Date Uploaded: August 28, 2006, 3:42 pm
Last Edited: August 7, 2012, 5:52 pm
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How To Saw
Article © MAIL User: happysparkle
I remember well the first time I picked up a jeweler’s saw at uni. Within 5 minutes the classroom was filled with muttered curses and the ping of breaking sawblades. It can seem a little daunting at first – I know I hated that day. I broke blades at least every 5 strokes and vowed never to pick up a saw again. But the next day I was ready to try again, with some helpful pointers from my professor.
Your saw should be adjusted properly and all screws TIGHT. The sawblade makes a nice, high, ringing ping when strung properly. I’m going to assume you already know how to string the blade. Pluck your blade every time you string a new one, even if you just know you’ve got the tension right, and check the screw that adjusts the frame depth every few blades. If those come loose, you’ll end up with alot of snapped blades.
- First, sit up really straight. It doesn’t change the way you saw, but it cuts way down on strain.
- Grip the handle tightly but keep your wrist really loose. This is by far the biggest key to success, and takes a few tries and a good deal of cursing to get used to.
- Find your rhythm. Slow and steady wins the race – and until you’ve got some experience with a saw, keep this as your mantra. Rushing will get you nowhere but a trip to the store for more blades. Good sawing is a surprisingly relaxing, rhythmic process.
- If you’re sawing sheet metal, make sure the blade is straight up and down and the whole of the frame is perpendicular to your work surface and your metal. Turn the metal, not the saw, when cutting a curve or corner.
- When sawing rings on a straight mandrel, hold the mandrel and the sawblade parallel to the ground. Do not cut in line with the mandrel – your cut should spiral around the mandrel at about a 45° angle so that your blade is touching only 3 or 4 rings at any given time. Roll the mandrel as you cut around it and keep the blade in the same position.
- If you’re using a curved mandrel (basically a mandrel that’s been bent into a nice, smooth curve, like the 8ga brass wire one I use alot) keep the blade in line with the mandrel; your cut will run straight along the length of it.
Sawing is really pretty straightforward. It will take a little getting used to, so don’t expect to be a pro on the first stroke. Practice makes perfect, so give it a few tries and see how easy it becomes!
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