Jeweler's saw

Hi Troops:
    Has anyone out there had experience with using jeweler's saws and can recommend a source for a good one?? The one I have I bought from a hobby
shop many moons ago and it is a PITA to adjust and after a few strokes the blade works loose and bends. I need to bite the bullet and spend the $$ for a good one for an upcoming project.
                            Bill Shuey
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've used them for decades. Look for one at a real jeweler's supply house and get a supply of good blades. The trick is to get blade tension as high as possible with your hands, really clamp the blade ends and go slow.
"William H. Shuey" wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
And to not twist the blade - make straight, perpendicular draws.
--
- Rufus

Ron wrote:
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
in article zN%7e.17883$8Z6.950@attbi_s21, [NRufusAME] at snipped-for-privacy@mchsi.com wrote on 4/15/05 10:39 PM:

...and cut on the backstroke.
MB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Milton Bell wrote:

Yeah - that's what I meant by "draw"...the teeth should face the handle and cut when pulling vice pushing. Cut on the down-stroke.
Also - use a jeweler's bench...er...I forget the proper name for it. I used to cut on a wooden device about 3 inches wide with a V cut into the end of it...it also provided a small anvil for hammering, and clamped to the edge of the work table...wish I had one now, come to think of it. Easy enough to make with a C-clamp and a bit of scrap wood.
And proper seating also helps. Your elbow needs to be about the same height as the work, or just slightly lower. At least that worked for me.
--
- Rufus

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The "backstroke" is the stroke away from the teeth -- non cutting -- no matter how the blade is set.

The jeweler's saw is a pull saw, as are the many excellent Japanese saws. Once you've used pull saws, you wonder why the West ever adopted push saws make the blade bend. Pull saws tend to straighten the blade. In the case of a jeweler's saw, it's the difference between using the saw and breaking a new blade on every stroke.

It is called a "bench pin." It should be against the law to sell a jeweler's saw without a bench pin. Jewelers call it "the third hand."

Too high. The bench pin should be at about the middle of your chest when sitting .. say 34 to 36" above the floor. If you're tall sit on a lower stool. Elbows should be about 6 to 8 inches lower than the bench-pin and your hands. Hold the elbows that high and you won't be able to saw for hours on end without getting fatigued.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Boris Beizer wrote:

What I was trying to say...only better said...

Yeah - that's it...a bench pin. I used to have to match my seat to the bench I was working at during my school days. I like to have an adjustable stool; preferably a bar-type stool without arms or a backrest. I can work about anywhere with a stable surface in a room that way, seeing as how a bench pin is transportable.

I have to agree - elbow below the work. And I'll add that your set-up also allows a better advantage for eyes on/closer to the work.
I've never had to saw for hours - the copper and sterling sheet I used to work were pretty easy to cut as I remember...man, that was a long time ago...
--
- Rufus

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
>>>wrote on 4/15/05 10:39 PM:

After years (decades, actually) of making do with commercial bench pins from jeweler suppliers .. albeit, they are cheap enough .. one day I realized that I didn't have to put up with their deficiencies and started making my own. It only takes a few minutes with the right kind of wood and a bandsaw. My first was made of walnut. Looked nice, but didn't work as well .. the wood was too hard. I lucked into some 2" thick maple and I've used that to make exactly the bench pin I wanted. Bench pins wear out because you used them as drilling surface when drilling with your flexible shaft machine. Also, you are continually filing grooves to hold thin wire while filing it, or otherwise shaping a section of the bench pin for better holding of some part or another. So they wear out. They usually don't last a working jeweler more than a year or two. As a consequence, jeweler's workbenches have a slot in the front edge to hold a standard bench pin. It is well reenforced so that it does hold the bench pin quite firmly -- no wobble. Since I don't use a jeweler's workbench, my benchpin is permanently and very firmly screwed in to the bench. I don't like the commercial bench pins attached with a clamp or a built-in clamp because: 1) they're not firm enough for vigorous filing, 2) the top of the bench pin is not flush with the top of the work bench, 3) the clamp gets in the way. Similarly, I don't like bench pins with a built-in anvil surface. You use many different anvil shapes, so you have forming blocks and small anvils for that purpose. The standard jeweler's flat anvil block is quite heavy and well hardened. The built-in anvil blocks I've seen are made of iron or steel that is much to soft to be used a long time.

Jewelry metals are pretty soft. Silver is very soft. 14k gold is soft. 24k gold is too soft for practical jewelry work. Platinum (usually 10% iridium) as also softish. White gold is almost as hard as mild steel. Copper is actually difficult because it is very soft and has a tendency to gum up and clog the blades. A jeweler's saw is not used just for sawing. It is often used for filing in tight places. When you get to the point where you're no longer breaking blades, you start to use the saw as if it were a file. This is especially the case for shaping inside of small holes -- say a mounting for a very small square or triangular stone. Often, you can get in with the saw where you can't get in with a file. Another advantage is that unlike a file, the saw is always sharp -- even if you have to replace the blade once in a while. The thinner blades also have a higher pitch, so you can achieve almost as smooth a finish as compared to a file. The saw, stroke for stroke, removes metal much faster than a file. Finally, there's the cost. Very small files that you need to get into tight spaces are usually very smooth, so they don't cut quickly and they also break .. as easily as sawblades. Maybe easier because you are always applying pressure in a breaking mode. These are some of the reasons you can end up sawing for hours on end.
Boris
--

-------------------------------------
Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Boris Beizer wrote:

Yeah - they are consumable/disposable. I always hated the flex-shaft tool, though. I prefer a hand drill. Just me...

