How To Use A Jewellers Saw
I’m going to show you how to use one of these, a jeweller’s saw, and here’s a smaller one. Also you’re going to need an assortment or a set of saw blades for them. This is how you’re probably going to get yours. They can look different between different brands and I personally like this one better because the throat is a lot bigger, so you can cut a lot easier on bigger objects.
This next part is very important, so pay attention or you’re not going to be able to cut metals how you would like to. As you can see from this graph it shows you what thickness you need to be cutting on in inches and centimetres and what blade goes along with it and also what gauges will cut with it. You can use this and get exactly what you need, I have never used this chart and I go based off how I feel with each blade by testing it on different metals. The choice is yours really.
This is how you want your saw blade to look; you want the teeth facing down so when you pull down it catches and cuts. You have the opposite direction, you’ll be pulling your piece up and then it just doesn’t work properly. This is a 6.8mm piece of copper and it’s pretty rigid. You can see I can bend it and it bounces right back. This is a .27mm piece of brass and I can bend it and it stays. Cutting on that is very hard to do, it’s easier just to use snips.
Let’s get a saw blade on this, first loosen up every point of it, so you can slide it. Mine is a little sticky from oil that I use for sawing, yours should just open right up. Now pick your saw blade. Once you get the saw blade into the first one, tighten it down and then adjust it so you can fit it into the top end. Once you’ve got that, tighten it and now to tighten the blade, you push up right here, pull and tighten.
It should be nice and tight now, don’t push too hard but it should just be a really tight blade. Same thing with this one. Both of these pretty much work the same, but there are different designs for different tightening points. I use regular vegetable oil, a spray paint can top and a q-tip. I just lightly apply it to the blade, real quick, barely anything. Good, this one to just to show you. You also need to apply it while cutting.
First you’re going to want to mark the piece, I use printer paper and print out the pattern I made in Illustrator and use an adhesive on the back to basically glue it to the piece of metal. Once that’s done I let it dry a bit and make sure it’s stuck because it will slip off. This piece is a little more complicated than others because I’m going to be drilling holes to cut out centre pieces so I use a punch and I don’t punch it all the way down, it will dent the metal in ways I don’t want it. I just make a point, basically a little starter hole, so I can drill it out.
I make sure to go to all the areas that need a hole and take my drill with a micro drill bit that I have and drill a hole out. To cut out holes that are inside of something you’re going to need to undo your blade and put it through the hole that you just drilled. Once you do that be careful not to break the blade and reattach everything, reset your saw and start sawing. This part is going to be a little backwards just because I’ll be teaching you after I cut these out, how to manoeuvre the blade so you can actually do what I’m doing here. I wanted to show this so you can see how cutting out a piece inside of another piece works.
So here’s how you cut with a blade. What you’ll want to do is put it up against the metal that you want and push up first to make an initial cut and then pull down. If it doesn’t work just push up again and go down until it catches. You’re going to want to keep moving your hand up and down without turning or angling as much as you can.
How you’re supposed to use one of these is you turn the work under it and keep it straight at all times. I don’t do that, I turn the work, I turn the blade whenever I need to. I do it completely wrong but it works and I can get very detailed with a lot of my work as you may have seen on my website and on my shop.
You are going to get a snag every once in a while or it’s going to get harder to cut, you can add a very small amount of oil to the blade and it makes it a lot easier to cut your metal with. Also if you get snagged and it will just not saw anymore, you’ve probably turned your blade or the piece too much and you’re going to need to readjust it. What I do is let go of the piece and slightly let go of the blade itself and it will all move back to where it is aligned and then try moving it gently. If you’re too rough with the blade you’ll just break it.
If we’re going around corners or edges you always want the blade to be moving. If you need to curve, be sawing and slowly moving it at the same time. If you need to make a hard angle or a hard turn, saw up and down at one spot and slowly turn the piece or the blade, depending on how you want to do it and it will actually turn with it.
So far so good, it looks as good as I can right now, just because I’m on camera and there’s a tripod right here and it makes it really hard for me to cut when it was on the really big piece. So my lines aren’t going to be 100% straight in the middle pieces but this is just for videos sake. When I work on actual things it’s a lot cleaner. There we go, all cut out and flip it over, make sure everything’s nice and clean.
You’re going to have a burr along all edges that you’re going to need to file down but that’s basically what happens after you cut it out. I just need to peel this off with a knife most likely. So now you’re going to want to file the edges down and then get a dremel because a dremel is way faster. What I am going to use is the rubber diamond tips that I have shown in other videos.
Once all that’s done it should be all de-burred and I’m just going to buff it up now but you’re pretty much done. If you’re wondering what I’m using to shine up the piece check out my video on how to make a ring from scratch and I go through what I use and what order I use them in and how to get whatever piece of metal you’re working with to have an almost mirror like finish.
There we go, it’s all done. If you have any questions, comments, concerns about this or corrections leave a comment. I’m going to be putting up videos twice a week like I’ve been doing and it’s going to be working up to making a pretty detailed ring with a stone set into it. Keep following my videos, this is it and I’ll see you guys next time.
Video Credit - GoMeowCreations