10/0 sawblades

Some of the things I thought about 10/0 saw blades:

a) They will break if you look at them wrong - or even if you just
look at them, maybe.

b) Being so thin front-to-back they will wander all over instead of
sawing a straight line.

c) because of a and b I’d be frustrated and miserable if I tried to
use them.

d) They don’t really exist anyway. Have you ever seen them listed in
a catalog?

It turns out I have not broken a blade yet (after several hours of
piercing). I am having an /easier/ time following my line because
the blade is so thin I can see exactly where it is relative to the
line. I never thought using a 10/0 blade might actually be fun, but
the tiny things I’ve been able to saw out turned out so well I am
having a great time. Who would have thought?

And they do exist. Knew Concepts sells them. See:

Some tips. The tensioning knob on the Knew Concept saw makes it easy
to set the tension and not snap the blade. See the “View Product
Description” link on the website. Lee and Brian at Knew Concepts are
really nice people to do business with. You would also not go wrong
by having great eyes or a #7 Optivisor.

Neil A.

Thanks Neil. for your comments re: using 10/0 blades.

The blades area great product, and just needed a frame that used a
subtle tension approach, rather than the sledge hammer approach
required by others. They have been available for a very long time,
but they were like the proverbial fish that got away. You always
heard about them but couldn’t find them. My hat isoff to the users
that did use them successfully, as it required great skill to
tension them correctly. You mention the desirability of a #7
Optivisor. definitely almost a necessary item. Also, if you are
using an Optivisor, your life will be made a lot easier if you have
a saw with the swivelingblade clamps. This is not a sales pitch!
What the swivels do is get the frame off to one side so that as you
are sawing, the back of the frame tracksalong side the headgear,
rather than bumping your nose. Any unexpected jarto the frame will
break the blade.

“It turns out I have not brokena blade yet (after several hours of
piercing)”. Wow! You are good!..I am trying without success in
remembering the ad line from one of the big commercials, but it goes
something like this: "Your results may vary…"You have certainly
gotten into the zen of sawing, and I congratulate you.

As far as I can figure out, the reasoning behind the unavailability
of the 10/0 blades is due to their timing in the marketplace. They
are a product that required a gentle and subtle tensioning that
simply was not available from the existing frames out there. The
usual dealers could not afford the returns and disappointed users,
so they did not offer them, thereforethey entered the realm of

Lee (the saw guy)

I want to add that I have found that finer saw blades in my
KnewConcepts frame reduce the effort needed to pierce for me; but
when i tried to use 8/0 blades for a tiny piercing job they would
break while i installed–after breaking 3 before even touching the
job-i had to go back to a regular frame. can anyone give me a tip?

joanne davis-woods
asheville, NC, where spring is breaking out all over

More questions on sawing from a newbie. In classes, I was taught to
saw, then dap, but I have found when the piece has a very open
asymmetrical design the spherical form distorts. This could be my
inexperience, but I once read a comment from James Miller suggesting
he forms & then saws. I would like to hear from experienced
jewellers. which comes first… sawing or dapping?

when i tried to use 8/0 blades for a tiny piercing job they would
break while i installed. can anyone give me a tip? 

The Knew Concepts saw frame is strong enough to pull smaller saw
blades tight enough to pull them apart. It can also tighten the
blades very gently. You over-tightened them, that’s all. I’ve done
that plenty of times myself, still do if I’m not paying attention.

If you have the toggle top frame, set the toggle to tight. Rotate
the tensioning knob so it is loose. Install the blade, lock at both
ends, then gently rotate the tensioning knob to take up the slack. If
you gently pluck the blade you do not want to hear a dull twang, but
for 6/0, 8/0, and especially 10/0 blades you do not want to hear a
really high pitch, either. Once the blade is just taut, that is
enough. Make fine adjustments if the sawing doesn’t feel right. Once
you have the right tension for a blade, you can switch the toggle to
the loose position (forward), release one end of the blade, insert
that in the pierced piece, tighten the blade end, and swing the
toggle back to the tight position. As long as you do not nudge the
tensioning knob you can then use the toggle to return to the right
tension for repeated cuts.

If you have the original frame without toggle, just tighten the
blade gradually until is is just taut, and you are good to go.

Buy the finer blades by the multiple-dozens or gross, because minor
saw handling mistakes will break them.

Neil A.

Could you glue the cut out piece to a thin sheet of copper, for
instance, dap the unit, then unglue the dapped piece? Noralie

Hi, All -

Meryl, I have been experimenting with the “form then saw” idea as
postulated by Master Miller. Kevin Potter also recommended this tome
to prevent the piercings in a bracelet becoming distorted during

It is evidently a… learned skill that I am attempting to learn.
Way I figure it, so many people can’t be wrong. :slight_smile:


Dapping first then sawing.

No distortion then.