That makes lots of sense. I've thought about converting a woodworking bench into a jeweler's bench, or building my own...much the same as you describe.

I like a variety of anvils - so I just consider the flat one an extra.

I was actually surprised at how hard 10K gold is the first time I worked with it. Was expecting it to be much softer.

I've seen some grit impregnated string around machine shops for doing slight interior finishing - always thought it would be useful to fit this into a saw frame...like a Flexi-File.
--
- Rufus

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Milton Bell wrote:

I find for scoring cuts only that putting the blade in for forward cuts works best; for through cuts the backstroke works best.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William H. Shuey wrote:

I don't use a jeweler's saw (for some of the reasons you mention). I do use a razor saw in a knife handle for straighter cuts, and a jig saw. What exactly do you need to cut with the jeweler's saw on the project? I use the jig saw for plastic and wood. If you are cutting metal to sharp curves, that would be the only place I see where the jeweler's saw would come in handy. I use a nibbler for outside cuts and anywhere the inside cut can get a sufficient starting hole. Otherise it is drill small holes and file.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can buy an excellent saw from any proper jewelry supply house for about $10. It will last you a lifetime. I've had mine for about 60 years and it is still going strong. My father's saw is now about 80 years old and still good.
Your problem may not be the saw, but the way you are setting the blade. But before than, the problem may be the saw blade clamps. Here's how to fix them.
1. Take the movable part of the clamp (the little square block with a hole in it) and check it for flatness against a steel block. If it isn't flat, using a small hammer, make it so.
2. use a fine file and put in some crossed diagonal scores (about 3/32" apart) on all four gripping surfaces.
The proper technique for inserting a blade is below. The process takes much longer to explain than to do. A blade change, done properly, takes a few seconds.
1. Open both clamps.
2. Put the handle of the saw against your chest (frame down) and lean into the workbench to give the frame a slight bend. If the frame bends, throw it away .. it is useless junk.. buy a new saw frame. If the frame breaks, either you have an incredible tolerance for pain (what with the pointy end of the handle into your chest) or the frame was not properly tempered.
3. Holding the frame against the bench with your chest, insert the blade completely into the clamp near you, putting it about the middle of the clamping area (up/down middle, but as far back (towards you) as it goes) Tighten the near clamp. The blade should be lying in the center of the far clamp.
4. Tighten the far clamp. Neither clamps have to be particularly twisted hard. It doesn't take a lot of pressure to hold a blade.
5. Pluck the blade. It should emit a nice "ping" That's the best way to judge blade tension. The higher the note, the tighter the blade.
Boris
--

-------------------------------------
Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Boris Beizer wrote:

Um, most jewelers saws for the past 20 years have had sliding frames and after clamping the blade you loosen a nut, tension the blade then tighten the nut.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

.
Double umm.. Most jeweler's saws for the past 120 years have had a sliding frame. All my saws, those I used as an apprentice 55 years ago, and those my father used for years before that, and all the proper saws I have ever seen, have had a sliding frame.
The reason for the sliding frame is that it enables you to use different length blades. Saw blades break -- especially when you are first learning to master the saw and they are relatively expensive. You can slide the frame so that you can now use both halves of the blade. In fact, you can go down to blades as little as 1.5" long -- albeit sawing gets a bit difficult then. Your suggested use of the frame length adjuster and clamping method does not work. It is impossible to get the proper tension that way, and besides it takes much, much longer than the "old-fashioned" way I was taught, my father was taught, and every real jeweler I ever met was taught. I tried it the "new" way you suggested just now. It takes three hands. I can't do it with my teeth, because my dentures wouldn't stand up to it .. The only way I can see to do it that way, is if you have a prehensile male member.. In which case, there's a lot more money to be made in the circus than screwing around with Jeweler's saws.
Boris
------------------------------------- Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting 1232 Glenbrook Road on Software Testing and Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006 Quality Assurance
TEL: 215-572-5580 FAX: 215-886-0144 Email bsquare "at" sprintmail.com
------------------------------------------
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Boris Beizer wrote:

Hate to tell you, I've been doing this way for 20 years and it works just fine. The only blade life problems I've ever had are due to the weird material being cut, namely soft copper sheathing over tefzel dielectric with a silver plated hardened copper conductor....otherwise known as semi-rigid cable. For brass, plastic, aluminum, poylurethane resin, basswood, cherry and acrylic cutting on model stuff blade breakage just isn't an issue. I guess my two hand are just extra coordinated....or maybe it's how I position my left pinky toe on rainy Wednesdays when there's a full moon.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

in month's with hemmorhoids?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
e wrote:

Denis exists in all months..........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.