhere.
Stan
Reply to
Stan Schaefer
Thanks for the input Boris. The problematic saw is a cheap import bought at NAMES a few years ago from one of the vendors there. It's at work now, but AIR it is made of stamped steel that is poorly chromed and I'd rather spend a few bucks on a quality saw than an hour or so fixing a POS.
IAC, I've looked at the Gesswein site and would appreciate a recommendation on the saw frames listed here:
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I'm inclined toward an adjustable frame and those all seem to fall in the $10-20 range, but there's a fixed frame listed for $50. Is the extra money for the $50 frame justified?
Reply to
Mike Henry
recommendation
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You don't want a "fixed" frame for reasons I'll give below. The one I like best is the German, "flat" sawframe, # 187-1095 for about 10$. That looks like the closest to a traditional sawframe and happens also to be the cheapest. I can't understand why any one would by a so-called "fixed" saw frame -- especially since it costs about 4 times the regular adjustable saw frame. The "deluxe" saw frame, for $56 has several things going against it. For one, you can't adjust the frame size. This is important when you consider just how expensive saw blades are. It will be a very long time (years) before you acquire enough skill with a jeweler's saw before you wear out your blades instead of breaking them. A very long time. With blades at about 18 to 20 cents each, the money piles up. When you're learning, it is nice to be able to shorten the frame and put in a half length, broken off, blade. The shorter blade is also less likely to break. Another thing I don't like about the so-called deluxe frame is its size. It is heavy. And the big throat doesn't balance well. The narrow, 2.5 " frame is what you will use 99% of the time -- at least I do. Once in a rare while, I'll take out my deep (5" throat") frame. Get the smaller, cheaper, traditional frame for 10 bucks. Learn with thick blades. E.g., #1 or #2 -- you'll break plenty of those and it will take a long time to work up to being able to use 5-0 or finer blades. The most common reasons for breaking blades is that the stroke is not perfectly vertical -- that is, you tend to twist your wrist as you stroke. This pinches the blade between the work and snaps it off. Here are some more lessons in jeweler's saw 101.
1. You have to use a bench-pin to hold the work. Or some other fairly rigid method. Bench pins are the best -- we've learned that after about 1000 years.
2. Both the work and the saw must be held very firmly. That is quickly very tiring. The secret is to hold both loosely but securely with both hands relaxed during the up stroke and to clamp down with your work-holding hand on the dowstroke.
3. The stroke must be absolutely in line with the sawblade. Any wrist rotation is deadly -- until you learn how far you can really go.
4. Blade should be tight. It should give a nice, high-pitched "ping" when you pluck it. Second most common reason for breaking blades is that they were not put in properly. See below.
5. Lubricate the blade with beeswax. This is usually kept as a melted about the size of a dime on the right side of the bench pin -- lubricate every two or three dozen strokes, depending on the metal. None for wood, hardly ever for silver, more for gold, more yet for platinum. The blades are really not designed for steel, so expect to break and wear out lots of them.
6. Ask the women about it -- it's like sex, long, full-length, slow strokes are best. Beginners sound like jackrabbits with their tiny, frenetic, little strokes. Wears the blade out at only one spot. You'll find that the full-length stroke actually cuts faster. Once you've mastered it slow, you will speed up and then you'll be doing full-length, fast strokes -- even better. But it takes time.
7. Eventually you learn that the jeweler's saw is often used on its edge as if it were a file -- cutting with the protruding kerf -- gets in tight spaces that no file can reach.
8. You tighten the blade as follows. It takes longer to describe than to do. Some people tighten the bottom first, some the top first. I'll describe it using the bottom-up method because it's the way I was taught. I don't think it makes much difference which you do. I've described as a right-handed sawframe (the clamp screws on the right side of the frame as you look at the blade.) I've never seen a left-handed frame. The whole process takes less than two second.
a. Loosen both the top and bottom clamps. b. Place the blade between the clamps. That assures that there is no bend to it. c. Tighten the bottom clamp and see to it that in tightening, that you have not induced any twist -- that is the blade should still be straight. d. Put the top of the frame against the bench pin with the blade facing you and the handle on your chest and push in just the right amount -- about 1/8" is all you need. Holding it place, tighten the top clamp. e. Test the tension for a nice ping. f. One swipe through the beeswax. g. Go.
Boris
Reply to
Boris Beizer
Tried to thank you privately in email for the excellent writeup snipped below but suspect that the email never made it to you.
So, thanks for taking the time to write that up - it's been a huge help.
Reply to
Mike Henry

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