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Jeweler's Saw History


#1

I’m trying to research just how far back, historically, the fine
bladed jeweler’s/piercing saw actually can be dated. If anyone has
any info or research source suggestions, it would be welcome.

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR afn03234@afn.org


#2
 I'm trying to research just how far back, historically, the fine
bladed jeweler's/piercing saw actually can be dated.  If anyone
has any info or research source suggestions, it would be welcome. 

Ron, I can’t help you on dates, but an anecdote may be of interest.
I worked for a time with a fellow who was born in the Phillapines,
and originally learned jewelery making from his father and
grandfather there. He says one of the things they tought him early
on was how to make his own sawblades. He says they’d take a plain
steel wire, and witha chisel, by hand, create a bunch of teeth in the
thing. Said they weren’t as fast or even cutting, of course, as our
commercially made ones, but he also said they were less prone to
break, and unless you needed a really fine guage, were servicable
enough. And, if I recall, it was Leonardo DaVinci who first
invented a machine that would cut file teeth into a blank piece of
steel. Prior to that it was done by hand. Same way, i’d guess, as
my friends saw blades. And what all that means is that this
apparently is simple technology, at least in it’s beginnings,
perhaps going back to about the time when steel tools became readily
available…

Peter


#3

Ron,

As I understand it, the jeweler’s saw was invented (in Europe)
during the Renaissance. It was developed along with a demand for
another recent invention: the clock. Prior to the jeweler’s saw,
metal was cut from sheet using chisels. Jewelers had the skill
necessary to make the precision clockwork mechanisms (although very
crude by today’s standards), but chisels deformed the gear teeth.
The saw blades were simply a series of chisels in a row, on a steel
blade. Celini probably had this new tool in his workshop along with
another incredible new invention: the drawbench.

I have an old saw frame in my collection. It was made by Morris in
England, around the early 1600s. The blade is relatively short, only
about 3". There are thumbscrews used to tighten the blade, similar
to the modern saw frame, and a tensioning screw at the end of the
frame. The back is not adjustable.

In its day, this must have been just as incredible as the laser
welder is to us today. Since you had to make your own blades, it may
not have been a lot faster to use, but a lot more accurate. And, it
linked jewelers and watchmakers together for over 500 years.

Doug Zaruba


#4
  Celini probably had this new tool in his workshop along with
another incredible new invention: the drawbench. 

Doug, I take it you are referring to the Italian goldsmith and
sculpturer Benvenuto Cellini, and at his time (he lived 1500 - 1571)
the drawbench was absolutely not a new invention. One of the first
known pictures of a drawbench derives from the 12th century, and my
dear ancestors, the vikings, was well avare of the use of a draw
plate. There are - for good reasons - no pictures of their use of a
draw bench, but archeological finds has included drawplates, and
since a draw bench probably would have been made from wood, we are
not likely to find direct archeological evidence of them using it.

But man, how I envy you your old English Morris jewellers saw. If
ever you want to part from it, give me a mail :wink: Kind regards Niels
L=F8vschal, Rutsker, Denmark @L_F8vschal