HI Gang:

To answer Meryl, the order of cutting or dapping depends largely on
what you’re doing. If it’s just a hole or two, cut it first. If it’s
anything more serious, dap it first. Cut lines create areas of
weakness in the metal, so it moves more there, and you get un-even
bending. You can get around that by putting the dapping punch in a
hydraulic press, and using a hard (90+) durometer pad to smash the
metal against the dap, but that’s sort of the long way round.

Hanging on to the blinking thing once it’s dapped can be a
challenge, but that’s where creativity comes into play. Depending on
the size, look at setter’s cement on the end of a stick, or
jett-sett on the end of a stick, to hold it while you cut. If it’s
bigger than a marble, you may be able to just hand hold it on your
pin, depending on the orientation of the cuts.

As far as fine (6/0 or smaller) blades in a Knew Concepts saw, Neil
did a pretty good job of covering that. I’d go with his


Meryl Freedman asked about piercing and whether to pierce flat
before shaping or to shape before piercing, and she did mention that
I had advised shaping before piercing on a previous posting. Of
course it is possible to pierce first and then shape if the shaping
is shallow and will not stress the metal or distort the piercing, I
have done this many times when making pierced table lamp shades They
were made in panels, each pierced before doming to shape before
plique a-jour enamelling, then attached together to form the complete
shades. But when I am making small domed articles, such as Easter Egg
shells or the coned overlays and bowl supports on some of my table
centrepieces, I shape the metals first and pierce the patterns into
the shaped articles. As Easter is fast approaching I have attached a
photo of some of my eggs, most are pierced before enamelling,
perhaps Hanuman will be kind enough to post it.

Peace and good health to all. James Miller FIPG

1 Like

thanks Neil, now that I know it really is possible, i’m sure i’ll
conquer those blades!

joanne davis-woods
asheville, NC

Holding small things to saw pierce or azure is always difficult. Saw
a very cool tool awhile back that solves much of those problems and I
want one but can;t find one anywhere. Hopefully, Syuller will lead
the way here.

The tool makes it brief appearance at the 1:56 mark:

I’d love to have this tool in a couple different sizes, wouldn’t

Best to all

Mr. Miller’s Easter eggs are incredibly beautiful!


There is only one word to describe these eggs? “beautiful” !!? I can
only wish to have your natural gift of design and talent that you
show in these eggs. Thank you for showing them.

Wow. I was unaware of your work, Mr. Miller. Now I am amazed.
Particularly the Orchid version.

Rick Powell

Hi, all -

when i tried to use 8/0 blades for a tiny piercingjob they would
break while i installed. can anyone give me a tip? 

“Ah feel yo-are pain”. I had the same problem using the Knew Concept
saw with toggle until I learned that the toggle doesn’t have to
actually be flipped all the way down to its tightest position for
the saw to work effectively. Once I got that, it became much easier
to successfully load 8/0 blades.

Now I use to the toggle to gently tune the saw blade “to tone”. Even
with a gross of the same blades from the same company bought at the
same time the right tone is often found with the toggle in slightly
different positions. With the small blades, if the toggle lever is
about 20-30 degrees or so past vertical when I hit the right note I
figure I’m good to go. Haven’t had it work itself out of position

Your mileagemay vary, safety first, nothing trumps common sense,
flames are pretty butbite when petted, spinning end mills are shiny
but want to borrow your fingers, blah blah blah.


The guillotine. I like it. Might have to make one. SD


A close approximation to the tool you mention is a parallel clamp.
Starrett makes them, but the one in the video appears to be a little
smaller. It could possibly be slightly modified by attaching strips
of leather to the interior to protect the piece being held in the
clamp. Hope that helps.

Your eggs are exquisite! Thank you for sharing your work!

Donna W
Huntsville, AL

I have the KC saw without the toggle (never tried the toggle one)
but for piercing, I don’t have the patience to go through the
tensioning knob process every few seconds or minutes as I pierce out
tiny areas. I just re-tension it the old-fashioned way, by
compressing it between the bench and my belly. There is just enough
flax in the aluminum saw to allow this.

I have used the titanium version (not for piercing), and I think it
is too rigid to allow this, though it doesn’t take much.

I thought the SabaOne saw would also be too rigid, but it is fine.

I’d like to try the toggle KC saw, but cannot justify the investment
just to find out whether I like it better.

FWIW, I will be doing a web seminar called Bench Basics: Saws and
Sawing for Interweave (the folks who bring us Lapidary
Journal/Jewelry Artist) tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1pm EDT. Find it at
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep817n if you are interested.


Hi Marko,

The tool makes it brief appearance at the 1:56 mark:

Interesting little widget. I’ve never seen anything even close to
that for sale anywhere.

Wouldn’t be that hard to make. We (Knew Concepts) are up to our
eyeballs at the moment, but it’s something we could knock out pretty
easily if there’s interest.

So, anybody want one?

Brian Meek
Knew Concepts.