I know this is not a timely reply. To the question by an English
goldsmith on electric band saw/scroll saw interest. I cut; therefore
I have a different view.
I am puzzeled by the interest in available electric machinery .
First the interest in electric scroll saws.
I should explain the interest in those saws, and why the attraction
to this. The most widespread use in what was discussed would be
lapidary, hence my interest in the topic. With this you can cut out
cabs that only need to be domed with but little trimming to size.
Saving wear of wheels and it should save time as well, also since
this can cut curves etc. this will save slab material as you won't
have nearly the wasted space between cuts. That is, a trim saw can
only cut straight lines and no matter how a set of cab shapes are
laid out there are wasted areas. You can see for yourself on a piece
of paper, use a ruler (straight edge) to mark out how to get them
out. If you had a saw (or something to do it with the paper) that can
cut curves then you can get more of those out of that sheet of paper,
or a slab of rock.
What is wrong with a standard hand held piercing saw frame?
The answer is nothing. However, I would like to mention a neglected
tool, what is called a backsaw or razor saw. I make things, cut
stone, and use silver. In a book of Southwestern Indian Jewelry
there was a picture of a well-stocked bench from what they called the
acetylene age that began roughly in the 1930s. On the bench was a
backsaw. I believe Swest used to carry one with large handle in 42
teeth per inch, anyway finer than the standard fixed blade model.
(You could probably get that configuration if you ordered several
thousands at a time.) I settled on the deluxe model with
interchangeable blades from Zona (owned by the same company that owns
Foredom, Blackstone). This has that comfortable large handle. The
advantage is, say you have a cast ring or such. With it, with a few
pulls you can cut the spur off flush and usually without the need of
using a vice or such. In fact this can take care of most sawing
needs. I say a neglected tool, as for decades this was standard
equipment in a rather large circle. Would I still want to use a
jeweler's saw or need to? The answer is yes, but life is short and
if you can make it easier, why not, this is the better tool a lot of
the time, you will of course sometimes need the other saw.
Most of the band/scroll saws mentioned are for suitable thanks to a
wet trey to cutting glass, tile, marble and (note) stone. This is the
main thing that attracted all the attention. (Shown by part of the
discussion, "There is an inexpensive lapidary bandsaw sold by Harbor
Freight for about $150 that comes with variable speed.") As to Harbor
Freight, some of it is worthwhile: some is not. Despite misgivings as
it has been a source of jokes a goldsmith said I might want to look,
at least on some things, he showed me two mallets, one was nicer, but
he said this will not work any better than that. I have an advantage
in that they have a store up the road, and I plan to take a look and
perhaps wait on a sale, as I have a few times. Some of their stuff is
good, some you should save your money.
In any event at the Ogden show in March, sponsored in largest part
by my club, I bought several small slabs of charolte. I had wanted
some, having seen it, Deloris' son works for Mike's custom jewelry. I
could hardly believe the price, expensive. I think I want to put off
cutting it until I have the use of a saw like this to get all I can
out of it. Hence (and with other materials) my interest.